Shawn Wen

Associate Producer, "The State of Things"

Shawn Wen joined the staff of The State of Things in March 2012 and served as associate producer until February 2014.

She is a writer and multimedia artist. Her radio work has aired on This American Life, Studio 360, Marketplace, Freakonomics, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

Her video work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Carpenter Center for Visual Art at Harvard University, and the Camden International Film Festival.

Shawn is the recipient of the Royce Fellowship and the Third Coast Scholarship. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Literary Arts.

The Bulltown Strutters bring the street band traditions of New Orleans to their own home in Durham, NC. The 20-member group urges their audiences to join them in parade, dance, and merry-making.

Bo Xilai was a fast-rising politician in China. His sudden downfall plays out like a soap opera, with stories of corruption, hidden money, and murder. This story was picked up by the international press, but the details first broke on a Chinese language website called Boxun.com, which is run out of an office in Durham, NC. Host Frank Stasio will take a look at citizen journalism, working from half a world away with Watson Meng, the founder and editor of Boxun.com, and Scott Savitt, a China journalist and translator.

North Carolina music legend Doc Watson died yesterday in Winston-Salem, NC. He was 89. Watson was a guitarist and folk singer, best known for his flat-picking style on the guitar.

Amazing Gifts

May 24, 2012

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act opened up a host of protections for people with disabilities. Amongst its gains, it banned workplace discrimination and forced government and commercial spaces to become more accessible.

The North Carolina Hops & Roots Festival brings together local music, local beer, and food grown on local farms.

As the John Edwards trial winds down, North Carolina sits back to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy: the rise and fall of one of its native sons. Edwards is charged with using more than a million dollars of political donations to hide his extramarital affair. If convicted, he faces more than 30 years in jail. Host Frank Stasio gets an update on the trial from WUNC reporter Jeff Tiberii.

For the past 25 years, North Carolina’s once-vibrant furniture industry has been dwindling. Factories have moved abroad and thousands of jobs have been lost. But now, things might be turning around. As countries like China develop a higher standard of living, it's no longer cheaper for companies to move there. Some businesses are finding it cheaper to operate in the U.S. where, conveniently, there already are empty factories and a trained workforce.

On the album "Muse and Bones," Crystal Bright's voice is clear and theatrical. She plays accordion, saw, keyboards, adungu, concertina, and bombo.

A group of Duke University undergraduates decided to fulfill the requirements for a group project by asking their peers on campus, "Who needs feminism?" To their surprise, the world answered them. Their project’s Tumblr blog has received more than 80,000 visits from 144 countries and 11,000 people have "liked" their page on Facebook.

Meet Joe Liles

May 7, 2012

On the Appalachian Trail, there’s a phenomenon that hikers call “trail magic.” It refers to acts of kindness and generosity that take place between strangers on the trail.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court allowed unlimited corporate political spending, paving the way for companies like Bank of America to contribute millions of dollars in political donations.

Jude the Obscure

May 1, 2012

When "Jude the Obscure" was published in 1895, the criticism Thomas Hardy received was so harsh that he vowed never to write another book. And he didn’t. Time has ushered this novel into the English canon, and now the Burning Coal Theatre is resurrecting it for the stage as a two-part musical. Host Frank Stasio talks to the play’s director, Jerome Davis, and playwright Ian Finley to discuss the relevance of Hardy’s work more than a century after it was published. Actors Stephen Letrent and Alice Rothman-Hicks, playing Jude and Sue respectively, join to perform scenes from the play.

Aviaries

May 1, 2012

Yvonne Murphy loves a good paradox. Her poetry focuses on the embodiments of irony that are all around us. For instance: the aviary is meant to cage birds without appearing to cage birds.

The Novel World

Apr 26, 2012

Steve Jobs famously said, “People don’t read anymore.” Ironically, after his death, his biography went on to become the bestselling book on Amazon last year. Nancy Armstrong researches how books –

Mandolin Orange

Apr 20, 2012

Mandolin Orange has ripened since their first album. Their recently released double CD "Haste Make/Hard-Hearted Stranger" includes new instruments, new collaborators and sophisticated production.

After her mother’s death, photographer Jamaica Gilmer interviewed the women in her family about the times they struggled with identity and how they developed their notions of beauty.

A war is staged in the 123 pages of “The Lifespan of a Fact” (W.W. Norton/ 2012). On the one side, the author John D'Agata defends the merits of artistic license, a certain right for the creator to embellish facts.

Shades of Gray

Apr 10, 2012

Before September 11th, 2001, Andy Holloman owned a successful travel agency in the Triangle region of North Carolina. The murder of one of his clients, coupled with the collapse of his business, led him to

NCCU Quiz Bowl

Apr 6, 2012

Quiz bowl is a competition of knowledge. The players train with the devotion of athletes, but they answer questions, rather than make baskets or score touchdowns. The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a quiz bowl circuit specifically for historically black colleges and universities, and North Carolina Central University has one of the best teams.

Midtown Dickens

Apr 6, 2012

Midtown Dickens' Kym Register and Catherine Edgerton have been friends since they were 16. They started making music together, even though they could barely play instruments at the time, and their first venues were living rooms, basements and parking decks.

Full Frame

Apr 3, 2012

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off Thursday, April 12. Out of 1,200 films submitted in the New Docs category, only 60 were chosen for viewing.

One of them, “CatCam,” is a short film by first- time director Seth Keal. It’s the only movie at Full Frame this year that has the distinction of having sizable chunks of it shot by a cat. Host Frank Stasio talks to director Seth Keal about “CatCam” and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Saba Barnard is a Muslim-American artist who is pushing back against the common, one-note portrays of Muslims in mainstream art and media.

Onward Soldiers

Mar 30, 2012

The Wilmington-based band Onward Soldiers are an eclectic group. Their style of music depends on who you ask, but they are comfortable playing pop, rock and country.

When Stephen Jaffe was a child, his parents forbade him and his siblings from pursuing a career in music. Now all three are professional musicians, and Jaffe is being inducted in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Raleigh's own Public Policy Polling first established a reputation for accuracy in the 2008 presidential election, but they stay in news with their sense of humor.

More than a half century before 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida, another black teenager named Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. “Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till” tells his story, with actor Mike Wiley playing all 36 roles in film.

After 110 years in Southeast Raleigh, the town's YWCA has closed. The staff was fired on just one day's notice, and the programs that served the community are gone. Journalist Cash Michaels has been following this story closely for the Carolinian newspaper. He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the sudden closing and its impact in Raleigh.

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