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Save Old Town School of Folk Music!

Save Old Town School of Folk Music!

The Old Town School of Folk Music is going through some difficult times. Enrollment is down, teachers are unionizing, students and teachers are both feeling changes happening without being informed or consulted. My guests this week are John Mead, a teacher at the Old Town School since 2001, and Rich Gordon, a longtime student, and one of the organizers of the Save Old Town School movement.

Here’s some background:
In October the administration at Old Town School announced they were selling the school’s building at 909 W. Armitage, which has served as the school’s historic home for more than 50 years. The next day Save Old Town School was founded. Since then a change.org petition has more than 8,000 signatures and last week there was an Old Town School board meeting where teachers and students spoke to the board and pushed for change.

I will let John and Rich tell the story from here, but here is a link to their website and the Change.org petition.

https://saveoldtownschool.org
https://www.change.org/p/kish-khemani-save-the-old-town-school-of-folk-music

Also, you will hear John mention the Bruce Springsteen Ensemble. They are playing tonight, Dec. 3, 2018 at Martyrs here in Chicago, check them out if you can.

 

 

Listen Here:


Teacher Man

Guest Host Bill Baykan with Michael Galbincea

Guest Host Bill Baykan with Michael Galbincea

Terry Gross has Dave Davies cover for her.  Johnny Carson had Joan Rivers, Gary Shandling, and scores others guest host when he was away. Fun Fact, when Lennon and McCartney were on the Tonight Show in 1968 to talk about Apple Records, Joe Garagiola was the guest host. He ain’t no Joe Garagiola, but Bill Baykan, my first guest on Teaching in the Arts sits in for me as I took a week off to work on my race track announcer film- more on that next week.


Bill’s guest is Michael Galbincea, Chair of the Animation and Digital Art Program at Flashpoint Chicago.  They have a great chat, and it was fun for me to listen to my own podcast with fresh ears.  Great job Bill and Michael, and thank you Andrew Shabat and Soundmaker Post for putting it all together.

Listen here:


Back next week with a new episode and some news about upcoming episodes of Teaching in the Arts.

Teacher Man

Military Experience & The Arts, Dan Buckman

Military Experience & The Arts, Dan Buckman

A great show this week, Dan Buckman, Vice President and Managing Fiction Editor of the website Military Experience & the Arts is my guest on a special Veteran’s Day episode of Teaching in the Arts.  This is a fascinating conversation, and I want to thank a listener for bringing Dan to my attention.

Military Experience & the Arts is a website for veterans to share their stories in written form, both fiction and non-fiction.  It’s been an outlet since 2011 and some of the writers published there have gone on to publish novels of their own, including Ray McPadden’s And the Whole Mountain Burned.

It’s a great conversation, we talk about Dan’s background as a 4th generation military man, his novels (he’s published four!) and teaching writing and literature in colleges.  The real focus is on the returning veteran experience and the divide between veterans and the general public- including a discussion about why veterans do not like it when someone says, “Thank you for your service.”This was a real eye opener for me, you can listener below.

A brief note, next week I have a guest host, Bill Baykan, my guest on the very first episode of Teaching in the Arts fills in for me.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Teacher Man

Rene Roy from the Museum of Science and Industry

Rene Roy from the Museum of Science and Industry

This week on Teaching in the Arts, Rene Roy, Senior Co0ordinator of Guest-Facing Volunteer Programs at the Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago.  We had a great discussion about Rene’s career and journey from being an actor and director, to being chair of the Theater Arts Program at National-Lous University for nearly 20 years.

I first met Rene in the early 2000s while he was a producer and on-camera talent at Skylight TV, the in house production arm of Children’s Memorial Hospital.  We get into that fascinating gig, and he tells me when he met Mr. Rogers,  who Rene says was the genuine article.  And if anyone hasn’t seen the Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, you must check it out.  It’s a great film.

The Lesson of the Day, short and sweet, go vote!  Tomorrow is election day, throw the bums out.  If you are a teacher, talk about it in your classes. It’s a great conversation with Rene, and I learned a lot.  I can’t wait to get lunch with him next week and talk off mics.

And if that’s not enough, basketball legend Bill Russell makes it into the conversation- for reals!  But you have to catch the whole podcast to see how Mr. Russell makes the podcast.

You can listen here:

And for anyone who is interested, I have been slowly but surely been adding videos to what I am calling my film archive.  It goes back to the 1980s and up to present day.  You can check that out here.

Teacher Man

Happy Halloween! This week Ghost Stories and Brad Gyori returns to talk about Shelley’s Heart

Happy Halloween! This week Ghost Stories and Brad Gyori returns to talk about Shelley’s Heart

Happy Halloween week! Way back at the beginning of April Brad Gyori was on the podcast.  You can read the original post and listen here.  When we spoke in April Brad told us of his plans for a production of his Geo-location play, “Shelley’s Heart,”  It goes live on Wednesday, Halloween, so I thought it would be great to have Brad back to discuss the production.  For those of us who can’t travel to Bournemouth, England you can get the entire experience at https://www.shelleysheart.com/sample and I strongly encourage you to do it. It’s interactive, it’s great storytelling, and makes me want to hop on a plane.  Good work Brad!

So it’s Halloween week, and in addition to Brad and Shelley’s Heart, the Lesson of the Day is sharing some of my own personal ghost stories.  First up is my grandmother, Kakky.  She died in 1982, but shows up regularly, and keeps pushing me to finish my horse racing documentary- more on that in a few weeks.  She often shows up in my dining room, every now and then show teases me and pokes her finger in my chest and tells me to keep going.  A couple of Christmases ago, I was at my parents house searching through a folder of financial documents.  We had been talking about Kakky, and there, in the middle of all these papers is this photograph.  There was no logical reason this picture from 1969 should have been there, but there it was.  Kakky wanted us to know she was around.  Hi Kakky.

Teacher Man Ghost Story # 2.

About 2 days before I found the picture of Kakky, our dog Nelson died.  He was the sweetest thing.  I found him chained to a fence in 2005, and he was with us and his big brother, Vishnu, until he died.  About 2 weeks after his death a motion detection light in the backyard went off.  It hadn’t worked in months, and hasn’t worked since.  It was Nelson coming home, I am sure.  And to drive the point home, the iPhone blew up with one of those “memory” things- all photos of Nelson.

And finally, just at this time last year our other dog, Vishnu died.  Vish was “my” dog.  We were close.  Either I was like him, or he was like me.  Stubborn in our ways, a little crotchety, we like to eat, he drank like crazy, we were close.  By the time he died at 15 he was arthritic and drugged up like Keith Richards.  That dog could maintain on all sorts of painkillers and other things.  10 days before his death we went to a dog blessing.  Our groomer, Patty at Bark Bark Club was there and unbeknownst to us, took a picture of Vishnu.  A couple of weeks later I was really sad.  I missed Vish a lot and I didn’t understand why he didn’t come back home like Nelson did.  Just at that time I go get out mail, and in the delivery was a letter- yes snail mail- from Patty with a printed photograph of Vishnu from the dog blessing.  Just when I was wondering where he was, I literally walked in the front door with him one final time.  

Those are my ghost stories.  Happy Halloween.  Listen to the podcast here:
Teacher Man

James Warda from Loyola University Chicago, PLUS a return visit from Free Spirit Media’s Jeff McCarter

James Warda from Loyola University Chicago, PLUS a return visit from Free Spirit Media’s Jeff McCarter

A really big two-part episode this week on Teaching in the Arts.  First up is Jeff McCarter from Free Spirit Media, followed by my main guest is James Warda who teaches with me at Loyola University in Chicago.  We have a really great conversation about being a first time college teacher, about what we are passionate about, and especially bringing a human approach to the work place.

I am not sure it is fair to call James a renaissance man, but here’s a sampling of his work:  He’s the author of the book, Where Are We Going So Fast: Finding the Sacred in Everyday Moments, he writes the Chicago Now Blog by the same name, he plays guitar and sings in The Groove Band and, oh yeah, he is a first time college teacher.  We have a lot to talk about, and it is a great chat.

But before James, at the start of the show, Jeff McCarter from Free Spirit Media returns to share some exciting news.  Jeff was on Teaching in the Arts way back in March, and you can hear that episode here.  Jeff continues his great work at Free Spirit Media, and the organization continues to grow and thrive, and help young people.  A sampling of Free Spirit Media’s recent work is below.

You can listen to Jeff and James here:

Teacher Man

 

https://freespiritmedia.org/inpathways

WGN-TV News Cameraman and Teacher in the arts, Tremaine Williams

WGN-TV News Cameraman and Teacher in the arts, Tremaine Williams

This week on Teaching in the Arts I have a great conversation with Tremaine Williams.  Tremaine is a cameraman for WGN-TV in Chicago, and has also been an on-air reporter for KWQC-TV in Davenport, IA and a “one man band” in Rockford, IL.  I first met Tremaine when I hired him to teach entry level broadcast classes at Tribeca Flashpoint College.

We have a great talk.  Tremaine shares how he got into the business, how he worked hard, and in my opinion mastered the art of getting jobs, and the role mentors played on him.  He also talks about learning from mistakes, and how being a professional makes him a better teacher.

Among other topics, we also discuss some of his favorite (and scariest) stories to cover as a newsman, hint: The Stanley Cup was not one of the scariest stories.

We also talk about being a drone pilot, and his freelance career as a filmmaker outside of WGN.

See some of that work here:

Drug Addiction Unit at Loretto Hospital from Tremaine Williams on Vimeo.

drone work 10-15 from Tremaine Williams on Vimeo.

 

And listen to the podcast here:


Teacher Man

Anne Versnel, Loyola University Chicago Student

Anne Versnel, Loyola University Chicago Student

My guest this week is Anne Versnel, a former student of mine from Loyola University in Chicago.  Anne was in my class last spring, and on the second day she came early and said, “I know you don’t know me, but can I use you as a reference for an internship.”  Two days later she emailed me, reintroduced herself and asked again.  We talk about this on the podcast.

Any regular listener to Teaching in the Arts knows I really like talking to students, and every couple of months I have former students of mine on the podcast, check out Ebbe Bertollotti, Ava Battochio, and Marisa Dickens and Asha Lodhia.  I think getting to know students, and former students makes me a better teacher.

Now back to Anne and this week’s podcast.

While one part of my brain asked, “who is this person?” the other part really appreciated her directness.  You aren’t going to get an internship without going for it, and I recognized that’s what she was doing.

During my course I asked students to create a personal social media project, and Anne created an Instagram account, Here4agoudatime

We discuss this, but also Anne’s experiences at college and how it has informed her.  Also, cooking, eating, exercise and body image.  It’s a great chat, and I appreciate her coming on and being so forthright.

Listen here:

Teacher Man

And follow me here to see Teacher Man’s film work.

http://peterahawley.com

Editor, Voice Over Artist, Teacher in the Arts: Alaric Martin

Editor, Voice Over Artist, Teacher in the Arts: Alaric Martin

This week I have a great conversation with film editor and teacher in the arts, Alaric Martin.  I’ve known Alaric for a decade, but until we got on the mics I never really knew him.  Sure, I knew he had a long, successful career as a TV commercial editor, and I knew he was editing more long form projects including my former student, Kirby Ashley’s documentary Sideline: The History of Chess From a Black Point of View but I didn’t know how he got here.

Right off the start of our conversation Alaric talks about the influence his father, a postman by profession, aspiring painter by night, had on him, and how it got Alaric to think beyond the five blocks of his Southside of Chicago neighborhood.  In our chat Alaric mentions a couple of his father’s paintings and I asked him to send me the pictures you see here.  Listen to the podcast to hear the story behind the paintings.

This is Chicago Lake Michigan and was reproduced from a black and white photograph Alaric’s father saw.

 

 

 

And this is The Baptizing Pond, also done from a black and white photograph.  Alaric tells me he believes this was the pond where his father was baptized.  Each painting is more than 55 years old.

 

 

In the podcast we talk a lot about the TV Commercial business, the influence Tom Burrell and the Burrell advertising agency had on his career, and of course we get around to talking about teaching in the arts.

If this isn’t enough, Alaric also did the voice over for Iron Five the documentary about Loyola’s 1963 NCAA men’s basketball champions, and he just opened up his own editing shop, Epilog Design Media Group.

It’s a great conversation, and just goes to show that you can work with someone for years and not really know them.  I am glad I had the chance to get to know Alaric a little better.

Listen here:

Teacher Man

Teaching in the Arts Special Documentary- Conclusion!

Teaching in the Arts Special Documentary- Conclusion!

We are back with the second and concluding part of the Teaching in the Arts Special Documentary as we follow Andrew Shabat teaching his first college course.

This week I talk with Andrew after his first week of classes,he has a class observation by faculty member Jeff Kliment, we hear Andrew in action as a teacher, the course ends, and we reveal Andrew’s student evaluations “live” on the  Teaching in the Art mics.

If you missed part one, you should review and listen here.

I also want to thank Andrew for allowing me to even try this, it could have been a disaster.  Also, thanks to Jeff Kliment and Yuri Lysoiavanov for participating.

As I said last week, in many ways, this is what this Podcast is all about- how teachers in the arts do what they do.

Listen here:

 
Teacher Man

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