The Spark

Friday 6:20pm

The Spark is WMRA's own creative look at --well-- creativity. We dig into whatever people are passionate about in the WMRA region: sculpture, model railroading, costume-making, poetry, whatever.

Please note that while we no longer produce The Spark as a full-length program (due to Martha Woodroof's retirement), her interviews continue to appear within our Friday broadcast of All Things Considered.

We want to hear from those who are doing artsy or interesting or wonderful or obsessive things.  We also recognize that lots of creatives are a tad shy and might not ever speak up for themselves. 

You can put something on our radar about yourself or can tell us about someone you know of who might be interesting by sending an e-mail to the show host, Martha Woodroof:
WoodroMH@jmu.edu
(To launch an email to Martha automatically click here. )

Scroll down to hear past segments.

Consider this a community-wide celebration of the many people among us who invest time, energy and discipline into pushing against life's boundaries.

Listen to a typical 2012 version of the show's end credits (including Martha asking to hear from those who know about creative goings-on) : here (60 seconds).

2013 Spark intern Julia Skinner has been tasked with blogging about potentially Spark-worthy peers, and you can find the link to that blog on this page.

A Man of Many Hats

Jan 29, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Author, lawyer, and new Charlottesville mayor, Michael Signer... does a lot. This week on the Spark he talks with Martha about what drives him.

On this episode of The Spark: Even the Friendly City of Harrisonburg has an underbelly of street rage... so how do you pursue conflict mediation when words fail... enter Chris Wilmore and Streetbeefs. 

A Labrador Romance

Jan 15, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: For almost forty years, British-born Clare Senfield has been the doyen of Allegheny Kennels where she breeds and trains and adores Labradors. 

On this edition of The Spark: Washington Post Reporter Will Hobson just published a five-part series addressing this question: Why do so many of the  Power Five college's athletic programs, including UVA's, lose millions every year? Martha talks with Will  Hobson about how he went about transforming a mountain of data  into compelling journalism.

DIY Vaudeville

Dec 18, 2015

On this episode of The Spark: Seven years ago Vaudevillian Carmel Clavin decided she wanted to make Staunton, Virginia, her home. And since it wouldn't feel like her home if she couldn't perform, Carmel got busy energizing vaudeville, busking and cabaret in the Queen City of the Shenandoah Valley.

Farmer's Son

Dec 11, 2015

On this episode of The SparkLawyer Nancy Lasater wrote a novel about a farm boy with dyslexia.  When agents told her nobody would buy a book about dyslexia, she decided to publish it herself, after getting a lot of support for her story from the dyslexic community.

Healing Horses

Dec 4, 2015

On this episode of The Spark: New Market’s Pat Murphy survived a truly horrible childhood that left her emotionally scarred in a number of ways. Including toting around a great fear of horses. She talks with Martha about finding greater confidence and peace through equine therapy.

Barclay Rives describes his family as being on a riches to rags trajectory —he’s directly descended from politicians and landowners who were part and parcel of the Commonwealth’s Colonial History.

Banjo on the Brain

Nov 20, 2015

On this episode of The Spark: Two-time state banjo champion Seth Swingle. He was ten when he fell in love with the sound of the banjo at MerleFest. Now at twenty-five,  he not only plays his instrument of choice, he also knows a lot about its history.  

Kenan Rubenstein

Martha speaks with Sophia Weideman, who has been drawing cartoons her whole life, but it took a while for her to find her own superheroes.

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