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.

'In Service' is a reflection on the military life of Colonel Charles Young created by artist Renée Fleuranges-Valdes
courtesy of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center

Quilts traditionally provide warmth and comfort. Story quilts link these qualities with history, and there are quilts right now in Wilberforce that tell the story of a remarkable man.

Colonel Charles Young was a professor of military science at Wilberforce, a leader of the Buffalo Soldier Regiment, and the highest ranking black Army officer until his death in 1922, and that is the short list.

Photographer Bill Franz documents Dayton At Work And Play.

Dayton works. And Dayton plays. Everyday life may feel unremarkable for some. But for one volunteer photographer, it’s a wonderland of possibility.

Bill Franz has resided in Dayton for over 40 years. But in his retirement, Franz found photography. That’s when he began to really live in his hometown.

Music Director John Neely leads the Bach Society and the University of Dayton Chorale in their rehearsal for St. Matthew Passion, which retells the story of Jesus' capture, trial, and crucifixion from the Book of Matthew.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday is this Sunday, March 31st, and the Bach Society of Dayton will be performing one of his masterworks, a piece called St. Matthew Passion.

It’s been billed as “the most significant choral composition in classical music,” and with good reason.

The Schuster Center for the Performing Arts is the Victoria Theatre Association's largest space and often considered the epicenter of the downtown arts scene.
courtesy of The Victoria Theatre Association

On today’s Culture Couch, we’ll meet Ty Sutton, the new President & CEO of the Victoria Theatre Association. This evening, the VTA will be announcing its first shows of the 2019-2020 season. It will be one of Sutton’s first big moments in Dayton.

Community Voices Producer Jason Reynolds spoke to Sutton recently, amid the chaos of loading and unloading Broadway shows and ballets.

I’m sitting in the Orchestra Level of the Schuster Center with Ty Sutton. We’re watching stage hands and people in headsets run around, trying to transform a bare stage into a Broadway set.

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company opened its 50th season with the world premiere of The Bench, A Journey Into Love.
Scott Robbins

A dance company is more than graceful bodies moving across a stage; it’s also the people behind the scenes making sure the artists can create.

The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) has been presenting dance “rooted in the African American experience” for half a century. DCDC has weathered the ups and downs of the performing arts in a small Midwestern city for a long time.

DCDC dancers in rehearsal
Scott Robbins / via DCDC

Back in October, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ohio’s oldest modern dance company, opened its 50th season with a world premiere of a full-length ballet. The Bench, A Journey into Love was all about family. 

It told the story of a pair of lovers and their three children through movement, voice, and an original jazz score. 

Juan Manuel Fluxà / Flickr Creative Commons

The Mars Insight Lander has been sending outstanding images of the Red planet back to Earth, and anyone who watches the night skies knows that Mars is visible with the naked eye in December just after sunset in the southwest.

But using a telescope reveals even more of the heavens and  experienced stargazers know what a miraculous and highly technical instrument it is. 

Community Voices producer Jim Kale has met a man from southwest Ohio who makes telescopes and traveled to the rural countryside near the tiny town of Philo, Illinois to meet him.

exterior of The Conteporary in downtown Dayton
George Drake Jr. / WYSO

After almost 30 years, The Dayton Visual Arts Center, DVAC, is making the bold and possibly risky move of changing its name to become, simply, The Contemporary. Its mission will mostly remain the same, but with the name change and a potential move to a bigger location in the works, it aims to do more  - both locally and nationally.

Exploring Fairborn Through Augmented Reality Gaming

Nov 16, 2018
In Escape to Fairborn, users interact with murals and other landmarks around Fairborn.
Lauren Shows / WYSO

What do you call it when your smart phone camera shows you things that aren’t really there? That’s augmented reality, superimposing a computer-generated image onto what you’re seeing through your camera’s lens, changing your view of the world around you. 

At the offices of Mile Two, a digital technology firm in Downtown Dayton, Ontario Britton holds up his phone, showing an elaborate Lego model he built.

Actor Duane Jones in a scene from the movie Night of the Living Dead.
via Wikimedia Commons

Fifty years ago, on October 9, 1968, the low-budget horror film, Night of the Living Dead, surprisingly reached mainstream America. It’s the story of ravenous corpses returning to life to prey on society.

Not only did the movie create the modern zombie genre, but also its African American leading actor, Duane Jones, made history all his own.