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Programming Highlights

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we talk with artist GINA SIEPEL about her latest series of drawings of John James Audubon’s actual bird specimens. Also in the studio is KATE WELLSPRING, Curator and Collections Manager at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, which houses the Audubon collection that Sieple is working with. This is a unique art project that reinterprets American ornithology and history. Be sure to tune in.

Tonight on Inquiry we speak with artist MICHELLE SAMOUR, whose work was recently on exhibit at the Fitchburg Art Museum. Her work is about the aesthetics of the natural world and our obsession with classification and collecting. Eyes and viruses are just a few of the inspirations for her work, which is made with pigmented abaca fiber among other material. Tune in for a fascinating talk with a very unique artist. To see examples of Michelle’s work that she talks about in the interview, go to:

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an encore of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb interviews Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and international director of the Organic Consumers Association, and Ben Grosscup, coordinator of the 2015 Summer Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. They talk about the business and politics of organic food. This episode aired originally on August  9, 2015.

More than 1,000 backyard gardeners, health-conscious consumers, organic-farming families, and food activists converged on August 14 through 16 at UMass-Amherst for NOFA’s 41st annual Summer Conference. Participants were able to choose from more than 140 workshops on topics such as organic farming, gardening, land and animal care, sustainability, nutrition, and food politics.

Many workshops and the two keynote addresses highlighted this year's conference theme, "Healing the Climate, Healing Ourselves: Regeneration through Microbiology." Those presentations showed how microbiology is at work in the soil and human body, and how they are essential partners in solving some if our biggest problems today, including widespread chronic disease and global climate disruption.

One of the keynote speakers offered a similarly hopeful message in relation to the role of soil microbes in achieving a healthy climate. He’s Ronnie Cummins, who contends that humanity can reverse the global climate crisis by restoring healthy microbial life in our soils. Farmers and land managers along with conscious consumers can play a crucial role in this restoration, he argues, because the methods we use to manage soil microbial communities in combination with growing plants can produce dramatic impacts on the climate.

Regenerative organic agriculture focuses on providing soil life with favorable growing conditions, thus facilitating efficient photosynthesis and vigorous plant growth. Properly managed, this process can transform excessive atmospheric carbon concentrations into stable, soil-based carbon compounds that enhance soil fertility. By contrast, commonly used pesticides and herbicides kill the soil life, compromising soil integrity and causing soil carbon to oxidize into the atmosphere where it contributes to further global warming.

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 10:30pm

The fascinating Trump family history details three generations of Trump businessmen, showing how Donald Trump’s grandfather and father shaped him into the man he is today.  Trump’s current bid for the republican nomination, his lifetime of experience as a real estate mogul and billionaire businessman, along with the lessons he learned from his father and grandfather, may or may not prepare him for the job. Why does Trump succeed? Whether conquering the real estate frontier, battling back from bankruptcy or scandal, or talking over his competitors during a presidential debate and leading the polls. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al is joined by Trump biographer Gwenda Blair.

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 6:00pm

“Impresario,” “jazz fanatic,” “producer,” and “musician” are just a few titles we can give to George Wein. The man who invented the jazz festival turns ninety this month and we’re toasting his legacy with an exclusive interview on his career highlights. The music this hour comes handpicked by George featuring Tom Harrell, Bria Skonberg and Scott Robinson at the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival.

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 7:00pm

Join host Tom Shaker as we put "The Soul Serenade" spin on The British Invasion. You'll hear soul legends like Booker T & The MGs, Al Green, and Aretha Franklin tackle your Beatles favorites. It all starts at 7pm, Yeah, yeah, yeah!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 6:00pm

Pianist John Eaton is a legend in his hometown of Washington D.C. and an acknowledged authority of American popular song, about which he’s written and lectured extensively.  Judy and John discuss their long friendship and mutual admiration for great songwriters and stride piano.

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 6:00pm

Cabaret singer, Lynda D'Amour discusses her interpretations of jazz standards and her original songs. She was a delightful guest and it was great to discover more about the creativity the the cabaret genre and hear Lynda's honeyed vocals. A treat.

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 7:00pm

Live from the WICN Performance Studio, host Nick Noble will be welcoming some amazing local talent: Dale LePage, Lori Diamond & Fred Abatelli, Lydia Harrell, Kim Jennings, Geoffrey Watson Oehling, Joe D’Angelo, Denise Cascione, Thomas Spears, Pete Premo, and Derek Varnum. It’s going to be a terrific night of marvelous music! “All music is folk music” after all.

Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 9:00pm

During World War II there was an army unit that specialized in deception. They used inflatable tanks, created sound effects of troop movements and impersonated Morse code senders. They were the Ghost Army, an incredible group that included many artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Bill Blass. When they were not involved in an operation, they drew and painted what was happening around them and therefore left a visual legacy of the war like no other. Tune in tonight when we speak with historian and film maker RICK BEYER about his book, written with Elizabeth Sayles, THE GHOST ARMY OF WORLD WAR II. Rick and others are working hard to get the Ghost Army  awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

What is the future of coal and oil as our primary sources of energy? Can we continue down the road of unlimited growth combined with continued environmental degradation? Tonight on Inquiry we talk with writer and Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute RICHARD HEINBERG. His new book of essays provides some sober assessments of where we are going and what we need to do now: AFTERBURN: SOCIETY BEYOND FOSSIL FUELS.

Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an encore of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb interviews Chantel Bethea of Women In Action. They talk about helping women in business to empower themselves for success. This episode aired originally on August 16, 2015.

Women in Action is a support group for the “everyday woman,” which combines the objectives of removing mental-health barriers to employment with exercises that promote practical outcomes. Women can learn coping strategies to deal with their emotional concerns, and gain knowledge about the culture of the work environment.

Based in Worcester, Women In Action was founded by Chantel Bethea in 2010. She is a native of Atlanta, and a current resident of Worcester. She is also a wife and a mother of four children. For her, empowering women has been a longtime passion. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 10:30pm

In his new book, DISCIPLES: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan  veteran journalist Douglas Waller reveals the secret Office of Strategic Services operations of four future spymasters: Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby and William Casey. Waller mined tens of thousands of now-declassified World War II documents and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews to reconstruct the four disciples’ most daring missions that helped take down the Axis. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al is joined by best selling author and journalist Douglas Waller.

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 6:00pm

Jason Moran defies the constraints of history itself in this celebration of “the first pianist who made me want to be a pianist.” Using archival footage, interviews, and live music, Moran re-imagines the classic Monk At Town Hall concert from 1959 to paint a portrait of one of the unique and influential musicians in jazz history. Backed by The Big Bandwagon, Moran performs his tribute to Thelonius Monk live at the Kennedy Center.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 6:00pm

Son of pianist Cy Walter, Mark Walter talks about bringing awareness of his father's great musical legacy.

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