Around the Nation, Friday Roundup

BY Arts Desk  December 18, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

‘Tis the season for year-end reviews and holiday specials from your arts and culture public broadcasters around the nation. In addition to a couple newsy features, here are some wraps-ups and other tidbits from local stations and national producers:

Still from 'Copenhagen Journal'- Illustrator David Gillette reports from the climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark for Twin Cities Public Television with his Copenhagen Journal videos.

- After Senators McCain and Coburn released a report that characterized 100 organizations (including two Philadelphia theater companies) that received stimulus funds as being “silly,” the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance made criticisms of their own by saying the politicians’ arguments were “simplistic.”

- In New York City, public radio station WNYC launched its new culture site. Check out this short video of the New Jersey band Real Estate, who, coincidentally, were going to play at an actual real estate agency holiday party after stopping by the WNYC studios.

- Wonder what movie you should use as an excuse to escape from family gatherings? A panel of film writers joins KERA in Texas to critique a handful of the titles you can find in theatres this month, including “Avatar”, “It’s Complicated,” “Crazy Heart,” and “Sherlock Holmes.”

- On WETA’s Book Studio, host Bethanne Patrick blogs a list of novels she read this year after “meeting” their authors on Twitter. (You can read her list and follow her on Twitter @thebookmaven.)

- Religion and Ethics Newsweekly profiles Matisyahu, a Hasidic Jewish reggae performer who says his music is a reflection of his spirituality.