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.

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.

Local Pilot Keeping Barnstorming Tradition Alive

Oct 26, 2016
Dewey Davenport is a pilot with a passion for history
Renee Wilde / WYSO

Out in the countryside east of Dayton, one local pilot is using his passion to keeping a part of aviation history alive. Community Voices reporter Renee Wilde chased him down and went on the ride of her life.

I’m speeding in my car down country roads, chasing after a small plane that’s been buzzing the tree tops of my farm. I follow it to a small, grassy strip tucked amid fields of ripening corn and soybeans, and watch the red bi-plane taxi down the runway and come to a stop.

Getting Down and Dirty With the Classics at the Renaissance Festival

Oct 21, 2016
Renee Wilde / WYSO

William Shakespeare famously said “ all the worlds a stage” and Jonathan Crocker has taken those words to heart. For the past 26 seasons, this Yellow Springs native has been performing in front of thousands of people from a pit of mud.  

Jonathan is the founder of the “Theatre in the Ground” troupe. Their original adaptation of Beowulf has been performed well over 2000 times at Renaissance Festivals across the country. Community Voices Producer Renee Wilde digs into the story.
 

Dayton Ballet Revamps Classic Story With Dracula: Bloodlines

Oct 20, 2016
Dracula: Bloodlines production and costume designer Ray Zupp
Lauren Shows / WYSO

The Dayton Ballet is readying their new production, Dracula: Bloodlines, about the world’s most famous vampire: Dracula.  The challenge is how the ballet will bring this centuries-old story to longtime fans and entice new ones.

Building Cars On A Smaller Scale

Oct 19, 2016
Terry Kahle

Dayton’s premier car show is the annual Concours d’Elegance, where every vehicle has earned an invitation to be on display.  Last month, more than six thousand people strolled the field at Dayton's Carillon Historical Park, which held over 200 restored and antique cars.  Community Voices producer Jim Kahle was one of them, and he found a display of miniatures vying for their own award.

As I entered the manicured lawn of the park, I was treated to automotive eye candy in every direction, Bentley, Bugatti, Pierce Arrow even a 1918 Willys Overland were on display.

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