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Crosscurrents is the daily news magazine from KALW Public Radio. We are part of KALW's Public Interest Reporting Project, which began in 2003 with the goal of expanding local in-depth reporting – at a time when most news organizations were cutting back on public interest journalism.

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Thu December 22, 2011
Arts & Culture

A museum for minding your manners

Photo courtesy the Hayward Area Historical Society
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Head to the East Bay city of Hayward, and you’ll find a museum with a little bit of class. There, the city’s historical society puts on exhibits about the way we used to live. But were Bay Area citizens of the past really so different than us?

KALW’s Hana Baba wanted to know more, so she stopped by the museum for a lesson in what many people consider a lost art: formal etiquette.

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Wed December 21, 2011
Arts & Culture

Meet the "thinking man's conceptual artist"

Conceptual artist and philosopher Jonathon Keats will take you on a trip to outer space – so to speak.
Photo by Jen Dessinger

Space exploration – it’s something we’ve made a national priority since NASA’s inception, over 50 years ago.

PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because it’s easy but because it’s hard.

But last week, NASA launched its last space shuttle mission – officially retiring the almost 30-year-old spacecraft.

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Wed December 21, 2011
Arts & Culture

“All Day Play”: the station that turns the tables on commercial music

Brandon McFarland is the editor of Youth Radio's streaming radio station,

For many artists, creating works of art is a deeply personal process –not a lucrative one. But for others, it’s an opportunity to make money. A lot of money. Take today’s pop music artists – you can hear commercially promoted music by tuning into America’s Top 40. But if you want to find emerging artists and diverse sub-genres from the Bay Area and around the world, you should check out All Day Play from Oakland’s Youth Radio. The station DJs follow the latest trends from hip hop to soul to electronica, rock, and house.

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Wed December 21, 2011
Arts & Culture

Art center gives voice to the Bay Area’s developmentally disabled

Oakland's Creative Growth Art Center provides a space for adults with developmental disabilities to express themselves

Art can be extraordinary. It can convey beauty ... imagination  ... and wonder. For some artists, it can literally communicate what their words cannot.

In Oakland, artists with developmental disabilities find a place to express themselves at the Creative Growth Art Center. But budget cuts to county and state social service programs are making it harder for them to pursue their artistic visions.

KALW’s Nicole Jones reports.

TOM DI MARIA: That’s a big painting, Barry. What color are you painting right now?


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Tue December 20, 2011
Health, Science, Environment

Learning to eat well in the land of plenty

Dietician Stefania Manetti teaches refugee children how to read nutrition facts.
Photo by Shuka Kalantari

For most of us, thinking about our healthy eating habits happens maybe once a year at New Years, or right before swimsuit season. But for refugee kids, learning how to eat healthy in America is an entirely new challenge. In another story by reporter Shuka Kalantari, 15-year-old Ja Tu Marip, a foster child from Myanmar, didn’t have a lot of access to junk food like candy and soda. In this story by Shuka Kalantari, Ja Tu’s older sister Seng Raw talks about her adjustment to the American diet.

SENG RAW MARIP: Basically the food in Burma is rice.

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