Last week, the Obama administration announced a new initiative to improve a handful of the nation’s worst performing schools through arts education. The Turnaround Arts Initiative has chosen eight schools to receive $14.7 million over three years to integrate art, music, dance, and theater into their curricula. The experimental program from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, in conjunction with the Department of Education, hopes to prove that failing schools can reverse course by encouraging their students’ creative expression.
Then, if you're a fan of the reboot of British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who, Steven Moffat is the patron saint of nerd cool. He's the visionary show runner and writer behind some of the series’ most creepy and popular episodes: last season's closer was BBC America's highest-rated primetime program. Moffat recently reinvented another classic British superhero, who’s similarly drawn to mystery, danger, and intrigue — Sherlock Holmes. This Sherlock is set in present-day London, with re-imagined villains, high tech crimes, and lightening-fast dialogue.
After that, Susan Eloise Hinton was a teenager when she wrote The Outsiders, the story of rival gangs in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She used the pen name “S.E.” so readers wouldn’t know she was a girl, and bought a Camaro with the earnings. “Some of [the novel’s] faults, like its over-the-top emotions and drama, are what make it so popular because that’s the way kids really feel,” she says. “You’ve got to have the hormones going before you really appreciate that book.”
Following that, it’s the first poem about David Bowie to win the Pulitzer Prize. Tracy K. Smith’s collection Life on Mars contains many references to the man she salutes as the “Pope of Pop.” Inspired by Smith’s work, we want your poem about the star who captured your imagination — as a teenager or now.
And finally, The Book of Revelation — the apocalyptic conclusion to the New Testament — has been a narrative staple in popular culture for centuries. Filled with angels battling demons in heaven, the Beast with the number 666, the Antichrist, and the end times, its fingerprints are all over blockbuster modern storytelling like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Elaine Pagels' new book — Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation — considers this vivid and controversial text. [Broadcast Date: April 5, 2012]
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