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.

Online movements accompanying major protests like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street made people optimistic that digital activism could level the playing field and fuel a new generation of political activism. Some pundits thought the internet would be the great equalizer — giving all perspectives equal weight and access.

The richest black man in America pledged to pay off the student debt for all 2019 graduates of Morehouse College. Billionaire Robert F. Smith shared the news in a commencement speech at the historically black men's college earlier this month. His approximately $40 million gift has renewed the public conversation about America’s student debt crisis, which disproportionately impacts black students.

Despite the rise in luxury theatres with gourmet food and drink service, movie theater attendance is on the decline in the United States. Many more Americans are choosing to watch the latest releases at home from the comfort of their own couch. But no matter the size of the screen or the price of the experience, sometimes viewers just cannot make it to the end of a film.

Johnny Dutch is a man of many talents, passions and identities. He’s the subject of the new documentary film “Run of the Picture,” which traces his journey as a world-class hurdler who nearly qualified for the 2008 Olympics. But beyond his intense training and athletic pursuits, it also exposes his creative side: he is a filmmaker who creates gut-drenched zombie films in his spare time.

Coastal Hyde County is the site of one of the longest and most successful civil rights protests in American history. In 1968 the African American community boycotted Hyde County schools in response to the county’s desegregation plan.

What happens when a white male artist hires a black actress to stand in for him so he can get into a show for diverse artists? That is the question at the center of the comedic play “White.”

For Juan Álamo, rhythm just comes naturally. He has a passion for percussion that surfaced when he was a little boy growing up in Puerto Rico. Juan parlayed that passion into serious classical study of the marimba, an instrument similar to a xylophone but bigger and with a deeper tone. In his recently-released album “Ruta Panoramica,” Álamo marries the Latin rhythms of his hometown with his classical training and a love of jazz to create a unique fusion sound not typically heard from a marimba. 

New abortion legislation is sweeping the country, with states introducing ever-more polarizing bills to constrict and expand access.

Rufus Edmisten cut his teeth in the political world as counsel to former U.S. Sen. Samuel Ervin Jr. Ervin was the chairman of what is commonly known as the Watergate Committee, and Edmisten played a key role in that committee’s work as well.

The number of incarcerated women in North Carolina is growing faster than the number of incarcerated men. According to statistics from Prison Policy Initiative, the number of women in the state prison population increased 19% from 2009 to 2015. In that same time period the number of men in the state prison population increased only one percent.

For years, the Cherokee County Department of Social Services illegally removed dozens, and potentially even hundreds, of children from their homes. Instead of seeking an official court order from a judge, DSS workers instead instructed numerous families to sign custody and visitation agreements (CVAs) to authorize removal of their children.

Is it morally superior to be ironic than to be idealistic? This question and decades of lived experience as a musician and music novelist drive Lewis Shiner’s latest literary opus: “Outside The Gates of Eden” (Subterranean Press/2019)

Growing up in turn-of-the-century Georgia, the Lumpkin children were steeped in a culture of white supremacy. The older girls performed in rallies for “The Lost Cause,” while their father took a direct role in the Ku Klux Klan. But the two youngest Lumpkin sisters, Grace and Katharine, veered well off the path their family had set for them. They became activists and authors who railed against racial and economic oppression.

North Carolina playwright, actor and teacher Sonny Kelly has made it his mission in life to inspire others. He aims to use performance and ministry to connect with people, especially marginalized kids. As a young man in the U.S. Air Force, Kelly felt like he had no real purpose or direction in his life.

Earlier this week Alabama’s governor signed into law an effective ban on abortion in the state. Other states, like Missouri, Louisiana and Ohio are also moving in a similar direction.

In the fictional world of Seven Wells, women are treated as possessions and forced to produce male heirs to continue the hereditary monarchies in their patriarchal society. There is magic in Seven Wells, but men have more magical powers than women, and women’s magic is considered dirty and shameful.

When “West Side Story” debuted on Broadway in 1957, it was an instant hit. The new take on “Romeo and Juliet” set in 1950s New York City earned seven Tony nominations in its first year.

By 1961, the musical was turned into a movie that was equally successful and took home 10 Academy Awards.

North Carolina is a hotspot in the nation’s eviction crisis. As of 2016, the state’s rate of evictions and eviction filings were nearly double national rates. New reporting shines a light on the specific problems in Durham County, where gentrification is pushing out long-time residents and advocates say the city is in a time of crisis.

Omisade Burney-Scott felt alone as she approached menopause. There were no resources to help guide her through this transition — nothing like the Judy Blume novel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” that helped her through puberty. So Burney-Scott decided to create a resource of her own: “Decolonizing the Crone,” a multimedia project that collects the stories and experiences of women over 50.

State Sen. Dan Bishop of Mecklenburg County won Tuesday’s Republican primary election for the 9th Congressional District. Bishop beat out nine other candidates with 47.7 percent of the vote.

What if someone was given a diagnosis that they have “six to live.” No one knows if it will be six days, six weeks or six months. Author Carrie Knowles uses this premise as a starting point for her short story “SIX” featured in her latest collection “Black Tie Optional: 17 Stories” (Owl Canyon Press/2019).

In literature, film and popular culture, vegans have long been mocked and dismissed as naive, privileged white women who allow emotion to guide their lifestyles. Food choices are indeed shaped by class and race, but using a “vegan lens” to analyze what people see and read may allow them to better recognize these “enmeshed oppressions,” according to Western Carolina University English Professor Laura Wright. She’s the editor of “Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism” (University of Nevada Press/2019). 

One of the first undocumented immigrants to seek sanctuary in a North Carolina church has been granted permanent residency.

The Greensboro Bound Literary Festival has come a long way in just three years. The event was the brainchild of book lover Steve Colyer who thought that with the Triad’s rich literary scene, Greensboro needed its own book festival.

Nadja Cech grew up in a hippy community in Oregon, spending her days building fairy houses in the woods and drawing and collecting plants. So after she became a scientist— and an associate professor of chemistry at just 23 years old — it made sense to her to look to nature for some of our most pressing medical needs. 

Chuck Liddy stumbled into a career as a photojournalist after he found out he could walk into  high school football games for free if he had a camera around his neck. But the photography enthusiast had already converted a bathroom in his house into a darkroom and enjoyed experimenting with the camera his dad had taken into the Vietnam War. Once Liddy was on staff at a newspaper, he began a career of taking risks and adopting the new technology of the day, from digital cameras to drones.

Thursday marked the crossover deadline in the North Carolina General Assembly: a moment at which bills must receive approval from either chamber or likely remain dormant until the next cycle.

Naturalist Horace Kephart is a Southern Appalachian icon. He authored beloved books about hiking and exploring, and one of his most famous is even lovingly referred to as the “camper’s Bible.” But Kephart is perhaps best known for his crusade to preserve the Great Smoky Mountains.

Ms. Connie B was a dream come true for her father. He was a gospel singer who loved to harmonize. Unable to rely on local performers, he prayed to father children who could sing so that he could have his own singing group.

North Carolina is changing its job screening process for correctional officers. Now, only a fraction of applicants will have face-to-face psychological interviews. Prison officials say the change will save money and help hire officers more quickly to fill vacancies. Critics say eliminating the interview is a dangerous move.

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