Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alabama Arts Podcast, Leah Stephens, Executive Director of ClefWorks

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 (more)

Alabama Arts Podcast, Cloverdale Playhouse

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.

Alabama Arts Podcast, Patricia White, co-founder of Slash Pine Press

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.

Alabama Arts Podcast, Mozell Benson

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.

Alabama Arts Podcast, Russell Gulley

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.