Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

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State of Things
10:24 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Fishing for Families in Need

www.f4fn.com
Credit www.f4fn.com

Duke University freshman Lucas Metropulos likes to help his community. He's volunteered in soup kitchens, grown food in community gardens and now he's leading his own volunteer organization. Metropulos started Fishing for Families in Need to teach people how to fish, and he teamed up with fishermen to donate fresh fish to soup kitchens. The program started in his hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, but the program has spread to Louisiana, Massachusetts and now North Carolina. Host Frank Stasio talks to Lucas Metropulos about Fishing for Families in Need.

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State of Things
10:16 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Race and Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread across the country and captured the attention of millions of Americans. The movement deals with national issues, but it doesn't necessarily represent all factions of society. Are minorities being well represented in the revolution of the 99 percent?

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State of Things
8:46 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Meet Grant Llewellyn

Grant Llewellyn
Credit www.ncsymphony.org Audio File:

Welsh conductor Grant Llewellyn has been the music director of the North Carolina Symphony since 2004, but his music history can be traced all the way back to his childhood. His cockney grandmother used to sit at the decrepit piano in the family’s living room in Wales. There she would play badly from her limited repertoire of waltzes. Grant’s musical abilities were more auspicious. He trained from an early age in the piano and the cello, but in his late teenage years, he became fascinated with another aspect of music: conducting. Since embarking on that path, his work has spanned the globe.

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State of Things
10:16 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Madly Love

Madly Love
Credit http://katharinewhalenmusic.com

Katherine Whalen has been a force on the local music scene for 20 years, from her time with The Squirrel Nut Zippers to her current band The Fascinators. But her new CD, "Madly Love" is her first truly solo venture. She is artistically in command of the entire process from songwriting to recording. Katherine Whalen joins host Frank Stasio today to sample her new CD.

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State of Things
10:12 am
Fri November 11, 2011

God Bless America

God Bless America
Credit www.stevenalmond.com

Writer Steve Almond is celebrated for his dark humor and imaginative prose. He chose to publish his latest collection of short stories, "God Bless America"(Lookout Books/2011) with Lookout, the new press at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The book features an array of discontented Americans coming to terms with their pasts and futures in a country unsure of its present. He's touring the state in support of his short story collection and Lookout. He stops by our studios to visit with host Frank Stasio today.

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State of Things
10:04 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Healing the Wounds of War

Heroes Homecoming
Credit www.heroeshomecoming.com

As the nation honors its war veterans today, host Frank Stasio talks with two men who fought in Vietnam about returning from war. Stephen Miles is a veteran, and playwright and poet who lives in Fayetteville. The town, adjacent to Fort Bragg, is hosting an extended series of events this month called Heroes Homecoming, aimed at paying tribute to Vietnam veterans. Miles' work was staged at Fayetteville's Gilbert Theater as part of that celebration. Carmen Russioniello is an associate professor who directs East Carolina University's Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic. He studies ways to help today's veterans deal with post traumatic stress disorder and re-entry.

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State of Things
11:48 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Yiddish Music: What's Not To Like?

Yiddish has been called a dying language, but the number of Yiddish speakers is actually on the rise. Just over a thousand years old, Yiddish developed among Jews who had come to Germany from other parts of Europe. Over time it has found its way to every corner of the globe.

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State of Things
11:41 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Mercury, Mining, and Empire

Detail of a silver refining mill in Potosi
Credit www.ehcouncil.org

The roots of today’s global economy can be traced all the way back to Peru in 1569. That’s when a new Spanish viceroy arrived in pursuit of silver that would be used to fund the empire of Spain. Spain’s riches would filter throughout China and Europe, eventually helping fund England’s industrial revolution. But that silver was not easy to get. A popular method of refining the precious metal relied on mercury – with toxic consequences. Host Frank Stasio talks about the history of silver mining with Nicholas Robins, a lecturer in the Department of History at North Carolina State University and author of the book “Mercury, Mining, and Empire: The Human and Ecological Cost of Colonial Silver Mining in the Andes" (Indiana University Press/2011).

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State of Things
11:30 am
Thu November 10, 2011

The Tarball Chronicles

Book cover, ''The Tarball Chronicles''

Last year, the world watched in horror as nearly five million barrels of crude oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill was caused by the explosion of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling for BP. The company frantically tried to cap the spill in the following months. Finally, last July, workers were successful. The world’s outrage subsided, and its attention waned. Not so for Wilmington-based writer David Gessner. He went down to the Gulf of Mexico during the spill to get a first-hand account of what was happening. His experiences there are documented in a new book, “The Tarball Chronicles" (Milkweed Editions/2011). Host Frank Stasio speaks with Gessner, an associate professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, about the BP oil disaster.

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State of Things
11:52 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Marsalis on Mirth and Melancholy

Branford Marsalis
Credit Photo Credit: branfordmarsalis.com

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis is a living legend in the jazz music world. The Grammy Award-winner has been busy with composing original music for the Broadway production of “Mountaintop,” a narrative that imagines the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before his assassination in Memphis, TN.

Marsalis also just completed production on a new album called “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy,” a collaboration with pianist Joey Calderazzo, a fellow Durham resident. This week, Marsalis will be honored with a North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor.

He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the latest achievements in his esteemed career.

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