As a child in Bogotá, Edmar Castañeda and his sister took folk dance classes. Their mother made sure of that. Castañeda liked the dancing, but he really liked the live harp accompaniment. In Spanish, the harp is called the llanero. It's Colombian, not a classical harp.
Credit Mostafa Abdel Aty / Courtesy of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
Egyptian folk singer Dina El Wedidi performs at Qasr El Nil Theater during the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Wedidi says efforts to revitalize venues like the Qasr El Nil are important because there aren't enough places for musicians of the post-revolution explosion to perform.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
"Cairo is a city that needs a lot of dusting," says Ahmed El Attar, director of the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Efforts are underway to try to restore the city's past cultural glory.
Credit Mostafa Abdel Aty / Courtesy of Downton Contempary Arts Festival
Emel Mathlouthi, known as the voice of Tunisia's revolution, performs at Qasr El Nil Theater. Her songs of freedom left the audience weeping.
Egypt's capital, Cairo, is now synonymous with protests and sometimes violence. Late at night, the once-bustling downtown streets are largely empty these days. People worry about getting mugged or caught up in a mob.
But the recent Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is an attempt to revitalize the area with music, art and culture in the old and forgotten venues of downtown Cairo, like the Qasr El Nil Theater.
When the Senate voted Tuesday to make Marilyn Tavenner the official administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it was the first time the world's greatest deliberative body had approved someone to head the huge health agency since 2004.
That's right, you have to go way back to the Bush administration to find Dr. Mark McClellan, the last person to be officially put in the post.
This week, Google, already a leader in mapping, created more space between itself and its competitors by more deeply mining the data users provide the company when using its various services.
At the Google developers' conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps, crowed about the company's mapping app for the iPhone — and couldn't quite stop himself from taking a dig at Apple.
"People called it sleek, simple, beautiful, and let's not forget, accurate," he said.
Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for an occasional feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. She talks about what she's been reading and gives us some recommendations.
This month, her reading suggestions have a common theme: luck. Not good luck, not bad luck, but the often-ambiguous element of chance.
A Small Village Wins Big
Brown's first selection is a Michael Paterniti article from GQ, which Brown calls "a fabulous piece of very offbeat reporting."
A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Thirty million dollars is a lot of money, but how do you divide it among the families of the three people killed, the dozens maimed, the hundreds who spent time in the hospital, the thousands who witnessed the blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month?