Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Trial and terror

Nov 29, 2018

The recent killing of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue refocused the nation’s attention on right-wing extremist terrorists. Meanwhile, the Trump administration points to radical Islam as the bigger threat to security. On this episode of Reveal, we investigate which terror threats get tracked and which are ignored.

Nik Sharma is a cookbook author, photographer and chef in training who embraces global flavors in his food. He grew up in a bicultural household; his father is North Indian and his mother is from Goa - a former Portuguese colony of the West Coast of India. He is also the author/photographer of the new cookbooks Season, a personal book about being a gay Indian immigrant that uses powerhouse flavors and beautiful visuals to connect us to his story.

Photo of a performance of Black Poetry Theatre
Courtesy of Black Poetry Theatre

What is a hero, and who gets to be one? A Durham-based spoken word, theater and poetry company tackles these questions in its upcoming production. “Definition of a Hero” started as a piece focused on men’s relationships with their fathers but broadened out to look at the many manifestations of heroism in people’s lives.

Stock image of banjo
Creative Commons /

The public face of Bluegrass in North Carolina has long been male and white, but the genre is now undergoing a transformation. The star-power of Rhiannon Giddens has drawn new attention to the music and the history behind it.  And legacy organizations like the International Bluegrass Music Awards have started to pay more attention to women’s contributions.

Photo of Susan Ladd, journalist and social justice advocate.
Courtesy of Luckyshot Productions

Susan Ladd grew up in a conservative, white family who taught her that black people were dangerous and should be feared. In the early 1970s, her parents chose not to send her to the recently desegregated Little River School near her home, but instead to a makeshift “pop up” school which was quickly erected and hastily staffed so that white children could avoid attending a black school. But despite her parents’ intentions, Ladd developed an intolerance toward racism and sexism and became a defender of the underdog. 

Alex Bailey / Twentieth Century Fox

Films that draw us into the gritty highs and lows of the music world are having a big cinematic moment. There’s the new head-banging Queen biopic, a film that takes on the rise of Elton John, and yet another reincarnation of “A Star is Born.”

For the next edition of Movies on the Radio, we want to know which movie about musicians resonates most with you? Is it the dark poignancy of “Ray?” The drug and music fueled tour in “Almost Famous?” How about rise and fall of N.W.A. in “Straight Outta Compton?”


Note: This segment is a rebroadcast from September 5, 2018. 

There was a time when we could agree to disagree and still be civil at work, play, and the dinner table.

photo of carlota santana dancing
Flamenco Vivo

Note: This segment is a rebroadcast from February 23, 2018. 

Nobody knows exactly how flamenco, a unique type of performance art, got its name. It emerged from Andalucia, Spain but has cultural ties to many ethnic groups including Indian gypsies, Arabs and Sephardic Jews. Although much of flamenco’s history is shrouded in mystery, one thing is certain: there is nothing quite like it. 

copy of the official program of the women's suffrage procession, March 1913
Library of Congress/Public Domain

When people gathered for the women’s marches of 2017 and 2018, they were joining a tradition that dates back more than a century. In 1913, thousands of women marched on Washington wearing purple and gold sashes instead of pink hats, and Rebecca Roberts says they were a lot more radical than today’s activists.

Photo of Edna Lewis smiling
John T. Hill

Edna Lewis changed the perception of Southern food in American culture with her cookbook, “The Taste of Country Cooking” (Knopf/1976). She touted the use of fresh, local ingredients before the farm-to-table movement began. But many people know very little about the chef and cookbook author, despite her many contributions to food culture.

Turkey Confidential 2018

Nov 22, 2018

Francis Lam hosts the 2018 edition of our popular Thanksgiving call-in show. Francis fields two hours of calls from listeners and is joined by guests Dorie Greenspan, Pati Jinich, Samin Nosrat and Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Looking for something specific from the show? See this page for a full rundown of questions and topics from this year's phone calls.

Burning Hotter and Faster

Nov 21, 2018

Half of California’s 10 worst wildfires have struck in the last two years. We look at the recent Camp Fire, which is the deadliest and most destructive in state history. And we revisit an investigation from earlier this year looking at how extreme wildfires are breaking our emergency response systems. Produced in partnership with KQED.

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

From sappy to silly to downright vile, Hollywood has tried for generations to capture the many facets of the American family. Just in time for Thanksgiving, and for this month’s Movies on the Radio program, we asked our listeners for their favorite movies about families. In their choices, listeners often saw a version of their own family struggles splashed across the silver screen.

Two Weddings and a Prison Break

Nov 21, 2018
Simon Doonan
Sarah Stacke

Simon Doonan recalls his parent’s wedding while planning his own.

Marie Walsh keeps a secret from her husband and children for 32 years.

Carlos Kotkin gets a job driving for a Hollywood mogul.

Jill Donnelly is an unenthusiastic participant in her father's wedding.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot conduct an Album Dissection of Van Morrison's 1968 classic Astral Weeks. The landmark release celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Then, we hear from recent Sound Opinions guests about their Desert Island Jukebox picks... Tracks they can't live without.

Photo of traditional roast turkey dinner.
Creative Commons /

The family Thanksgiving meal does not look quite like it used to for Winston-Salem chef and restaurateur Stephanie Tyson. Tyson is the chef and co-owner of the award-winning restaurant Sweet Potatoes, best known for its twist on Southern staples like sweet potato cornbread. 

Photo of The Burlington Boys Choir
Courtesy of Bill Allred

The Burlington Boys Choir is celebrating its 60th anniversary next year. The choir features boys between the ages of 8 and 15 from Alamance County and is the oldest organization of its kind in North Carolina. The choir began rehearsals in the late 1950s under the direction of Eva Wiseman, a music education supervisor in the Burlington County Public School system. In the last six decades, the choir has visited the White House four times and performed on three different continents. 

Lynne's Twists on Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Nov 20, 2018

We all know that the starring role of the Thanksgiving feast belongs to the turkey, but the side dishes are just as important. While traditional sides bring a classic feel to the meal, sometimes it’s refreshing to shake up your routine. With that in mind, Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with our dear friend Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Lynne always has a long list of wonderful ideas for adding new flavors to your holiday table. Enjoy their interview... better have your notepad ready!

Photo of Chef Meherwan Irani
Molly Millroy

Asheville-based chef Meherwan Irani has been nominated for three James Beard Awards and co-founded a restaurant group with his wife, but he has no formal culinary training. He started cooking Indian food as a hobby born out of frustration with the lack of good Indian food options in the United States. With guidance from his mother, Irani recreated his favorite childhood foods in his own kitchen.

When Natasha Feldman looks at young adults in America, she often sees a common problem - they don't know how to cook. Not for themselves, nor their friends. Feldman - aka Tash - is a trained chef that works as a personal chef and produces and hosts the online video series Nosh with Tash, now in its second season.

The Ciompi Quartet of Duke University pictured with their instruments.
Courtesy Ciomi Quartet

The Ciompi Quartet is known for its technical brilliance and for keeping a long-standing tradition alive. The group was founded more than 50 years ago at Duke University, and is comprised of Duke professors. This year they welcomed a new member for the first time in 23 years: Caroline Stinson joins the group on cello after her long-running career with the Lark Quartet in New York.

Of mastodons and man... and pumpkins

Nov 16, 2018

During the autumn months, pumpkins and different kinds of squash become staples of our cooking. We can't image the holidays without them in the kitchen. But did you know that pumpkins were once practically inedible by humans? Prehistoric pumpkins were a completely different fruit, one with a tougher skin and absolutely dreadful - in fact, toxic - flavor. Considering that questionable culinary past, we wanted to know how pumpkin got to the point where we now cook it into all sort of dishes.

For years, Kristen Miglore has written a genius column for Food52 called "Genius Recipes." They’re the recipes she’s collected from authors and chefs that can change the way you cook. She has a new cookbook that is a collection of dessert recipes, appropriately name Genius Desserts, also provided by some of the biggest names in baking and desserts.

Step up your gravy game with America's Test Kitchen

Nov 16, 2018

Mathematically speaking, the number one freakout-inducing dish on Thanksgiving is obviously the turkey. But, whatever you think about brining or deep frying or high heat versus low heat, the fact is that the best insurance policy for any kind of turkey mishap is to have a great gravy, and a boatload of it.

Kristen Miglore, the food-obsessed mind behind the Food52 column "Genius Recipes," has a new cookbook called Food52 Genius Desserts. It's a wonderful collection of dessert recipes from some of the biggest names in baking and desserts.

Carla Hall may be the hardest working woman in food show business. To know Carla is to love her, even if knowing her just means you just watched her on Top Chef or The Chew. She’s got a new book, called Carla Hall’s Soul Food, and it's about the two different sides of soul food. She talked with Francis Lam about some of her favorite Thanksgiving food and what new dishes will be on her Thanksgiving table this year.

Case Cleared (Part 2)

Nov 15, 2018

He seemed to confess to the crime, twice to his ex-girlfriend, once to police. But prosecutors never charged him. The reasons why show how rape myths continue to influence how justice is meted out in America. Reported in partnership with Newsy and ProPublica.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures & Dad Rap

Nov 15, 2018

Looking for new music that's out of the mainstream? Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot uncover some buried treasures: recent releases that you need to hear! Plus, Jim and Greg talk with author Steven Hyden about the parallels between "Dad Rock" bands and "Dad Rap" stars.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

President Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for many members of the media. Last week his administration revoked the White House press pass for CNN’s Jim Acosta and threatened to retaliate against other reporters if they did not “treat the White House with respect.” His recent attacks on three female African-American reporters highlight what some analysts call an ongoing trend: Trump singles out women and minorities.

Second Chances

Nov 14, 2018
Sherman "OT" Powell
Photo by Liz Mackinder

Joshua Blau loses his wallet on the FDR drive.
Navrioska Mateo puts her dream job in peril.
Faith Salie has a fashion crisis on a momentous day.
Sherman "OT" Powell
attempts to reconnect with his family after 34 years.