Frank Stasio

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

In the past two weeks, violence by and against police has dominated headlines and rattled the country. Protests from movements like #BlackLivesMatter continue while celebrities use speeches and social media as a platform to make their voices heard.

Meanwhile, the ESPN documentary series "O.J.: Made In America" looks at race relations since the 1960s through the life of former athlete O.J. Simpson.

The first rule about Fight Club is "you do not talk about Fight Club." But author Chuck Palahniuk is making an exception.

As a sequel to the 1996 novel, Palahniuk is continuing  the story with a new graphic novel "Fight Club 2" (Dark Horse Comics/2016). It's set ten years after the original story, and shows the main character Sebastian refueling his alter ego Tyler Durden and the group Project Mayhem.

It's easy to think of a "selfie" as a narcissistic way to accrue "likes" on social media and  flaunt your latest traveling adventures. But every "selfie" tells a story about the photographer's world.

Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor of literature at Duke University in Durham, says taking a selfie is a humanizing way to document history in the age of social media. In a recent speech at TEDxDurham, Mottahedeh illustrated the ways selfies can be used as tools for protest and citizen journalism.

Growing up in the small town of Snow Hill, N.C., Marlanna Evans, a.k.a Rapsody, wasn't exposed to much hip-hop music. She would listen to the songs her older cousins played in the car, but she didn't develop a love for rap until college.

While attending North Carolina State University, Evans helped a hip-hop culture grow on campus with a student music group that would meet in a dormitory lounge to rap battle. She eventually started making her own rhymes and met producer and Jamla Records founder 9th Wonder.

Hope Draped In Black

Jul 6, 2016

For some, the election of America's first black president marked the victory of a long-fought struggle for racial equality.

For the last 25 years, the Swannanoa Gathering has brought thousands of people from across the world to experience the old-time musical traditions of Appalachia.

The five-week program features workshops in traditional folk, guitar composition and Celtic music and includes instruction from Grammy award-winning musicians like Janis Ian and Tom Paxton.

Lawmakers convened in Raleigh nearly a month ago for a short session to address the state's budget. But legislators have proposed measures on other items including bills on coal ash, light rail and sanctuary cities.

Also this week, Senator Fletcher Hartsell, a Republican from Concord, was indicted on charges of illegal campaign expenditures. The long-serving member in the Senate says he will not resign.

Durham-based singer-songwriter Brett Harris didn't grow up in a musical family, but he has found one in the Triangle.

Harris is a touring member of The dB's and a core member of Big Star’s Third, a group that recreated '70s rock group Big Star’s album “Third” with live on-stage performances. In his new solo album, “Up in the Air,” Harris lets his strengths as a songwriter and storyteller shine on an original set of indie-pop songs.


In 2009, President Obama declared June "African-American Music Appreciation Month." The tribute started as "Black Music Month" in the 1970s. While the name has changed, it continues to be a time to celebrate the ways black artists have shaped music. These artists include three people who have recently died; Prince, Billy Paul and Phife Dawg. They each left a dynamic legacy in different genres.

After more than 15 years touring as a musician, Greg Humphreys decided it was time to slow things down. He took a break from his career as a solo artist to focus on other things he'd put on the sidelines. He eventually moved to New York City, got married and had a kid.

Most movies are sources of adventure and excitement, but some films can also be a source of temptation. Whether a movie was off-limits by your parents or banned by the church, a forbidden film can often be all the more enticing to watch. Maybe your parents thought the dinosaur eating a man off the toilet in "Jurassic Park" was too violent, or that "To Kill a Mockingbird" talked about taboo topics.

Jamie Anderson and Dianne Davidson have been touring for more than 30 years as leading singer/songwriters in the women's music scene.

In the 1970s, a collective group of women came out of labels like Olivia Records and empowered and promoted women musicians across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Anderson and Davidson about the legacy of this music scene and how it has shaped their songwriting. They also perform live in the studio with Anderson on vocals, guitar and mandolin and Davidson on vocals and guitar.

Note: This segment originally aired on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Whether it's reducing carbon emissions or increasing solar energy, environmentalists see a need for people to change the way they treat the earth in the shadow of climate change. Likewise, some religion leaders see their faith as motivation to care better for the environment.

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