Bridget Armstrong | WYPR

Bridget Armstrong

Producer, Midday

Bridget Armstrong is a producer for Midday hosted by Tom Hall. She joined the WYPR team as a producer of Maryland Morning in March 2016. Before coming to WYPR, she worked for SiriusXM and prior to that, at NPR.  While at NPR, Bridget worked on the 2014 Elections Desk and Tell Me More hosted by Michel Martin, where she produced discussions addressing race, gender and pop-culture.  A true lover of conversation, Bridget also hosted and produced a roundtable podcast. Bridget is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, an Historically Black College.

Bob Mooney, Melissa McGlynn

Literature lovers in Chestertown are gearing up for their 2nd annual Bloomsday, a celebration of Irish writer James Joyce’s seminal 1922 novel, Ulysses.  Bloomsday is named after the Blooms, the story's protagonist family. 

The novel takes place on June 16, 1904 and every year on that day literature fans and Joyce lovers around the world convene to mark the occasion with dramatic readings, discussions, food and drink.  Melissa McGlynn is an actress who will be performing an iconic passage from the novel known as "Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy" during the Bloomsday festivities.  Bob Mooney is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington College. He’ll be leading a discussion of the novel.  They both join Tom from Washington College in Chestertown to discuss the significance of Ulysses and what people can look forward to on Bloomsday. 

Baltimore‘s Promise is a consortium of civic leaders from government, philanthropy, business, education, and religious institutions who are trying to address the multiple challenges faced by so many children in the city of Baltimore.  There is no shortage of well-meaning people and programs aimed at improving outcomes for kids, but what programs and strategies best meet the needs of kids in a city with high levels of poverty. 

Patrick McCarthy, President and CEO of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Tomi Hiers on Baltimore’s Promise to our children.  And, Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews Framed Illusion at the Theater Project through May 27.  Plus, for children who love to read, a handy guide to books for early and eager readers from Kathleen Isaacs, an expert on children’s literature. 

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

We begin with another look at discrimination in the mortgage lending market. Scholars took a deep dive into Baltimore’s banking practices found that for years, if you were black, you were at a distinct disadvantage to get a loan on favorable terms, and to build wealth.  Their work has just won them the 2016 John Hope Franklin Prize for writing on Race, Racism and the Law.  Has anything changed since the housing bubble burst? Professor Jacob Rugh joins Tom to explain how inequality manifests itself before you sign on the dotted line.  

 Then, Producer Rob Sivak joins our movie mavens, Jed Dietz and Ann Hornaday, for a recap of film festivals in Baltimore and Cannes, and Andrew Balio, the principal trumpet player of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on the Future Symphony Institute, an organization he founded to create a new model for classical music.

Terry Richardson

    

John Waters celebrated his 70th birthday in April. From his early days as an enfant terrible film maker and the King of Sleaze, he has sustained a remarkable career as an author, a stand-up comedian, a visual artist, and one of America’s most thoughtful observers on the cultural landscape. He is the master of re-invention, and no work is more emblematic of that than Hairspray, which was a movie, a musical, and then a movie of a musical. This weekend, he’ll narrate Hairspray in yet another iteration: a Symphonic Production with the BSO. John Waters joins me this morning to talk about art, politics, and how to keep looking ahead.

Then, WYPR’s Lisa Morgan talks to Andrew Och, who goes on the road with America's First Ladies,and J. Wynn Rousuck previews the Baltimore Playwright’s Festival.

Terry Richardson

Filmmaker John Waters celebrated his 70th birthday in April. Early in his career, Waters established himself as an enfant terrible and was affectionately dubbed by film critics as the "King of Sleaze." He has sustained a remarkable career as an author, stand-up comedian, visual artist, and one of America’s most thoughtful observers on the cultural landscape. 

Waters is the master of re-invention, and no work is more emblematic of that than Hairspray, his 1988 musical comedy film. This weekend, John Waters will narrate the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's production of Hairspray. He joins Tom in-studio to discuss Hairspray’s longstanding success, art, politics and aging while maintaining his reputation as an enfant terrible.

Nina Subin

Public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson says that our criminal justice system treats people who are rich and guilty better than those who are poor and innocent. The Equal Justice Initiative, which he founded, has won the release of more than 115 people who have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to execution. His advocacy for the poor and people of color who confront unequal treatment in the law has earned him countless accolades and awards, and led to a best-selling book. Bryan Stevenson joins Tom to talk about his memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

Theater Critic J Wynn Rousuck has a review of Superior Donuts at ​Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick through June 19.  And, a star is born in Baltimore. Vivie Eteme is a 7th grader at the Park School. Her talent as a pianist landed her an acting role as a young Nina Simone in the biopic about the artist. We’ll talk about the journey from the practice room to the silver screen. 

Kisha Brown, Baltimore City Police Department

The violence that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral last year and increased scrutiny of police departments nation-wide have focused attention on the question of citizen involvement in monitoring the conduct of police, Kisha Brown is the head of the Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, which oversees the Baltimore Civilian Review Board, and Rodney Hill is the Chief of Internal Affairs in the Baltimore Police Department.  They join Tom in-studio to discuss how the Civilian Review Board and the Baltimore Police Department is  trying to bridge the divide between law enforcement and communities of color. 

 And, Monica Lopez Gonzalez is a neuroscientist and a theater artist.  Her new play is part of her continuing work exploring the intersection between our brains and our creativity.  She’ll tell us about Framed Illusion.  

Kisha Brown, Baltimore City Police Department

The Civilian Review Board is an independent city agency tasked with investigating claims of police misconduct including abusive language, harassment, false arrest, and false imprisonment.  The CRB handles complaints for the Baltimore City Police Department, the Baltimore City School Police, the Baltimore City Sheriff's Office, the Baltimore Environmental Police, the Police Force of the Baltimore City Community College, and the Police Force of Morgan State University.

Although the board has been around since 1999, many people don't know it exists and  those who do have called it ineffective. 

Courtesy of cnn.com

How will the not guilty verdict in the trial of Officer Edward Nero, combined with last year’s hung jury in the case of Officer William Porter, affect the State’s Attorney’s case against Ceasar Goodson, whose trial is slated to begin early next month.  He’s the next Baltimore police officer to be tried in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. Legal analysis with Attorney Edward Smith and University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros.

  And, a new multi-media website from ESPN explores the intersection between race, sports and culture with investigative reporting, story-telling and commentary from a staff of richly experienced writers, most of whom are African American.  Michael Fletcher is one of those acclaimed journalists.  He joins Tom to talk about The Undefeated.   Plus, if you’re headed outside this Memorial Day Weekend, our resident foodie, Sascha Wolhandler has ideas about spicing up a picnic. 

Bridget Armstrong

(As this feature was airing Wednesday morning, April 20th, the Jubilee Arts Center reported that 500 people from Sandtown-Winchester have now voted in early Primary Election balloting, and that Elder Harris is ending his roof campaign. )

If you find yourself on the corner of Presstman Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, look up, you might just catch a glimpse of Elder C.W. Harris on the roof of the Harris-Marcus Center

After climbing the fire escape of the four story building, that’s where I found him, sitting under a canopy tent, eating a bag of peanuts, looking out on the city.

Elder Harris is the founder and pastor of Intersection of Change, formerly known as Newborn Holistic Ministries. He’s been living on the roof since last Saturday and he plans to stay there until 500 people from the Sandtown-Winchester community vote.

"In our last election cycle only 257 people voted in the Sandtown Winchester Community. That community has between 12 and 14,000 residents. We only have 2,000 registered voters. We need to change all that."

Elder Harris is a lifelong resident of Sandtown. He says since last year’s uprising following the death of Freddie Gray who was also a Sandtown resident, people are even more disillusioned and disenfranchised with local government. "Things have not gone back to normal as it was before Freddie Gray. Folks are without hope. It is hard for them to believe after so many years of neglect. I don’t hate the players, I hate the game. If they look on the chart and see that there are only a few people from our community who voted why would they listen to us? That’s the game, we have to beat them at their game."

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