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 In 2016, Dan won a PRNDI award for his story Opera: relevant or outdated? His work has also been heard on Minnesota Public Radio, and Michigan 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 took in a polo match in northern Michigan. Another favorite was telling the story of how theater has helped a vet with PTSD.

A two track trail somewhere in the Canadian section of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
Jason Snell

 

2,735.

That’s how many miles local cyclist Jason Snell completed on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route last year. It runs from Alberta to New Mexico.

Joshua Davis is now one of six contestants vying for the top spot on "The Voice."
Tyler Golden/NBC

Traverse City resident Joshua Davis advanced to the next round of NBC's reality TV show, The Voice on Tuesday evening. The top eight contestants were whittled down to six, and Davis was the first contestant to be safe this week, after his performance of Fields of Gold by Sting. 

Kate Botello spoke with Davis on Friday.

"It's been incredible," says Davis of his experience on the show. "It's been an amazing growing process."  

Members of the Traverse City Curling Club wrapped up their first season on Wednesday, at Center Ice Arena.
Daniel Wanschura

The sport of curling dates back to the 16th century. That’s when people in Scotland would play on the frozen lochs and ponds. 

The Traverse City Curling Club has only been around for a year, but they’re hosting a big tournament this weekend, called the "Cherry Bombspiel."

The "Question Mark Building" in Honor, is coming down.
Daniel Wanschura

If you’ve ever driven through the town of Honor on U.S. 31, you’ve likely seen the “Question Mark Building.” 

It’s a dilapidated old structure that had a bright pink facade with a large question mark painted on the front. 

Well, the building is finally coming down. 

Talk to the locals in the town of Honor, and you’ll realize that there is a bit of a love - hate relationship with the building on the corner of Henry and Main Street. 

 

Singing his way across America

Apr 14, 2015
Folk singer Adam Miller plays at the Peninsula Community Library tonight in Traverse City.
Daniel Wanschura

Folk singer Adam Miller has been fascinated with storytelling, history, and music for a long time. 

His career started as a sort of experiment 20 years ago. He wanted to see if he could really make a living in the 21st Century, traveling and singing songs about times past. 

Now, each year Miller logs about 70,000 miles traveling to different schools and libraries across the United States.

John L. Russell

If you’re a soccer fan, you probably remember the 2006 World Cup Championship between France and Italy. The contest featured a French player famously head butting an Italian, before Italy won the match in a shootout. 

That match got the owners of Trattoria Stella in Traverse City thinking, “Why don’t we do this with food?”

This year marks the eighth year the Italian restaurant has challenged a French counterpart to a friendly dinner competition.

The Promise is a dramatic retelling of Christ's life, death, and resurrection.
New Hope Community Church

New Hope Community Church in Williamsburg, is a large church, but not a mega church. Yet, over a period of four days last year, 6,000 people crammed into the building to view The Promise, a dramatic Broadway-styled retelling of the Easter story. 

This year marks the 18th year of the show. 

Take one step into the dress rehearsal and you realize this isn’t your average church production. Viewers quickly find themselves immersed in culture 2,000 years old complete with authentic looking Roman soldiers and Hebrew priests. 

Daniel Wanschura

When Joe and Bobbi Woods bought a 40-acre parcel in Rapid City, they weren't thinking about starting a maple syrup farm. They planned to grow hay.

What started out with a just few buckets 20 years ago, has now grown into a nearly 600-gallon maple syrup operation annually. It’s a family operation for the Woods. During syrup season, their son Grant usually helps out, checking to make sure the sap flows freely through the line system.

Jimmy Olson talks about pursuing his music dreams in Nashville.
Daniel Wanschura

If you’re ever in Nashville and find yourself ordering dinner for delivery, you just might see Jimmy Olson come to your door. The musician from Northern Michigan is trying to turn his musical talents into a career; and he’s willing to do just about anything to make that happen.   

Olson has been making music for a long time.

The Benzie County Players rehearse "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater."
Daniel Wanschura

Forty-five years ago, Andy Mollema participated in his first readers theater production. He was a graduate student at Central Michigan University. The show was adapted from Kurt Vonnegut’s 1965 novel, "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater."

Today, Mollema is the one directing his own version of the novel, again in readers theater format.

“What’s going on with society today with this wealth versus disparity sort of thing, just brought me to want to resurrect this script,” says Mollema. “It’s absolutely pertinent, if not more so, today than it was then.” 

This year, NPR’s From the Top commissioned a new musical work from Interlochen Arts Academy Alum Michael Thurber. It's designed to feature the next generation of classical musicians. 

It's an all-Interlochen line up on the show this week, featuring excerpts from the concerto performed in Corson Auditorium with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. This show also includes solos from several current students.

Deputy Diane Speas, inside the art room at Leelanau County Jail.
Daniel Wanschura

Nearly ten years ago, the jail chaplain in Leelanau County challenged the inmates to participate in a drawing contest. It was Christmas and Leelanau County Deputy Diane Speas remembers the results of that first contest.

“We looked at them and found them just gorgeous, and decided to make them into cards," she recalls.

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