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
11:41 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Blue Ribbon Memories

Blue Ribbon Memories
Credit statefair.ncdcr.gov

Countless memories are made at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh every year, but now the State Library has created an easy way for people to share their fair experiences with others. A new Website called Blue Ribbon Memories allows people to submit writings and photographs about their fondest times at the fair. The site is also an interactive archive of documents related to the event’s long history. Lisa Gregory of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources State Library joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the online project and what the first state fair in 1853 was like.

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State of Things
11:27 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Who Wrote the Bible?

Forged

Most Biblical scholars recognize that many books of the Bible were not written by the authors commonly attributed to them. But academics often excuse this because they believe writing in the name of another was a commonly accepted practice in the ancient world. In his latest book, "Forged" (HarperOne Publishers/2011), Bart D. Ehrman argues that forgery was not sanctioned in the ancient world. What does this mean for our understanding of the Bible as a historical document and a theological text? Host Frank Stasio talks with Ehrman, head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about the authors of the New Testament.

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State of Things
11:05 am
Wed October 19, 2011

The Tanning of America

The Tanning of America
Credit tanningofamerica.com

Steve Stoute has been in the middle of the hip-hop revolution since the early days, first as a music producer and promoter, then as a million-dollar marketer. He founded his own company, Translation, which has brokered deals between uber-corporations and megastars like Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Justin Timberlake. In a new book, "The Tanning of America" (Gotham/2011), Stoute reflects on the power of hip-hop culture to transform not just what we buy and sell but how we see one another. Host Frank Stasio talks with Stoute in advance of his appearance on Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal's webcast “Left of Black” tonight at the John Hope Franklin Center in Durham.

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State of Things
1:05 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

The Guerrilla Girls Take the Nasher

The Guerrilla Girls
Credit www.guerrillagirls.com

In the mid-1980s there were two kinds of feminist art: works by women shown inside museums and clever protests staged by activists outside of museums. The Guerrilla Girls invented the latter. But these days, they struggle with being part of the former. The Guerrilla Girls are a rotating group of masked female artists who call attention to discrimination against female artists and artists of color in the art world. But in the last decade, The Guerrilla Girls have come inside the museum. Their work has been featured in many group and solo shows around the world. They are a cornerstone of the exhibit currently on display at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University called “The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973 to 1991.” The Guerrilla Girls assume the names of famous dead women artists and today Frida Kahlo and Kathe Kollwitz join host Frank Stasio to talk about their art and their activism.

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State of Things
12:57 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

Breakthrough

Lucy Daniels
Credit www.drlucydaniels.com

Lucy Daniels has spent years exploring the connection between mental trauma and artistic creativity. She is a writer, a psychologist and the founder of two non-profit groups. The Lucy Daniels Foundation fosters emotional and creative freedom through psychoanalytic treatment. The Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood promotes the emotional development of young children. In a new documentary, "Breakthrough," Daniels and seven other artists recount their stories of finding freedom and artistic power through psychoanalysis. Host Frank Stasio talks with Daniels about the film and her story.

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State of Things
10:27 am
Mon October 17, 2011

Meet Rex Miller

Professional tennis players like to say that to master the game, you must first log no less than 10,000 hours on the court. Rex Miller crossed that threshold before the age of 10. Both of Miller’s parents were tennis players and they often brought him to the court as a child, first to observe, then to learn the game. Miller followed in their footsteps and played competitively for many years, but eventually he was distracted from tennis by his true calling: visual storytelling. He is now an award-winning photographer and a documentary filmmaker.

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State of Things
12:31 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Visual Activism

Durham artist Franco calls himself a visual activist.
Credit francoproject.com

Durham artist Franco calls himself a visual activist. It's a title best represented in works such as “Box Reality.” That piece appears to show a brightly rendered Crayola box, but on closer inspection, viewers see five upraised fists sticking out instead of crayons. They’re a rainbow of skin colors, and the words on the front of the box read: “5 Colors: Same But Different.” Franco's work is on display at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham until October 30. Host Frank Stasio talks to him about his work and visual activism.

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State of Things
12:22 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Rock for Reproductive Rights

Toshi Reagon
Credit toshireagon.com

Musician Toshi Reagon is the product of a strong musical heritage. Her mother is Bernice Johnson Reagon, a '60s activist who helped found the Freedom Singers along with Toshi’s father, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. Toshi's big break in music came when Lenny Kravitz chose her for his opening act on his first world tour. She has continued to perform ever since, covering a range of genres that includes rock, country, folk and R & B. This weekend, she’s headlining the Ipas Rock for Reproductive Rights in Durham at Motorco Music Hall. Host Frank Stasio talks with Toshi Reagon about the concert and her career as a performer.

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State of Things
11:51 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Stories of AIDS

Stories of AIDS
Credit andrewfinnmagill.com

Musicians Peter Mawanga and Andrew Finn Magill know that when people hear statistics about HIV, they usually tune out. So, the duo decided to use their artistic abilities to convey the tragedy caused by AIDS in Africa and make people pay attention. They collected the personal narratives of HIV patients and their family members and turned them into songs for a CD project called “Mau A Malawi: Stories of AIDS.” Each track is sung in English and in Chichewa, the language of Mawanga’s homeland, Malawi. Magill, a Chapel Hill resident, and Mawanga join host Frank Stasio to play live and talk about how they came to collaborate on this project.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Thu October 13, 2011

Happily Ever After

A study by the Pew Research Center reveals that marriage has increasingly become a privilege of the well-off and highly educated. The study also found that fewer Americans are choosing to get married and that they are waiting longer before they tie the knot.

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