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Sophia Alvarez Boyd

Larry West was looking for a hobby that would combine visual arts and American history. And he found it in 1975 at an antique store in Mamaroneck, N.Y. At that time, boxes of daguerreotypes — the first commercially successful photographic process, invented around 1839 — would just be sitting there, West says. So he bought one "that happened to be [of] an African American," he tells Weekend Edition. "And I was fascinated."

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* Sydney Ward got her in start music when she was a teen busking on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, Calif. Now she's on stage as Sunny War, a successful musician in her 30s who's celebrated for her guitar skills.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUNNY WAR'S "LIKE NINA")

Arooj Aftab's music and compositions are like listening to a soundscape of her home country, Pakistan. Featuring recitations of poems and themes of grief and longing, Vulture Prince is Aftab's third album, out on April 23 via New Amsterdam Records.

Arooj Aftab spoke with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro about the loss of her younger brother, honoring the music you inherit with integrity, and the solace of sound. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.

In 2003, the rock group Evanescence released their debut album, Fallen – which went on to sell more than 17 million copies worldwide and win two Grammys, while hit singles such as "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal" remain anthems for angsty teenagers. Now, almost a decade since their last album of original material, Evanescence is back with a new album, The Bitter Truth. The group's co-founder and lead singer, Amy Lee, is more than ready to spill the truth on why it took so long to release this album.

Inside the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Biden signed on Thursday is a huge, much-needed boost for the child care industry.

Almost $25 billion is going toward child care providers and centers, and an additional $15 billion will go toward helping families get access to child care.

For more than 40 years, 96.3 WHUR-FM broadcast Patrick Ellis's beloved and popular radio show Gospel Spirit Sunday mornings, filling the homes and cars of Washington, D.C., with the sound of church.

Each Sunday, Ellis chose music that would inspire, uplift and speak to his devoted listeners. And he filled the airwaves with their lives, too, sharing community and church announcements and marking birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions.

Patrick Ellis passed away July 16 from complications of the coronavirus. He was 77 years old.

The sister band HAIM is synonymous with the sound of Los Angeles — sunny, airy and wistful. After a two-month delay due to the coronavirus, sisters Este, Danielle and Alana finally get to share their third record, Women in Music Pt. III, with their fans. NPR's Scott Detrow spoke to the Haim sisters about creating a record that's a little less sun and a little bit more shade as they explore some of the darker challenges that each sister has faced lately. Listen in the audio player above.

Jonah Mutono's debut album GERG is really more of a re-entry. Until late last year, Mutono released music under the name "Kidepo." But starting with the single "Shoulders," and now with GERG, he's sharing his real name and story of self-acceptance for the first time.

Imagine Venice, the city of canals, at Christmastime — twinkling with lights and dressed in garlands.

Now translate that into gingerbread and gumdrops.

That's exactly what hundreds of architects, designers and engineers came together to do — build the Italian city made up of more than 100 small islands out of Snickers, Mars bars, Jellybeans, cereal, gummy bears and more. And, of course, sheets and sheets of gingerbread.