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

Image of Duke Professor Missy Cummings, drone advocate and expert.
Missy Cummings

This is a rebroadcast from November 3, 2014. To visit the original post click here.


Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought. 

Image of Cliff Collins, owner of Cliff's Meat Market
D.L. Anderson

Cliff’s Meat Market has been a cornerstone of the food industry in the Triangle for more than four decades. Cliff Collins started the shop when he was in his 20s, and it’s now one of the last family-owned markets in the area. Many have noted that the key to Cliff’s success is his ability to evolve alongside the community he serves and create products to meet their needs.

Image of Katharine Wright sitting beside Wilbur before her first flight in 1909.
Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University

The state of North Carolina has many claims to fame, but there is likely none more popular or controversial than the slogan on the state license plate: “First In Flight.” The phrase commemorates the spectacular achievement of brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright who piloted their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.


Medicaid reform is at the forefront of the state's legislative agenda this session, but legislators are still debating how to design the reform. 

The Senate wants to privatize administration and let commercial insurance companies control the market while the House and Governor McCrory want state health care providers to be in charge. A new report from Wake Forest University argues for a hybrid strategy.

Image from  National Hollerin' Contest archive.
Tony Peacock

Hollerin’ is an ancient form of human communication originally used in rural areas—people would yell from farm-to-farm to share messages over long distances. In 1969, a group of people in Spivey’s Corner, N.C. began the National Hollerin’ Contest to preserve and celebrate this form of communication. 


Image of John Hitchcock with the Front Row Gang
John Hitchcock

Greensboro native John Hitchcock attended nearly every professional wrestling show in the Greensboro Coliseum for 15 years. He was a part of a group of troublemakers who sat in the front of the coliseum cheering loudly for the bad guys and getting a rise out of the crowd and the wrestlers.

Mitchell Oliver

North Carolina native Anne-Claire Niver has been singing since she was a young child. After studying music and vocal performance at UNC-Greensboro and traveling the world, she moved home to North Carolina and started work at a family-owned farm near Rougemont.

Each month WUNC's The State of Things travels to Greensboro for a live show at Triad Stage's UpStage Cabaret. The next show is Tuesday, May 19. The live broadcast starts at noon, but please arrive by 11:45 a.m. to be seated. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

We'll be joined by:

Image of author Katharine Ashe with a fan at a romance convention.
Katharine Ashe

North Carolina is home to a strong writing community. The state’s writing world has flourished in part because of an equally-strong literary ecosystem of publishers, independent bookstores, and readers. The inaugural Read Local Book Festival celebrates this literary ecosystem in downtown Durham this weekend with workshops, author dinners, and more.

Image of Eric Pickersgill's art installation
Eric Pickersgill

For some artists, making art is about creating something distinct from everything else that came before it. But in a new exhibit on view at The Ackland Art Museum, 11 artists explore the flip side of that artistic impulse. Their work raises questions about the value of creating new objects and explores the ethical and environmental implications of this work.