Around and About Chattanooga

Wednesdays at 10 am & 8 pm

Around and About is a Chattanooga, Tennessee public radio show featuring news, interviews, and arts coverage. The show's host and reporters cover human-interest stories, Southern literature and current events & issues affecting the Tennessee Valley. 

Many guests are Chattanooga residents; others are national authors, experts and celebrities speaking on topics relevant to our community. The show is broadcast Wednesdays on WUTC NPR 88.1 FM, and the podcast is available here.

You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Comments? Story ideas? Email us.

Miki Boni and Tom Paulsin put a lot of work into transforming an old house in the Southside District into a contemporary, comfortable art gallery. Now when visitors come, they hope they’ll enjoy the art and stay awhile. A long while. Maybe overnight or for the weekend.

The blood supply in the Chattanooga area is lower than it should be, and it’s been that way all year. Blood Assurance collects blood for more than 50 health care facilities in the region. And they say that donations tend to drop off in the winter. Mary Helen Miller visited the Blood Assurance donation center and lab at the Chattanooga headquarters.  She got some first-hand insight into the blood shortage in the area.

Intensive Family Intervention teams help keep families together in Georgia.  The teams go into homes and work with parents whose children have been diagnosed with mental illness, substance abuse problems or behavioral disorders.  Sometimes these children are on the verge of being sent to a mental health facility, a juvenile detention center or foster care, and IFI teams work to prevent that.

IFI services are funded by Georgia Medicaid, and families must meet specific requirements to qualify.

For the last couple of years, the Planet Altered Gallery on Chattanooga’s Southside has held fundraising events called CAFE Grant Suppers.  At these events, people pay $12 for dinner.  During the dinner, artists and creative people who could use extra money to fund their work give pitches.  People listen to the pitches, vote, and then the winning artist receives most of the money people paid for dinner–often several hundred dollars total.  It’s a way for the Southside community to gather, enjoy food and fun, and support a local artist.

“I don’t ever talk to anybody who’s older than me,” John Flansburgh says in this interview with WUTC 88.1 FM’s Richard Winham.  Both Flansburgh and Winham have been in the music business for decades.  Winham, the host of WUTC’s afternoon music show, started his radio career in 1972.  Flansburgh’s music career began in 1982, when he and John Linnell founded the band They Might Be Giants.  In this extended, informal conversation, Winham doesn’t exactly interview Flansburgh–instead, these two music-industry veterans wind up interviewing each other, comparing their musical tastes and contrastin

Jonathan Coulton used to write computer programs.  Now he writes about programmers–his songs like Code Monkey are funny, occasionally melancholy ballads about geek culture: burnt-out code warriors, zombie office workers and mournful, lonely sea monsters.

Danny Rubin, an author, teacher and screenwriter, wrote the original screenplay that became the classic 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.  In this interview, Rubin discusses how he conceived  of the story’s premise, why he decided to set the story on Groundhog Day and how the script changed when director Harold Ramis got involved.

Some stories are meant to be heard out loud.  Particularly, stories from oral traditions, such as the Jack Tales, which originated in Europe.  Immigrants brought Jack Tales to Appalachia, and more than sixty years ago, folklorist Richard Chase collected these tales and published them in print form.

Chattanooga Resident Transforms Mugshots Into Fine Art

Jan 27, 2012

Ron E. Ott finds mugshots taken in Hamilton County, Tennessee, and he renders the photographs into colorful comic-book styled portraits.  He stopped by our studios recently and discussed what inspired him to start using mugshots as the basis for fine art.  He calls his project Chattanooga Mugshots.

The largest music venue in Chattanooga is the McKenzie Arena located on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 125th Anniversary Celebration continues with a turn of the 20th Century, American opera called, "Treemonisha," by Scott Joplin.

Thomas P. Balázs,  fiction writer and UTC professor, will publish his first collection of stories in late January. The book is titled Omicron Ceti III. NecessaryFiction.com calls Balázs “an inspired and inventive writer resourceful enough to also draw on many diverse sources, cultural and pop-cultural.” Kevin Wilson, the author of The Family Fang, claims Omicron Ceti III is a “dazzling collection [that] boldly goes into unknown territory.” Garrett Crowe spoke with Thomas Balázs about his debut book.

The Association for Visual Arts already has an impact on Chattanooga--they are one of the city's largest arts organizations, with around 600 members.  But now AVA is doing even more to connect with the community.  Anne Willson, the new executive director, joins us to discuss new partnerships between AVA and nonprofits.  Also, Willson discusses a new magazine AVA is producing called The Bridge.

Interview with Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

Michael Edward Miller

A Halloween Treat: Interview With John Hornor Jacobs, Author Of Southern Gods

Michael Edward Miller

Chattanooga, TN – Southern Gods is a new twist on an old idea--the trope about blues singers going to the crossroads at midnight and selling their souls to the Devil. In this story, instead of Satan, the supernatural forces that posses blues musicians are ancient, malevolent, pan-dimensional gods.

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