Community Voices

Decorate Your Walls With A Trip To The Library

Apr 4, 2016
Taylor Kordic, a student at Cedarville University, is a big fan of the art at the library—and, the bags that come with that art.
Steve McQueen / WYSO

Libraries have always had books, but these days, they provide more services than just literature, including art rental. Culture Couch got interested in who actually uses the art rental services—and I met one young library enthusiast showed me an amazing art gallery he created in his apartment, all on loan from the library.

A Young Mother In Prison Remembers Her Pregnancy

Mar 27, 2016
Women's Voices From DCI - Logo 1
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Kids are an invisible presence in most prisons. One national survey cited in a state of Ohio report on parents in prison finds more than 2 percent of white children have multiple family members in prison—that jumps to 16 percent for black children.

Woman's Voices prison dayton correctional
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Lana Williams has been in Ohio prisons for 16 years. Now in her mid-40s, she’s a reflective woman whose nickname on the inside is “Shy.”

Her story starts long before her criminal conviction—in an interview with her good friend Tyra Patterson, she takes us back to her childhood in the projects in Chicago, where she joined a gang at age 12 and became addicted to drugs not long after.

Women's Voices dayton correctional institution
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Tyra Patterson was arrested at age 19 in a high-profile murder case in Dayton—15-year-old Michelle Lai was shot and killed during a scuffle between two groups of teenagers, some of whom Patterson was acquainted with.

She pled not guilty to a murder charge, and later said she gave a confession under duress.

Madison Men's Choir Makes Music Through Prison Walls

Jan 10, 2016
Becca Schall / Courtesy of Cathy Roma/UBUNTU

UBUNTU choir is a group of men who are prisoners at the Madison Correctional Institution in London, a few minutes outside Columbus. The choir’s been recording its first album—and one prisoner is the composer of many of the songs. Culture Couch took a visit to find out about the process of making music with people in prison.


The Santa Heist: Why Kids (And Adults) Go Wild About Santa Claus

Dec 24, 2015
Steve Haws, aka Santa Claus, has been taking toy orders from kids for decades. Here he is with Finn Reynolds.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

I was Christmas shopping with my five year old when it hit me—something I hadn’t thought about in a long time. When I was around his age, I tried to rob Santa Claus.


My best friend and I convinced our parents to let us have a sleepover on Christmas Eve, then we took turns standing on his bed, holding a metal detector up to the ceiling. It was a simple plan. When Santa's sled landed on the roof, its rails would set off the detector and we'd sneak downstairs to steal his bag of goodies.



WYSO has started a radio class at Dayton Correctional Institution (DCI), a women's prison on the west side of Dayton. Our Community Voices courses teach people to tell their own stories; this one does that with people who are incarcerated at one of just three women's prisons in the state.

Here's some of the audio we've already produced at DCI: 

The Musical Legacy of Paul Arnold

Feb 13, 2015

Paul Arnold would have been 83 years old this month. He grew up in Dayton's Edgemont District and sang gospel at the neighborhood Baptist church. In the 1950s, Arnold became a founding member and lead singer of the Gospelaires, and by the 60s, the group had achieved acclaim for its international performances.  Arnold died in 2006.

Dayton Goes 3D: Community Voices Tours Doppelganger Laboratories And Proto BuildBar

Dec 18, 2014
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

3D printing isn’t the future—it’s now. In the last year and a half, four new 3D printing services have opened in the Miami Valley, and the most recent additions are each trying out something new.

A “maker space” with beer

The Proto BuildBar on First Street in downtown Dayton is perhaps overly hipster: the employees are wearing gas station attendant shirts and retro eyeglasses, and the music is 90’s indie rock. But Proto BuildBar is more than a hip hangout. If you’re a techie, it could be a dream come true. They have a dozen 3D printers and rows of workbenches with soldering guns and magnifying glasses.

“We are the world’s first build bar,” says General Manager Alex Todd. “We are a small scale coffee shop and bar housed together with a 3D print and maker space. It’s kind of a cool concept. You can come in and rent time on 3D printers.”

Students from Ponitz Career Technology Center pictured with WYSO's Basim Blunt on the students' first visit to the WYSO studios for youth radio classes that turned into Dayton Youth Radio.
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

This fall, WYSO expanded its community voices radio production training to include high school students at David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center and founded Dayton Youth Radio.