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.

Bayard Rustin, half-length portrait, facing front, microphones in foreground
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

Before the freedom riders and Martin Luther King Jr., there was Bayard Rustin, a gay African American Quaker and civil rights activist. Rustin taught King Ghandian non-violence and was the major organizer for the 1963 March on Washington.  Rustin once stated that if we want peace and social justice, “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers.”

Cincinnati Composer and long-time Choral director Steve Milloy found his role model late in his life.

The Apollo XI Crew photographed by Yousuf Karsh.
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh / ©Estate of Yousuf Karsh

The first image that comes to mind when people think of Winston Churchill is of the leader scowling, his hand on his hip. It was taken by photographer Yousuf Karsh. Some of the greatest photographs of our time were taken by the Armenian refugee who fled to North America and rose to international fame. 

"[The Churchill portrait] was the international breakthrough of his career," says Karsh's 88-year-old widow and Antioch College alumna, Estrellita Karsh, on the phone from Boston.

Exploring Fashion, Costuming Through Men's Hats

Jul 9, 2018
Wittenberg University as Costume Shop Manager and Designer Debbie Henderson studies and collects men's hats.
Lauren Shows / WYSO

Debbie Henderson’s work space is a shrine to men’s headwear. Hats of every conceivable style and color are hung on coatracks and stacked half-a-dozen high on tables — they’re even tucked away on bookshelves. Colorful vintage hat boxes are displayed on high shelves that run the length of the room.

The highland green 68 fastback Mustang was the star of the movie Bullitt.
Sicnag / Wikimedia Commons

Fifty years ago a movie director named Peter Yates and a young rising stare named Steve McQueen made a car into a movie star. The movie was called Bullitt. McQueen played a cop who drove a highland Green 68 Mustang fastback. 

Taking A Look At The Set Behind The Curtain

Jun 15, 2018
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

During his life, William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. And as the final production of their 2018 season, The Human Race Theatre in Dayton is tackling all of them in just over an hour and a half. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a comedy that’s part improv and part audience participation. Community Voices Producer George Drake, Jr. took a look behind the curtain to see how the set for the show came to life.

If you know anything about theatre, you know that a lot of the magic happens backstage.

Migiwa Orimo in her Yellow Springs studio, January 2018.
Tess Cortés

Migiwa Orimo is a visual artist in Yellow Springs. The work she creates in her studio, might end up in a traditional art gallery  – or carried through the streets during a political protest. Because alongside her formal studio work, Orimo makes protest banners. She’s been showing her art work in galleries for over 30, years but recently her banners were included in an exhibition of protest art called “Still They Persist.” 

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.

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