Culture Couch

WYSO is exploring the arts scene in our community with a new occasional series. It’s called Culture Couch. Have a seat.

It’s stories about creativity – told through creative audio storytelling.

From Broadway musicals to youth theatre, and graphic novels to graffiti, you’ll meet artists from across the region. We hope you’ll join us for the journey.

Culture Couch is made possible by a generous grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

Touring Dayton's New Funk Museum With SUN's Ernie Knisley

Feb 14, 2018
Ernie Knisley toured all over the world during the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, as a member of the band SUN
Renee Wilde / WYSO

Dayton, Ohio – the birthplace of Funk Music will celebrate the opening of the Funk Center and Museum on Friday. Funk music started flowing out of Dayton in the 70s – and scores of hit records became part if the American soundtrack.  Groups like The Ohio Players, Heatwave and Parliament became household names.

Today on Culture Couch, Community Voices Producer Renee Wilde gets a private tour of the center with a local musician whose band, called SUN, was part of Dayton’s funky scene back in the day.

Dayton Filmmaker Leah Byrd Brings 'Hot & Bothered' To The Web, Big Screen

Feb 8, 2018
Leah Byrd wrote, directed, and stars in Hot & Bothered
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

Dayton filmmaker Leah Byrd is trying to break down racial and gender boundaries in a new web series called Hot & Bothered. The characters in her series are among the most underrepresented in television: black women and members of the LGBTQ community.

A 2016 report by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that less than 40% of all regularly recurring characters on TV shows are black, and that only 25% of LGBTQ characters are people of color. Leah Byrd’s series Hot & Bothered has both.    

Stepping Into The Kitchen With Chef Elizabeth Wiley

Jan 4, 2018
Chef Elizabeth Wiley is the owner of Meadowlark Restaurant and Wheat Penny Oven and Bar.
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

Owner of the Meadowlark Restaurant in Kettering and Wheat Penny Oven and Bar in Dayton, Chef Elizabeth Wiley, has been a player in the area’s restaurant scene on-and-off for almost 40 years. Over that time, she’s made more of a name for herself nationally, and watched other local female chefs climb the ladder alongside her. 

The Toys Of Orville Wright

Dec 25, 2017
Flips and Flops, the toy invented by Orville Wright, on display at Carillon Historical Park
Leo DeLuca / WYSO

In late 1878, a father gave his two boys a toy that flew under its own power. It had a small propeller, and made a big impression. Twenty-five years later, one of the boys became the world's first pilot, and never lost his fascination with flight.

Supporting The Opera Through Education

Dec 18, 2017
The Opera Guild of Dayton brings opera experiences to local schools
Jonathan Platt / WYSO

The Opera Guild of Dayton was incorporated 54 years ago.  Their mission is to support Opera in the Dayton region.  They’ve given more than 2 million dollars to the Dayton Opera, but they do more than raise money – they get school children involved in opera performance.

Dayton's second Longest Table meal took place on the Third Street bridge
Renee Wilde / WYSO

This fall, people from all over the Dayton region came together to for the second annual Longest Table event. Organized by UpDayton, the Third Street Bridge downtown is blocked off to traffic and turned into a community dinner party open to the public, and Community Voices reporter Renee Wilde went to break bread with fellow Daytonians.

It’s a beautiful fall afternoon and the Third Street Bridge spanning the Miami River in Downtown Dayton is lined end to end with long, white, folding tables and chairs, ready for the crowd of people gathered at the far end of the bridge. 

Honoring The Dead At Dia De Los Muertos Dayton

Oct 26, 2017
Gabriela Pickett runs the Missing Peace Art Space, which hosts Dayton's Day of the Dead Celebration.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Dayton’s Dia de los Muertos celebration is this Sunday, October 29. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican Holiday that has its roots in Aztec rituals that honored the dead.  Today, it’s celebrated in countries around the globe. Here in Dayton, there’s a parade, Mexican songs and dancing, and lots of altars designed to lead the spirits of lost loved ones back home.

It promises to be a good time for both the dead and the living.

Local Tattoo Artist Embraces The Stories Behind The Ink

Jul 25, 2017
Chad Wells is the owner of Wells & Co. Custom Tattoos in Dayton’s Fire Blocks District
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

Tattoos have become a major part of our culture, and with over 20,000 tattoo parlors in the U.S. alone, tattooing has become a billion-dollar industry. But it’s the stories behind the ink that interested Community Voices Producer George Drake, Jr. and he went to Dayton to learn about some of them.

If someone gets a tattoo, chances are there’s a story.

Old Case Files: History on Trial

Jul 21, 2017
Members of the cast of Old Case Files
Dayton History

Dayton History’s “Old Case Files” opens this Friday at the Old Montgomery County Courthouse in Downtown Dayton.

The story is ripped from the headlines—but not today’s headlines. The cast will be reenacting a murder trial from 1935, when, on Christmas Eve, a former police officer shot a man five times at the postal telegram office on 3rd Street in Dayton. To at least one passer-by, it seemed pretty cold blooded.  

Jon Barlow Hudson On Creating Public Art

Jul 6, 2017
Sculptor Jon Barlow Hudson with a work-in-progress for the new Dayton Metro Library
Lauren Shows / WYSO

Today on Culture Couch we meet local sculptor Jon Barlow Hudson, who’s finishing a piece of public art for the downtown Dayton Public Library  building.

Creating a public sculpture puts an artist in the middle of a conversation  - the work is accessible, people can walk around it and touch it.  Hudson’s new work includes two seats – it’s actually a place to sit and talk.  Community Voices producer Lauren Shows visited the artist’s studio to learn more about his work: