Podcasts

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Parker Esse
Photo courtesy of Mr. Esse

Choreographer

Choreographer Parker Esse talks about his experience creating new choreography for Arena Stage's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical Oklahoma!. [26:29]

Jeffrey Sweet
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sweet

Playwright, author

Jeffrey Sweet talks about the revitalization of theater in Chicago through the Second City and other theater companies, as well as his own experience as a playwright and the art of theater and musical theater.  [26:50]

Frank Stella
Photo by Richard Frasier

National Medal of Arts recipient

One of the most well-regarded postwar American artists still working, Frank Stella discusses his five-decade career in the visual arts, from paintings to sculptures to murals to architecture.  [21:40]

Chuck Brown
Photo by Ameen Howrani

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Musician Chuck Brown talks about his career, from honing his chops in prison in Lorton, Virginia, to developing his own musical genre in DC: go-go music. [28:49]

David DiChiera
Photo courtesy of Mr. DiChiera

NEA Opera Honors recipient

The only general director to found and lead two opera companies (Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Pacific), David DiChiera talks about his career, bringing opera to Detroit audiences, and composing his first opera in his 60s. [32:30]

Martina Arroyo
Photo courtesy of Ms. Arroyo

NEA Opera Honors recipient

Legendary soprano Martina Arroyo talks about her career in opera, including working with such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti. [27:17]

Natasha Wimmer
Photo courtesy of Ms. Wimmer

NEA Literature Fellow for Translation

Natasha Wimmer was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2007 to translate Roberto Bolaño's epic novel 2666. In this interview, she discusses the complexities of translating Bolaño's work and other tribulations of working as a translator. [27:08]

Rudolfo Anaya
Photo by Marion Ettlinger

NEA Big Read Selection (Bless Me, Ultima)

Rudolfo Anaya talks about the writing of his acclaimed novel Bless Me, Ultima as well as in the influence of the oral tradition and folk tales on his writing and his life growing up in New Mexico.  [23:56]

Judy McCulloh
Photo by Mary E Yeomans

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Awarded the 2010 Bess Lomax Hawes Award for the preservation of cultural heritage, Judith McCulloh talks about her extensive work as a folklorist and editor at the University of Illinois Press.   [24:04]

Mike Rafferty
Photo courtesy of Mr. Rafferty

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Mike Rafferty talks about growing up in East Galway, Ireland, and learning flute playing from his father, as well as coming to America and eventually returning to Irish music in his 50s as both a performer and teacher. [26:37]

Del McCoury
Photo courtesy of McCoury Music

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Bluegrass legend Del McCoury discusses his 50-year career, from joining Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in the 1960s to multiple appearances at the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in the 2000s. [26:32]

Julia Alvarez
Photo © Bill Eichner

NEA Literature Fellow and 2013 National Medal of Arts recipient

Writer Julia Alvarez discusses how her life as a reader led to her life as a writer and the rich source material she finds in her family's immigrant experience. [22:05]

Ed Herendeen
Photo: Contemporary American Theater Festival

Founder and Producing Director, Contemporary American Theater Festival Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Ed Herendeen talks about founding and sustaining a theater festival committed to supporting bold, daring new works for the stage. [18:27]

Unai Elorriaga
Photo by Debra Corrie

NEA International Literary Award (Plants Don't Drink Coffee)

Basque writer Unai Elorriaga and Amaia Gabantxo, translator of Elorriaga's novel Plants Don’t Drink Coffee, discuss the book as well as the art of translation and the Basque language. [25:50]

Joel Nelson
Photo courtesy of Joel Nelson

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Joel Nelson talks about how he grew to love poetry and how he writes and recites poetry, as well as growing up on a ranch and his love of horses, among other subjects. [27:00]

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