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The Maker Movement

May 12, 2017

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? 

Courtesy Stoop Storytelling

At a Stoop Storytelling event in October, 2015, Kaye Whitehead talks about how she’s learned to be a devoted mother and Black Mommy Activist for her two fierce, young sons. You can find it along with other stories and the Stoop podcast at Stoopstorytelling.com.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Mother’s Day, to a woman who has finally found refuge for herself and her children in a domestic abuse shelter, can be a very emotional time. Bouquets from JWI’s Mother’s Day Flower Project translate into emotional support for women in domestic abuse shelters. Today we speak with JWI vice president Meredith Jacobs, and Naomi Taffet, from CHANA, which provides resources for victims of domestic abuse, shares the stories of some of her clients. To support the flower project visit the JWI website here.

Photo courtesy Patheos.com

Today it's another edition of our monthly series called Living Questions – a series produced in collaboration with the ICJS, the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies here in Baltimore – that explores the role of religion in the public sphere.  

On today’s program, we’re going to be looking at the impact of the 112-day-old Trump Administration on religious freedom and tolerance in the United States.  Much has been said and written about the polarization in American political dialogue since the November presidential election, but we’re going to focus on how Donald Trump’s election victory has affected the way diverse religious groups interact with the larger society, and how presidential actions may have improved or worsened the climate of religious freedom -- one of America’s bedrock values.

Joining Rob to examine these questions are three leaders in their respective faith communities: 

John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, which describes itself as a non-profit “strategy center…advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good.”  He is also a contributing editor to Commonweal Magazine, and the author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church, published in 2015. His analysis has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Commonweal, and the National Catholic Reporter.   John Gehring joins us from NPR studios in Washington.

Joining Rob in Studio A is Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg.  He has been the Rabbi at the Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill here in Baltimore since 2010. He is a fellow in the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and is a contributing author to Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation about Rabbinical Education.  He is a trustee of the ICJS.

Also in the studio is Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat.  A native of Syria who has lived in the United States for nearly 30 years, Imam Arafat serves as the President of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland, and is the president and founder of the Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation, a non-profit group that provides religious and cultural training, consultation and orientation services for foreign exchange students and for the staff of the State Department’s Youth Exchange Study Program.

Photos by Teresa Castracane

It's Thursday, and that means theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is here with her weekly review of the region's thespian offerings.  Today, she joins guest host and Midday senior producer Rob Sivak with a review of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's revival of the 1960 classic musical, The Fantasticks.

The longest-running musical in Broadway history -- and still a perennial favorite of theater companies across the country and around the world -- has a simple, Shakespeare-inspired storyline, at whose heart is a 19 year-old boy and the 16 year-old girl next door. Their controlling fathers scheme to lead the unwitting pair into romance, but the matchmaking goes terribly wrong. The lyrical and sentimental musical, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, is filled with memorable songs.  The Fantasticks is Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's first musical.  Directed by Curt L. Tofteland.

The Fantasticks continues at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company through Sunday, May 21st.

JARC Baltimore / Facebook

Elaine Carroll tells On the Record about a job-training program she directs in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood - the Jane Addams Resource Corporation, JARC. She describes the obstacles trainees face and how JARC Baltimore prepares low-income folks for careers in modern manufacturing.

@madeinbmorepopup / Instagram

In the response to the growing market for locally-made goods, Baltimore City's Department of Planning will now provide qualifying business with a "Made in Baltimore" certification. Coordinator Andy Cook tells us what value the city thinks this label will add to products. Plus we speak to Jamyla Bennu, co-founder of the hair- and skin-care brand, Oyin Homemade.

The map is not the territory, photo by Ayden L.M. Grout

Have you ever been at a theater, music or dance performance and been unable to connect to the storyline? Odyssey Works, a performance group that creates “Immersive, durational experiences for an audience of one” invokes the exact opposite response. In fact, when you’re the audience for an Odyssey, it’s all about you ... We spoke with co-founder Abraham Burickson and assistant-director, Ayden LeRoux to learn more about the Odyssey Works experience and their new book.

photo courtesy vanhollen.sen.gov

President Trump's surprise decision Tuesday night to fire FBI Director James Comey, ostensibly for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email-server investigation, has sparked a political firestorm, and precipitated what some political observers say is an unprecedented constitutional crisis. 

Critics of Comey's sacking allege it was a brazen attempt by Mr. Trump to derail the FBI's ongoing investigation -- being led by Mr. Comey -- into Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and possible collusion with the Trump presidential campaign.  The presidents's supporters say Mr. Trump's decision to fire the FBI chief was justified by Mr. Comey's controversial public statements regarding the FBI's Clinton investigation.  And they dismiss critics' concerns that the FBI's Russia probe could come to a halt under the new director that Mr. Trump will appoint.

For the first segment of Wednesday's show, Tom speaks with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D. Md.) about the Comey firing, how it changes the political dynamic in Washington, and what impact it will have on the effort to finally learn the truth about Russia's involvement with the 2016 presidential race and the Trump campaign.

Photo courtesy Madison Smartt Bell

Tom's guest this afternoon is the novelist Madison Smartt Bell.  He is the author of more than 20 books, which include novels, short stories and works of non-fiction.  In 1995 and 1996, his novel, All Soul’s Rising, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.   It won the Anisfield-Wolf award for the best book of the year dealing with matters of race.  It’s the first of a three-part trilogy about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Slave Uprising of the late 18th century.

Bell’s a professor of English and the co-director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College.  He calls his latest novel "a fever dream."  Behind the Moon begins with a group of teenagers skipping school and heading to the desert for a camping trip.  When one of them gets into an accident, it sets off a chain of events that brings together an absent  mother, a young refugee, and a shaman, among others, for a story that delves into the complexities of family, the hardships of the outsider, and the power and possibility of the spirit world.  

Madison Smartt Bell will be talking about Behind the Moon on Saturday, May 13 at the "Starts Here Series” held at Bird in Hand Bookstore, located at 11 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, MD  21218.  

The event begins at 7:30pm.  For additional details, click here, or call 410 243 0757. You can also contact host Jen Michalski at jen.michalski@gmail.com

Today, the author joins Tom in the studio, and takes your calls, emails and tweets.

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