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.

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.”

Recreating Large Locomotives On A Smaller Scale

Dec 28, 2016
J.M. Kahle

Today on Culture Couch, we have an unlikely story about a local man who built a working replica of a famous steam engine.  The Allegheny Locomotive was among the largest and most powerful locomotives ever built.  It was used to haul coal in the mountains of West Virginia for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroads in the 1940s and 50s. Community voices producer Jim Kahle met the man who's made a small scale replica of a very large train.

The Bridge From Dayton to the Congo

Dec 26, 2016
Congolese refugees worship at Grace United Methodist Church, in Dayton
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

Immigrants have shaped Dayton, Ohio recently. There are immigrants from over 100 countries who call it home and the city declares itself "Immigrant friendly." We go to to Grace United Methodist Church in Dayton, where, in the last months, dozens of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been welcomed into the church and worship in Swahili. Community Voices producer George Drake Jr spent time with the congregation.

Dan Gummel

Downtown Springfield has seen a flurry of development in the last year, with new small businesses, luxury lofts and a brewery all opening their doors.

One of the most high-profile new developments is Hatch Artist Studios, where a $500,000 renovation is transforming the long-vacant Metallic Casket Company complex into studios for artists and small business owners.

Springfield artist and Turner Foundation creative director Rod Hatfield says the complex was chosen for renovation because of its central downtown location and its significance to the city.

Gem City Roller Derby teams Snark Attack and Murder Squad in a pack at the last bout of the year.
Jonny No

Roller derby is not for the faint of heart. It’s a contact sport—players  shove, throw elbows and fall. Here in the Miami Valley the Gem City Roller Derby league holds games all year round. Community Voices producer Kijin Higashibaba went to one and met a player who uses lessons from derby in her life.

La Frae Sci with members of the Student Big Band
courtesy of La Frae Sci

With 11 time zones and over 200 nationalities, Russia is the largest country in the world. Jazz drummer LaFrae Sci, who received her early musical training in her hometown of Dayton, got to know a region of Russia few tourists see when she took her band there.

Wilmington’s Got Grit: How to Turn a City Inside Out and Rebuild

Nov 28, 2016
These are just a few of the large portraits that have been pasted on walls across Wilmington.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

If you visit downtown Wilmington, you’ll see large black and white photos of its residents plastered on the sides of buildings. Each person has dirt somewhere on them: on a shirt, or a bicep, or a cheek. In one portrait, an elderly woman has dirt smeared under each eye. She’s holding her fists up to the camera, and “G-R-I-T” is written in all caps across the knuckles of each hand. 

Comics Have Come a Long Way Since Blondie and Dagwood

Nov 4, 2016

Say the word cartoonist and most of us picture someone like Charles Schulz or Garry Trudeau drawing on one of those slanted tables. Those working in the comic arts today have options far beyond pen and ink, but while some cartoonists have fully embraced digital technologies, others have faithfully remained traditional. Community Voices producer Will Davis introduces us to two local artists with very different styles.

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