Podcasts

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Headshot of a woman.

Photo courtesy of Pam Muñoz Ryan

Award-winning children’s and young adult writer

For young adult novelist Pam Muñoz Ryan, a multi-cultural perspective comes naturally. She grew up in Bakersfield, California, with her grandmother who was an Oklahoma pioneer woman moving in as she grew older, and a big extended family nearby anchored by her other grandmother, Esperanza, who was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Muñoz Ryan based her novel Esperanza Rising on her Mexican grandmother’s life, and it’s become a classic of young people’s literature—taught in schools and beloved in homes throughout the country. She has written over 40 books, and she casts a wide net in terms of subjects: from the childhood of Pablo Neruda in The Dreamer, to a young kid living in a trailer in Oklahoma in Becoming Naomi Leon, to the magical realism of Echo in which three young people in pre-World War II Germany and post-Pearl Harbor America are connected by an enchanted harmonica. But whatever the topic, Muñoz Ryan knows how to write for young people; her respect for them and the way they move in the world is enormous, and it’s reflected in her writing. (She has the awards to prove it; it’s a staggering list!) In this episode of the podcast, Muñoz Ryan talks about her upbringing, learning the histories of both her grandmothers, her writing in general and writing for young readers in particular. She’s fun, thoughtful, and full of stories.

Headshot of a man.

Army's Artist in Residence

The US Army Artist in Residence SFC Juan Munoz might be the Army's best-kept secret. His job is to document through art the experiences of soldiers as they fulfill their duties both home and abroad. SFC Munoz deploys with troops for a month as a soldier/artist--expected to carry his weight and to document what he sees. SFC Munoz has an extraordinary amount of freedom: he chooses what to document and how to document it. In fact, when he was appointed, the army emphasized he was not creating propaganda but rather telling the stories of soldiers through art. In this week's podcast, we visit the studio of SFC Munoz at Fort Belvoir and learn about the role of the army's artists in residence.

Headshot of a woman

Award-winning children’s and young adult writer

Opens up worlds of complications and riches.

David Mura
Photo Courtesy of American Program Bureau, Inc.

Writer and Spoken-Word Performer

David Mura uses his considerable talents as a poet, novelist, memoirist and performer to explore what it means to be Japanese-American.

Headshot of a man.
Photo courtesy of Edwin Remsberg

NEA Director of Folk and Traditional Arts

In this podcast, Clifford Murphy, National Endowment for the Arts Director of Folk and Traditional Arts, introduces the recently announced 2020 NEA National Heritage Fellows. This is the country’s highest honor—a lifetime achievement award—for folk and traditional artists whose life’s work includes both artistic excellence and efforts to sustain cultural traditions for future generations. As Murphy says in the podcast, folk art has been described as “something learned knee-to-knee.” All nine recipients of the Heritage Award serve as exemplary mentors as well as inspired artists. Murphy doesn’t just discuss each artist, he also talks about each art form—whether it’s dance, song, beadwork, or canoe-building—and the culture in which it's embedded. We also talk about some of the ways the folk and traditional arts field has been impacted by the pandemic and creative adjustments that folk and traditional artists have made in response to the crisis. Murphy is not only enormously knowledgeable about the folk and traditional arts, but it's clear he holds a deep love for these arts and the people and communities that create them.

Linda Murray
Photo courtesy of Solas Nua

Artistic Director, Solas Nua, Washington, DC

Linda Murray talks about her organization Solas Nua, the only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to contemporary Irish arts. [29:01]

Dana Nachman and Don Hardy

Documentary filmmakers

Documentary filmmakers Dana Nachman and Don Hardy have co-directed the award-winning film Pick of the Litter. The litter in question are five Labrador Retrievers bred by Guide dogs for the Blind (or GBD) for the specific purpose of becoming service animals. The film follows a litter of puppies from birth to their graduation and assignment to a person who’s visually impaired…that is if the dog makes the cut. Not every pooch is cut out for the rigorous training in which intelligence and perspicacity is valued as much as experience…which also makes for risky documentary filmmaking. When Dana and Don began, they had no idea if any of the dogs would pass muster. Tune in and listen to Dana and Don share their experiences of centering a film on five principal subjects who can’t speak for themselves.

Azar Nafisi
Photo by Tom Slocum

Author

Author of two memoirs about her life in Iran, Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I've Been Silent About, Azar Nafisi talks about her books, her life in Iran, her parents, the Iranian Revolution, and, of course, the power of literature. [25:05]

Headshot of the artists.
Photo by Yury Nakonechny

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Ukrainian embroiderer, weaver and bead worker Vera Nakonechny keeps a traditional culture alive.

Headshot of a man

Saxophonist and composer

With Presidential Suite, Ted Nash transforms iconic political speeches into an inventive jazz composition.

Pages