Expanding the Pantheon: Women R Beautiful

For the last two decades, Ruben Natal-San Miguel has been challenging the expectations of who gets memorialized and celebrated in our art spaces. His portrait Mama (Beautiful Skin) has been one of the most impactful photographs in the Mint galleries in recent years. The woman—arms crossed, shoulders back—stares at us, the viewer, with confrontation that may outshine her own confidence. The bold red backdrop—a van, with slight reflections in the refulgent surface—highlights not only her stalwart posture, but also, her skin, an effect of vitiligo. The details—her skin, her cornrows, the white Tshirt, even the red van—are not elements often seen in an art gallery or museum. This is Natal-San Miguel’s mission: to introduce a new range of venerated beauty for our consideration.


Book Passage Presents: Steve Kettmann, Mary C. Curtis & Anthony Scaramucci

In Now What?, an eclectic lineup of contributors—from Rosanna Arquette, Susan Bro, and General Wesley Clark to Keith Olbermann, Stewart O’Nan, and Anthony Scaramucci—puts a year of transition into perspective, and summons the anxieties and hopes so many have for better times ahead.

As award-winning columnist Mary C. Curtis writes in the lead essay, “Saying you’re not interested in politics is dangerous because, like it or not, politics is interested in you.”

Novelist Christopher Buckley, a former speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush, laments, “The Republican Senate, with one exception, has become a stay of ovine, lickspittle quislings, degenerate descendants of such giants as Everett Dirksen, Barry Goldwater, Howard Baker and John McCain.”

Nero Award-winning mystery novelist Stephen Mack Jones writes, to Donald Trump, “Remember: You live in my house. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is my house. My ancestors built it at a cost of blood, soul and labor. I pay my taxes every year to feed you, clothe you and your family and staff and fly you around the country and the world in my tricked-out private jet. If you violate any aspect of your four-year lease—any aspect—Lord Jesus so help me, I will do everything in my power to kick yo narrow ass to the curb.”

As publisher Steve Kettmann writes in the Introduction: “The hope is that in putting out these glimpses so quickly, giving them an immediacy unusual in book publishing, we can help in the mourning for all that has been lost, help in the healing (of ourselves and of our country), and help in the pained effort, like moving limbs that have gone numb from inactivity, to give new life to our democracy. We stared into the abyss, tottered on the edge, and a record-setting surge of voting and activism delivered us from the very real threat of plunging into autocracy.”

The Iowa Caucuses

CHARLOTTE, NC — The results from the Iowa causes are in, and Ted Cruz has claimed victory on the Republican side while Hillary Clinton narrowly beat out rival Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis is LIVE from Washington with us to discuss the results and look ahead to what’s next.