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Arts And Life

A central part of NPR, our arts and life coverage encourages conversation, promotes discovery, broadens perspectives and enriches lives. From musicians who defy genres, to a new generation of Muslims in America, here we recognize the stories from last year that connected us to new ideas and celebrated the human experience.

The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+

The Slay
NPR

Beyoncé Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella. Larry Busacca/Getty images for Coachella hide caption

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Larry Busacca/Getty images for Coachella

In 2018, NPR Music and its Member stations embarked on season two of its "Turning the Tables" series dedicated to recasting the popular music canon in more inclusive and accurate ways. While season one reconsidered the classic album era with a list of 150 Greatest Albums by Women, season two paid tribute to women making music today with a list of 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women and an essay series on the 25 Most Influential Women Artists of the 21st Century. The list was curated by a panel of more than 70 women and non-binary writers to showcase the spectrum of gender diversity that exists and recognize those women pioneering new sounds.

This isn't the last time you'll hear from "Turning the Tables": NPR has plans to continue our canon-flipping coverage across the next few years. It's part of our continued commitment to highlighting and thinking carefully about representation, both by and in modern media.

From Defending To Defining: NPR Series Shares Experiences Of Young American Muslims

Over the last decade, Muslims have increasingly contributed to the fabric of America by way of art and culture, at the intersection of race, class and identity. In collaboration with National Geographic, NPR and correspondent Leila Fadel traveled across the country—from Chicago to Los Angeles to northern California to southern Texas—to discover how a new generation of American Muslims has moved from defending itself, as Muslim communities did in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, to defining itself.

Fadel, photojournalist Lynsey Addario and MacArthur Fellow Rami Nashashibi gathered last May at National Geographic to discuss the "Muslims in America: A New Generation" series and share their discoveries while exploring the multifaceted culture and experiences of these communities.

Hidden Brain's Episode "Why Now?" Offers Profound Analysis Of #MeToo

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Eslah Attar for NPR

2018 was the year of the #MeToo movement. From Hollywood to Gamergate, NPR's Hidden Brain broke down the phenomenon of the movement in the episode, "Why Now?" Following the accusations against playwright Israel Horovitz, the show used psychological concepts to understand what about our culture today has enabled allegations of sexual assault and harassment to be taken more seriously than in decades past.

"Why Now?" harnesses the power of meaningful, long-form storytelling that resonates with listeners. In February 2019, Hidden Brain was recognized with an award from the American Psychoanalytic Association, which called the episode an "excellent piece of journalism" and "an inspiration to women who are wondering, perhaps struggling with whether to speak up about sexual harassment."