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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The State of Things
11:18 am
Fri March 25, 2011

"Th' Bullfrog" Willard McGhee

Credit www.reverbnation.com/thbullfrogwillardmcghee

Musician “Th’ Bullfrog” Willard McGhee has nothing but respect for the blues greats of the Piedmont. In fact, McGhee would love to see more being done to honor blues pioneers like Blind Boy Fuller and Floyd Council. Their legacies live on in McGhee’s music. His new CD project, recorded with fellow blues guitarist Tad Walters, is called “Stealin’ Gasoline.” In the tradition of blues, the songs are personal and poignant and sometimes racy.

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The State of Things
12:02 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

Examining Cult Culture

Host Frank Stasio examines public perception of new religious movements

The word “cult” comes from a Latin root word that translates into “ritual.” But in the modern era, the word has acquired derogatory connotations – used to describe spiritual, political or social groups that challenge conventional beliefs. In North Carolina, police are investigating the possibility of a connection between two missing persons and a Durham congregation that has been characterized as a cult. Could use of that word in the news coverage of the case influence its outcome? Host Frank Stasio examines public perception of new religious movements with James Tabor, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Sean McCloud, an associate professor of religious studies and American studies affiliate at UNC-Charlotte; Benjamin Zeller, an assistant professor of religious studies at Brevard College; and Lisa Kerr, founder of the Web site www.mycultlife.com. Listener Call-in.

The State of Things
1:11 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

NPR Question And Answer

Alicia C. Shepard

Host Frank Stasio talks about the future of public broadcasting with NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard.

National Public Radio has taken a lot of hits lately. A recent hidden camera video showed the organization’s top fundraiser, Ron Schiller, making inappropriate comments about Tea Party members and saying that NPR could survive without federal funding. The tape was deceptively edited, but the damage was done. Schiller resigned in the aftermath along with the CEO of NPR. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would block federal funding for NPR. Host Frank Stasio talks about the future of public broadcasting with NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard.

The State of Things
1:06 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

One Big Table

'One Big Table' by Molly O'Neill

O'Neill joins Frank Stasio to talk about how regional cooking is part of regional identity in America.

Molly O'Neill is a celebrated chef, cookbook author and restaurant reviewer. She spent years writing about food and the culture of food for the New York Times. Her new book, "One Big Table" (Simon and Schuster 2010) investigates the allegations that Americans no longer cook. She traveled all over the country and can happily report that Americans do, in fact cook, but even more importantly, Americans still love to eat.

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The State of Things
12:39 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

The Art Of Sexuality

Carolee Schneemann

Schneemann joins host Frank Stasio ahead of her appearance at the Nasher Museum.

Artist Carolee Schneemann became an icon of feminist art in the 1960s and 1970s for works that tackled sexuality, the human body and gender. She is perhaps best known for provocative pieces like 1964's "Fuses," which featured her having sex with her boyfriend at the time and included her cat as a silent observer.

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The State of Things
11:47 am
Tue March 22, 2011

A Renaissance Man For The Modern Age

www.bard.edu
Credit www.bard.edu

Leon Botstein speaks with host Frank Stasio before giving a series of talks at Duke University.

Leon Botstein is on a mission to make Americans think more. As president of Bard College in New York's Hudson Valley, he pushes science education as well as arts and humanities. This may surprise classical music fans who know him best as the music director and conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. But Botstein clings to a classical view of academics, insisting that knowing something about everything is the best way to create an informed citizenry.

The State of Things
11:39 am
Tue March 22, 2011

A North Carolinian's New York Stories

'I Totally Meant to Do That' by Jane Borden

Host Frank Stasio talks with her about what it means to love two places.

When Jane Borden moved to Manhattan after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she thought she would have no trouble leaving her Southern home behind. Turns out she didn't count on the voice of her Aunt Jane, which she seemed to hear wherever she went in the Big Apple. In an endearing collection of essays called "I Totally Meant to Do That” (Broadway Paperbacks/2011), Borden recalls her Southern fish-out-of-water experiences with humor and affection for both North Carolina and New York.

The State of Things
11:18 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Meet Samia Serageldin

Credit www.harpercollins.co.uk

Seragledin was in Egypt during the recent revolution and she joins host Frank Stasio today to talk about her home country's past, present and future.

Growing up in Egypt, Samia Serageldin didn't think about becoming a writer. She was more worried about the fate of her family whose political activity set them against the ruling parties under Nasser, then Sadat. She married and moved to London at age 20 with her husband. Except for two brief years of hopeful return to Egypt in the late 1970s, Serageldin has been an expatriate, living in Michigan, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Her autobiographical first novel, “The Cairo House,” was published in 2000 and chronicles the rise and fall of a class of Egyptians caught between Western and traditional influences. Her subsequent books, “The Naqib’s Daughter” and “Love is Like Water,” also focus on Egypt.

The State of Things
12:05 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

The Lee Boys

The Lee Boys

Lee Boys Alvin Lee, Derrick Lee and Roosevelt Collier joining host Frank Stasio to perform in our studio in advance of tonight’s appearance at the Sacred Steel conference at the Carrboro ArtsCenter.

The Lee Boys play Sacred Steel, so called because of its roots in gospel and the pedal steel guitar that drives the sound. Made up of three brothers and their nephews, the band members all learned to play at the House of God Church in Perrine, Fla., where their father was a pastor. They integrated blues, rock, jazz and funk elements into their sound, creating an energetic and uplifting music, which they have showcased at churches, clubs and festivals across the country.

The State of Things
11:50 am
Fri March 18, 2011

"Butterfly's Child"

'Butterfly's Child' by Angela Davis-Gardner

Angela Davis-Gardner joins host Frank Stasio in the studio to talk about writing and loving Japan.

Raleigh writer Angela Davis-Gardner loves Japan. She went there to teach when she was a young woman fresh from her undergraduate studies at Duke University. The landscape and the people stayed in her imagination so profoundly that she has visited several times and set her most recent books there. “Plum Wine” examines the aftermath of World War II in Japan. And her new book, “Butterfly’s Child” (The Dial Press/2011) moves between Japan and America at the end of the 19th century.

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