Azaleas are your garden’s spring royalty

By: Lela Martin

Bright regal blossoms make azaleas a favorite in the spring garden. Most azalea varieties bloom from mid-April to mid-May in the mid-Atlantic area. While the hardier deciduous azaleas, which lose their leaves in fall, are native, you may be more familiar with evergreen azaleas, originally from Japan. Because azaleas have been hybridized (cross-bred) over many years, there is a wide ... READ MORE

Contemporary Art Institute opens at VCU

By: Martha Steger

The $41-million Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University — built entirely with private money and opening April 21 — is the most recent feather in Richmond’s many-feathered cap. Almost five years ago, Forbes magazine listed Virginia’s capital city as one of the top 10 up-and-coming cities in the world for entrepreneurial startups. And last year Virginia... READ MORE

First lady of public television

By: Carol Sorgen

If you’ve watched television in Baltimore during the past five decades or so, you have undoubtedly watched Rhea Feikin. “I’ve been around a long time!” the native Baltimorean laughed. Often dubbed the “First Lady” of Maryland Public Television (MPT), Feikin is currently familiar to viewers as host of the station’s on-air membership drives; anchor of MPT’s weekly... READ MORE

Up and raring to go at the crack of dawn

By: Bob Levey

It was 8 a.m. on the East Coast. I was poised over my computer keyboard, stuck for an answer to a student’s question. So I picked up the phone and called the guy who would know — a former colleague from ages ago who had become an expert in the appropriate field. He answered on the first ring. “Didn’t wake you, did I?,” I asked. “Are you kidding?,” he replied. ... READ MORE

Allison Janney finally wins her first Oscar

By: Lindsey Bahr

The Academy Awards seemed like a formality when it came to the best supporting actress category this year. Since the world devoured Allison Janney’s brilliantly acidic performance as Tonya Harding’s abusive mother in I, Tonya, she has won nearly every major award she’s been up for — including a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice... READ MORE

Ways to celebrate National Poetry Month

By: The Beacon

April is National Poetry Month, and there are numerous readings and events throughout the area in celebration. Many venues also offer poetry events year round. Here are a few options. Split This Rock Poetry Festival This biennial festival will take place April 19 to 21. Subtitled Poems of Provocation & Witness, the event gathers more than 700 poets and activists for readings,... READ MORE