My newsfeed is exploding with people returning from SXSW in Austin, just some of the hundreds of thousands who were estimated to have gone. The music, film, and idea fest has helped cement Austin’s place in the new startup economy and now other cities around the nation are following their lead. I made a piece for Virginia Public Radio reporting on Tom Tom Founders Fest in Charlottesville. Tom Tom is trying to rebrand the city of our founding fathers as an incubator for new ideas.
The Virginia Folklife Program brought two bluegrass musicians together with a Malian musician and they meshed shockingly well. The banjo originated in Africa and when you combine traditional bluegrass with Malian music, those roots are clear. I reported on their transcontinental collaboration for Virginia Public Radio.
I don’t have an e-reader yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I’ve resisted because like any good book lover, I worry about the future of bound books. Fortunately, there are places like the Virginia Arts of the Book Center that are keeping the fine crafts of book-making and letterpress printing alive. I visited their shop and did a story about it for Virginia Public Radio. Click here to listen. And, if you’re in Virginia, visit their website to drool over all of the workshops they offer (think of how impressed your grandmother would be with a hand-printed holiday card!)
The weather is getting cooler and I’m realizing that I don’t have any appropriate footwear–my boots are falling apart. Don’t want to throw them out, don’t want to buy new ones, what to do? Well turns out, there are still cobblers out there in the world. I met two of them at a festival celebrating the folklife apprenticeship program funded by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Other endangered arts that are supported by the program: cheese making, Mongolian mask making, oyster shucking (having recently shucked my first oysters, this is much harder than it sounds). I reported on the event for Virginia Public Radio–you can listen to the story here. Plus the folklife program took some amazing photos from the showcase.
Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLAW) kick butt. Part theater, part sport, part philanthropy, the women and men involved make arm wrestling THE thing to do. Like most brilliant ideas, this one spread, and in June all of the national ladies arm wrestling leagues gathered together for an epic competition, henceforth and forever known as SuperCLAW. I talked to a few the folks involved and told their story for Virginia Public Radio. Listen here and then check out the CLAW USA website, because how could you not want to see this?