WBAI goes Artsy Fartsy


Pacifica’s WBAI-FM NYC is bringing some fresh new voices to its arts programming with The Artsy Fartsy Show (airing Tuesdays at 2pm ET). It’s a new arts magazine featuring reviews, interviews and discussions with artists in theatre, film, visual arts, and music. Taking a break from radio drama, Barika Taheer Edwards hosts with Spencer Howard (shown), fresh off the National/International tours of West Side Story and Legally Blonde.

The show adds new elements to the basic arts magazine format with culture, food, and the internet.

“New York is the epicenter of art in the country. It would be a disservice to not look at New York’s diverse cultures and how it effects what is being put on stage, in films, on the walls of museums. New Yorker’s day-to-day lives are surrounded by art and they consciously or unconsciously making art,” explains Executive Producer Barika Taheer Edwards.

Instrumental in bringing New York culture to the show is Hollis Witherspoon, who is eager to put all of her observations of the glorious city to good use. Hollis is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Anthropology. Joining Witherspoon is political correspondent, Peter Gleason, writes for the Irish Voice, ran for City Council in 2009 and has served on the NYPD and FDNY.

Also new to the timeslot, Nikki Dinki gives her culinary advice and restaurants critiques. Jon Braman, the father of ukulele hip-hop adds a unique element as the resident songwriter depicting the current events of the city and latest happenings in the art world meshing ukulele strumming and rap. The team also includes critics Philip Seidman, theatre; Jack Dourakos, music; and Melissa Silver, art.

The Artsy Fartsy Show is also shaking up traditional radio formats using social networks instead of taking on-air listener calls. Listeners are encouraged to respond during the show via the show’s website (artsyfartsyshow.com), Twitter and Facebook (twitter.com/artsyfartsyshow and facebook.com/artsyfartsyshow).

The Artsy Fartsy Show does not shy away from interesting or controversial topics. It’s debut show (11/23 at 2pm EST) entitled “Thanksgiving and the New Wampanoag” explores artist gentrification and whether artists are like the pilgrims pushing long-time residents out neighborhoods.  November 30th, “Selling Tickets; Raising Pickets” is sure to raise a lively discussion regarding the new Broadway musical, The Scottsboro Boys; and on 12/7, a timely feature on Holocaust art.