News

"Principles should 'bend' very little; otherwise they are no longer principles. Our founders enshrined the principle of free expression first, because they knew it would always be under fire."

Peggy Porter is a long-time resident of New Hanover County, and a former teacher of U.S. History and Civics. 

You can hear more from Peggy and our other commentators at our website: WHQR DOT O-R-G. Just click on "Commentary."

Opera Wilmington just announced its summer production for this year: Georges Bizet's Carmen. But before that happens, Opera Wilmington presents a Valentine performance called Spark & Fire: Love in Words and Music. The concert is this Sunday, February 12 at 4:00pm at Beckwith Recital Hall. There are over a dozen singers performing a wide variety of music at this concert with champagne and a sweet treat at intermission. Artistic Director (and soprano) Nancy King and baritone Carl Samet joined us; listen above. Near the end of interview, hear Carl sing a few lines from his favorite country tune.

By Psychonaught (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wilmington, North Carolina is at the top of an unfortunate list.  One study published last year, based on analysis of numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, shows more than 11.5% of the population abuses opioids.  Opioid abusers tend to live in the rural south – according to the Castlight report

An anonymous caller left a message on our voice mail. We don’t have permission to play the actual recording, so I’ll do the best I can to capture the flavor of it. “There’s not a lot of talk radio, unless you’re going to listen to Christian, so unfortunately I have to listen to your station. I think it’s pathetic to put down the new president every morning, every angle you can. He’s done more in a week… At least he’s trying. And nobody’s done a weekly address since Franklin Roosevelt. I think you people are scum and maggots.

Justin Lacy

Singer/songwriters Justin Lacy and Sarah Royal met last January and quickly started a duo: Slow Dance. To celebrate their first year together making music, Justin and Sarah are releasing an EP this Sunday, February 5 at Gravity Records, 1:00pm-4:00pm. Sara Beck and Emma Nelson will open for Slow Dance at the release party, plus there will be treats from Rx and a Margarita bar. The self-titled EP is only being released on 50 old-school cassette tapes. 

Vince Stout, a native Wilmingtonian, studied music at East Carolina University. He often plays his major instrument on Wilmington stages-the double bass-but his other love is steel pan. After finding a mentor and mastering the performance of playing and making steel pans, Vince formed the steel pan group, Sea Pans, back in 2000. Depending on the performance, the number of players can be 1 to 20, and there are different types of pans they can play. Four performers are playing at the kick-off of the 37th Annual NC Jazz Festival tonight (Thursday) at 7:30pm: Jazz ala Trinidad.

Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington is frequently held up as one of the highly-regarded programs there.  Life and Marine Sciences were identified by a New Hanover County economic development analysis two and a half years ago as one of the existing strengths for the Cape Fear region and one that should be exploited.

wilmingtonwineandchocolate

It's time for the 14th Annual Wine & Chocolate Festival. Lead Festival Coordinator Marianna Stacy joined us to talk about this 3-day indoor festival happening this weekend, February 3-5, at the Coastline Event Center. Friday night is the Grand Tasting, a kick-off party, 7:00pm-10:00pm. The Marketplace is ongoing Saturday and Saturday. The Festival benefits V.O.C.A.L, Volunteer Older Citizens Action League. See links to schedule information below and listen to Marianna talk about the festival above. 

Monday, February 13th, 7 pm

The MC Erny Gallery at WHQR

On Monday, February 13thBen Steelman of the StarNews will talk with author Susan Bishop Crispell about her debut novel The Secret Ingredient of Wishes. Join us for the conversation in the MC Erny Gallery at WHQR.

Thank you to our many WONDERFUL Day Sponsors who came out to celebrate at the Cameron Art Museum Friday, January 13, 2017. We want to express our sincere gratitude to you all for making it such an unforgettable evening. There were delicious drinks, even more delicious food, endlessly gorgeous artwork, and most importantly lots and lots of great conversation. Thanks to our photographer, Paul Reinmann for capturing these amazing shots. Check out the snapshots from the party HERE.

songoflahoremovie.com

Paula Haller is a documentary filmmaker and the force behind DocuTime, the one-day documentary festival in its 14th incarnation. DocuTime is this Saturday, February 4th at UNCW's King Hall Auditorium. Eight films are presented in 4 time blocks (see the schedule below), 9:30am-5:00pm. Highlights include Sonita, about a teenage Afghan girl who wants to be a hip-hop artist, but being sold into marriage is getting in her way; Life, Animated, about a a boy with autism who gains communication through Disney films; and Song of Lahore, the story of a traditional Pakistani music group who ends up playing jazz with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center. Listen to Paula Haller's excitement about these and other selections above.

It’s time again for the 6th Annual Star News Wilmington Theatre Awards. For many Wilmington theatre folk, this is the most exciting theatrical event of the year-and not necessarily just because of the awards. It’s a rare opportunity when actors, designers, techies, directors, choreographers, musicians –and all the rest- come together to celebrate the art. 

Wilmington Faith and Values

Listener Andrea wrote: “I have moved from NY to Wilmington in the past few years, and absolutely love having a radio station that makes me feel connected to the community I have transplanted into. I especially like Communique and the Writers Almanac, and love preparing dinner in the evenings listening to jazz. Thanks for making a 20-something Northerner feel right at home!”

Listener Martyn wrote:

Wikimedia Commons

When you think of an accessible space, you might picture a ramp to the side door of a building, big metal grab bars next to a toilet, or a button with a wheelchair insignia that automatically opens doors.  But a concept called Universal Design is gaining traction.

Google Earth

Every successful municipality will inevitably grapple with the push-pull of growth versus green space –  how to grow a tax base without over-developing a city.  Echo Farms, a development within the City of Wilmington, is at the center of this battle in the Cape Fear region. 

Steve Tamayo is an award-winning artist, a cultural consultant, and a teacher. His focus is on Native American cultural heritage, arts, and politics. Tamayo is a Sicangu Lakota from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. This weekend, he'll be in Wilmington, leading a moccasin-making workshop on Saturday and giving a talk called The Relevance of Lakota Traditions in the World Today on Sunday. Tamayo has spent a lot of time teaching at the Standing Rock encampment over the past months. He will talk about his experience there at his workshop and talk, also sharing culture and spirituality from the Lakota tradition.

Arts in Wilmington-the calendar, newsletter, and artist registry covering 3 counties in southeastern North Carolina-didn't start off big. It started off with 5 members. Nearly 3 years since it was created by Craig Stinson, it's grown to about 1,600 members.

Stinson is adding something new this year: an Arts Awards Celebration. Four awards are being bestowed for Individual Artist, Organization, Business, and Education. The party is at the ArtWorks downtown on Saturday, 1/28 and the community is invited. Listen above to hear how the winners were selected. Tickets for the event are available here. Stinson says this is not a gala, but a casual community celebration.

Monday, February 27 – Friday, March 3

The Ruth & Bucky Stein Theatre

Monday–Friday at 7 pm

Monday - Wednesday at 4 pm (EXTRA MATINEES ADDED)

NOTE: This is in the smaller Stein Theatre so advance ticket purchase is recommended (in person at the Thalian Box Office or online - see below).

Saturday, February 4th marks Wilmington's 14th annual DocuTime one-day documentary film festival.

DocuTime has established a solid reputation for bringing acclaimed documentaries to the big screen in Wilmington and allowing a dedicated community of documentary-lovers to have a full day of award-winning, enlightening enjoyment.

amitpeled.com

World-renowned Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled performs in Wilmington on Sunday...and he'll be playing Pablo Casals' cello.  The cello, a 1733 Goffriller, was loaned to Peled by Casals' widow, Marta, about 4 years ago. After seeing (and hearing) Peled play, Marta decided that he was the right musician to bring the cello to life again.  Peled now speaks through this instrument with his own voice. Listen to Amit Peled and Barbara McKenzie from Chamber Music Wilmington talk about the cello above. 

40 Eats. It's the name of a Wilmington collective of restaurant professionals interested in enhancing the food and the community at the eastern end of I-40. Chef Dean Neff of PinPoint Restaurant is one of the members. The group formed just 6 months ago, but it's about to have its 3rd event to benefit a 3rd charity. Dean is calling this event the One Less Hungry Child Chef's Dinner. The event is on Sunday, January 29th at 6:00 at Port Land Grille. Tickets are available here.

Tatyana Kulida is an award-winning realist oil painter. She studied portraiture and figurative art in the classical tradition at the Italian Florence Academy of Art. Tatyana is originally from Crimea, but she now splits her time between New Zealand and Wilmington, North Carolina.  She's in Wilmington this month conducting a class at the Cameron Art Museum (CAM), and she's been commissioned to do a very special project at the CAM while she's here: the Painting Paul Project, an ongoing live portrait demonstration. 

ASAP

Elizabeth "Liz" Willis is a law student at Yale University. She was in Wilmington in January in order to meet with a client who sought asylum in the United States. With Liz's help, that asylum seeker has been successful and is settled in North Carolina, right outside of town. Liz is doing this work through a non-profit organization she co-founded called ASAP or Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project. The project is focused on providing pro bono legal council to  mothers and children seeking asylum.

From Cheese on Bread

Jeremy Vest has interviewed Karl Rove, Ben Affleck, John Stamos, and Al Franken – among others -- for an MTV show called How's Your News?.   He has been coached by Geraldo Rivera.  And he’s appeared as the lead character in a Western called Bulletproof Jackson – which became the subject of a separate documentary – Becoming Bulletproof.  That documentary was written about by the New York Times and distributed by Morgan Spurlock Productions. 

Wilmington Celebration Choir

Joey Gore says music is his calling. He was directing neighborhood kids to sing from the time he was 8 years old. As an adult, Joey is a pianist, music director, and the founder/director of Wilmington Celebration Choir. The Choir performs out of town more than in Wilmington, but Saturday night, 1/14, they are performing at Winter Park Presbyterian at 7:00pm

This message came in this week for our emPowering Our Future campaign, whose last official day was New Year’s Eve. It comes from listener Reed, and it encapsulates a sentiment which I’ve heard from many people: “Congratulations on your success with the emPowering Our Future campaign! Enclosed is a small — and belated — gift to that campaign. I’ll go out on a limb and speculate that there will be an even greater need for public radio in the next four years. Now I have Classical HQR too for those times when I can’t take any more of current events. Best wishes for the continuing success of WHQR!”

By the way, that drive is now $13,000 over the goal of $1.5 million. Together with listener commitments to make future planned gifts such as memorials and bequests, the grand total is approaching an amazing $1.9 million. We are humbled by the response from this incredibly generous community.

Cape Fear River Watch is holding its biggest event of the year this weekend: StriperFest, named after the striped bass. Friday night is the Banquet & Auction, but it looks like that part of the event is sold out. No tickets are required for Saturday activities, though, including the Fishing Tournament, Education Day, and the Fisheries Science Forum.  Youth and adults are invited to peer through microscopes, take a river cruise, learn how to cast, create fish art, and more. Listen to Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette and Intern Katie Bradley talk about Community Education Day above, and hear more about the issues important to Cape Fear River Watch in the Web Extra below. 

WHQR/gg

Bill Maher, the comedian and ardent atheist, has unexpectedly said some very nice things about Pope Francis over the past couple of years. The striking contrast between these two figures, alongside the equally striking points of moral overlap between them, inspired Skip Maloney to write a play based on a meeting between them (and the United States Congress). The play examines public policy issues at the intersection of politics and religion, according to the author.  Billy and the Pope opens Thursday, 1/12 at Theatre Now at 7:00pm with 8 performances through Sunday, 1/22.  Actors Zach Hanner and Craig Myers are playing the title roles; listen to their interview above, plus an extended conversation below. 

Cape Fear Museum

Amy Thornton is the Education Coordinator at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science in downtown Wilmington. The museum is an active location with a consistent flow of events and exhibits and a vigorous education program for all ages. One program that's new to the Museum is the Behind the Scenes Tour. The first one is on Saturday, February 4th at 2:00-3:30pm. It's called Our Favorite New Old Things.

WHQR/gg

Ken Vest retired from television news; he retired to Wilmington with his family in 2015. He studied Drama and English Literature at Texas State University, and he's a writer and actor. When tragedy struck his family 5 years ago, Ken turned to theatre as one way to move through grief - and to help others. In October, he successfully raised enough funds to produce the play he wrote: Inside Job.

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