Daniel Wanschura

Arts & Culture Reporter/Producer

Ever since he was young, Dan has been fascinated with radio. From hearing the dulcet tones of John Gordon broadcast Minnesota Twins games, to staying up late listening to radio theater, he was captivated by the imaginative medium. 

In 2012, Dan graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a BA in Communications. In 2015, he moved from the Twin Cities to northern Michigan, to cover arts and culture at Interlochen Public Radio.

During his time at IPR, he’s produced a weekly arts and culture segment called, “The Green Room.” In 2016, Dan won a PRNDI award for his story, “Opera: relevant or outdated?” In 2017, his story about a polo club in northern Michigan earned him a Edward R. Murrow regional award. His work has also been heard on NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, Michigan Radio, and KFAI Radio.

Dan enjoys playing softball, driving on Michigan’s renown M-22 highway, and volunteering as a leader in Grand Traverse Young Life. He is also a lover of the Oxford comma— much to the chagrin of his editors.

He loves setting sound-rich scenes in his radio journalism, so naturally, a couple of his favorite stories include the time he accompanied photographers shooting a Lake Michigan storm, and when he visited award-winning cheesemakers. Another favorite was telling the story of how theater has helped a vet with PTSD.

Rebecca Childs works on a painting in her '99 Paintings for Evelyn' series.
Dan Wanschura

Rebecca Childs’ grandmother-in-law painted and sketched right up until her death last year. Her name was Evelyn Henry, and she was 99 years old. And Evelyn changed the way Rebecca thought about her own art.

“You can’t have an excuse if a 99-year-old woman is sketching in her bed, you know, the last week of her life,” she says.

In her most recent book, author Mary Roach talks about the unique ways science and war interacts on a more personalized level.
Dan Wanschura

‘Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War,’ is the newest book by author Mary Roach. And in it's pages, she doesn’t talk about what you might think of when you hear the words “science” and “war.” 


Jeff Kimpton concludes his 14-year presidency at Interlochen Center for the Arts on June 1.
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Jeff Kimpton is wrapping up his 14-year presidency at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Next week, he will retire and move to Minneapolis with his wife Julie.


'Hollywood and Crime' is a podcast produced by Jim Carpenter and Rebecca Reynolds of Leland. The couple is currently working on producing the second season of the podcast, which is due later this year.
Wondery

Rebecca Reynolds and her husband, Jim Carpenter are filmmakers from Leland, Michigan.  About two years ago, Rebecca had a conversation with a friend in Los Angeles. Together, they came up with the concept for a true crime and Hollywood show.


The cast of 'Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play' gathers for a rehearsal earlier this week. The show explores what a society might hold onto after an apocalyptic event.
Dan Wanschura

If there was an apocalypse, what would we hold onto? How about the TV show 'The Simpsons?'

That’s the case in ‘Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.’

The musical comedy portrays a group of survivors who make it through a global disaster, which has left the world without electricity. 

 


Students at Leland High School rehearse 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' earlier this week. The musical incorporates audience participation to determine the outcome of the show.
Kim Klein

When Charles Dickens died in 1870, his last novel, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,' was unfinished. All we know for certain is that the title character, Edwin Drood, mysteriously disappears.

A musical based on that story assumes Drood has been killed, and the students at Leland High School are performing it over the next two weekends.

BJ Leiderman composes themes for NPR shows like 'Morning Edition' and 'Science Friday.' This May, he's coming out with his debut album, 'BJ!'
Mark Edward Atkinson

Over the years, BJ Leiderman has composed the theme music for lots of NPR shows like Morning Edition, Marketplace, Science Friday, and more.

But in early May, he’ll release his first album. And it’s a lot different from his theme jingles. While listeners might recognize him from his theme music, Leiderman says his passion is performing in a band.

 


Tyehimba Jess was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for poetry with his collection, 'Olio.' In it, he tells the stories of early African American performers.
Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is an African American poet from Detroit. He recently won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for his collection of poetry called, Olio. The poems are inspired by blackface minstrel shows.

Minstrel shows were variety acts – skits, dances, music, comedy, and were popular in the 1800’s and well into the 1900’s. Performers would paint their faces black, and act out routines that often denigrated African Americans.

Northern Michigan has a lot of option in terms of summer music festivals and concerts. On July 9, you can listen to a concert while you sit on the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Glen Arbor Art Association

The 2017 Interlochen Arts Festival lineup was announced today, and it features the likes of ZZ Top, Michael McDonald, Trace Adkins, Diana Ross, OK Go, and more.

But in addition to Interlochen, northern Michigan is home to a wide variety of summer concerts and festivals.


Xavier Verna, the executive director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, hopes to bring a vibrant arts and culture scene back to Manistee.
Dan Wanschura

If you lived in Manistee in the early 1900s, The Ramsdell Theatre was the place to be.

Women would put on elegant ballroom gowns, and men would get dressed up in fancy tuxedos for a night of arts and culture.

“That was like every weekend,” says Xavier Verna, the new executive director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts. “It was really fun and exciting to have a place that you just always had something to do.”

Robin Crocker has spent the last three months as the artist in residence at the Parsons Center in Lake Ann. She made a permanent exhibit celebrating the life of artist and educator Jean Parsons.
Tommy Valdez

Most people who knew Jean Parsons, will tell you— she was tough and expected a lot from her students.

Jean never married, and didn’t have any children. So, she spent her days pouring into her art and investing in her students. 

Now, one of her students has created remembrance of her in the Benzie County village of Lake Ann.


Kyle Novy recently completed a 52-song album project, called 'Mount Valor.' And he's released every song for free.
Kyle Novy

Kyle Novy has been a singer-songwriter for a long time. But it had been about 10 years since he released any music. He was still writing songs, but the timing to record them wasn't right.

“I almost think of it like the whole pregnancy process," he explains. "I mean there’s a good nine months of development before this child is ready to be birthed, and like out in the world.”

A young speller competes in the Grand Traverse County Spelling Bee, in Kingsley on February 22.
Dan Wanschura

A few weeks ago, parents and students filled about half the bleachers at the Kingsley Middle School gym. It wasn’t for a sporting event but for the 2017 Grand Traverse County Spelling Bee. Spellers who do well here, will have a shot to go to the national competition which airs on ESPN. 


  

Shanny Brooke opened up the Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City in November. She wants to bring more modern and contemporary art to the northern Michigan community and is coming up with unique ideas to do so.
Dan Wanschura

Shanny Brooke moved from Florida to Traverse City about nine years ago. Soon, she noticed that her type of art, was missing. She sees a lot of what she calls “loons and dunes,” but little modern or contemporary art. 

Shanny says that’s because businesses cater to tourists and visitors.

 

Charles Ross is the creator of the One Man Star Wars Trilogy. He's performed the show thousands of times all over the world. He'll be at the City Opera House in Traverse City, March 10.
onemanstarwars.com

For the past 16 years, actor Charles Ross has been performing his One Man Star Wars Trilogy.

“Every time I think that the show is going to dry up, Star Wars just keeps on putting new things out and making new generations of fans,” he says. 


Lauren Duski is a country singer-songwriter from Gaylord. On Monday, she advanced to the next round of NBC's, 'The Voice.'
MPRM Communications

A country singer from Gaylord advanced to the next round of NBC’s reality TV show The Voice. Lauren Duski is a 25 year-old singer-songwriter who grew up performing in northern Michigan. 

She sang You Were Meant for Me by Jewel, during her first appearance Monday night. 

Duski says attending Interlochen Arts Camp in 2001 influenced her decision to pick that particular song.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood this Sunday evening.
Ivan Bandura

If you’re using Oscar nominations as a reference, La La Land is one of the best films in history, with 14 nominations.

Only two other films— All About Eve and Titanic— have been nominated 14 times by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Frank Pahl's automatons play a prominent role in Neruda's Suitcase, a show playing Thursday and Friday at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Dan Wanschura

Frank Pahl is a different kind of composer. What other people see as toys or junk, Frank sees as music-making potential.

“I didn’t grow to appreciate Tinker Toys until I was, wow, pushing 40,” he says.

Jetty Rae performs a song off her new album, 'Can't Curse the Free' in IPR's Studio A. The album features a different sound from Jetty's previous projects.
Dan Wanschura

Jetty Rae is a singer-songwriter who used to live in Charlevoix.

Lately she’s been traveling the country in an Airstream and working on a new sound. She recorded her new album in Nashville— it’s called Can’t Curse the Free

Raclette cheese wheels age in the cellar of Leelanau Cheese Company in Suttons Bay. The company was recently awarded a Super Gold award at the World Cheese Awards in Spain.
Dan Wanschura

Anne and John Hoyt own Leelanau Cheese Company in Suttons Bay. Leelanau Cheese is famous for it’s raclette.

“When people ask what it tastes like, I often say it’s between a gouda and a gruyere,” says Anne.

 

Rebecca Reynolds and Jim Carpenter work on their podcast 'Hollywood and Crime' from their home in Leland.
Dan Wanschura

Rebecca Reynolds and her husband, Jim Carpenter are filmmakers from Leland, Michigan.  About two years ago, Rebecca had a conversation with a friend in Los Angeles. Together, they came up with the concept for a true crime and Hollywood show.


The Grand Traverse Commons were once home to the Traverse City State Hospital. A new memoir written by Jack Kerkhoff tells of his 45-day stay inside the hospital in 1952.
Dan Wanschura

Jack Kerkhoff grew up Traverse City. And he remembers walking past the state hospital as a kid.

“How many times I had scampered up that driveway with my gang, fearful yet curious. How many times we had wandered outside the bleak tower-topped buildings that had iron bars at the windows, and shouted at the men and women behind the bars and giggled over the obscenities they tossed back at us.”


Mahogony Jones is a rapper and hip hop artist who lives in Detroit. She's performing at the State Theatre as part of the MLK Day celebration.
Mahogany Jones

Mahogany Jones says there was a time when rap and hip hop didn’t have the negative connotations like violence and misogyny. She says the music was about peace, love, and being a voice for the voiceless.

That’s the legacy Jones wants her music to reflect. She travels the world using her music as a way to empower others.

 


Aaron Stander points to photos taken of the McCormick Wilderness, in the Upper Peninsula. Part of his newest mystery, 'The Gales of November' takes place in the wilderness area.
Dan Wanschura

Maybe you recognize Aaron Stander as the voice of Michigan Writers on the Air. The show airs on IPR about every three months, and features Michigan authors and their books.

Aaron, too, is an author himself, and he just released a new mystery in his Ray Elkins series

The Accidentals are made up of Katie Larson, Sav Buist, and Michael Dause. The band recently announced a record label deal with Sony Music Masterworks.
Sony Music Masterworks

The Accidentals have announced a record deal with Sony Music Masterworks, which will distribute the group’s upcoming album on an international level.

The record label also has artists like Yo-Yo Ma, The Piano Guys, and Tall Heights under its name.

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