Mandalit del Barco

As Americans celebrate Independence Day, a group of artists and activists are flying pro-immigrant, anti-incarceration messages in the skies. They hired fleets of airplanes to sky-write their slogans over 80 locations, including immigration detention facilities, jails, courts and the U.S./Mexico border.

Nikkolas Smith calls himself an "artivist": an artist and an activist. For the past seven years, the Los Angeles-based concept artist has celebrated and mourned Black lives in his work. He says he's following the lead of the late singer Nina Simone, who advised it's the artist's duty to reflect the times.

"I'm always looking at what's going in the world and trying to reflect that," Smith says. "There are so many Black lives that have just been taken from this Earth. I've been trying to trying to process how that made me feel as a Black man."

The CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful resumed taping today, three months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down production in Hollywood. A spokesperson for the production company says it's the first scripted series in the country to resume work on set.

Next year's Academy Awards ceremony will be postponed for two months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of February 28, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and ABC announced the televised ceremony will be held now on April 25.

"For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year," academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement.

The cameras are once again allowed to roll in Los Angeles starting Friday, months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood. State and county officials gave the green light for film and TV productions to resume as long as they follow new health and safety protocols.

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Feature films will no longer be able to double dip from both the Oscars and the Emmys, says the Television Academy. In a statement, the academy said it supports a recent decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors. That board decided to relax its rules for the 2021 Oscars in response to movie theaters being closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

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There's really no deep meaning behind the songs on Go Banana Go!'s debut album, Hi-YA! Band member Brian Wecht says the songs were mostly written with the simple goal of helpi

With movie theaters shuttered and film festivals canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, films once slated for the big screen are now premiering in people's homes, streaming on digital platforms or showing as video on demand. In an unprecedented move, the board governing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will allow movies that originally had theatrical release dates but are now being screened online to be eligible to be considered for awards.

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Five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Allen Daviau, who collaborated with Steven Spielberg and other film directors, has died of COVID-19. In a statement, Spielberg said his old his friend was, "a wonderful artist, but his warmth and humanity were as powerful as his lens."

With movie theaters closed around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, Warner Brothers is postponing the openings of some of its big summer movies, including Wonder Woman 1984. It was originally set for June 5. Now, it will hit theaters on Aug. 14.

Before movie theaters went dark and Hollywood film and TV productions were shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon was shooting its new billion-dollar Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand. James Cameron was there working on four sequels to Avatar. In London, Disney was about to begin filming its new live-action version of The Little Mermaid. And Warner Brothers was in Europe shooting The Matrix 4 and The Batman.

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With movie theaters closed because of the coronavirus, Universal Pictures is letting homebound viewers rent its newest films online - films that otherwise would have been on the big screen. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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Susan Stamberg is a legend at NPR. And yesterday, she was recognized far beyond this network that she helped found with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was there.

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Here in Los Angeles yesterday, fans, friends and family of the late basketball star Kobe Bryant paid their respects at the Staples Center. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the memorial, and she filed this report.

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The story of political player Luis Miranda and his famous son Lin-Manuel, who created and starred in Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights, is the subject of a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past week and was just acquired by HBO. The film is called Siempre, Luis -- Miranda's sign off in his correspondences, and also a nod to his relentlessness in politics and as a champion for his talented son.

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Grammys were last night, and Billie Eilish was the big winner. She is the youngest artist to ever sweep all four of the top prizes. But as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, there was a lot happening between the lines during last night's ceremony.

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Now a moment to remember conceptual artist John Baldessari. He died last week at his home in Venice, Calif. Baldessari infused his art with humor and skepticism. As NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, the 88-year-old influenced generations of artists.

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The Golden Globes were held last night. Ricky Gervais was the host, which meant the live audience of Hollywood A-listers must have been prepared for this.

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I'm really happy we're finally talking about this on the program.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: I know you are. I know you are (laughter).

Hayv Kahraman's art was shaped by the many worlds in which she's lived and traumas she's endured.

She was born in Baghdad 38 years ago, the daughter of a university English professor and a librarian for the United Nations. She was a child during the Iran-Iraq War and the first Gulf War.

"I would look out my bedroom window and see a rain of air-raid bombs," she says. "They looked like fireworks." The air-raid sirens terrified her: "They are so loud and when they happen, you know that you might actually die any minute. It shakes you to the core."

Since making their way from the Mexican state of Oaxaca to Los Angeles in the 1990s, the Lopez family has celebrated Thanksgiving with a mix of flavors and culture: mashed potatoes, beans, turkey and jalapeño.

"We'll probably then have some mezcal to kind of just digest," says daughter Bricia. Her brother Fernando adds, "For the longest time, I thought everybody did that."

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