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

600 Cherry Hill Road, Part II

Jun 20, 2017
all photos by Wendel Patrick

We have our own community here. It's like no other neighborhood.  We're R.I.C.H. Raised in Cherry Hill.

600 Cherry Hill Road, Part I

Jun 5, 2017
all photos by Wendel Patrick

This place, people counted it out to drown.  But Cherry Hill is literally that.  We are a hill.  I don’t care how much water you surround us by.  We are a hill that will always stand and will always be bold.

Today, guest host Aaron Henkin (producer of WYPR's Out of the Blocks series) spends the hour examining how well the Baltimore City Public School System's "school choice" program is working, twelve years after its launch.

The program was created to give all students (and their parents) a chance to participate in the selection of the middle schools and high schools they wish to attend. 

The annual high-school choice program starts each fall, it goes on through each spring, and it gives late middle-schoolers an opportunity to identify their top five preferred high schools.  Kids make these selections based on a range of criteria:  they look at student population, gender mix, sports programs and, special academic offerings like advanced placement courses and college-credit curricular tracks.

2100 Edmondson

Jan 4, 2017
all images by Wendel Patrick

The corner diner, Soul Source, is the hub of the 2100 block  of Edmondson Avenue. The manager, Joyce, has been serving breakfast to the locals for 30 years. Her restaurant looks out onto a West Baltimore block scarred by gunshots and stabbings. But the block is more than its scars. It’s a block where a Pentecostal pastor keeps her faith in the face of suffering, where a reformed drug dealer works as a kitchen appliance repairman, and where a political reporter from Kashmir has found sanctuary working behind the counter at a sandwich shop. It’s a block where a former Nigerian soccer star operates an auto repair shop. In his car lot, he lets a homeless man sleep in a van. Next door is an army veteran who issued air-strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And across the street is a tire repairman who’s trying to beat a 30-year heroin addiction. Crystal, who works in the kitchen at Soul Source, sums it up like this: It’s not always peaches and cream, but this is a place that you know is always going to be real.  

Out of the Blocks Podcast - 600 Deepdene Rd

Oct 3, 2016
all photos by Wendel Patrick

The 2016 season finale episode of Out of the Blocks takes a twist, as we travel to the 600 block of Deepdene Road in North Baltimore’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood.  The sounds of city traffic give way to the natural harmony of cicadas, birds, and frogs on this tree-lined residential block, nestled up against the city’s Stony Run Trail.

600 Deepdene Rd

Sep 18, 2016
all photos by Wendel Patrick

The 2016 season finale episode of Out of the Blocks takes a twist, as we travel to the 600 block of Deepdene Road in North Baltimore’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood.  The sounds of city traffic give way to the natural harmony of cicadas, birds, and frogs on this tree-lined residential block, nestled up against the city’s Stony Run Trail.  The stories here are a study of families in all their varieties: families with same-sex parents, interracial parents, single parents, and adoptive parents, as well as empty-nesters, divorcees, and newlyweds.  The twist?  For the Out of the Blocks producers, this episode is personal.  Wendel Patrick used to live here, and Aaron Henkin lives here now.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

The 2100 block of Monument Street is anchored by the Baltimore’s Northeast Market, a honeycomb of vendors selling fish, meat, fried chicken, barbeque, bulgogi, deli sandwiches, and baked goods.

The commerce spills onto the surrounding sidewalks, where open-air peddlers hawk sunglasses and socks, CDs & DVDs, umbrellas and pepper spray.  Unemployed entrepreneurs polish headlights, sell loose cigarettes, and do whatever else they can to make ends meet.  It all happens in the shadow of the looming Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, an institution at pains to restore relations with the neighborhood in the wake of longstanding ill will.

2100 E Monument

Jul 1, 2016
all photos by Wendel Patrick

The 2100 block of Monument Street is anchored by the Baltimore’s Northeast Market, a honeycomb of vendors selling fish, meat, fried chicken, barbeque, bulgogi, deli sandwiches, and baked goods.  The commerce spills onto the surrounding sidewalks, where open-air peddlers hawk sunglasses and socks, CDs & DVDs, umbrellas and pepper spray.  Unemployed entrepreneurs polish headlights, sell loose cigarettes, and do whatever else they can to make ends meet.  It all happens in the shadow of the looming Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, an institution at pains to restore relations with the neighborhood in the wake of longstanding ill will.

All photos by Wendel Patrick

Church bells ring in a duet with the clanging Light Rail, city buses rattle and hiss, and loud sidewalk conversations compete with the din.  These are the sounds that reverberate through a block peppered with Bengali body oil shops, barbershops and salons, a magic candle store, and the shoe-repair shop of a Russian cobbler.  A vanguard of artists populates a five-story building on the block, a honeycomb of musicians, painters, fashion designers, and jewelers.  As a sum of its parts, 200 West Saratoga is an ecstatic cacophony of optimism, ambition, anxiety, and resilience.

200 W Saratoga

May 13, 2016
All photos by Wendel Patrick

The 200 block of West Saratoga Street is nestled in the frenetic bustle of downtown Baltimore.  Church bells ring in a duet with the clanging Light Rail, city buses rattle and hiss, and loud sidewalk conversations compete with the din.  These are the sounds that reverberate through a block peppered with Bengali body oil shops, barbershops and salons, a magic candle store, and the shoe-repair shop of a Russian cobbler.  A vanguard of artists populates a five-story building on the block, a honeycomb of musicians, painters, fashion designers, and jewelers.  As a sum of its parts, 200 West Saratoga is an ecstatic cacophony of optimism, ambition, anxiety, and resilience.

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