“Rumors” & “Vanya, Sonia, Masha, & Spike”

This week on Arts Magazine, director Bill Pelletier will talk about the Barn Players production of Rumors, and director Greg Chafin will tell us about the City Theatre of Independence production of Vanya, Sonia, Masha, And Spike.

“Modern Dystopia” with George Baggett

Baggett is a long-time observer of the art of propaganda with experience as an environmental activist and a corporate-employed scientist. He will discuss how modern techniques in mass media and internet have created more effective propaganda platforms from the right and the left–used to polarize our society.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline – No!

APPPL, Alliance to Protect Our People and the Places We Live, is a grassroots organization formed in 2016 to protect North Carolina and her people. For two weeks in March 2017, they walked 200 miles along the route planned for a fracked gas pipeline to warn and unify against violations of native rights, forced land seizures and damage to farmland, health and environmental hazards, and the creation of “sacrifice zones” targeted on poor people and people of color. Also heard in this program, two speakers from a Native Nations Rise rally held in Washington, D.C. against Dakota Access pipeline approval.


Speakers in North Carolina: Ericka Faircloth of the Lumbee Tribe, speaking for the Coalition of Woodland Nations; Connie Leeper, an organizer with the environmental group NC WARN; Barbara Exum, representing a cohesive African American community where land is being commandeered for the pipeline; Emmy Wyman, rally emcee; Emily Saba, 20, a college student from Charlotte. Speakers in Washington DC: Helena Wong from the group It Takes Roots, and Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington State.


Recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus; WINGS series producer, Frieda Werden.

Brightness of Courage: Regulating Gender in Public Spaces (ENCORE)

On this encore edition of Making Contact, we look at some of the struggles and victories in the fight for transgender access to gender-specific spaces and programs.


Gavin Grimm, high school senior; Joshua Block, attorney representing Gavin Grimm, American Civil Liberties Union; Stephanie Paige, US Army veteran; Michelle Lael-Norsworthy, founder of Joan’s House, a non-profit transgender shelter project in San Francisco; James Moran, Los Angeles LGBT Center; Drian Juarez, program manager for Los Angeles LGBT Centers Transgender Economic Empowerment Project; Judy Chiasson, Program Coordinator for LA Unified School District’s Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity; Eli Erlick, Director of Trans Student Educational Resources; and the trans, queer, and non-binary youth Sarah, Matthias, and Rachel.


Host: Monica Lopez; Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Marie Choi, Monica Lopez, R.J. Lozada; Executive Director: Lisa Rudman; Audience Engagement Manager: Sabine Blaizin; Web Editor: Kwan Booth; Development Associate: Vera Tykulsker;
Contributing Producers: Larry Buhl, Lena Nozizwe.

Ramadan Tent Project 2017

The Ramadan Tent Project began in London and it attracted international attention in 2011. A group of students from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies set up a tent in the university’s garden and invited those passing by to join them in breaking the fast.

Now the Ramadan Tent Project has spread to five different countries including the United States. The goal of the Ramadan Tent Project is social change. Its mission is to provide Iftar – the dinner to break ones fast – to Muslims as well as anyone else during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The first ever Ramadan Tent Project in the United States was held in 2016 in Beaverton, Oregon. The students who brought it to Portland will do it again this year. We will hear about this event and we will hear about the heart of Islam from two bright and compassionate university students, Sadaf Assadi and Hanan Alzubaidy.

Progressive Spirit is an hour-long program produced weekly at KBOO in Portland, Oregon by John Shuck. The show features authors, scholars, artists, and activists who have something to say about social justice and human flourishing. Progressive Spirit is distributed through audioport and PRX. The website is www.progressivespirit.net. John also produces a monthly show, The Beloved Community, that airs every second Friday at 9 am on KBOO along similar themes.

Wildness in a Modern Age – The Reintroduction of Wolves to the Landscape with Brenda Peterson

There are some successful programs to reintroduce wild wolves into their natural habitat in the U.S. This keystone species recovery activity is a long game and there remains much opposition to this movement, at least some of which stems from our mythological view of wolves as standing for all that is vicious, dangerous, and savage. Brenda Peterson outlines the uphill battle that this endangered species is undergoing. She shares many stories, including her experience of the capturing, transferring, and release of a wolf pack into the wild. She reminds us that Jacques Cousteau once said that people protect what they love, and she encourages us to become intimate with the wild: “If you don’t have intimacy with the wild, if you don’t get out into the woods, if you don’t get out into the oceans, if you don’t have a sense that there is this natural, beautiful, wondrous world out there that you can be intimate with, then you are losing what it is to be human. Acquaint yourself with others who don’t mirror us, who we don’t domesticate, who don’t serve us. Loving that, I think, is a much higher form of love.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Brenda Peterson is a novelist, nature writer, and writing teacher. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Orion Magazine, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She’s a regular commentator for Seattle NPR and the Huffington Post.

Brenda Peterson is the author of eighteen books, including:

To learn more about the work of Brenda Peterson go to www.brendapetersonbooks.com.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How growing up in the Sierra Nevada in the Plumas National Forest taught Peterson to love what was wild and untamed
  • What is a keystone species and why is it important to the health of an ecosystem
  • What is the trophic cascade theory and how does it improve an ecosystem
  • What is the complex society that makes up a wolf pack
  • Why is calling someone a “lone-wolf” not based on the reality of wolf family values
  • How male and female wolves share in leading a pack
  • Who was Aldo Leopold and how did he change from being a tracker to being an advocate for wolves
  • Why are animals important to a mountain
  • What is the story of OR7, the seventh wolf to be radio collared
  • What is the significance of the wolf song
  • Why has the Supreme Court ruled that domesticated dogs, but not wild animals, are sentient beings
  • What is the kinship system as practiced by indigenous cultures

Host: Justine Willis Toms          Interview Date: 3/24/2017         Program Number: 3611

Viewing Human History As A Spiritual Epic with Robert Atkinson, Ph.D.

Robert Atkinson offers a deeply thoughtful view of conscious evolution drawn from the continuous wisdom of the world’s religions. He inspires hope as he traces love’s unifying power throughout history, and encourages us not to be distracted by seeming setbacks. This big picture view of human progress points to peaceful unity as our ultimate destination. How we get there depends on the stories we live by and the action we take. He says, love is the spiritual activism of our time.” Atkinson’s research shows that all the world’s religions are like branches of the same sacred tree, revealing the metaphor: “The sacred tree has many branches but is one tree that has the same source and is nurtured by the same source. New branches come along at a time when they’re needed and that’s the way it’s going to continue forever.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Robert Atkinson, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on life story interviewing, personal mythmaking, and soul-making, and is professor emeritus of cross-cultural human development and religious studies at the University of Southern Maine. He’s the director of Story Commons. His journeys have taken him on a series of adventures, including: sailing on the maiden voyage of the Clearwater with Pete Seeger and his singing crew; attending the Woodstock music festival; living in a cabin in the woods near the Hudson River; visiting Arlo Guthrie at his farm in the Berkshires; having a synchronistic and fateful meeting with Joseph Campbell that became a mentoring relationship; being given a cell in a Franciscan monastery as a guest; and, returning to teach a course at Southampton College, all of which frame his memoir of that period, Remembering 1969.

Robert Atkinson’s books include:

To learn more about the work of Robert Atkinson go to www.robertatkinson.net.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How to look at human history as a spiritual epic
  • How the laws of the cosmos obey the same laws of nature as our own planet
  • How he met and traveled with Pete Seeger and was mentored by Joseph Campbell
  • How beneath our differences and diversity there is a unity
  • How the Golden Rule unifies all religions
  • What are the 8 precepts of the Bahá’í religion
  • How true religions are in harmony with science
  • How there is a spiritual solution to the world’s economic problems
  • Why we must accept the principle of the oneness of humanity even in its diversity
  • How love is the magnetic force that holds the universe together
  • How the world’s religions form the many branches of one sacred tree

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 4/8/2017         Program Number: 3605

Becoming a Trustworthy Listener with Andrew Forsthoefel

Andrew Forsthoefel created for himself a coming of age ritual. After graduating from college, he took a year to walk 4,000 miles across America. Along the way he experienced the hospitality of strangers and encountered countless remarkable stories. After several months on the road Andrew began to realize that people are generally kind-hearted. He explains, “I began to realize that people were basically kind and generous and the way people were responding to me had a lot to do with the way I was seeing them. I was seeing them as worthy of my time. I was seeing them as worthy of my respect and even reverence, and seeing them as teachers.” As he traveled he learned that if he could become a “trustworthy listener” people will share their unique “song” with him. He says, “My job is to become trustworthy, expectationless, agendaless, nonjudgmental. To become a safe environment so that of your own volition you would choose to offer me something. You would gift me or honor me with something. I’m not going to steal it from you. That’s this work. That’s this practice of becoming a trustworthy listener.” Listen and be inspired by this authentic voice as you hear the many remarkable stories of his encounters on the road. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Andrew Forsthoefel is a writer, radio producer, and public speaker based in Northampton, Massachusetts. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2011 with a degree in environmental studies, he spent 11 months walking across the United States, gathering stories along the way. He first recounted part of that journey in a radio story featured on This American Life. He facilitates workshops on walking and listening as practices in personal transformation, interconnection, and conflict resolution.

Andrew Forsthoefel is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Andrew Forsthoefel go to www.livingtolisten.com.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • The questions Andrew asked himself that precipitated his decision to walk across America
  • What were his first encounters as Andrew set off on his trek
  • How did Andrew work with fear as it arose
  • How Andrew handled racial prejudice
  • What kinds of questions did he ask of those he met on the road
  • What does it mean to be a trustworthy listener
  • How the poets Rainer Maria Rilke and Walt Whitman were his companions
  • How the experience of solitude is a privilege not a deprivation
  • What are some of the examples of the many kindnesses given to Andrew on the road
  • How he dedicated his walk to be of benefit to others
  • How he survived walking through Death Valley in the hottest time of year

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 4/1/2017         Program Number: 3610