Alex Granados

Producer, "The State of Things"

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.

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State of Things
12:42 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Carolina Public Press

Carolina Public Press
Credit carolinapublicpress.org

Journalist Angie Newsome saw a need for more investigative reporting in the western part of North Carolina, so she founded the Carolina Public Press. It’s a non-profit, online publication that reports on the 17 westernmost counties in the state. The project is funded through the generosity of foundations, donors, businesses and other organizations. Host Frank Stasio talks to Newsome about the Carolina Public Press and some of the news it's covering.

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State of Things
11:51 am
Tue November 1, 2011

NC Latin American Film Festival

Latin American Film Festival
Credit http://latinfilmfestivalnc.com

This November marks the 25th anniversary of the North Carolina Latin American Film Festival, which celebrates and examines Latino culture in cinema. This year, the focus of the festival is on narcotic drug trafficking, and the violence and corruption that goes with it. Host Frank Stasio talks about that theme with North Carolina filmmakers Rodrigo Dorfman and Elva Bishop and with festival Director Miguel Rojas-Sotelo.

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State of Things
1:03 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Meet Sally Rhine Feather

Sally Rhine Feather
Credit www.rhine.org

Tonight ghosts, goblins, gremlins and all manner of imaginary monsters may knock on your door. But while Halloween is all about make believe, for some people the business of paranormal phenomenon is serious. Sally Rhine Feather is one of them. She is executive director emeritus of the Rhine Research Center in Durham. The center, founded by Feather’s father, J.B. Rhine, has been around in one form or another for 70 years. In that time, it has investigated such unexplained experiences as telepathy, clairvoyance and life after death. Host Frank Stasio talks to Feather about her work and her family’s history as researchers of the paranormal.

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State of Things
10:08 am
Thu October 27, 2011

Visualizing James Joyce

A piece by Fritz Janschka
Credit Fritz Janschka

Greensboro artist Fritz Janschka has been obsessed with James Joyce ever since he read "Ulysses" shortly after moving to America in 1949. Since then, Janschka has devoted many of his art pieces to Joyce’s literature. It’s a happy marriage of mediums. Joyce is known for his surreal, stream-of-consciousness, and Janschka is one of the founding members of a school of art called Fantastic Realism that has elements of religious and esoteric symbolism as well as psychoanalysis. He has an exhibition of his Joyce-related works showing at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro through November 20. Host Frank Stasio talks to Fritz Janschka about Fantastic Realism and his obsession with James Joyce.

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State of Things
11:32 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Naked and Hungry

Naked and Hungry
Credit ashley-memory.com

Pittsboro writer Ashley Memory never thought she had the endurance to complete a novel, but her dad’s encouragement changed all that. Seeing all the other novels out in the market, he told Memory that she could do it too. Her debut novel, "Naked and Hungry" (Ingalls Publishing Group/2011) features a protagonist who is a lot like her father. It’s the story of a man down on his luck who takes on big business when it tries to pollute the small town he loves. Host Frank Stasio talks to Memory about her debut novel, "Naked and Hungry."

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State of Things
9:37 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Meet Deborah and Ken Ferruccio

Ken and Deborah Ferruccio are the accidental instigators of the Environmental Justice Movement. It all started in 1978, when the North Carolina government decided to build a landfill for toxic PCBs in Warren County. The Ferruccios were recent transplants to the area and were outraged at the proposal. They vowed to fight it. Along the way, they organized the community and tied environmental issues to race discrimination.

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State of Things
11:18 am
Fri October 21, 2011

A Hollow Cup

A Hollow Cup
Credit chapelhillmemories.com

Alan Thompson grew up Chapel Hill, but not the one you know today. Alan was coming of age in the 1960s when the little college town was forced to confront its racism and dismantle segregation. He wanted to write a memoir about his time growing up in Chapel Hill, but that eventually morphed into his debut novel, “A Hollow Cup” (WingSpan Press/2011). It imagines a murder that takes place in a town that looks much like Chapel Hill, in the ‘60s. Host Frank Stasio talks to Alan Thompson about his novel and the history of Chapel Hill.

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State of Things
11:11 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Mallarmé Chamber Players

You never know quite what to expect from the Mallarmé Chamber Players. They’ve played songs by Bach and R.E.M., scored music for the silent film “Nosferatu” and teamed up with dancers and visual artists to create interdisciplinary art. This weekend, they will be performing at the Nasher Museum of Art Auditorium. Their performance is composed entirely by women, and is a companion piece to an exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art that features all women artists. The Mallarmé Chamber Players join host Frank Stasio in the studio to play live and talk about some of their upcoming performances.

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State of Things
12:31 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Visual Activism

Durham artist Franco calls himself a visual activist.
Credit francoproject.com

Durham artist Franco calls himself a visual activist. It's a title best represented in works such as “Box Reality.” That piece appears to show a brightly rendered Crayola box, but on closer inspection, viewers see five upraised fists sticking out instead of crayons. They’re a rainbow of skin colors, and the words on the front of the box read: “5 Colors: Same But Different.” Franco's work is on display at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham until October 30. Host Frank Stasio talks to him about his work and visual activism.

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State of Things
12:22 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Rock for Reproductive Rights

Toshi Reagon
Credit toshireagon.com

Musician Toshi Reagon is the product of a strong musical heritage. Her mother is Bernice Johnson Reagon, a '60s activist who helped found the Freedom Singers along with Toshi’s father, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. Toshi's big break in music came when Lenny Kravitz chose her for his opening act on his first world tour. She has continued to perform ever since, covering a range of genres that includes rock, country, folk and R & B. This weekend, she’s headlining the Ipas Rock for Reproductive Rights in Durham at Motorco Music Hall. Host Frank Stasio talks with Toshi Reagon about the concert and her career as a performer.

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