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.

baking supplies
Nathan Yergler / Flickr Creative Commons

Stories mark this season, and that brings us to a Yellow Springs December story that many of us know.

Yellow Springs patron Wheeling Gaunt was born in 1812 on a tobacco plantation in Carrollton Kentucky.  Enslaved by his father and stepmother, Gaunt bought his freedom and then his wife’s freedom with money earned polishing boots and selling apples, and by his industry and frugality, was at the time of his death, considered the wealthiest man of color in Ohio.

The men who participate in Theater of Conviction at Marion Correctional asked their collaborators to stage a performance of Hamilton.
Kyle Long Photography / used with permission

Last month, a prison theater group at Marion Correctional Institution performed The Hamilton Project, 23 songs from the hip hop musical on the life of Alexander Hamilton.  

The men in Theater of Conviction at Marion Correctional have tackled big ideas before, including Hamlet. It was after that performance, that they approached their director Jessie Glover, a theater professor from Otterbein University, and said, “Hey, when are we going to do Hamilton?" 

The William Preston Mayfield Photo Exhibit is on display at the Dayton Art Institute now and runs until January 5, 2020.
Dayton Art Institute. On loan from Cristina and Ren Egbert

William Preston Mayfield led a fantastic life.

He learned to take photos when he was nine, talked the Dayton Daily News into a job at twelve, and, by his early teens, became the first person to take a photograph from an airplane.

Mayfield became famous while the Dayton Art Institute was being built, so it only makes sense that a collection of his work would be on display for DAI’s Centennial.

Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, the photography curator at DAI, says it took some time for Mayfield to gain the Wright Brothers’ trust.

The entrance to Orange Frazer Press is hard to miss, even though it's tucked in an alley. Wilmington now has beautiful, building-sized murals all over town, but Orange Frazer's mural was one of the first.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

In the age of Amazon, e-books, and on-demand publishing, small presses have had to make big changes to stay afloat, and Orange Frazer Press in Wilmington has become one of Ohio’s most versatile small publishers. Community Voices Producer Jason Reynolds stopped by their offices to learn how this little press that could continues to thrive after 30 years.

Dayton resident Robert Kahn saw his childhood home of Mannheim, Germany invaded the Nazis during WWII.
Leo DeLuca / WYSO

In November 1938, the Nazi leadership in Germany organized a series of violent actions against Jewish citizens all across the country.  German soldiers attacked the homes, synagogues and businesses of Jews and more than 30 thousand Jewish men were taken to concentration camps. 

Those attacks are known as Kristall Nacht, the night of broken glass, referring to the shattered glass on streets and sidewalks in the aftermath. It’s often seen as the beginning of The Holocaust, the mass genocide of Jews and other minorities in Europe during World War II.

Yellow Springs Actor Brings Audio Books To Life

Nov 5, 2019
Yellow Springs actor Teri Clark Linden in her home studio
Debra Oswald / WYSO

Audio book publishing has exploded in the last several years. More than half of all Americans over the age of 12 say they have listened to an audiobook and there are nearly 50 thousand audio books to choose from.

Every one of those audio books is read out loud and recorded, sometimes by the author, but often times by a professional actor like Yellow Springs resident Teri Clark Linden. She has been narrating audiobooks for the past 10 years. She’s done about 200 of them in that time.

James Sercu gets a tattoo while behind him artist Will Eagle draws his 16th tattoo of the day at Drawing Dayton Together.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Dayton themed tattoos have become popular across the city since the mass shooting in the Oregon District last month. People are getting Gem City designs, Dayton Strong ink, the shape of the state with a star where the city lies.

John Everett, a Carillon Historical Park volunteer, umpires a game between the Carillon Clodbusters and the Hall of Fame 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings in early August. The Clodbusters play again this Sunday, August 25, at Carillon Historical Park.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Professional baseball is celebrating its 150th anniversary this summer, and the pro game has its roots here in Southwest Ohio. 

In 1869, The Cincinnati Red Stockings were America’s first and only pro team. They toured the country playing amateur clubs. Baseball was different then, and tougher. It was played barehanded. There were no gloves, no stadiums, no peanuts and cracker jacks.

Nuturing Stage Combat Skills In Actors

Aug 1, 2019
Julia Hiltscher / Flickr Creative Commons

The plays of William Shakespeare are performed on stage more than any other playwright’s works. There are a couple of good reasons for this.

"Because it’s dirt cheap, and it’s good stuff," says actor Bruce Cromer. In his more than 40 years on the stage, he’s acted in dozens of Shakespeare’s works, where no matter the show, as an audience member, you’re bound to see some fighting on stage.

picture books
Enokson / Flickr Creative Commons

Reading can boost your brain power, increase concentration and enhance your imagination. Reading can also make you more empathetic and help develop communication skills. Community voices producer Alan Staiger visited several Greene County Public Libraries to find out what librarians are recommending to kids for their summer reading pleasure.

At the Xenia library, we asked youth services librarian Lindy Morgan-Moore if she had any suggestions for young readers.

"I'm known as the book pusher," says Morgan-Moore. "I want to get books in little people's hands."