Friday, January 7, 2011

See America Saturdays on VPR

For the next five weeks, VPR’s Saturday Special “explores how a particular American city or town creates community, the ways people transcend challenging circumstances and the vital cultural narratives that give an area its uniqueness.” This is the mission of State of the Re:Union.

Interviews and narrative are combined with the sounds of America to transport you to the cities we’ll visit. You’ll hear the rattling undercarriage of a classic car, the hum of fluorescent lights bouncing off institutional white walls, the din of grade school kids in an assembly. Listen closely. What at first seems to be a vacant lot in a barrio, is, upon closer examination, an urban multi-generational permaculture project. Tiny green shoots pop up out of raised beds in a community garden. These are signs of hope in neighborhoods where abandoned houses are being reclaimed and renovated by non-profit community groups.

This series is about individuals connecting and communities finding their idiomatic strengths. It’s the creativity and resilience you see in a mural between two boarded up windows on a condemned building.

“We hope to take our creative and conscious cues from the iconic shows that have inspired us. From the scenic road, simple-pleasure sensibilities of Charles Kuralt’s On the Road and the investigatory spirit of 60 Minutes to the aesthetic and music-fueled backdrop of MTV and do-it-yourself spirit of Current TV, these things have inspired us to create a show where neither artistry or content are ever compromised for one another.”

Listen Saturdays at 4 on VPR and experience the spirit of community up close and personal - with host Al Letson, and the energetic crew of State of the Re:Union. See photos from their work across the country on Flickr.

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