Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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From April 12, 2007...

A White Preacher's Message on Race and Reconciliation

Rosa Parks' arrest in 1955 for failing to give up her seat to a white man sparked the bus boycott that helped ignite the modern civil rights movement. Among Parks' friends who played a role in the movement were a young Lutheran minister and his wife who had just moved to town with their two small children. The Rev. Robert Graetz recalls that experience in his book, A White Preacher's Message on Race and Reconciliation.

Reverend Robert Graetz

Jeannie Graetz was an equal partner in her husband's commitment to social change. I asked her what her older children recall of their experiences in Montgomery.

Jeannie Graetz

Jeannie and Robert Graetz are ambassadors-in-residence for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture at Alabama State University. Rev. Graetz's book, A White Preacher's Message on Race and Reconciliation, is published by New South Books.

Scene from A Streetcar Named Desire

Nearly a decade before the Montgomery bus boycott, playwright Tennessee Williams penned A Streetcar Named Desire - about the culture clash between the Old South and the industrial, inner-city immigrant class. The iconic play was a critical and box office success and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A few years later it was turned into a movie - starring Marlon Brando - then a ballet, and in the 1990's, an opera. This week, the Virginia Samford Theatre in Birmingham hosts a 60th anniversary production of A Streetcar Named Desire with actor Jeremy Renta playing Stanley Kowalski to Carla DuMontier's Stella DuBois.

A scene from A Streetcar named Desire

Actors Jeremy Renta and Carla DuMontier admit it can be a challenge staging a show that so many people know so well.

Jeremy Renta and Carla du Montier interview

People will "get it", director Dane Peterson tells WBHM's Tanya Ott, because the play is full of themes that resonate as much today as they did 60 years ago.

Dane Peterson interview

Dane Peterson directs A Streetcar Named Desire, which runs through April 22nd at the Virginia Samford Theatre in Birmingham.

Ladonna Smith

Listen to LaDonna Smith's music and it's a safe bet you'll be moved one way or another. One reviewer noted, "Stage charisma, and an imaginative ear for the possibilities of timber, make Smith an appealing presence." Another wrote: "She combined sawing on the violin's open strings with a set of frenzied wails. The effect was an impressive complexity of texture, like some deranged nun chanting next to a devilish fiddler."

In our series "The Nature of Creativity", Les Lovoy discovers the fascinating journey of how this avant garde violinist, artist, got from there...to here.

A profile of LaDonna Smith

To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.

Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.

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Josh Patrick of Standard Candle

Birmingham band Standard Candle says they don't want to change the world or the way you see it. Although with a name like Standard Candle -- which, astronomically, means anything in the night sky with luminosity -- they might not necessarily be telling the truth. The group plays what it calls "rock with a pop twist". Pulling from personal experience, Standard Candle creates accessible music for the everyday. Music for the highs and lows of life. This is the title song off their soon-to-be released EP "Chicago". Frontman Josh Patrick and guitarist Brian Sunderman stopped by our studios...(AUDIO MONTAGE)

Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell, with help this week from Francesca Rosko, Les Lovoy, Steve Chiotakis, Rosemary Pennington and Islara Vazquez. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.

Support for Tapestry comes from the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Funds administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.