Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Richmond Magazine: Out in the Open

My feature article on the state of Richmond's public art funding, "Out in the Open," is now available for your perusal at the Richmond Magazine website. It begins:

News flash: Richmond’s Public Art Commission will receive $2.8 million next year. That’s about three times what Richmond has allotted for public art in the entire 22-year history of the commission.
“We’ve been so under the radar, mostly dealing with budgets of $25,000 to $35,000, that this is coming as kind of shock to people,” says longtime commission member and artist Paul DiPasquale, who has created such indelible (if privately funded) public art pieces as Richmond’s Arthur Ashe statue and the likeness of King Neptune in Virginia Beach.
“It’s not a wish any longer, it’s reality.” 
Click here to read the rest of "Out in the Open."

Photo by the mighty Isaac Harrell!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Top Doc: Put Me Down Easy

My life as a talking head.

When Jon Lohman of the Virginia Folklife Program came up to WRIR 97.3 FM for his Open Source RVA interview -- you can listen to that show by clicking right here --- he also interviewed me for his new documentary on Hampton soulman-turned-preacher, Charlie McClendon.

The film, Put Me Down Easy, is a work in progress but you can check it out here:


... and for more on the Virginia Folklife Program's special project on Charlie McClendon, including expanded audio excerpts and bonus footage, go right here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Open Source RVA: The Complete Episode Guide

Have you missed an episode or three of Richmond's audio news digest? See the complete link list below to download previous editions of Open Source RVA.

June 7 -   Interview with Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman, plus we introduce VOX RVA
May 31 - Restauranteur Kendra Feather, plus where is Virginia superintendent Patricia Wright?
May 24 - Artist Thomas Van Auken, and our panel dishes on the city identity crisis
May 17 - Richmond Triangle Players, Martha Mullen on the Doswell burial of the Boston bomber
May 10 - Louis Salmonsky and Jim Hester on historic tax credits, interview with Charles Samuels
May 3 -  The Goochland Drive-In Theatre, progressive education at Sabot at Stony Point.
Apr. 26 - Interview with Chris Hilbert, plus William and Mary's new Hip-Hop Archive
Apr. 19 - Politics of minor league baseball, the retirement of schools superintendent Yvonne Brandon
Apr. 12 - Jim Bland, Marty Key and more on Record Store Day, our political pundits talk truth & lies
Apr. 5 -   A panel discussion on gay marriage, a new plan for artist live/work spaces in Richmond
Mar. 29 - Dale Brumfield on the unsolved murder of poet Rik Davis, interview with Lisa Taranto
Mar. 22 - School truancy, interview w/ Peter and Francoise Kirkpatrick of the French Film Festival
Special -  OSRVA Extra! The Richmond School Board budget is scrutinized.
Mar. 15 - Andy Stefanovich & more on TEDX, Jon Baliles and Doug Dunlap on public art funding
Mar. 8 -  School segregation, artist Ed Trask and RVA Mag's Anthony Harris on public art funding 
Mar. 1 -  Del. Jennifer McClellan and bike safety laws, Rick Tatnall of Replenish Richmond
Feb. 22 - Interview with Michelle Mosby, Persistence of Poe, James River Filmmakers Forum
Feb. 15 - State of the City roundtable, Richmond Macabre 2
Feb. 8 - Carol Piersol and the Firehouse Theatre controversy, Carl Hamm and "Yeh Yeh Pop"
Feb. 1 - Public school truancy, VACLAA and Norberto Gomez Jr., Stuff Redux
Jan. 25 - Interview with Jon Baliles, Susan Worsham's "Bittersweet on Bostwick Lane"
Jan. 18 - The Tea Party and Hanover public schools, activist Scott Burger
Jan. 11 - Arts and culture in 2012 (Kollatz, Griset, Lehman-Rios, Necci)
Jan. 4 -   The year end wrap up on Richmond politics (Goldman, Diradour, Williamson)
Dec. 21 - Arming teachers, filmmaker Rick Alverson, Lewis Ginter Gardenfest of Lights
Dec. 14 - Preservationists and Rt. 5, the RVA Beard League
Dec. 7 -   Richmond's tattoos, Social Services scandal, more Wingnuts
Nov. 30 - Redskins vs. schools, lady arm wrestlers, Henley Street Theatre
Nov. 23 - Wingnuts vs. Police, new youth hostel, Gigi Amateau pt. 2
Nov. 16 - Interview with Parker Agelasto, Keepers of the Flame.
Nov. 9 -  The election, Richmond's new school board, Rock 'n' Roll Hotel
Nov. 2 -  The life of Gabriel, voting trends, Ukefest
Oct. 26 - Spiritualism, horror films, ghost hunting - the Halloweek installment
Oct. 19 - School expulsions, Yes! Dance Invitational and political fact-checking
Oct. 12 - Richmond Symphony contract dispute, mountaintop coal mining
Oct. 5 -   Regional cooperation, windowless apartments
Sept. 28 - Co-Housing, SOL scores, Richmond's musical history
Sept. 21 - Richmond Folk Festival, abortion clinics pt. 2
Sept. 14 - Abortion clinics pt. 1, open government, Mayoral candidate Michael Ryan
Aug. 17 - Bike safety, water rates pt. 1, baseball in the Bottom
Aug. 10 - Richmond's waysigning program, Paul Goldman on the VP choice
Aug. 3 -  Our debut! City chickens, the state of Richmond public schools

Open Source RVA is broadcast every Friday at 4PM on 97.3 FM and You can also get breaking news and special reports at

Open Source RVA Podcasts, Old and New

In the annals of broadcasting, there have been legendary lost episodes and there have been legendary LOST EPISODES. See the difference there. On this latest -- and might I add particularly interesting -- set of Open Source RVA programs now available for everyday use, we include the legendary LOST EPISODE of WRIR's weekly audio news digest. The one dated March 15, 2013. All caps and bolded.

That elusive piece of audio, as well as other fine hour-long installments, are now podcasted and ready for download.

It was an honor and a pleasure to have Jon Lohman join us for an extended interview on the June 7 show. We talked with Virginia's state folklorist about programming the Virginia stage at the Richmond Folk Festival, the new live recording he recently produced for Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes (more on that, and my participation, here), and details about his Virginia Folklife Program and its culture-enriching apprenticeships. Also on the show, we introduce our new initiative,  VOX RVA, an oral histories project co-sponsored by the Virginia Center For Latin American Art (for more on that, stay tuned to this channel).

Click here to listen to the Open Source Podcast for June 7, 2013

A Podcast good enough to eat! Download the May 31 edition of Open Source RVA and get to know Kendra Feather, a.k.a. Kendra Feather Murden, the successful restauranteur behind the Roosevelt, Ipanema Cafe and Garnett's. She's the lady who knows what Richmond wants to eat and our discussion covers everything from the art of waitressing to local foodie trends. Also: Why is Virginia schools superintendent Pat Wright missing in action? Carol A.O. Wolf fills us in on the investigative work she's been doing at her blog (click here). Delicious and mysterious, that's Open Source RVA!

Click here to listen to the tasty Open Source Podcast for May 31, 2013

After months of diligent audio reconstruction and hand-wringing, Open Source RVA is proud to present the LOST EPISODE! Download this rare broadcast and be transported back to March 15 as Open Source RVA previews the TedX Talks with organizer Andy Stefanovich and young creatives Zoe Romano, Marc Cheatham and Duron Chavis. (More of our coverage here). You also get the lowdown on Richmond's public art funding as City Councilman Jon Baliles and city Deputy Director Doug Dunlap take the mic. The LOST EPISODE has finally arrived and it was worth the wait.

Do some clicking here to listen to Open Source RVA's LOST March 15, 2013 Podcast.

And don't forget to hear Open Source RVA in "real time" on WRIR 97.3 FM and each and every Friday at 4PM. And bookmark for updates.  It's good to Source.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Virginia Living: Art Deco Online


Virginia Living Magazine has finally posted "Anything Goes," my feature article on art deco in Virginia.

I arrive at the Bolling Haxall House in downtown Richmond just as a gaggle of feather-headed dames in black gloves and smiling men in penguin suits step from their car out into the night. It would look like a scene from an old TCM flick, or HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” except that they exit from a Chevy Tahoe. 
Our destination is the Jazz Age Preservation Ball at an 1858 Italianate-style mansion, the perfect place to have a Great Gatsby flashback. Tonight’s sold-out soiree is being hosted by the Art Deco Society of Virginia, a Richmond-based club founded in 2012 whose members see themselves as ambassadors for the eclectic art deco style—and lifestyle—that was the rage in the Roaring ’20s and art moderne ’30s, the days of flagpole sitting, speakeasies and Busby Berkeley musicals.
“Art deco was the last full style movement of our time,” says Bradley Hubbard, tonight’s top-hatted master of ceremonies and ADSVA board member. “There’s art deco music, art deco architecture, decorative arts, furniture, advertising, films, interior design ... every facet of society was somehow affected by it.”

Show some moxie and see what the rumpus is all about. Click here and read the rest of "Anything Goes."

(Photo of Richmond's Model Tobacco building by the mighty Jay Paul)

.... and for more, go here to read a special web extra sidebar on art deco landmarks across Virginia.