Elizabeth Blair

Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer in the Arts Information Unit 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 late night TV wars.

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. Blair is especially proud of her interview with Cookie Monster and her reporting on the 10th anniversary of SpongeBob.

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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4:00am

Mon December 12, 2011
Games & Humor

Beyblades: Hot New Toy Borrows Ancient Concept

This Christmas, the Beyblade is sure to be a popular stocking stuffer. What's a Beyblade — it is a sophisticated top. Hasbro has taken the simple concept and added all kinds of cool features.

6:16am

Thu November 24, 2011
NPR Story

'Prince and The Show Girl'

In 1956, two icons — Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier — got together in London to make a movie, The Prince and the Showgirl. It was a comedy about the lonely Prince Regent of Carpathia, who meets a flirty American showgirl. The film was a royal flop. Now a new movie, My Week With Marilyn, recounts the miserable time had by all on the set. It's the story of one week during the film shoot, with behind-the-scenes clashes, misaligned acting styles, and the pursuit of personal ambitions. Michelle Williams plays Monroe and Kenneth Branagh plays Olivier.

12:01am

Tue November 8, 2011
Fine Art

Wal-Mart Heiress Brings Art Museum To The Ozarks

A model shows a view of the Crystal Bridges pavilion some museum staff refer to as "the armadillo" because of how its curved, copper bands resemble the animal's shell.
John Horner Crystal Bridges Museum of Art

The American art world's biggest event in decades is happening this week — but it's not where you'd expect it to be.

Bentonville, Ark. is home to Wal-Mart headquarters and, starting Nov. 11, it will also be home to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and what some critics are calling one of the world's best collections of American art.

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12:01am

Tue October 11, 2011
2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.

The Subtleties Of Marketing Beer To Latinos

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 7:05 pm

Heineken USA

Any industry looking for major growth in the U.S. market can't ignore Latinos, who make up 16 percent of the U.S. population. As the Latino population grows, beer marketers are trying more nuanced ways of influencing this key segment.

"They love beer," says Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer for Crown Imports, which distributes Mexican beers including Corona and Modelo. "Hispanics are 19 percent more likely to purchase beer than the rest of U.S. consumers." On top of that, Hispanics will make up a large portion of the legal drinking-age population in the future.

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12:01am

Wed September 7, 2011
Television

Who Will Buy Hulu?

A large-scale promotional campaign launched by Hulu during the 2009 Super Bowl featured Alec Baldwin as a spokesperson.
Courtesy of Hulu

For people who watch TV and movies over the Internet rather than the airwaves or cable, Hulu is one of the most popular sources of content. The company has offered streaming, on-demand access to select television shows and movies since it launched in 2008. Now,the site's owners are looking to cash in, and some big guns — including Google, Amazon, Yahoo and Dish Network — are showing interest.

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3:30pm

Tue August 30, 2011
The Record

Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards Has Died

David "Honeyboy" Edwards in an undated photo.
Dave Peabody Redferns

David "Honeyboy" Edwards, considered to be the last of a generation of musicians who brought music from the rural Mississippi Delta to the rest of America, died at his home in Chicago early Monday morning. He was 96 years old.

Honeyboy Edwards was born in 1915. He grew up in segregated Mississippi during Jim Crow. Though his dad was a share-cropper, the young Edwards did not work in the fields.

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12:01am

Thu August 11, 2011
Arts & Life

World Art Managers Find New Funding Models In D.C.

Kennedy Center fellow Reem Kassem recently used her Kennedy connections to help organize an outdoor arts festival in Alexandria, Egypt.
Kennedy Center

Cultural diplomacy usually comes in the form of a traveling art exhibit or a celebrity visit to a war-torn country. But there's a deeper kind of diplomacy taking place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For the past four summers, arts managers from around the world have been coming to D.C. for training on how to improve their organizations back home.

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4:59am

Tue August 2, 2011
Crime In The City

Taking On Crime In A Racially Divided D.C.

George Pelecanos' 17 crime novels take place in and around Washington, D.C. Pelecanos has also written for HBO's The Wire and Treme, which take place in Baltimore and New Orleans, but he says his novels will always be set in D.C.
Mai-Trang Dang via Flickr

All 17 of George Pelecanos' crime novels have been set in his hometown of Washington, D.C. — but he isn't writing about politicians, lawyers or lobbyists. Instead, Pelecanos' stories look at the city's greasers and drug dealers; its working black families and its ethnic neighborhoods.

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12:01am

Fri July 22, 2011
Music News

Enterprising Young Musicians On The Road To Interlochen

Cellist Sara Page (center, right) rehearses with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp. Page is among the campers who made an exceptional effort to raise funds to attend the camp this year.
Sam Oldenburg for NPR

For young people who want a career in the arts, a handful of prestigious summer camps are a vital early step. Interlochen, in northern Michigan, is one of them.

Jessye Norman, Josh Groban, Norah Jones and Lorin Maazel all spent summers at Interlochen when they were younger. But with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the campers' age and discipline, does it mean that only rich kids get to follow in their footsteps? It turns out that some extra-resourceful young people are paving their own way. I went to camp to meet them.

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4:00am

Mon June 13, 2011
Economy

Kansas Gov. Brownback Defunds State Arts Agency

The state of Kansas just did away with its arts agency, the first state in the country to do so. The arts community is up in arms about this, but there are some good arguments for government getting out of arts funding. Other states are heading in the same direction as Kansas.

12:01am

Tue May 24, 2011
Television

Oh, The Void Oprah Leaves Behind

Oprah Winfrey's departure this week from her long-running TV show leaves a gaping hole in daytime television.
Peter Wynn Thompson AFP/Getty Images

Radical changes are taking place on television — specifically, daytime broadcast TV. Soap operas are disappearing. And this week, Oprah Winfrey ends her tremendously successful run in syndication. According to the Nielsen rating service, over 7 million people tuned in to The Oprah Winfrey Show each week.

Nobody really knows what's going to happen to the huge hole Oprah leaves in daytime: Not TV stations, not advertisers, and not her fans.

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4:08pm

Mon May 23, 2011
Music News

Oprah And 'Glee' Say Goodbye With Something 'Wicked'

Idina Menzel (left) and Kristin Chenoweth of Wicked perform during the 58th Annual Tony Awards.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

This is a big week for goodbyes on TV. And to mark the occasion, two major broadcast events will be using the same song. Tomorrow both Oprah and the season finale of Glee will feature the song "For Good" from the Broadway show Wicked.

"For Good" is a song about what we might say to a friend we might never see again.

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12:01am

Thu May 19, 2011
The Message Makers: Inside PR And Advertising

Under The Radar, PR's Political Savvy

Though lobbyists target Capitol Hill, often those in public relations work on issues ahead of them, conditioning the legislative landscape.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

When it comes to the inner workings of Washington, you often hear about lobbyists influencing the political process. But there's another time tested profession that works just as hard trying to do much the same thing: Public relations. In D.C. it's often referred to as "public affairs" or "advocacy." But it's PR just the same.

First, what is the difference between lobbying and public relations? For starters, lobbyists have to disclose their activities. PR professionals do not. But they do work together.

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12:01am

Fri May 13, 2011
The Message Makers: Inside PR And Advertising

With Billions At Stake, Firms Play Name That Mop

BlackBerry Curve 8520.
BlackBerry

Part of a series on the public relations industry

The language of advertising and public relations is meant to seduce you into buying or believing something. The first step — coming up with a really cool name.

Mopping Up The Competition

David Placek was on the team that came up with the names Blackberry and Outback for Subaru. Procter & Gamble once hired his company Lexicon to help create a name for an improved mop.

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12:01am

Wed May 4, 2011
History

From Beneath, A Smithsonian Shipwreck Controversy

To the average person, treasure-hunting on shipwrecks sounds like an adventure; but to marine archaeologists, it's a serious science — and one that's all too susceptible to looting.

Now, the stories of looting and profit that surround an ancient shipwreck discovered off the coast of Indonesia are putting Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution under fire.

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12:01am

Tue March 22, 2011
Monkey See

Fox Hunts For More Than Just Game As 'Rio' Hooks Up With 'Angry Birds'

You simply cannot appreciate the brilliance of Angry Birds unless you play the game. So go get your iPhone or borrow one from a friend. You can download the first game for free.

The physics-based game is wildly addictive. You could waste a good deal of time catapulting those angry birds through the air, trying to get the arc just right so you smash the pigs' castle.

By the way, the birds are angry because the pigs have stolen their eggs, in case that's not immediately apparent.

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