Anita Rao

Producer, "The State of Things"

Anita Rao is a producer for The State of Things, WUNC's daily, live talk show that features the issues, personalities and places of North Carolina. She fell in love with interviewing and storytelling as a Women's Studies and International Studies major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and began her radio career at WUNC as an intern for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. From 2011 - 2014, she worked for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps Production department, where she pitched, edited and produced conversations from across the nation--from Chicago, IL to Pineville, North Carolina.  

Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest. She loves excessively-long dinner parties and hopes to one day live up to her mom's nickname, "Sheila, The Chocolate Eater."

Ways to Connect

Dale Watson
Sarah Wilson

Guitarist Dale Watson feels out of place in the modern country music world, and he is perfectly OK with that. The Texas musician believes the genre has changed so much that it lost its identity, so he created a new genre of his own—Ameripolitan.

Ameripolitan music is original music with prominent roots influence, and the genre’s tagline is, "We’re not about leaving country music behind, we’re taking the ‘real’ country music with us."

'Poet' looks at the life of poet George Moses Horton
Don Tate

George Moses Horton was born into slavery in Northampton County, N.C. in the late 18th century. He was enslaved in rural Chatham County for most of his life, yet he built a remarkable career for himself off the plantation.

As a child, George secretly taught himself how to read, and as a teenager he began making trips to Chapel Hill where he composed poems for students on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

Mary Kratt in rhododendron at age 6
Mary Kratt

Historian and author Mary Kratt grew up in the countryside surrounded by trees, the occasional quail hunter and not much else. As a little girl she spent a lot of time on her own and became a keen observer of her surroundings and other people, and she says that’s exactly why she is a successful poet today. 

Kratt has authored six poetry books and a number of books and essays on Charlotte history.

Movies On The Radio: Alfred Hitchcock

Aug 26, 2015
Alfred Hitchcock
Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr Creative Commons

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most celebrated and prolific filmmakers in cinema.

He directed more than 50 films in six decades, mastered the art of psychological thrillers and suspense, and meticulously crafted scenes filled with compelling visuals. 

Wonder Woman is perhaps the most well-known female superhero. She is the inspiration for the play 'Behind the Boots' put on by the Summer Sisters. It explores the history and significance of Wonder Woman.
Mark Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

Wonder Woman is an iconic superhero best known for her battle skills and formidable weapons. The Amazonian warrior princess is often seen with her Lasso of Truth, invisible airplane and indestructible bracelets. She first appeared in comic books in 1941, but her image and character has since soared far beyond the page.

Triangle-based theater group Summer Sisters used the pop-culture icon as inspiration for a new experimental theater piece called “Behind the Boots.” It explores the connections between heroism, feminism, truth, justice, and their own everyday lives.

Pauli Murray, the imp
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Scholar and activist Pauli Murray grew up in Durham and was fundamentally shaped by its history and culture, and she left a lasting legacy on the city in return.

Duke University’s Pauli Murray Project has been working to document this legacy and recently reached an important milestone: the project begins the restoration of Pauli Murray’s historic house in southwest Durham this summer.

The largest mass murder of gay individuals in America occurred at The Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans when 32 people were killed in a fire. Robert Camina's documentary 'Upstairs Inferno' looks back at it.
Robert Camina

Four years after the Stonewall riots, someone deliberately set fire to The Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Thirty-two people were killed, and many more were injured. It was the largest killing of gay individuals in American history, but to this day, little remains known about the tragedy. The new documentary “Upstairs Inferno” traces the story of the fire and documents the effect it had on survivors and the community.

A portrait of Deondra Rose when she was four
Deondra Rose

Deondra Rose has always been 10 steps ahead of her peers.

She took an interest in government and politics in first grade while running for student council and says that many of her most vivid memories about growing up revolve around electoral politics—like when she lost her first election in 4th grade because she refused to vote for herself.

The live orchestra that accompanied the premiere of Blair Tindall's 'Mozart In The Jungle.' Many of them were onscreen for the series as well.
Blair Tindall

Oboist and Chapel Hill native Blair Tindall has played with some of the biggest names in classical music. She has performed on stage at Carnegie Hall and played in the orchestra pit for Broadway musicals like Les Miserables andMiss Saigon.

Why I Am A Salafi

Aug 12, 2015
Cover of Michael Muhammad Knight's book 'Why I Am A Salafi'
Michael Muhammad Knight

Michael Muhammad Knight grew up in an Irish-Catholic-working-class family in upstate New York. And as a teenager, he found himself at a unique crossroads: he wanted to either continue writing letters to Charles Manson or devote his time to studying Islam.

He chose the latter, and that decision changed the course of his life. A year later, Knight had converted to Islam and spent two months studying the religion in Pakistan.