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Stateside: 1.6 million MI households can’t afford basic needs; poison wallpaper; spring celebrations

a sample of poison wallpaper - it's light green with blue stripes and floral decoration
Courtesy of Michigan History Center
MSU chemist Dr. Robert Kedzie published a book alerting the public of the dangers of arsenic-laced wallpaper like the one pictured here. He titled it "Shadows From the Walls of Death" and sent copies to libraries around the state.

Today on Stateside, despite an upward economic trend in Michigan, nearly half of households in the state are struggling to afford basic necessities. Plus, it’s (finally) spring! We hear about the cultural significance of this transition for different cultural groups across the state.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Nearly 1.7 million Michigan households can’t afford basic needs, says new report

Stateside's conversation with Kyle DuBuc

  • The economic news for Michigan seems good. Employment and median income are both up since the Great Recession. But a new report from the Michigan Association of United Ways finds 43 percent of Michigan households can't afford basic necessities like housing, transportation, and child care.
  • We talk to Kyle DuBuc, with the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, about the people left behind by Michigan's economic comeback.

Cherry farmers want federal help in trade dispute with Turkey

Interlochen Public Radio's Max Johnston reports on a push to put tariffs on Turkish tart cherries

  • For the past decade, Americans have been buying tart cherries from Turkey for cheap. Tart cherry farmers in Michigan say that’s hurting their bottom line. Now they’re hoping a new bill in Washington will balance the scales. Interlochen Public Radio’s Max Johnston has the story.

MSU professor explores transculturation through concerto written for maracas

Stateside's conversation with Ricardo Lorenz

  • Artists and musicians have always incorporated the social and political events of their time into their work. Michigan State University professor of music composition Ricardo Lorenz is a prime example of that. On March 21st, the MSU Wind Symphony will premiere Lorenz's concerto titled Pataruco, originally written for Venezuelan maracas. We talk to Lorenz about the concerto, and how Latin America has continued to inspire his music after decades living in the U.S.  
  • Support for arts and culture coverage is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Poison paper: The MSU chemist who sounded alarm about popular 19th century design trend

Stateside's conversation with Rachel Clark

  • The recent Flint water crisis and PFAS contamination in Michigan have raised awareness of environmental toxins and their impact on our health. But scientists have been raising alarm bells about the chemicals we’re exposed to for much longer. Rachel Clark from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to tell us about how a hazardous chemical made its way into 19th century homes through arsenic-laced wallpaper—and about theMSU chemist who alerted the public to the dangerous decorating trend.  

It’s the first day of spring! Here’s how cultural groups across Michigan are celebrating.

Stateside's conversations with Mary Stewart Adams and people celebrating spring across the state

  • Today is the first day of spring, also known as the vernal equinox. In many cultures, this event is marked by festive celebrations. Star lore historian Mary Stewart Adams joins Stateside to give us a better idea of the significance of this equinox to various cultural groups. We also hear from several people around the state celebrating the Indian festival of Holi, Nowruz (also known as Persian New Year), and the Pagan celebration of Ostara.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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