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
12:25 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

The Kruger Brothers

The Kruger Brothers
Credit krugerbrothers.com

Swiss brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger have played music together since they were very young, but their band never seemed quite complete – until they met New Yorker Joel Landsberg. Landsberg shared their love of musical creativity and everything started coming together. The trio began playing for Swiss audiences, eventually making their American debut in 1997. The band is now based in North Carolina, a place they credit for inspiring their early sound. The Kruger Brothers perform tonight in Raleigh, but first they join host Frank Stasio in the studio to talk about their alliance and their music.

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State of Things
11:55 am
Thu November 3, 2011

The Jade City Pharaoh

Comic artwork by Franco

When last we left superhero Herald M.F. Jones, he was saving the people of Jade City from the controlling clutches of corrupt, charismatic villains. That was in “Jade City Chronicles,” a stage production that ran at Man Bites Dog Theater in Durham last summer. Since then, playwright Howard Craft has written even more spectacular adventures for Herald, an African-American vigilante with a unique past and supernatural abilities. The new chapters of Herald’s life will be heard on the radio in a new series called “The Jade City Pharaoh,” which is in development to premiere on WUNC’s “The State of Things” in December. Craft joins host Frank Stasio to talk about creating a modern-day hero that’s perfect for the stage, the comic strip and the airwaves.

SPECIAL EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Jade City Pharaoh is coming to "The State of Things" on WUNC! Join host Frank Stasio at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC on Friday, November 4th at 8 p.m. for a benefit to support a new radio drama series starring Herald MF Jones, the bad ass black superhero of "Jade City Chronicles." It's an evening of live music, visual art, spoken word and audience participation with playwright Howard Craft, Shirlette Ammons & the Dynamite Brothers, Poetic Portraits of a Revolution, Franco, Kim Arrington and more. Tickets start at just $25! For more information, click here.

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State of Things
11:45 am
Wed November 2, 2011

What to do With the Big Banks

On Tuesday, Bank of America ditched its plans to begin charging customers a monthly fee to use their debit cards. The decision to abandon the fee comes in response to consumer complaints to the proposal. Among those complaints is a movement called Bank Transfer Day, which urges consumers to move their money from banks to credit unions. Host Frank Stasio talks with experts in personal finance and banking about the role of big banks, small banks and credit unions in our lives and in the emerging economy.

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State of Things
12:01 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Bleeding Pines of Turpentine

''Bleeding Pines of Turpentine''
Credit http://www.mooreart.org/programs/bleeding-pines-of-turpentine/

In the pre-colonial era, vast forests of long leaf pines stretched along the eastern seaboard from what is today upstate New York as far south and west as east Texas. By the time Helen Boyd Dull came south to visit the North Carolina Sandhills in the early 1900s, millions of acres of long leafs had fallen to logging or been gutted to make tar and turpentine. At her urging, Helen Boyd Dull's father preserved a stand of these old trees that became known as Weymouth Woods in Southern Pines, NC. Historian and artist Ray Owen has created an homage to Helen Boyd Dull and the trees she saved in a new performance piece called "Bleeding Pines of Turpentine." Owen and choirmaster Rod Brower of the Together-N-Unity Choir join host Frank Stasio to talk about the story of the long leaf pine and telling it through music, dance and spoken word.

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State of Things
11:56 am
Tue November 1, 2011

How America Eats

Book cover, ''The Great American Cookbook'' by Clementine Paddleford

Cookbooks are a lone shining light in all of publishing at the moment. Last year, more than 60 million of them were sold, but many of the bestselling titles were written by celebrities. What are we getting from our cookbooks? Do we read cookbooks to actually learn something or to live a vicarious life? Cookbook author Michael Ruhlman and food writer Kelly Alexander join host Frank Stasio to ponder those questions and talk about how America eats. Ruhlman, a writer and cook, recently released “Ruhlman’s Twenty” (Chronicle Books/2011) and Alexander contributed the introduction to “The Great American Cookbook” (Rizzoli/2011), a reissue of Clementine Paddleford’s classic cookbook from 1960.

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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
11:47 am
Fri October 28, 2011

The Undead

Dr. Barry Saunders holds a Ph.D in religious studies, in addition to being a physician. He’s seen the horrors that can happen in a hospital setting and those experiences help him relate to literature about the living dead. Saunders believes that in many ways, vampires, zombies and other creatures are cultural reflections of our society’s feelings about death and dying. In the spring, Saunders will teach a seminar course called “The Undead: Bodies In Between” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is an associate professor of social medicine.

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State of Things
11:38 am
Fri October 28, 2011

Southern Culture on the Skids

Southern Culture on the Skids
Credit scots.com

For more than 20 years, Southern Culture on the Skids has wowed crowds all over the South. They’ve performed in North Carolina’s prisons, made a habit of throwing food into the audience, and now they’ve been turned into zombies. Their 1998 album, “Zombified,” has recently been re-released. It’s a tribute to horror movies from the 1960’s and 70’s, and is out again in time for Halloween. Southern Culture on the Skids joins host Frank Stasio to play live and talk about finding the fun in what frightens us.

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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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