August 04, 2015 01:21 UTC

Entertainment

Underground Station in Capital to Become Arts Center

08/01/2015
An underground streetcar station in Washington, D.C's historic Dupont Circle district was closed 50 years ago. Now it is getting a new life. A plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms into a space for art shows, talks, concerts and even a film set. More

Audio Folk to Rock: When Dylan Went Electric

Fifty years ago, folk music legend Bob Dylan rocked out at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island on an electric guitar. He was widely booed. The audience may have been unhappy with Dylan’s performance that day, but it changed the direction of music and culture in the United States.

Video After Much Delay, Wildlife Park Opens in Jerusalem

Activists fought for the park for almost 20 years against the wishes of developers who wanted to build businesses and homes on the land. The activists wanted to show how wildlife can live in cities. “Just leave some space for nature…and let people in so they can enjoy all this beauty.” | As It Is

Video Movie Tells Story of Mental Health, Poverty

Director Maya Forbes tells about her family and its struggles with depression, poverty and sex discrimination in her new film, “Infinitely Polar Bear.” The film is not like other Hollywood movies that have a happy ending. Instead the movie shows an American family and how it reacted to events.

Video Special Olympics Bowler Ready for Summer Games

Eunice Kennedy Shriver established the Special Olympics in 1968. They are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer sports. Barbara Figueroa is a competitive bowler from southern California. She has been playing the sport for nine years and is excited about the international games.

Video Santa Claus Congress Opens in Denmark

Much of Europe is struggling with hot weather. The Christmas holiday is the last things on the minds of most people. Yet delegates from around the world have gathered in Denmark for the World Santa Claus Congress. They are preparing for the holiday season and discussing other concerns.

Audio Comedians Debate What Is Acceptable Humor

People inside and outside the world of comedy are debating what, if anything, is too controversial for comedic use. Comedians are making changes to respond to those who are sensitive to controversial issues. Some comedians say that audiences are not being reasonable.

Audio More Focus on Serena Williams' Body than Victory

Serena Williams could soon become the fourth woman in history to win a tennis Grand Slam. She won Wimbledon last week. But recent discussion in the media centered on how female tennis players look more than how they play. And that has made a lot of tennis fans and feminists angry.

Audio Harper Lee’s Second Novel Fuels Debate

On Tuesday, Harper Lee’s second book “Go Set a Watchman,” was released for sale, 55 years after the first. Lee had announced in February that she would publish a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Some readers are protesting the character of Atticus as he is written in “Go Set a Watchman.”

Video Summer 2015 Brings Movies for Toddlers to Teens

A girl's emotions star in 'Inside Out,' an animation from Pixar. 'Minions' is the story of the little yellow creatures from the 'Despicable Me' series. Don't like cartoon movies? Try "Paper Towns' based on a John Green book or 'Ricki and the Flash' starring Meryl Streep and daughter Maggie Gummer.

Video Demons, Male Dancers and Dinosaurs at Theaters Everywhere

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator and Channing Tatum reprises his role as stripper Magic Mike. But there are also scary movies about demon children, comedies with a talking teddy bear and a marijuana-smoking secret agent; and a documentary about the late British singer Amy Winehouse.

Video 'Jurassic World' Sells $1 Billion Worth of Tickets

The movie continues the series that began in the 1990s. It already is the second most popular movie of 2015. Critics praise the new film as exciting. A group of paleontologists praised the film as well. But they said they found the science behind the dinosaur story to be weak.

Audio Swift Change to Apple Streaming Policy

Taylor Swift protested Apple's plan to forgo paying royalties to artists during the three month free trial of Apple Music streaming service. She wrote that is a long time to go without being paid. Apple answered soon after Swift's blog appeared on the Internet. It promised royalties to artists.

Video Musician Helped Define Rock n’ Roll in 1950s and 60s

Saxophone player Grady Gaines worked with many of the early stars of Rock n’ Roll, including Little Richard, Sam Cooke and Fats Domino. The 81-year-old legend has now told the story of his life, in a book called “I’ve Been Out There.”

Audio A Nigerian Film Festival in Paris

Some of the best Nollywood films are showing at a film festival in Paris. The festival is called "Nollywood Week." This is the third year the festival has taken place. This festival is very important for bringing attention to films made in African countries.

Video Jews and Arabs Form Friendships Through Music

A project based in Israel is bringing together Jews and Arabs. At the same time, it offers classical music education to Palestinian children. "We showed everyone that there’s no reason why an Arab kid shouldn’t be able to play classical music on a high standard," says the project's main founder.

Video Films Explore Native Peoples, Culture Conflict

A film festival in Los Angeles, California features films about indigenous peoples and cultures. The films show efforts to teach native languages, continue arts such as dance, and gain justice for native people. People of various backgrounds use film to share their ideas about preserving cultures.

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life With Music

When Frankie Moran first saw his son Cole, he could not imagine ever sharing his love of music with the boy. Cole had cognitive delays and other birth defects. And he was blind. Cole Moran is now 12 years old. Cole plays music every day. He records his performances and listens back to the sound.

Video Resounding Earth: Creating Music from Metal

"The title “Resounding Earth” on the one hand, we are talking about resounding earth. The earth is full of metals that all of mankind has turned into instruments. We are going to play them from all around the world together on one stage."

Audio Chinese-American Nightclub Scene Changed Racial Stereotypes

Chinese American nightclubs were West Coast hotspots in the U.S. during the 1950s and 60s. These popular nightclubs broke down racial barriers and paved the way for Asian actors to enter mainstream U.S. entertainment. This story is full of words and expression for talking about old school glamor.

Learn with The News

  • Audio ASEAN Ministers Expected to Discuss South China Sea

    Early versions of working documents received by VOA and Reuters news agency suggest ministers are working toward a “Declaration of Conduct.” In time, such a document would lead to a “Code of Conduct” outlining measures to avoid conflict in the South China Sea. More

  • Video Yazidis of Sinjar Observe Tragic Anniversary

    Islamic State militants attacked Iraq's Yazidi community one year ago. Thousands were killed or forced to flee their homes. Many others starved or died of thirst as they hid on Sinjar Mountain. Those who were rescued are haunted by the memories of the slaughter and loss of their homelands. More

  • Audio Islamic State’s Media Violence May Hurt the Group

    The group calling itself the Islamic State uses videos to publicize its activities. Some of its horrible acts have turned into big news stories. Some observers blame television stations and newspapers for publicizing the violence. Others say the bloody videos are starting to ruin the group’s image. More

  • Audio Digital Solution Helps Shield Online Activists

    The National Democratic Institute, a non-profit group, says a “live” operating system calls “Tails” is helping pro-democracy activists and others hide their online communications and activities from hostile governments. “Tails” is an acronym for The Amnesic Incognito Live System. More

  • Audio Kerry Hears Concerns About Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Also, economic concerns in Greece, China weigh on share prices; Emergency declared in four areas of Myanmar; President Obama releases rules to cut carbon; and, Malaysian official says plane part from same kind of aircraft as MH370. | In the News More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Let’s Go on a Space Trip!

    You do not need to spend $50 million on a ticket to the moon. Just close your eyes and come with us to a trip into outer space! Learn idioms that will help you navigate the world of space. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: May, Might, and Must

    May, Might and Must are modal verbs that cause confusion for some learners. The Everyday Grammar team is on the job, explaining how to use these modals to express how certain, or sure, you are of something. You can also use one of them to tell about your wishes for the future. More

  • Video Feathertop by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    This classic American story features a scarecrow that comes to life. Find out what adventures he has as he looks for love and admiration. His only problem is that he has to keep puffing on the pipe the witch gave him. If he stops - something terrible may happen! More

  • Audio Study Shows How Poverty Could Limit Learning

    Studies have shown that children from poor families have more difficulty in school than other boys and girls. Children with higher socioeconomic roots seem better prepared and perform better on school tests. Now, American researchers may have found a biological reason for that difference. More

  • Audio Study: Smoking May Increase Risk of Schizophrenia

    Researchers reviewed 61 studies from around the world; they discovered cigarette smoking is three times more common among those with schizophrenia who were receiving medical care for the illness for the first time compared to people who did not have the mental disorder. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs