Charlie Shelton

Producer, "The State of Things"
An image of actor Emily Anderson in 'Orlando'
Alex Maness

In 1928, writer Virginia Woolf portrayed the story of an Elizabethan nobleman in her novel “Orlando: A Biography.” The story follows Orlando as he becomes a woman and travels through time. Orlando’s journey takes on a 21st-century spin in the stage adaptation by Sarah Ruhl. Durham-based theater group The Delta Boys have brought Ruhl’s adaptation to Manbites Dog Theater.

An image of the book cover for 'Dancing in Damascus'
Routledge

In March 2011, many Syrians stood up in the midst of the Arab Spring to protest President Bashar al-Assad and demand the country’s leader step down. Since then, a tumultuous civil war has ensued between the government, its citizens and rebel extremists.

Alexandra Valenti

In 2015, folk singer and songwriter Tift Merritt was busy as a touring musician. At the time she had spent years on the road, was approaching 40 years old and was getting a divorce so she decided to take a year off from touring. During that time she processed her role as a writer and individual. Out of that reflection came her latest album, “Stitch of the World.”

An image of Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson and Kenya Barris
Richard Shotwell / AP Photo

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws closer, popular culture wrestles the influence of the president-elect. In its latest episode, ‘Lemons,’ the ABC television show ‘Black-ish’ grappled with post-election grief and what the impending presidency might mean for communities of color.

 

 

 

 

Host Frank Stasio talked with popular culture experts Mark Anthony Neal and Natalie Bullock Brown about the program and how it compares to political commentary in other television shows.

An image of service members at Camp Lejeune in NC
Public domain

Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune who were exposed to contaminated drinking water now have a chance to receive additional compensation.

The Obama administration will provide more than $2 billion in disability benefits to veterans assigned to Lejeune when the camp's water was tainted between August 1953 and December 1987. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that up to 900,000 service members might have been exposed to the contaminated water.

An image of the book cover 'The Second Mrs. Hockaday'
Algonquin Books

In the summer of 2014, writer Susan Rivers was busy researching historical documents in her local library when she came across something interesting. It was an inquest from 1865 about a young woman who was accused of giving birth to a child and murdering the infant while her husband was away fighting for the Confederacy.

An image of an NSCU biology professor holding a St. Francis satyr butterfly
Jay Price

Note: this program is a rebroadcast from August 17, 2016.

For years, the Pentagon has partnered with conservation groups to protect hundreds of endangered and threatened species on military bases across the country.

The partnership started at Fort Bragg in North Carolina in the early 1990s after a rare woodpecker was found and halted training on parts of the base. Since then, the military and conservationists have worked together to manage the bases' rich ecosystems.

An image of community organizer Bree Newsome
Courtesy of Bree Newsome

Note: This program is a rebroadcast from January 9, 2017.

Activist Bree Newsome gained national attention in the summer of 2015 when she was arrested for scaling the flagpole at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and removing the Confederate flag. The act of civil disobedience took place in the wake of the killing of nine African-American people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

An image of bluegrass mandolinist Sierra Hull
Gina Binkley

Bluegrass singer and songwriter Sierra Hull has been playing music professionally since she was just a kid.

Now, at 25, Sierra has released a new album that is a departure from her previous work. "Weighted Mind" features a more stripped down version of Sierra Hull's sound- a departure from her earlier works. “Weighted Mind” is nominated for a Grammy.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Hull about her life and career, and she performs songs from her new album.

An image of acrots Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the film 'La La Land'
Summit Entertainment

Whether it was action blockbusters like “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” or sci-fi thrillers like “Arrival,” Hollywood offered a dynamic mix for audiences in 2016.
 

For this month’s Movies on the Radio, listeners picked their favorite films from the past year, including critically-acclaimed movies like “La La Land” and “Moonlight." 

Great Dismal Swamp
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

For more than a century before the Civil War, escaped slaves used the thick and shadowy brush of the Great Dismal Swamp as a hideout.

An image of producer Charlie Shelton-Ormond with hip-hop producer  9th Wonder
Anita Rao

As the year wraps up, "The State of Things" takes a moment to reflect on the highlights of 2016 with the program's producers. Some of producer Charlie Shelton-Ormond's favorite segments include conversations with hip-hop producer 9th Wonder and hip-hop artist Rapsody.

He also chose a conversation with members of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team and recaps what brought identical twin comedians the Sklar brothers to the Triangle.
 

Host Frank Stasio talks with producer Charlie Shelton-Ormond about his favorite conversations from 2016. 

 

An image of Negar Mottahedeh
Golbarg Bashi

It's easy to think of a "selfie" as a narcissistic way to accrue "likes" on social media and  flaunt your latest traveling adventures. But every "selfie" tells a story about the photographer's world.

Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor of literature at Duke University in Durham, says taking a selfie is a humanizing way to document history in the age of social media. In a recent speech at TEDxDurham, Mottahedeh illustrated the ways selfies can be used as tools for protest and citizen journalism.

An image pop singer Beyonce
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

 


As the year comes to a close, popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown, professor of film and broadcast media at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, and Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University in Durham, reflect on cultural media that stood out to in 2016.  They shared some of their favorites from the year in music, movies and television on The State of Things with host Frank Stasio.

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.

An image of the book 'Fields of Battle'
Courtesy of Flatiron Books

When most people hear “Rose Bowl,” they immediately think Pasadena, California. But in 1942, the Rose Bowl was relocated to Durham, North Carolina, in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It's the only Rose Bowl played outside of Pasadena, and the game almost did not happened.

In his new book "Fields of Battle: Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl and the Boys Who Went to War" (Flatiron Books/2016), sports writer Brian Curtis tells the story of the game and the men who first met on the field as opponents and later as allies on the front lines.

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."

An image of former UNC housekeepers Barbara Prear and Marsha Tinne
Charlie Shelton-Ormond / WUNC

On November 26, 1996, a group of housekeepers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill settled a lawsuit with the university that provided the workers with increased wages, improved career training and education programs and more transparent communication with university administrators.

The settlement was the culmination of a movement led by the UNC Housekeeper's Association. The group's efforts follow a legacy of activism by workers at UNC-CH.

An image of the book cover for 'Game Changers'
Courtesy of UNC Press

Dean Smith is known as a legendary basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His teams won 879 games and two NCAA national championships.

But one of Smith's most crowning achievements isn't instilled in a trophy. In 1967, Smith recruited basketball player Charlie Scott, the first African-American scholarship athlete at UNC-CH. It was a seminal act for Smith and furthered his push for civil rights in the South.  
 

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.

Image of Ivey Ghee and her mother, participants in the podcast 'Out In The South'
Jeff Sykes

The series "Out In The South" features the narratives of five generations of LGBTQ Southerners. It showcases residents' experiences navigating their identity in a cultural environment that can be supportive at times, and polarizing at others. The series includes a podcast and a written component published by Greensboro-based publication YES!Weekly

Triangle-based musician Jasmé Kelly grew up singing in church choirs and eventually decided to pursue music as an independent musician. Kelly combines her upbringing in gospel with popular blues and soul aesthetics in her new album called "Lady Jasmé."

An image of Dave Chappelle with members of A Tribe Called Quest Joribe White and Q-Tip
Rosalind O'Connor / AP

After years of mostly staying out of the spotlight, comedian Dave Chappelle hosted NBC's  "Saturday Night Live" last week. Chappelle's opening monologue mirrored the stand-up comedy that helped make him famous more than a decade ago. Chappelle's jokes grappled with a Trump presidency.  

An image of Bertha Landis with her children in 1985
Tom Davenport

For more than 80 years, the Landis family has gathered at their family farm in Creedmoor, N.C. for a family reunion. The event is a testament to the strong sense of place and kinship within the family.

An image of classical musicians
Courtesy of Mallarme Chamber Players

Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn is most known for writing more than 100 symphonies in the 18th century. However, Haydn also wrote 175 compositions featuring a unique instrument: the baryton. The baryton is a string instrument similar to a cello in the front with six string that are bowed.

An image of writer Margot Lee Shetterly
Aran Shetterly

From the 1940s through the 1960s, a group of elite black women mathematicians known as "human computers" helped NASA put rockets, and eventually astronauts, into space. The women began working with federal aeronautical agencies at the Langley Research Laboratory during World War II, computing endless sets of data while enduring racial segregation and discrimination of the Jim Crow South. 

Roy Cooper at a podium with his wife, addresses his supporters in Raleigh. North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Cooper and incumbent Pat McCrory are locked in a tie with their race likely heading to a recount.
Brian Batista / WUNC

Last night, North Carolinians watched as successful candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and State Supreme Court took to the podium to thank crowds of exuberant supporters in their acceptance speeches. But one race is still undecided: the race for North Carolina's governor. Only a few thousand votes separated Republican incumbent Pat McCrory from his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. 

President-elect Donald Trump won by nearly four percentage points in North Carolina. He is seen on stage clapping at a rally.
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Voters cast their ballots and elected Donald Trump as their 45th president. Trump won by nearly four percentage points in North Carolina. North Carolinians also re-elected Republican Richard Burr to the Senate, and Democratic Judge Mike Morgan as the newest  N.C. Supreme Court Justice.

An image of writers Clare Beams and April Ayers Lawson
Kristi Jan Hoover/Jason Ayers

When writing a short story, an author must be swift and succinct. A short story does not allow a plot the same amount of breathing room compared to a novel. Writers April Ayers Lawson and Clare Beams welcome the immediacy inherent in a short story as they integrate intimate and engaging tales into their work.

An image of Peter Lamb and the Wolves with Maceo Parker
Peter Lamb and the Wolves

For their latest album, "Carolina Tiger Milk," Triangle-based jazz group Peter Lamb and the Wolves invited some of North Carolina's most prominent musicians.

The band's guest  lineup includes vocalist Django Haskins of The Old Ceremony, saxophonist Maceo Parker and members of the Mint Julep Jazz Band.  

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