Saturday, December 29, 2012
This program features musical artists in Alabama who have performed for the Alabama State Council on the Arts in past Sounds of the Seasons programs presented at the State Capitol. The Mariachi Garibaldi, soprano Bessie Sheldon, The Tribe of Judah gospel singers and instrumentalist Bobby Horton are presented this week for your listening pleasure. (more)
This program, is a rebroadcast that originally aired in 2009. It features Alabama State Council on the Arts Executive Director Al Head interviewing renowned Alabama author Rick Bragg about his upbringing in Alabama and his writing career. They discuss Bragg's books, All Over But the Shoutin', Ava's Man, The Prince of Frogtown, and his newest book The Most They Ever Had which is a group of essays built around stories of mill workers at the now defunct Union Yarn Mill in Jacksonville Alabama. (more)
Musician and bandleader Scott Ward talks with Deborah Boykin about the musicians who have influenced him, beginning with members of his family and extending to include David Hood, Spooner Oldham and other Muscle Shoals writers and muscians. His first CD, Muscle Shoals Down Through Decatur is a tribute to songwriters from that area. He also talks about his most recent CD project, A Heaping Helping. This recording, which features contributions from Christine Ohlman, Bekka Bramlett, Jay Gonzalez, and the Decoys, among others.(more)
This is a rebroadcast of Anne Kimzey, literary arts program manager with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviewing poet Dr. Virginia Gilbert of Madison about her work and her time serving in the Peace Corps in Korea. Gilbert received a Literary Arts Fellowship award from the State Arts Council in 2010 and has recently retired from the English faculty of Alabama A & M University.(more)
Ralph “Soul” Jackson is a singer and song writer whose career began when he was still in high school in Phenix City. He talks with Deborah Boykin about his first recording session at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, where he got his nickname from producer Rick Hall and teamed up with legendary keyboard player Spooner Oldham. Jackson also discusses his songwriting technique and performance style, as well as his recent CD.(more)
This is a rebroadcast of Alabama Writer's Forum Director Jeanie Thompson interviewing poet, playwright, educator and activist Sonia Sanchez. Sanchez talks about her belief in the power of poetry to help people survive their circumstances, including alienation and incarceration. She also speaks about her early life in Alabama, her father Wilson L. Driver, a 1980 Inductee in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and her formative experiences with the Black Arts Movement and the development of Black Studies programs around the country. (more)
Posted by Steve at 6:23 PM
This week Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviews Jason Russell of Gadsden an award-winning maker of traditional hunting decoys. Mr. Russell is teaching his craft to student Kevin Asbury through the support of the Alabama Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. Mr. Russell and Mr. Asbury talk about their interest in duck hunting and take listeners through the process of making realistic and functional decoys.(more)
This program is a repeat of Community Arts Program Manager Deb Boykin interviewing Steve Grauberger about the folklife CD project Traditional Musics of Alabama Volume 5 New Book Gospel Shapenote Singing produced by the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture and the Alabama Folklife Association. (To read extended liner notes about this tradition click here.) (more)
Executive Director Al Head interviews Thomas L. Birch, former National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) legislative counsel, recipient of NASAA's 2012 President's Award for Outstanding Advocacy. From 1981 to 2012, Birch served as NASAA's legislative counsel, representing the interests of state arts agencies on Capitol Hill. For the past 10 years, Birch chaired the Cultural Advocacy Group's national coalition of arts and humanities allies carrying a unified message to Congress about the value of the arts in federal policy.(more)
This program is a rebroadcast of a 2006 program of Joey Brackner interviewing folklorist William Ferris of the University of North Carolina about southern culture and his experiences as director of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. (more)
Posted by Steve at 6:15 PM
This week Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviews Bob Friedman, bass singer for The Pillars gospel quartet of Birmingham. During the program Friedman discusses his musical roots in New York City, the political activism that brought him to Alabama, his work with WJLD radio and his interest in African American gospel quartet singing. Friedman and the Pillars participate in the Alabama Folk Arts Apprenticeship program, teaching their traditional a capella singing style to a younger generation. (more)
This is a repeat of a 2011 program of Alabama State Arts Council Director Al Head interviewing John O'Neal, actor, playwright, founder and now retired artistic director of Junebug Productions based in New Orleans. As a civil rights activist beginning in the early 1960s he co-founded the Free Southern Theater. He is probably best know for his widely toured character Junebug Jabbo Jones, a mythic figure who symbolizes the wisdom of common people. O’Neal has written eighteen plays, a musical comedy, poetry and several essays. He is a winner of a Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award (2005), the Award of Merit from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (2010) and the United States Artists Award. (more)
Posted by Steve at 6:12 PM
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Barbara Edwards, Deputy Director of the Council, interviews Howard Bankhead, executive director of Tennessee Valley Jazz Society, Inc. and the 2013 recipient of the Council Arts Administration Fellowship Award. Under Howard’s leadership, Tennessee Valley Jazz Society has presented “Jazz Education-in-the Schools” programs since 1998. Approximately, 26,500 young people living in the metro Huntsville area have been exposed to jazz artists and jazz music. Additionally, the organization sponsors the annual Jazz-N-June Festival. (more)
This program is a rebroadcast of a 2005 interview by Anne Kimzey with musicians Cast King and Matt Downer from Sand Mountain. Guitarist and songwriter Cast King and his former band The Country Drifters recorded with Sun Records of Memphis in the 1950s. Matt Downer, a young musician, worked with Mr. King for a few years to learn his guitar style and to record his music and life history. During the program Mr. King performed three of the approximately 500 songs he wrote in his lifetime. Cast King died in 2007. (more)
In this program folklorist Anne Kimzey and Bettie Champion of Mobile discuss the art of making traditional seafood gumbo, an important part of the culinary heritage of the Gulf Coast. Ms. Champion, who learned her recipe from her mother, created the Gumbo Academy to teach interested cooks everything they need to know to make this complicated dish, from cleaning the crabs, to preparing the roux, to serving the finished gumbo over rice. (more)
Thursday, September 06, 2012
This program is a rebroadcast from 2008 of Executive Director Al Head interviewing 2009 Distinguished Artist Award winner Beth Nielsen Chapman about her life as a popular singer/songwriter and as an educator. They also discuss Chapman's inspirations and her unique process of songwriting. (more)
ASCA intern Summer Upchurch interviews Individual Fellowship Recipient Jess Marie Walker about her life as an artist and an educator. Inspired by nature, music, and the art of public installation pieces, Jess Marie's background varies as much as her interests. Her work is highly collaborative and has been brought to fruition by HoWaYaDa, an artist collective, and by Pretty Much Collective. Her pieces range from a large-scale collaborative and interactive musical piece (where artists play kettles, rocks, and whatever is on-hand) to a smaller-scale collaborative piece celebrating the beauty of line-drawing and mountains. Her experiments with sound, form, and public exposure have been hosted in museums in Birmingham, Minneapolis, Long Island, Brooklyn, and Fairhope, among others. She currently lives in Montevallo with her youngest son. (more)
This week's program is a rebroadcast of a 2006 show with Barbara Edwards interviewing Donna Walker-Kuhne. Walker-Kuhne, recognized as the nation's foremost expert on Audience Diversification by the Arts and Business Council, was a presenter at the 2007 Bill Bates Leadership Institute. In the interview Walker-Kuhne discusses practical strategies and methods to engage diverse communities in the arts and the importance of marketing to diverse audiences. (more)
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Yvette Jones-Smedley interviews Leah Stephens, Executive Director of ClefWorks, Inc., of Montgomery, Alabama. ClefWorks, founded in 2006 has presented headliners in the classical chamber music industry including Jack Quartet, Fireworks Ensemble, and in 2012, Ethel String Quartet. Leah shares her passion for the genre of music and her enthusiasm for introducing chamber music to young audiences. ClefWorks also sponsors an annual Composition Competition. For more information visit the website at www.clefworks.org. (more)
ASCA intern Diedre Graham interviews Greg Thornton about his many years performing with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and now as the Artistic Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse in Montgomery. In the second half of the program Diedre talks to Emily Dauber Flowers, Managing Director for the Cloverdale Playhouse. Discussed are the various programs and events presented at the Playhouse.
Summer Upchurch, an intern at the Arts Council, interviews Patricia White, co-founder of Slash Pine Press, an organization housed at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Slash Pine Press started as an independent printing press, the brain child of Patti White and Joseph Wood. Now, the program is run by four staff members: Patti White, Joseph Wood, Lucas Southworth, and Brian Oliu. Now in its fourth year, Slash Pine achieves its goals through a community-centered internship program that can be taken as a class at the University of Alabama. Each semester two instructors and ten interns stitch one to three poetry chapbooks (handmade books sent to the program as manuscripts), plan several community events such as poetry hikes (art installations in which readers and listeners walk over several miles together, stopping at intervals to read poetry outdoors), and participate in creative exchanges with other universities’ creative writing students. The program functions as an English or Writing class, but dedicates itself to community engagement and poetic education.
On July 16th Alabama lost one of its most celebrated quilters. Mozell Benson was 78 years old when she died at her home last week in Waverly. Mrs. Benson’s quilts first gained national attention in the exhibit “Signs and Symbols: African American Quilts from the Rural South.” Her work has also been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution and the American Folklife Museum. In 2001 Mrs. Benson was honored with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, our nation’s highest award for the folk and traditional arts. The following program is a rebroadcast of Anne Kimzey’s 2007 interview with Mozell Benson and her daughter Sylvia Stephens in which they discuss their participation in the State Arts Council’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program and also the experience of having a home and quilt studio built for Mrs. Benson by students in the Design/Build Master’s program at Auburn University’s School of Architecture.
Russell Gulley, musician, songwriter, and co-founder of the band Jackson Highway, recalls his early days in Muscle Shoals, his work with producer Jimmy Johnson, and his return to roots music in current performances in an interview with Deborah Boykin, community arts program manager.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Alabama Arts Podcast, Mark Driscoll, Director of Historic Sites for the Alabama Historical Commission
Joey Brackner, director of the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, interviews Mark Driscoll, director of Historic Sites for the Alabama Historical Commission, about the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery Alabama.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Singer-songwriter Maxwell Russell talks with Deborah Boykin about his career, his writing, and his efforts to promote other songwriters. A well-known North Alabama performer, Russell sponsors a songwriters’ showcase each week at a Sheffield restaurant. His son Kirk, also a musician, writer and vocalist, also appears to talk about his band, Abstract Theory.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
This program is a rebroadcast of a 2006 show of Steve Grauberger interviewing the Thomas Sister Singers from Alexander City, Phyllis, Margie and Bernice. Both Margie and Bernice have since passed but at the time Margie and Bernice Thomas had been singing gospel music for over 60 years in and around Alexander City, performing on radio and TV as early as the 1950s with three other of their sisters all known collectively as the Thomas Sister Singers. Included in the program are songs sung by Margie and Bernice Thomas, and Margie's daughter Phyllis, recorded at their home in 2005. Watch a video clip of the Thomas Sisters singing "Not Made With Hands", click here.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
This program is a rebroadcast of Anne Kimzey interviewing Joey Brackner Director of the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture about his book, Alabama Folk Pottery, released in 2006 by the University of Alabama Press. Brackner discusses various aspects detailed in the publication. You can hear a podcast of the 2006 symposium on southern pottery held at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
This week, David Norwood, general manager of WAWL radio in Moulton, discusses Downtown Live! This four-week series brought performers from the surrounding area to Moulton’s courthouse square for Friday evening concerts. Community Arts program manager Deborah Boykin talks with Norwood and the Thompsons, a Lawrence County duo who also perform one of their original songs. (more)
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Arts in Education Program Manager Diana Green interviews the 2012 Winners of Alabama’s Poetry Out Loud Program. First place in Original poetry recitation went to Doris-Anne Darbouze from Auburn High School. Bonnie Chen, also from Auburn High School, received an Honorable Mention for her original poetry recitation. The Poetry Out Loud State Championship was awarded to Peggy Payne from Mooresville, Alabama. Peggy traveled to Washington DC to compete nationally with 52 other state champions, a Washington DC champion, and a champion from the Virgin Islands. Poetry Out Loud is a National Poetry Recitation Contest supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The State Finals for the program are held in partnership with the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where students perform on the Festival Stage in Montgomery. (more)
Monday, May 28, 2012
Deputy Director, Barbara Edwards, interviews Patti Hendrix Lovoy, the Council’s 2011 Arts Administration Fellowship recipient. The Council makes available each year a $5,000 Arts Administration Fellowship award. This award is given to an arts administrator to improve his/her skills and ability to better serve his/her organization and the community. Patti is the executive director of VSA Alabama. In the interview, Patti talks about the impact of the professional opportunities afford her though the Arts Administration Fellowship award. (more)
Community Arts Program manager Deb Boykin interviews Eldon Bryson, a musician and instrument maker from Mobile. Bryson, now 82, recalls his childhood in South Carolina, where he and his older brother often sang with Bill Monroe in the early days of bluegrass music. He recounts how a luthier there taught him to repair old fiddles and shares some of his knowledge about fiddle-making. He plays an original fiddle tune which he often performs when he and his band play each weekend at a Mississippi restaurant. (more)
Community Arts program manager, Deb Boykin talks with Mary Ann Pettway, director of the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective. Ms. Pettway discusses the rich quilting tradition in her community and her experiences in learning from her elders and teaching a new generation through ASCA’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship program. Also a fine singer, Ms. Pettway is joined by Mary Lee Bendolph and Nancy Pettway to sing traditional gospel songs from Gee’s Bend. (more)
Alabama Center for Traditional Culture Director Joey Brackner interviews University of Alabama film maker Andrew Grace about his new film, "Eating Alabama." (more)
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Steve Grauberger interviews, Alabama folklore scholar, teacher and writer Jack Solomon at his home in Tallassee, Alabama. He discusses various books he produced with his late wife Olivia and talks about his life with her and his long career as a teacher and college professor. Their books include Cracklin Bread and Asfidity, Zickary Zan, Ghosts and Goosebumps, Sweet Bunch of Daisies, and Honey in the Rock.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
This program is a repeat of a 2003 interview by Joey Brackner with Joe Dan Boyd about his book on Judge Jackson, the Ozark, Alabama man who published the "Colored Sacred Harp" tunebook in the 1930's. Included in the show are historic musical examples of African American songsters.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This week, Yvette Jones-Smedley interviews Alabama native Barry Bradford, a Southern playwright who writes often about small towns, racial conflict and the vanishing South. Bradford discusses how he was commissioned to write The Face in The Courthouse Window, a theatrical work produced annually in Carrolton, Alabama detailing the legendary story of Henry Wells whose face was indelibly etched in the Pickens County courthouse window. Bradford is known for his fearless portrayal of delicate subjects - like slavery and racism - and for his ability to bring to light the unique struggles of the human condition. Currently residing in Hammond, LA, he is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has been writing plays for over nineteen years. Some of Barry's works include Rugs, Chairs, Tables; Conquistadors; Was; and Hit and Miss. In 2003 his play Dead Towns of Alabama was work-shopped at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and scenes from it were read as part of ASF's Festival of New Plays. Since that time he has won the Southern Playwrights Competition three times (2005, 2009, and 2011). (more)
This week Anne Kimzey interviews poet Abraham Smith of Tuscaloosa, recipient of a 2012 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. A 2004 graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama, Smith is an instructor of English at the University and the assistant editor at Slash Pine Press. During the program he reads a few of his poems and talks about the influences of his rural Wisconsin childhood on his writing. He will be giving public readings of his poetry on April 21st at the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery and April 27th at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville. (more)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Alabama Center for Traditional Culture Director Joey Brackner interviews Heritage Hall Museum director Tommy Moorehead and guest curator Sarah Wright about the exhibit "Our Quilted Past." The exhibit explores the quilt art of Leola Heard and daughter Elizabeth Heard Bean who used the cloth from feed sacks to make beautiful quilts in the mid-20th Century.
Anne Kimzey interviews Jeanie Thompson, poet and director of the Alabama Writers' Forum and recipient of a 2012 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Thompson, who is completing a book length persona poem sequence on the adult life of Helen Keller, reads poems from this latest work and discusses her research and the creative process involved in revealing the depth and passion of the famous Alabama author and activist. (more)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Yvette Jones-Smedley Performing Arts Program Manager interviews Greta Lambert, nationally recognized actor of stage and screen and recipient of the ASCA Fellowship award in Theatre. Ms. Lambert, a native of Alabama and noted leading lady frequenty seen on stage at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival reflects on characters she has portrayed from far off places including Cleopatra of the Nile to Lady Macbeth from the highlands of Scotland to the “fair and tender lady” Ivy Rowe from the Appalachian mounts. Greta shares her love of theatre and reveals her passion for the one of the six Aristotelian Elements of Drama, language, along with all the distinctive dialects involved in the performance of her craft.(more)
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
This is repeat of a 2004 program of Georgine Clarke interviewing artists Russell Everett and Brad Morton about their backgrounds and art works..(more)
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Yvette Jones-Smedley interviews award winning choreographer and educator Gary Moore. Moore, former Artistic Director of the Montgomery Ballet is currently the Director of Dance at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, AL. Gary holds, among others, a Master of Education degree in Dance Anthropology and Performance from Lesley University, Cambridge , MA, is an ASCA Fellowship recipient and was recently chosen as an Unsung Hero in Education by the ING,Co for an original ballet, "Ever After'ING" celebrating the work of American graphic artist Maxfield Parrish performed Montgomery Museum of Fine Art.(more)
Monday, February 27, 2012
Alabama Arts Radio Podcast, Kern Jackson, Director of the African American Studies program and an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Alabama
Kern Jackson, Director of the African American Studies program and an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Alabama, talks with folklorist Deborah Boykin about Mardi Gras in Mobile and its related traditions. (more)
Performing Arts Program Manager Yvette Jones-Smedley talks with actress, director and educator Dr. "Tommie" Tonea Stewart about the recent national and local recognitions she has received for her lifelong service in Theatre. Stewart, presently serving as Dean of the Visual and Performing Arts Department of Alabama State University has appeared in several feature films, such as "A Time to Kill" and "Mississippi Burning," as well as the television series, "In the Heat of the Night." The widely recognized actress shares childhood memories of her formative years as a budding performing artist as well as success stories of the many she has impacted through her craft. (more)
Performing Arts Program Manager Yvette Jones-Smedley interviews Jacqueline Crenshaw Lockhart. Mrs Lockhart, founder and director of the J. Lockhart Performing Arts Institute is also Director of Dance and Adjunct Professor of Dance Jazz/Dance History/Pedagogy at Birmingham Southern College. In this interview she talks about her experience as a Fellowship recipient in Dance from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and shares how the award impacted here career as a dancer a choreography and a teaching artist. Ms. Lockhart serves on the board of the Alabama Dance Council and has received numerous accolades, awards, and proclamations for her contributions to the community and tireless work in the arts. (more)
Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviews Sulynn Creswell, director of Black Belt Treasures in Camden, Alabama. Creswell discusses the efforts of Black Belt Treasures to showcase and promote the arts of the Black Belt Region. (more)
The Secret Sisters, Laura and Lydia Rodgers, have, in the past year and a half, secured a record deal, released an album produced by noted producer T-Bone Burnett, toured much of the United States, Europe, and Australia, and opened for Paul Simon. Folklorist Deborah Boykin talked with the sisters before a November appearance at Decatur's Princess Theater. They discussed their early influences, the audition that led them into the music business, their recent songwriting efforts, and their touring and performing experiences. (more)
The Southwest Alabama Culinary Trail is the topic of this week’s program as Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, travels to Thomasville to interview Linda Vice, director of the Southwest Alabama Tourism and Film Office. Ms. Vice takes listeners on a county-by-county tour highlighting the traditional cuisine and hospitality offered along the trail, which includes everything from Conecuh and Monroe sausages to the Black Bottom Pie served at Gaines Ridge Supper Club in Camden. (more)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
The importance of community cookbooks as cultural documents is the subject of this week’s program on Alabama Arts Radio. Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviews Jessica Lacher-Feldman, curator of rare books and special collections at the University of Alabama’s Hoole Library. Lacher-Feldman discusses a number of cookbooks, recipes, and illustrations included in their Alabama Collection and the Lupton African American Cookbook Collection. (more)
Posted by Steve at 7:47 PM
Augusto Soledade, artistic director of Brazz Dance Theatre talks about his life, philosophy and choreographic process with arts in education program manager, Diana Green. Brazz Dance Theatre kicks off the second weekend of events as part of the Alabama Dance Festival 2012, with a brand new work, Cordel. This new work blends the styles and social implications of the Argentine Tango with American Hip-hop culture. Mr. Soledade's intent is to bring a discussion on marginalization and social tensions around the globe, using the literary tradition of Cordel (popular Brazilian folk poetry) as inspirations for the creation of this abstract contemporary dance, to be presented on Friday, January 27, at Samford University's Wright Fine Arts Center. (more)
This program is a rebroadcast of Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviewing Tom Davenport an independent filmmaker and founding director of Folkstreams.net. During the program Davenport discusses how Folkstreams preserves and gives new life to documentary films about American folklore and roots cultures by streaming them on the internet. He talks about several important Alabama films featured on the website, as well as his own work making folklore documentaries and dramatic adaptations of Grimm’s fairy tales. (more)
Posted by Steve at 7:44 PM