Katie Marquette | WYPR

Katie Marquette


Katie Marquette is the producer for a number of local programs for the station, including Future City and Life in the Balance. She hosts and produces the new WYPR podcast, The Noir and Bizarre, a show that explores secret and dark history. Additionally, she works as a production assistant for Out of the Blocks. Katie has a masters degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and believes in the power of innovative storytelling to connect and reconcile diverse communities. She has an undergraduate degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she majored in religious studies and English. Katie first discovered her love of radio when she started working as a producer for the independent radio show, Interfaith Voices

All trends point to the number of independent voters only increasing as the divide between the two major parties grows wider and wider… So what will our future cities look like in terms of party politics? Is this the end of the party system altogether or is the time ripe for a new party to gain national traction? On this episode, Wes explores the history of the two-party system and asks if it's possible for a third party to gain any traction in our current political landscape. 

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Seattle’s Chinatown International District is a bustling, pan-Asian neighborhood of immigrants from China, Japan, Vietnam, and The Philippines.  It’s also a mix of generations, where Americanized children navigate a complex family dynamic with their non-English speaking elders.  Tradition is in a tug-of-war with modernity on the streets of Chinatown ID, where multi-generational family businesses stand side-by-side with the startups of young, artistic entrepreneurs. It all amounts to a beautiful, mutable monument to the American Dream.  This episode was produced in collaboration with KUOW and made possible by a generous grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

The romance and horror of Edgar Allan Poe's life and works continues to enthrall people hundreds of years after he was born...On January 19, 2018, hundreds of people gathered at his memorial in Westminster Burial Ground to celebrate his 209th birthday and catch a glimpse of the mysterious Poe Toaster.

Wiki Commons

On this episode, we turn our attention to the epidemic of gun violence in Baltimore. Baltimore suffered 342 homicides last year.  And that’s up 17 percent from the year before. If you do the math, this means that about 56 of every 100,000 people in the city are murdered.  While mass shootings often make the headlines, the slow burn murder rate in cities like Baltimore usually aren't fully addressed. On this episode, we meet a shock trauma surgeon, a journalist uncovering the illegal gun trade across state lines, and a young man who miraculously survived being shot twenty-three times. 

In 2015, there were over seven-hundred Confederate monuments displayed in cities, parks, and towns throughout the United States. Since that time more than 25 American cities have removed one or more Confederate monuments from public view, sparking a heated national debate - Is this revisionist history or an attempt at rectifying a historical wrong? The country is extremely divided. Baltimore's four explicitly Confederate statues were removed during the night in August of 2017. In this episode, Wes asks experts to contextualize these monuments and their purpose, while asking how we will address memorials and historical memory in our future cities. 

100 S Broadway, part 3

Feb 12, 2018
all photos by Wendel Patrick

If we’re truthful about it, most of us will admit it:  There’s a gap between who we are and who we yearn to be.  In this episode, people confront the sting of getting honest with themselves.  In the end, some find redemption, and some just stare into the abyss.  There’s darkness in this episode, yes, but rays of hope have a way of shining in through the cracks.  As you’ll hear Francesca say, “Life is too short, the world is too cruel. Just love one another.”

Ouija boards have a strange and complicated history, steeped in myth and legend.  No one's quite sure who truly invented the board, but almost everyone agrees that it was Baltimore-native William Fuld who is responsible for it’s lasting popularity.  Harmless toy or portal for dark forces?  Let's find out.

There are a surprisingly high number of grandparents raising grandchildren here in Baltimore City. What persistent societal problems have contributed to the rise of this family situation, and what unique challenges do grandparent guardians face? In Baltimore, 20% of older adults are living below or at poverty level, and in communities of color that number is doubled. Raising kids for a second time, often on a much tighter budget and with a whole new array of emotional burdens, can seem like a nearly impossible task. We talk with a grandparent guardian about the reality of this situation and what the city needs to do in order to help families like hers.

Human beings want to believe the veil between life and death is a thin one. Some people even believe the dead can speak to them. In the first episode of The Noir and Bizarre, we attend a session with a psychic medium and record her attempts to make contact with a clients’ departed loved ones.

The Noir and Bizarre explores the dark and strange stories we tell ourselves about human existence – occult history, ghosts, haunted houses, and secret crimes - with a special emphasis on stories that draw on the rich history and culture of Baltimore. Additionally, the show philosophically asks big questions about spiritual narratives and rituals surrounding life and death. Episode 1 debuts 2/1/18.

In this encore edition of Future City, Wes explores how Baltimore is working to keep pace with the burgeoning Maker Movement, a lifestyle and philosophy based on the idea that a do-it-yourself attitude changes lives for the better. Is the movement really all its proponents say it’s cracked up to be?  Or is it leaving women and the disadvantaged on the sidelines? 

100 S Broadway, part 1

Jan 16, 2018
all photos by Wendel Patrick

Baltimore became a second home to members of North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe when they immigrated to the city after World War II, trading in farm work for factory and construction jobs.  Since then, the Baltimore American Indian Center on the 100 block of S Broadway has been a cultural hub for the transplanted Lumbee people and other Native Americans in the city.  In this episode: Conversations with Urban Indians about family, spirituality, and identity.

Wide Angle Youth Media

Joelle is a seventeen year old high schooler and a pretty typical teenager in most ways. She enjoys being with her friends, downloading apps on her phone, and is looking forward to pursuing a career as a film maker… But she’s experienced clinical depression – an illness that is now affecting 20% of teenagers in the United States. Adolescents are in the midst of a mental-health crisis: this is the most anxious and depressed generation on record, but despite the ubiquitous nature of depression it’s still largely misunderstood. This month on the show, Joelle's story and the power of art to transform dark experiences into transformative ones. 

2017 is looking to be a record setting year when it comes to natural disasters in the United States. Climate change and a growing population have all contributed to a rise in natural disasters around the world… So what’s being done about it? This month, Wes looks at where governments have fallen short when it comes to preventing natural disasters, as well as addressing concerns we have as Marylanders living in a coastal state. 

all photos by Wendel Patrick

This episode kicks off with a barber who’s been cutting hair in The Ville for 60 years, and it ends with the story of a woman who just recently became a proud homeowner in the neighborhood.  In between are beautiful, personal stories from mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, war veterans, preachers, urban gardeners, and more. Produced in collaboration with the podcast We Live Here and the neighborhood organization 4 The Ville, and made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Healthcare for the Homeless

Jeff Garrett had a nice life.  Married, two kids, he and his wife both worked, and his job gave him the flexibility to be at home with his children. Hardly the portrait of a man on the brink of homelessness.  And yet, in remarkably short order, Jeff found himself divorced, separated from his kids, penniless, evicted, mentally unstable, and contemplating suicide.  Jeff’s story opens the door on a conversation about mental health and homelessness.  What are the safety nets, and what happens when they fail?  What’s the emotional and physical toll of homelessness?  And what’s our collective responsibility as a society when it comes to helping the most vulnerable among us? This month on Life in the Balance, understanding, and coping with, homelessness. 

3600 Falls Road, part 3

Nov 20, 2017
all photos by Wendel Patrick

In this episode, a group home is a haven for residents with mental and psychological challenges; a web-design CEO reveals his second life as an experimental musician; a pizzeria owner shares a lesson in pride and humility; a rock drummer trades in his sticks for a career in corporate voice-overs; a recovering heroin addict struggles to stay clean for her 2-year-old daughter; and the boss of a branding agency second-guesses his own brand of leadership.

This month on Future City – the average house size in America is somewhere around twenty-six-hundred square feet... but many people are saying “no” to “bigger is better” – instead opting to live in so-called “tiny homes” – some as small as one-hundred-eighty square feet… Wes talks with people so passionate about this movement they made a podcast out of it – The Tiny House Podcast – along with social innovators looking to use tiny homes as a solution to homelessness. 

AP Photo/David Goldman

This month on "Life in the Balance," gangs and street violence in Baltimore is an epidemic. But what happens to those people who want to get out of gangs, what struggles do they meet on the way? We’ll meet Gardnel Carter, a former gang member who’s now helping others to avoid his past mistakes.  We’ll also talk with Media Chief T.J. Smith of the Baltimore City Police about the department’s efforts to stem gang violence, and we’ll hear the remarkable story of a 17 year old boy who’s trying to walk away from his own past with gangs.  The problem is his old associates are not happy about his decision. This hour, the uphill climb out of gang violence, the organizations trying to combat it, and the people whose lives hang in the balance. 

all photos by Wendel Patrick

A boom in new, young residents is great for business, unless you’re the neighborhood funeral home.  In this episode, a funeral director looks toward an uncertain future, a yarn shop becomes a handicraft social hub, a family of Mennonites arrives to start a Christian school, and a record store owner ponders his decision to become… a record store owner.

This month on the show – Did you know, on average, households of color are 2.2 times as likely to be asset poor compared to their white counterparts? This means that when there’s a bump in the road – a health emergency, a car accident, an unplanned pregnancy – these families become highly vulnerable. Baltimore is a minority-majority city, but the city’s communities of color still lag behind their white counterparts. How the city is evolving and how a history of discriminatory financial practices continues to hold people back: Wes speaks with economists, activists, and journalists and asks, how can communities of color build and sustain wealth?

Smart Cities

Sep 20, 2017

What do you think of when you think of a Smart City? Wi-fi hubs, self-driving vehicles, maybe…  but what about data analysis and research institutions? In this hour, Wes explores the idea of Smart Cities – connectivity hubs that use big data to change the way we interact in urban environments. We’ll be learning from the example of Seattle, Washington – a city that just hired a Smart City Coordinator and has been leading the way when it comes to urban innovation – we’ll then speak with two leaders at Johns Hopkins devoted to making city government more efficient and effective.

On the pilot episode of Life in the Balance, we meet Danny Miller, a man sentenced to thirty years in prison at the age of seventeen after a fight with a friend turned deadly. When he gets out early on parol, he struggles to find a job in a society that seems more determined than ever to keep him on the sidelines. Host Aaron Henkin listens to Danny's life story - along with a panel of experts on post-incarceration - and asks, how and why does a man find himself in this situation, and what can we do to help?

In this hour, Wes explores education technology and online learning – discussing everything from coding as a foreign language to the potential dangers of the privatization. We’ll also learn how online learning has the potential to make education more equitable and accessible. Wes speak with some of the most influential people in the field of education technology and asks tough questions about the future of learning here in Baltimore and beyond. 

In this hour, Wes turns a critical eye toward public transit. He speaks with transportation expert and Harvard Business School Professor, Rosabeth Kanter. He then talks with Alex Fischer of the Columbus Partnership about how the private sector can be vital to developing Smart transit systems. Turning back to to Baltimore – he speaks with Jimmy Rouse of the Baltimore Transit Campaign and with Samuel Jordan of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition. Finally, he'll talk with Liz Cornish of Bikemore about how biking connects diverse communities. Baltimore has notoriously poor public transit - what does the future of transportation look like for our city?  

Guests on this program include: 

Green Cities

Jun 19, 2017

Wes looks to Boston, where a clean harbor and a growing urban agriculture initiative are turning the city into a prime example of what a Green City can look like. The first half of the show focuses on urban agriculture; Wes talks with Green City Growers, the company responsible for implementing a vegetable garden on top of Fenway Park. Back in Baltimore, Wes talks with the Farm Alliance of Baltimore and The Baltimore Orchard Project. Wes addresses some of the dark sides of urban agriculture, speaking with the International Research Center on Sustainability in Paris. Finally, Wes looks to our city’s harbors – speaking with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and then with Blue Water Baltimore. Urban agriculture is not without challenges – so when it comes to sustainability, what can we learn from the other city by the bay? 

In this episode, Wes explores how Baltimore is working to keep pace with the burgeoning Maker Movement, a lifestyle and philosophy based on the idea that a do-it-yourself attitude changes lives for the better. Is the movement really all its proponents say it’s cracked up to be?  Or is it leaving women and the disadvantaged on the sidelines?