My stories for Blue Ridge Public Radio

Here’s the best place to catch up on the stories I’m producing for Blue Ridge Public Radio. I moved to Asheville, NC, in August 2017 to launch the position of Arts & Culture Producer.

I cover Asheville’s fertile arts community through broadcasts, video and online written articles. I’ll eventually host a weekly podcast, and later an on-air program, dedicated to the arts. I also have plans for building a monthly live-performance series around Asheville’s music scene. Here’s the press release about my hiring from BPR.

Driving into livestreaming with ‘The Steering Committee’

steering-committee-promo-picA growing intrigue with Facebook Live inspired me to conceive “The Steering Committee,” an hourlong talk show on the Twin Cities arts scene taking place entirely from my car.

I drive to the artists’ studios or workplaces, open my car door to them, and we talk about their work while driving to pick up the next artist. This is a four-camera, four-mic production, and I handle all the mixing and camera-switching on the fly (usually while parked). If all goes well, by the end of the hour, I’ve interviewed three distinct artists, started some crosstalk in the car and taken comments and questions from people watching online without causing an accident.

I produced four episodes during fall 2016 am happy with how this show looks and works. Here’s one of the complete episodes.

I won’t continue producing “The Steering Committee” through Facebook, which rewards short and distracted attention spans and is the wrong platform for an extended interview program. I’ll look into YouTube’s livestreaming capabilities and relaunch the show in early 2017.

The Apprentice: Dancing for Careers with the Cincinnati Ballet

I spent six months following the dancers of the Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company as they worked to win jobs with the principal company. Watch my documentary and step inside the rarified world of professional dance. “The Apprentice: Dancing for Careers with the Cincinnati Ballet” went online April 30 at WCPO.com.

Talking with people opposed to marriage equality

As Ohio inches inevitably toward marriage equality, I thought I might post this from two years ago, when I spent a fun afternoon in front of the Minnesotans for Marriage booth at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair, talking with people opposed to gay and lesbian couples from marrying. This organization pushed for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. That proposal went on to fail at the November ballot, when Democrats also swept the Minnesota House, Senate and governorship in that election. Enjoy!

King of the Hill: A 70th anniversary video retrospective of Cincinnati’s King Records

James Brown was the jewel in the crown, but the throne of Cincinnati’s King Records always belonged to its irascible founder, Syd Nathan.

This is the 70th anniversary of the legendary record label and studio. It closed shop nearly 40 years ago, in a now long-neglected warehouse on the neighborhood border of Evanston and Walnut Hills, but its impact still reverberates across today’s music.

King Records was home to what was then called hillbilly music—the generational precursor to country music—while, at the same time, helping expose the nation to James Brown and some of the earliest R&B artists.

Insiders have launched a month of activities and events celebrating the anniversary, from performances to a reading of a play based on King Records. Here’s my short documentary looking back at an important piece of Cincinnati flavor and history.