Elizabeth Blair

Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer/Reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.

On a daily basis, she produces, edits and reports arts and cultural segments that air on NPR News magazines including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her recent stories explored the rise of public humiliation in popular culture, consumers' changing media habits and the intersection of the arts and education.

In this position that she has held since 2003, Blair's varied work has included profiles of actor Neil Patrick Harris, rapper K'Naan, and the band Pearl Jam. She has written and produced long-form documentaries on such cultural icons as Paul Robeson and Billie Holiday. Blair oversaw the production of some of NPR's most popular special projects including "50 Great Voices," the NPR series on awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time in, and the "In Character" series which explored famous American fictional characters.

Over the years, Blair has received several honors for her work including two Peabody Awards and a Gracie.

For three and a half years, Blair lived in Paris, France, where she co-produced Le Jazz Club From Paris with Dee Dee Bridgewater, and the monthly magazine Postcard From Paris.

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Music News
5:16 am
Sun July 19, 2015

After 20 Years, New Orleans Band Galactic Lifts Off With New Voices

On the new album Into The Deep, the seasoned instrumentalists of Galactic team up with a host of singers including Macy Gray and Mavis Staples.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 9:35 am

For 20 years, the New Orleans band Galactic has made people dance at clubs, festivals, house parties — you name it. "A first-rate funk band" is how The New York Times describes it.

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Pop Culture
4:27 am
Thu July 9, 2015

As Plus-Size Fashion Gains Popularity, Retailers Play Catch-Up

Plus-size women have struggled in the past to find fashionable clothing options. But, with celebrities bringing plus size to the forefront, the fashion industry might wake up.
Mary McLain NPR

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 10:30 am

If you're a woman of a certain size, shopping for clothes can be a downer. Even though the average American woman is around a size 14, most department store racks are devoted to smaller bodies.

But that could be changing.

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Remembrances
4:30 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

Burt Shavitz, Face Of Burt's Bees, Dies At 80

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 9:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Ron Moody, Who Delighted Audiences As Fagin In 'Oliver!' Dies

Ron Moody, as Fagin, is seen in a 1968 publicity portrait for the film Oliver!
Columbia/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 2:10 pm

With a scruffy beard and devilish twinkle in his eye, Ron Moody's Fagin is one of the most memorable, musical theater villains of all time. Moody died Thursday at a hospital in London. He was 91.

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Photography
3:43 am
Mon May 25, 2015

It's Not Rude: These Portraits Of Wounded Vets Are Meant To Be Stared At

Army Spc. Jerral Hancock sits for a portrait with his son Julius. It is believed that Hancock was trapped under the wreckage of his Army tank in Iraq for half an hour before he was rescued.
Courtesy of David Jay/Unknown Soldier

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 12:50 pm

It's impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don't look enough; or maybe we'd rather not see wounded veterans at all.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Looted By The Nazis, Matisse's 'Seated Woman' Finally Finds Her Way Home

Henri Matisse's Seated Woman was found in an apartment in Munich.
Wolf Heider-Sawall Courtesy of Art Recovery Group

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 1:19 pm

Missing for nearly 75 years, a painting by Henri Matisse is being returned to the family of its rightful owner Friday. Seated Woman belonged to renowned art dealer Paul Rosenberg, who fled the Nazis in 1940.

The story of the painting's recovery reads like a historical crime novel.

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Fine Art
5:25 am
Fri May 15, 2015

1921 Matisse, 'Seated Woman,' To Be Reunited With Rosenberg Heirs

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 11:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Remembrances
4:29 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Ben E. King, Soul Singer Best Known For 'Stand By Me,' Dies

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

One of the most distinctive voices of 1950s and '60s R&B has died. Ben E. King, best known for the song "Stand By Me," died yesterday in New Jersey of natural causes. He was 76. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has more.

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Art & Design
3:23 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Slow Fashion Shows Consumers What It's Made Of

The Zady clothing line sources cotton from the Texas Organic Cotton Cooperative in Lubbock, Texas.
Zady

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 1:15 pm

If you're into "slow food" — the ethical response to "fast food" — you probably want to know how the animals were treated or whether pesticides were used on your vegetables. Now, the "slow fashion" movement is in the same spirit.

"It's about understanding the process or the origins of how things are made," says Soraya Darabi, co-founder of the clothing line Zady. "Where our products come from, how they're constructed and by whom. Slow fashion is really indicative of a movement of people who want to literally slow down."

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NPR Ed
5:38 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Teaching Students To Hear The Music In The Built World

Architecture professor Diana Agrest evaluates her students' work during a class critique at Cooper Union in New York.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:31 am

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Diana Agrest believes architecture is so much more than a marriage of form and function. For more than four decades, she's been trying to get her students to believe that too.

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Code Switch
8:51 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Who Gets To Dance In 'Swan Lake'? The Answer Is Changing

Misty Copeland (left) and Brooklyn Mack play Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in this year's Washington Ballet production of Swan Lake. It is the first time that two black dancers star in Swan Lake in a major American production.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 11:47 am

Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.

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Music
4:02 am
Thu April 2, 2015

The 2 Filmmakers Behind The Who

Managers Chris Stamp (left) and Kit Lambert were aspiring filmmakers when they first approached The Who.
The Image Works/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 2:22 pm

Two young, aspiring filmmakers walk into a bar. One's a hip, working-class dreamer. The other, a suit-and-tie wearing son of a classical musician.

The punchline: One of the greatest rock bands in history.

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The Salt
7:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

A Cheez Whiz ad from 1952.
Courtesy of Kraft Foods

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

Will Cheez Whiz survive the merger?

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World
4:37 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Elton John Declares Boycott Against Dolce & Gabbana

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 8:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Television
5:48 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Documentary Filmmakers Worry About Being Squeezed Out Of PBS Prime Time

The popularity of Carson and company on the hit show Downton Abbey is tough for PBS documentary films to compete with. Some major markets — including New York — are considering moving those docs out of prime time.
WGBH/PBS

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 7:09 am

As PBS enjoys the success of shows like Downton Abbey and Antiques Roadshow, documentary filmmakers feel they're being marginalized.

Two signature documentary shows on PBS — POV and Independent Lens — air rigorous, in-depth reports about difficult issues often set in minority communities. They also enjoy a prime time slot on many stations, including New York City's WNET, one of the largest PBS member stations in the country.

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Remembrances
4:17 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Legendary Jazz Producer Orrin Keepnews Dies At 91

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:38 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Acclaimed Documentary Filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky Dies At 58

Co-director Bruce Sinofsky attends the Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory press day at HBO Studios on Jan. 6, 2012, in New York City.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 5:14 pm

Peabody and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky has died at age 58.

Sinofsky and his longtime co-director, Joe Berlinger, made such acclaimed documentaries as Some Kind of Monster, about the heavy metal band Metallica and Brother's Keeper, about four brothers in rural upstate New York. They are perhaps best known for Paradise Lost, a trilogy of films about three teenagers convicted of killing three little boys in West Memphis, Ark.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Composing The Folk Music Of A Made-Up Country

Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori as hotel concierge M. Gustave and his lobby-boy confidante, Zero, in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:13 pm

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Games & Humor
7:12 am
Sat February 14, 2015

For Three Comedians, Valentine's Day Makes For One Big Joke

Marina Franklin says audiences can always relate to jokes about heartache. "There's nothing like getting an immediate response," she says.
Carlos Delgado Courtesy of Marina Franklin

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 10:15 am

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Television
3:41 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Miniseries Explores The Ugly Fallout Of A Disciplinary 'Slap'

Rosie (Melissa George) and barbecue hostess Aisha (Thandie Newton) comfort Rosie's 5-year-old son (Dylan Schombing) after another parent hit him.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 9:09 am

For a lot of parents, spanking your kids isn't an option. But not too long ago, many a child's bottom met the occasional switch. And while attitudes about corporal punishment have changed, it's still a provocative issue — one NBC is taking on in The Slap, a new miniseries that premiers Thursday.

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