Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Tom Rankin

Beloved North Carolina authors Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle first partnered up with Nashville-based musicians Matraca Berg and Marshall Chapman to help design the musical “Good Ol’ Girls,” which debuted in 2010.

An image of the band Elizabeth Haddix and the Gurley Flynns
Dave Clark

Back in the mid-1990s, singer/songwriter Elizabeth Haddix had just entered law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she realized academics should not be the only thing in her life. On the first day of class, she went to the local music store and bought herself an acoustic guitar to fill her passion for a creative outlet.
Haddix taught herself how to play the instrument and over the years bounced around playing with an assortment of local musicians. Now...

The Monti
Jessie Gladdek

In the eight years since founding The Monti , a North Carolina-based storytelling organization, Jeff Polish has chosen a variety of topics for storytellers. Participants on The Monti stage have talked about their experiences around themes like "Fear," "The End of the Road," and "Humility." But one topic stayed off the list: God. When Polish eventually decided to broach the difficult subject of a higher power, the response was off-the-charts. Host Frank Stasio talks with Polish and hears...

Secrets of the Watchtower

Dec 8, 2016

For the past two years, Reveal reporter Trey Bundy has been uncovering how the Jehovah’s Witnesses hide sexual abuse in their congregations – in fact, it’s official policy. The religion's leaders have been going to extreme lengths to keep the details from public view. On the next Reveal, we track down people who know the religion’s dark secrets.

Jake Fussell Playing Guitar
Brad Bunyea

Jake Fussell didn’t have to look far for musical inspiration in his home state of Georgia. Even before he picked up a guitar, he was surrounded by some of the region’s most storied performers and committed documentarians. Fussell grew up in the town of Columbus, GA, the son of parents whose passion was studying, teaching, and presenting regional culture. For Fussell, an American folk song like “Raggy Levy” isn’t just an archival find. It’s a part of his lived experience.

An image of the book cover for 'Metaphors Be With You'
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Poet Robert Frost once said, "An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor."

Dr. Mardy Grothe , author and retired psychologist, has channeled the words of Frost into a new anthology of metaphors called " Metaphors Be With You : An A-to-z Dictionary of History's Greatest Metaphorical Quotations" ( HarperCollins /2016). Grothe examines the figure of speech by curating thousands of metaphors spanning 250 topics.
Host Frank Stasio talks with...

Total raised by solicitors and percentage passed through to nonprofits and charities.
Secretary of State

Professional fundraisers had a down year in 2015-16. However, this marks just one slice of overall charitable giving and does not necessarily indicate a down year for nonprofits as a whole.

She & Him

The holidays are among us, and WUNC-Music is here to help you get in the right spirits! Starting today you'll hear a festive variety of holiday tunes in the mix from some of your favorite artists that we play on the station. Here's a short sampling of what we've got coming your way. Happy Holidays! 8 Days Of Hanukkah - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Wonderful Christmastime - The Shins Christmas And Everyday - Best Coast It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Fruit Bats Christmas At...

stu_wp FLICKR Creative Commons

It’s our year end wrap up for Movies on the Radio and we want to know, what was your favorite movie of 2016? Amid all the summer blockbusters and family films, did anything stand out? We've already got a submission for "The Witch," what's your favorite? Send an email to or tweet #sotmovie . Hurry! The holidays have shortened the deadline on this one. We need your submissions by December 15th.

The Hillandale Elementary School chorus performs under the Lucky Strike Tower at the 12th annual lighting holiday event on Dec. 12, 2016.
Carter Chambliss / WUNC

Hundreds of people gathered at the American Tobacco campus in downtown Durham on Friday night for the annual tower lighting celebration.

Looking Back at Toshiro Mifune’s Legendary Career

Dec 2, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

From the 1940s and into the ‘80s, Toshiro Mifune was known around the world as Japan’s answer to John Wayne. He starred in almost 200 movies, including a slew of classics directed by the great Akira Kurosawa.
His life is now the subject of a new film called, “Mifune: The Last Samurai.” It’s from Oscar-winning documentarian Steven Okazaki, and he chatted with us about the unexpected start of Mifune’s on-screen career, his rebellious spirit, and more.

Interview Highlights: ...

Nora McInerny Recalls Living Life in the Face of Death

Dec 2, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

In 2014, writer Nora McInerny had a year like few others: she miscarried a child, then lost her father and her husband to cancer. Those tragedies are the jumping off point for her new podcast “ Terrible, Thanks for Asking ,” a show about talking honestly — and with humor, too — about the painful things in life. Nora shares a story from her recent memoir, “ It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) ,” in the audio above.

Lopez, Kristina

In 2000, Anthony Bourdain’s best-selling memoir, “ Kitchen Confidential ,” gave readers what was then a shocking glimpse at the difficult, dangerous and sometimes hedonistic lives of restaurant kitchen workers.
The tough-talking master chef has since gone on to become a megastar of food and travel TV. He’s won a Peabody and three Emmys in a row for his current CNN travel show, “ Parts Unknown .” Bourdain’s new cookbook — co-written with Laurie Woolever — is called “ Appetites .”

Anthony Bourdain Gives Tough and Tender Advice

Dec 2, 2016

Each week our listeners send in your questions about how to behave, and answering them this time around is Anthony Bourdain. After talking with Brendan and Rico about his new cookbook and how the culinary world has changed since his “Kitchen Confidential” days, he stuck around to deliver some much-needed straight talk to our listeners.

Dealing with a loud friend in a quiet restaurant
Rico Gagliano: All right. Here’s something from Jason in Seattle. “What is the best way,”...

Lopez, Kristina

Actor Mackenzie Davis plays the punk rock coding genius Cameron in the AMC series “Halt and Catch Fire.” She has also appeared in the latest season of the celebrated U.K. anthology show “Black Mirror.” And you may have seen her on the big screen in “The Martian.”
Her latest film is called “Always Shine.” It’s both a psychological thriller and a look at the sexist pressures of Hollywood. It’s about two actors, Beth and Anna, who go to Big Sur for the weekend to mend their strained...

Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner Spins Some Sweet Ol’ Tunes

Dec 2, 2016

Musician Kurt Wagner is the frontman for the Nashville music collective Lambchop and over the course of 12 albums, he’s drawn on everything from country to hip-hop, to create odd, lyrically rich music. With his new album, “ Flotus ,” he’s added beat-driven electronica into the mix. The Los Angeles Times describes it as, “something really magical.”
Here’s Kurt with a party soundtrack filled with vintage tunes for the next time you’re slurping soup and passing the dinner rolls.

Mandolin Orange
Scott McCormick / Sacks & Co.

Mandolin Orange 's new album, " Blindfaller ," moves between a haunting warning about politics, allusions to lingering effects of historical wars in the South, and a honky-tonk ode to life on the road.

a 196-foot-long lit Chinese Dragon
Ryan Wilusz / WUNC

The Cary Booth Amphitheatre has been transformed into a mesmerizing and bright setting with more than 20 displays as part of the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival .

Rohan Ayinde

North Carolina is one of only two states in the US where 16 and 17 years old kids are routinely charged as adults for even the most minor offenses. This policy has serious consequences for the youth involved. In this bonus podcast episode, poet Kane Smego shares a gripping poem called, “Oh Carolina” about justice and conflict in North Carolina. Download the Bonus Episode Now Season 1 of the Stories with a Heartbeat podcast is over, but you can still download all the episodes today!

Photo of comedian Josh Gondelman
Yvette Albinowski

Comedian Josh Gondelman has earned the nickname the “nicest man in comedy,” for his inherently decent and astute comedic style. But many in that world may also consider him to be one of the luckiest men in the business because comedy writing is part of both his day and night jobs. Gondelman is a writer for the Emmy-Award winning HBO show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” co-authored the book “You Blew It,” and co-created the famous Twitter account “Seinfeld Today.”


An image of comedian Paula Poundstone
Michael Schwartz

More than 30 years ago, comedian Paula Poundstone hopped on a Greyhound bus and traveled the country performing in small comedy clubs. Over the years, Poundstone rose up through the ranks of comedy and eventually earned her own HBO special.

In 1992, she became the first woman to host the White House Correspondents Dinner. Today, she is heard regularly as a panelist on the NPR program " Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! " Poundstone's commentary on politics and pop culture has been a...

Michelle Lanier

Note: This program is a rebroadcast. It originally aired May 2, 2016. Michelle Lanier’s roots in North Carolina are so deep that she describes “every branch of her family tree having at least a sapling that crosses into the state.” She has a great-grandparent who preached at the oldest black Episcopal church in the state, one who was salesmen on Durham’s Black Wall Street , and one who helped establish the state’s first black high school. From a young age, Michelle Lanier has been curious...

photo of Rissi Palmer
Rissi Palmer

Note: This is a Rebroadcast. This program originally aired July 15, 2016. Singer-songwriter Rissi Palmer exploded onto the country music scene in 2007 with a self-titled album. She sang alongside Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, and her single " Country Girl " was the first song by an African-American woman artist to make the country Billboard charts in almost two decades. After some disagreements with her label, Palmer spent some time out of the spotlight working on other creative projects...

surfer at sunrise
Jenni Koontz /

Since she was a child, Jenni Koontz has taken an interest in photography. “I always used film cameras until my freshman year of college,” said Koontz, 32, who lives on Hatteras Island in Avon, North Carolina with her daughter Emma Sage.

Movies on the Radio

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. Host Frank Stasio discusses our listeners’ favorite movies about families, from “Parenthood” to “Star Wars” and...