Aaron Henkin | WYPR

Aaron Henkin

Producer of "Out of the Blocks" and Director of New Local Programming

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs for WYPR. His current project is the neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks.  His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times.  Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, PRI’s Studio 360, & The World.

Ways to Connect

6300 Reisterstown Road

Mar 14, 2016
all photos by Wendel Patrick

The 6300 block of Reisterstown Road is tucked just inside the Northwest Baltimore city limit.  Orthodox Jews from Russia and Iran operate kosher eateries, and Nepali Hindus run carry-outs and gas stations. Add to the mix a public library branch, a used-car dealership, and a home-security expert who specializes in cracking safes, and you get an idiosyncratic cast of characters who all manage to share a stage in the theater of city life. 

Out of the Blocks Podcast - 4700 Eastern Avenue

Dec 22, 2015
Wendel Patrick

4700 Eastern Avenue is in Southeast Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood. Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of immigrants have taken their turns settling in and opening up shop.

4700 Eastern Avenue

Dec 18, 2015
Wendel Patrick

4700 Eastern Avenue is in Southeast Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood.  Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of immigrants have taken their turns settling in and opening up shop.  In the 1960's & 70's, Greek immigrants arrived in droves, and the neighborhood came to be known as Greektown.  More recently, Latino immigrants have followed in those footsteps, establishing a strong local presence of their own.  Today, this block is a cultural checkerboard, as the names of the restaurants attest:  Acropolis, El Merengue, Zorbas, Papuseria Mama Tana, and Greektown Grill.  The voices on this block have foreign accents, but their stories are quintessentially American.

Wendel Patrick

The 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue is a portrait of survival and adaptability. It's a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect.  Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, and drug dealers. Immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, West Africa, and Korea have set up shops alongside a dwindling number of African American-owned businesses.  Trust is earned here, not given lightly.

Student Activism, Race & Free Speech

Nov 18, 2015
Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP

The University of Missouri, Yale University, University of South Carolina, Occidental College, University of Kansas, Claremont McKenna College. The list goes on. College students across the country are leading protests and demonstrations to call attention to the issue of racial tolerance, diversity, and in some cases, the resignation of professors and high-ranking administrators. In this hour of Midday we'll view this topic through national and local lenses, and hear the points of view of academic reporters, students, a college administrator and a free speech advocate. 

Our guests: Scott Jaschik,editor and one of the founders of Inside Higher Ed; Julia Joseph, a sophomore and student journalist at Loyola University; Lisa Gray, assistant director of Student Life for Cultural and Spiritual Diversity at UMBC; Tyana Warren, a junior at Johns Hopkins University; and Robert Shibley, the executive director of Foundation of Individual Rights in Education. 

A 79-page analysis of the performance of the Baltimore Police Department during April's unrest was released yesterday. the report was compiled by a Washington, DC-based law enforcement think take. The report is available here.

In this hour, a look at the report's findings and recommendations. Plus, how does the BPD's handling of protests and rioting compare to other that of cities?

What impact does your childhood have on your health as an adult? For those who experienced abuse or neglect, trauma can push their brain’s fight-or-flight response into overdrive, leading to both mental and physical illnesses in adulthood. In Donna Jackson Nakazawa's new book, "Childhood Disrupted," she breaks down the research on "adverse childhood experiences" and their effect on health outcomes.

Smart Streets and Urban Transformation

Nov 10, 2015

  “An urban transformation is underway, and smart streets are at the heart of it.” These are the words of Samuel Schwartz, a man who spent two decades as New York City’s traffic commissioner and managed to walk away from the experience an optimist. He’s just written a book titled, “Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars,” and he joins us this hour with a look back at how city streets were taken over by cars… and how those streets are beginning to get reclaimed by pedestrians and bicyclists. Also joining us this hour: urban planner and architect Klaus Philipsen, for a look at transportation possibilities and problems here in Maryland. Our state just got a grade of D on its transportation report card and the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance's Brian O'Malley tells us why. 

Urbanite returns with a special issue on Baltimore's uprising, "Truth, Reconciliation, and Baltimore". Print issues hit the streets today, and the digital version is available here. We'll hear from Tracy Ward, the magazine's publisher; Lionel Foster, a former staff writer and editor of the special issue; and former editor Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson.

Wendel Patrick

Tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM here on WYPR, producer Aaron Henkin and musician Wendel Patrick will unveil their season-opening installment of Out of the Blocks. Out of The Blocks gives listeners an intimate look into the lives of people who live and work on one specific block in Baltimore.  In the past, they’ve taken us to Greenmount Avenue in Waverly, to Patapsco Avenue in South Baltimore, and right after the unrest in April, they took us to The Penn North intersection that was the epicenter of the violence.  Tomorrow, they’ll introduce us to folks in the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue, in Northwest Baltimore, and this morning, Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick join with a seasion preview. 

 

4700 Liberty Heights Avenue

Oct 19, 2015
Wendel Patrick

The 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue is a portrait of survival and adaptability.  It's a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect.  Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, and drug dealers.  Immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, West Africa, and Korea have set up shops alongside a dwindling number of African American-owned businesses.  Trust is earned here, not given lightly.

Midday Friday

Sep 4, 2015
Gwendolyn Glenn

Ex-Police Commissioner, Anthony Batts, broke his silence this week at a panel discussion at Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg. Colin Campbell of the Baltimore Sun joins us to discuss the controversy surrounding Batts' assertion that officers "took a knee" after the unrest in April. Also, we hear about the start of the school year from Amanda Rice, principal of Waverly Elementary/Middle School, and Sun reporter Erica Green. Then, a preview of Everyman Theater’s upcoming season and our weekly business report from Joanna Sullivan of the Baltimore Business Journal. Aaron Henkin guests host this edition of Midday Friday.

A talk with Dan Fesperman about his drone-warfare novel, Unmanned; Gandharva Raja discusses his novel, August 29:  How Kabir H Jain Became a Deity; and Danuta Hinc talks about her novel, To Kill the Other

A visit with the artists behind the glass mosaic at the AVAM, Lizzie Skurnick previews her book, That Should Be a Word, and A conversation with poet and neurosurgeon Michael Salcman, editor of the anthology, Poetry in Medicine

Wendell Patrick

As we listen back this morning to some of our interviews after the death of Freddie Gray, we also want to revisit how WYPR’s The Signal covered the issues days after the riot on April 27.  We hear part of the “Out of the Blocks” series produced by WYPR’s Aaron Henkin with electronic musician Wendel Patrick and talk about how Aaron produces the series, collecting the stories of a single block and stitching them together to craft Out Of The Blocks.

Fans attempt to explain the sci-fi universe of Doctor Who, we meet Mobtown Doulas Carla Paisley and Emily Leffler-Schulman, and transcontinental touring musicians (with day jobs) Elias Schutzman and Lazlo Lee

Author Jonathon Scott Fuqua takes us inside his book, The Secrets of the Greaser Hotel; a look at the photo book, Bodine’s Industry: The Dignity of Work; and we talk Girl Problem Records founder Madi Shapiro and fellow musicians Jane Vincent and Sienna Cureton-Mahoney about carving out a space for female-powered punk rock.

Out of the Blocks Podcast - 400 E Patapsco

Aug 1, 2015

On the 400 block of E Patapsco Avenue, you'll meet octogenarian pigeon racers, evangelizing barbers, philosophical convenience-store clerks, reformed and not-so-reformed drug dealers, aspiring hip hop musicians, and more.

all photos by Dan Goodrich

At midnight on Thursday, July 30th, 2015, the final amps and drum kits were reluctantly lugged out of Station North's longtime music rehearsal space, The Hour Haus.  After 25 years as a music practice facility and performance venue, the building is being converted to office space.  Audio producer Adam Droneburg and photographer Dan Goodrich spent the past few months chronicling the end of the Hour Haus era, collecting interviews and portraits of the building's final musical residents.

The roller-coaster music career of Janka Nabay; Danielle Ariano, author of the memoir, Getting Over the Rainbow, on coming out to her family; and Matt Stockwell shows off his original tabletop game, Charm City Blues

A radio profile of AmeriCorps service members at work around Maryland; music and conversation with ukulele songstress Victoria Vox; and artist David Plunkert takes us inside his job as a professional illustrator

James Burrows and Max Bent have created a catalogue of songs that offer insights into an autistic mind; music and conversation with Letitia VanSant; and Jason Tinney shares from his collection of short fiction,  “Ripple Meets the Deep”

Edwin Remsberg / www.remsberg.com

World-class fly fisherman Lefty Kreh goes fishing with producer Aaron Henkin and folklorist Cliff Murphy

400 E Patapsco

Jul 7, 2015
all photos by Wendel Patrick www.wendelpatrick.com

On the 400 block of E Patapsco Avenue, you'll meet octogenarian pigeon racers, evangelizing barbers, philosophical convenience-store clerks, reformed and not-so-reformed drug dealers, aspiring hip hop musicians, and more.  

3300 Greenmount

Jul 7, 2015
all photos by Wendel Patrick www.wendelpatrick.com

On the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue, you'll meet store clerks and restaurateurs from all over the globe - Pakistan, Mali, Korea, China, Thailand, Eritrea, and the Ukraine.  You'll also meet born & bred Baltimore entrepreneurs, bar-flies, and street corner preachers.

Out of the Blocks Podcast - 3300 Greenmount

Jul 7, 2015
Wendel Patrick

On the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue, you'll meet store clerks and restaurateurs from all over the globe - Pakistan, Mali, Korea, China, Thailand, Eritrea, and the Ukraine. You'll also meet born & bred Baltimore entrepreneurs, bar-flies, and street corner preachers.

Historian Anthony Cohen brings the ‘living history’ model to the Underground Railroad; and novelist Robert Stucky talks about A Complicated Legacy, the story of a Southern plantation owner’s effort to emancipate his slaves, who were also his family.  

Former undercover narcotics officer Michael B Kaminski talks about the moral perils of his career;  a radio postcard from Baltimore rock band, The Flying Eyes; and an essay from Marion Winik about Prince’s Rally For Peace concert in Baltimore.

Nancy Murray’s adoption memoir, One Child for Another; the Ad Hoc Fiasco at the Wyman park Dell; and a ‘farmer’s market for the arts’ at Charm City Fringe

Gospel blues legend Wendell Holmes and his apprentice, Brooks Long, share stories and songs on this special co-production of The Signal and Maryland Traditions.

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