WYSO

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.

Dave Williamson is a Xenia, Ohio native who's traveled around the world as a magician
courtesy of Dave Williamson

Tuesday night, the world of the circus, circa 1903 – with its awe-inspiring physical feats, goofy comedy and over-the-top showmanship – will descend upon Dayton for a handful of performances at the Schuster Center. And the actor playing the ringmaster, Willy Whipsnade?

It’s magician David Williamson from Xenia, Ohio. He’s world famous, but you’ve probably never heard of him. The story begins in Xenia over 40 years ago.  

Behind the Scenes at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

May 19, 2017
The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is home to extensive collection of artifacts from around the world
Renee Wilde / WYSO

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, nestled in a beautiful stretch of public parks that mark the confluence of the Stillwater and Great Miami Rivers, is a popular destination for families to learn about science and the natural world. But many Miami Valley residents are unaware that behind the scenes, the museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from around the world. Community Voices producer Renee Wilde takes us there.

What Keeps the Guitar Man Strumming

May 16, 2017
Jim McCutcheon has taught guitar to generations of local families
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

When Jim McCutcheon goes on vacation, he’ll most likely bring his guitar along. Not simply as entertainment for when there’s downtime, but because it’s an extension of who he is. Jim’s been a musical fixture in Dayton since 1978 -- he teaches guitar classes to people of all ages, he’s released two children’s albums, and has several awards to his name. On May 17th he’s adding another one -- the Governor's Award in the Arts for arts education. Culture Couch producer George Drake, Jr. spent time with him to find out what keeps him going.

Holland Theatre

Picture it - Bellefontaine, Ohio 1931. You’ve taken a seat inside the new Holland Theatre.

High upon the theatre walls around you is a 17th century Dutch cityscape - rows of nearly life-sized houses, their window boxes filled with tulips that wave in the breeze. Several large, slowly turning windmills are also there and above you, a bright blue sky; billowy clouds float by.

Classic Country Radio Thrives in the Miami Valley

Apr 28, 2017
Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers playing with Centerville’s Alternative Strings Orchestra.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

WBZI in Xenia is a classic country radio station with a large, loyal listening base—so large that they have 3AM and 2FM signals broadcasting across Southwest Ohio. They play old school bluegrass, country, and gospel. They also keep their listeners up-to-date with news, stock, and farm reports. Their brand of classic country radio is both timeless and current, and it's been gaining popularity.

The Guitar Giant

Legacies Series Brings Musical Theatre Professionals to Wright State Students

Apr 20, 2017
Tony Walton and Joe Deer recount Walton's storied theatre career
courtesy of Wright State University

When it comes to the craft of theater, not everything can be learned in a classroom. There’s a long history of theater professionals sharing their knowledge with younger generations. At Wright State University, the Musical Theatre Initiative continues that tradition through its Legacies Series. Last fall, the Legacy Series brought set and costume designer Tony Walton as a guest artist. He’s worked on Broadway and in Hollywood, winning three Tony Awards, an Oscar, and an Emmy.

Continuing Polish Tradition With Kielbasa for the Holidays

Apr 14, 2017
In Polish tradition, kielbasa is taken to church on Holy Saturday to be blessed before the Easter meal
zakwitnij / Flickr Creative Commons

In the 1900's more than a million people migrated to the great lakes region from Poland. They settled all over the Midwest: in Chicago and Cleveland, Detroit and Dayton. And, like all immigrant groups, they brought their food and traditions with them. By 1935 the Polish Club had been established in Old North Dayton and for more then 80 years the club has proudly kept the Polish culture alive.

Dayton Indie Garment Makers Band Together

Mar 31, 2017
Lawanda Stonerock and Tracy McElfresh work together on their sewing projects
Renee Wilde / WYSO

Dayton has an eclectic population of independent fashion designers and craftspeople. Today on Culture Couch, Renee Wilde introduces two local, independent business owners who are carving out a niche for themselves, with the support of each other, and their local community.

It’s the start of the work week, and at local designer and indie business owner Tracy McElfresh’s house in Kettering that means one thing: Crafty Monday. 

Human Race to Debut "26 Pebbles," An Exploration of Tragedy and Hope

Feb 1, 2017
Playwright Eric Ulloa with his first interview subject Joanie.
Eric Ulloa

In the aftermath of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, actor and writer Eric Ulloa went to Newtown, Connecticut and asked the residents five questions. The answers became Ulloa’s first play, "26 Pebbles". The title reflects the 26 deaths, described by one local resident as “pebbles thrown into a pond” which created ripples that captured the attention of the entire nation.

Richard Mosse (Irish, born 1980), Men of Good Fortune, 2011, digital c-print.
©Richard Mosse. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

At an exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute, it’s easy to pick out which of the stunning, large-format photographs belong to Richard Mosse.  The Irish artist is one of two photographers featured in an exhibition at the Dayton Art Institute that ends this Sunday called “Ravage Sublime: Landscape Photography in the 21st Century.”

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