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Champions of the Lost Causes
69 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
The Past, Present, and Future of Memphis Music LIVE at the Memphis Listening Lab
Panelists Isaac Daniel (Stax Music Academy), Elizabeth Cawein (Music Export Memphis), J.D. Reager (Back to the Light) discuss the past, present, and future of the Memphis music landscape. Each panelist has championed the cause of Memphis music in different ways. Recorded live on Saturday, December 4th, 2021 at the Memphis Listening Lab inside Crosstown Concourse.
84 minutes | Nov 29, 2021
Episode 26: Mike McCarthy
Many consider Mike McCarthy the godfather of independent film in Memphis, but in addition to his films, he has created comic books, graphic novels, sculptures, played in bands, and was the co-founder of the Coliseum Coalition, the grassroots group that worked to save Memphis' historic Mid-South Coliseum from the wrecking ball, and is now working to reactivate it. The common thread in all of Mike's work is a desire to make meaning and build culture through art.
55 minutes | Nov 15, 2021
Episode 25: Aaron Shafer
Aaron Shafer led the grassroots effort to open Memphis' first public skate park in 2011. We discuss how his passion for the idea drew others to the cause and how they collaborated with the city of Memphis and the community to open the park. We also talk about his idea for a wave park and other civic projects on the horizon.
58 minutes | Nov 1, 2021
Episode 24: Jared Boyd
Jared Boyd is the program manager for WYXR, Memphis' newest community radio station, which grew from a germ of an idea and collaboration with others to now broadcasting diverse viewpoints and an eclectic mix of music from Crosstown Concourse in Memphis. Jared's experience as a journalist and DJ also helped him work with others to make the station what it has become in its first year.
72 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Episode 23: Angela Barksdale
Angela Barksdale's focus on improving Memphis' historic Orange Mound community has seen her produce events, lead campaigns, and advocate for the reopening of the dormant Mid-South Coliseum. She and others think the Coliseum could fit in with the City of Memphis' redevelopment of the city's fairgrounds, now known as Liberty Park, as a community asset that would enhance other efforts underway in Orange Mound.
60 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Episode 22: Isabel Gonzalez-Whitaker
Isabel Gonzalez-Whitaker worked with others to transform an underused Atlanta park into the Sara J. Gonzalez Memorial Park, a park renamed to honor her mother's trailblazing work and reflect the inclusive values her mother stood for and instilled in her. Working through grief after her mother's death became a labor of love that drew others to the effort in unexpected ways. The park now serves as a community gathering place that recognizes the contributions of Atlanta's Latinx community.
68 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
Episode 21: Trevor Clarke
Trevor Clarke is executive director of Working Bikes, a Chicago-based nonprofit bicycle co-op that gives donated bicycles new life by redistributing them locally and globally - 10,000 bikes in Chicago and more than 100,000 across the globe since 1999. The organization's global focus has provided access to resources and opportunities that otherwise could have been out of reach - reducing waste and pollution, and improving people's health in the process.
85 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
Episode 20: Charlotte Tolley
Charlotte Tolley, founder and executive director of Nourish Knoxville started the Market Square Farmers Market in downtown Knoxville in 2004 when downtown wasn’t much to look at. The farmers market not only jump-started the revitalization of the city’s downtown, but it also led to the 2013 establishment of Nourish Knoxville, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating healthy communities by supporting relationships between local farmers, producers, and the public. Early doubts gave way to momentum including the opening of additional markets and addressing new needs in the pandemic.
80 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
Episode 19: Victoria Jones
Victoria Jones is the founder and executive director of Tone, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Black artists and communities and elevating Memphis as a global cultural beacon. Tone recently announced plans to team up with Unapologetic, a record label and artists collective, to convert the long-vacant United Equipment Building into Orange Mound Tower, a mixed-use development with a commitment to community ownership and equity. An artist in her own right, Victoria has become a vocal leader for change in the arts and in the wider Memphis community.
109 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Episode 18: Ellen Kuwana
When the pandemic struck, Ellen Kuwana started the nonprofit We Got This Seattle to deliver meals to frontline medical workers. What began on instinct, serving people she saw who needed help, became more organized and systematic as she forged partnerships, accepted donations of food and money, worked with volunteers, and served more and more people. What makes people champion causes like she did? What sustained Ellen? And what she’s learned about interdependence, and the resiliency of the human spirit?
81 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Episode 17: Ward Archer
Protect Our Aquifer's opposition to the Byhalia Connection Pipeline has been front page news recently, but for the group's president, Ward Archer, advocacy for the Memphis Sand Aquifer goes back almost 20 years, to when he was working to stop a logging company from clear-cutting near the headwaters of the Wolf River and first learned of the aquifer. Respect for the aquifer's ancient origins and a desire to preserve its incredible drinking water are at the heart of why Ward and his group work to protect the aquifer from the encroachment of industry.
84 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Episode 16: Pat Mitchell Worley
As co-host of the globally syndicated roots radio show, Beale Street Caravan, and with years of music industry experience under her belt, Pat Mitchell Worley brings a unique set of skills to her role as executive director of the Stax Music Academy. She also brings her perspective as a mother, a special love for expanding the horizons of children, and a confidence to ask “What if?” and “Why Not?” questions. That’s led to unique opportunities for the school, her students and Memphis. Leading the school through the pandemic has produced its own challenges and some unique opportunities.
72 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
Episode 15: Trey Elder
Trey Elder, a longtime member of the Chicago music scene, founded Quiet Pterodactyl in 2019 to bring music and art into the community and provide equitable access for youth, but the pandemic forced him to change gears and serve Chicago in different ways, almost from the outset. SituationChicago, a compilation vinyl and digital album, has raised money and awareness about Chicago live music venues struggling to make it through the pandemic.
66 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Episode 14: Elizabeth Cawein
Elizabeth Cawein founded Music Export Memphis in 2016 to elevate the careers of Memphis musicians, to make Memphis a city of choice for musicians and other creatives, and to elevate Memphis’ brand as a contemporary music city. More recently, Music Export Memphis had to switch gears during the pandemic to fulfill its mission in different ways. Championing the cause of Memphis music didn’t start in 2016, though. Elizabeth cut her teeth at the Memphis Music Foundation’s resource center and founded her own music-only PR firm, Signal Flow PR, along the way.
55 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
Episode 13: J.D. Reager
A longtime friend and collaborator of mine, J.D. has a fairly new podcast, Back to the Light, which has already expanded into a podcast network, record label and more, but what set off this flurry of creative activity? On this show, my guests and I talk about why people champion causes and what sustains them, but there’s an uber cause in the background that we can overlook, and that’s championing the cause of our own precious life. Moving from Memphis to Chicago was a tough adjustment for J.D., and before he could get back to the light, he had to march through real darkness and face his fears. When he did, he found a new curiosity pulling him forward and a renewed confidence to try new things.
59 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
Episode 12: Marvin Stockwell
As co-founder and spokesman for the Coliseum Coalition, Marvin has worked with others for five years to reopen the beloved midsize venue. In 2016, he also co-founded Friends of the Fairgrounds, which conducted a yearlong stakeholder input process to determine what people wanted to see the wider Fairgrounds land parcel become. In the last two years, Marvin and his fellow Coliseum Coalition board members have worked closely with the City of Memphis on 90+ Coliseum tours for potential investors, two community clean-ups, and plans for revitalizing events inside the Coliseum.
71 minutes | May 4, 2020
Episode 11: Chooch Pickard
Historic preservation architect and Coliseum Coalition vice president Chooch Pickard led an interdisciplinary team of experts to produce a physical assessment of the shuttered Mid-South Coliseum in 2016. That assessment found the building to be in excellent shape, and those findings were later corroborated by the City of Memphis’ own due diligence. Chooch brings to bear decades of experience restoring other landmark buildings in Memphis as he and his colleagues work with the City to reopen the Coliseum.If you’d like to donate to OAM to help with rent relief you can do so @ www.theoamnetwork.com/donate
65 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Episode 10: Roy Barnes
Coliseum Coalition president Roy Barnes has been a vital part of the grassroots effort to reopen the classic midsize venue from its earliest days. Roy was a key figure in organizing the first Roundhouse Revival in 2015, as well as subsequent revivals and other revitalizing events. He developed the group’s business plan and has contributed other research that has steadily moved public opinion toward reopening the Coliseum.If you’d like to donate to OAM to help with rent relief you can do so @ www.theoamnetwork.com/donate
62 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
Episode 9: Mark Fleischer
Mark Fleischer did something that seemed counterintuitive in our digital age, he started a print newspaper in 2018 called Storyboard Memphis. Since then, he’s published neighborhood-level news that was missing from the local media landscape before that, and he’s given digital-only outlets a way to get news out in print. Arts coverage and coverage of historic preservation have also found a home. Mark is a business entrepreneur, but also a champion of the causes he lifts up in his newspaper and on his Storyboard 30 radio show and podcast.
67 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
Episode 8: Lakethan Mason
Through his non-profit film company, Memphis FilmWorks, Lakethan Mason creates socially relevant content that captures artistic expression, human connection and our shared humanity. In his new docuseries, Our Neighbors, Our Stories, he explores the art, life, history and culture of Memphis through the shared stories of Memphians. Lakethan lifts up unheard, often overlooked, voices and welcomes these neighbors to the wider community conversation.
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