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:
(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.

 New York City Marathon photographer Peter Krebs moved to Charlottesville's Belmont neighborhood and got entranced by the story and the people of the historic Monticello Road.   He's been photographing the people --including Mysterious Kroger Man.

Writer Mary Burruss

Mar 30, 2012

They say "write what you know" so in pursuit of a story, Charlottesville freelance writer Mary Burruss did a little work as a pole dancer. 

Charlotte Zinsser Booth was inspired by her mom's memories of learning in school about mythic gods of antiquity --and by education reformers who sought less-bureaucratic "whole child" teaching.  She worked in public schools and then turned her lifetime passion about education toward founding the North Branch School in Afton. 

He's into "soft rock" --but not the musical kind.  Pete Farley has been fascinated with the Alberene Soapstone Quarry his entire life and is now searching for its history.  He also recalls some of Nelson County's castle-like abandoned quarry buildings and mills

During divorce proceedings, Victoria Godfrey and two close friends found support in each other’s company.

The unstoppable coach Tom Moran turns his own struggle with cerebral palsy into opportunities for disabled children to excel through sports.  Filmmaker Mike Grundmann tells the story in his documentary "Why Me? Tom Moran’s Long Walk" screening Fri 23 March at 7pm at downtown Harrisonburg's Court Square Theater (tix for free-will offerings to Overcoming Barriers).

Getting up close and reeeeeeally personal with other people's skin.  Electric needles.  Nitrile gloves.  All in a day's work for Chris Porter of Alley Cat Tattoos.  Among the things we find out: what will he do when every last inch of his own body is inked?

Eye on Art : Why Is Art So Pricy?

Mar 16, 2012

Terry Ward explains art prices from Van Gogh and big city galleries to regional art events like the Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, Staunton Art In The Park, and Waynesboro Fall Foliage Art Show.

One of his book's poems is called "Sewage Disposal."  Need we say more?

We'll hear music and get the inside skinny on how The Steel Wheels' new CD “Lay Down Lay Low” came into being.

Charlottesville’s Hilary Holladay undertakes one bodacious literary enterprise by starting her own publishing house.

Doug Harwood edits the feisty one-person news magazine The Rockbridge Advocate. He came to Lexington 40 years ago to attend Washington & Lee and could never quite tear himself away again from Rockbridge County.

"Woody" the Musical

Feb 24, 2012

Staunton’s Richard Adams talks about writing musicals in general and "Woody," his musical rendition of the life of Woodrow Wilson, in particular.

Making Shoes

Feb 24, 2012

Gabe and Peggy Leasure of Rockbridge County talk about shoemaking and their late shoemaking father/husband Glen Leasure.

In the End

Feb 24, 2012

An essay by Eric LaFreniere.

In honor of Black History Month, a MLK-memorial sound piece by Elliot Majerczyk.

The Cairo Rooster

Feb 17, 2012

Bob Bersson debuts a new occasional feature on The Spark, short, creative non-fiction, with his story “The Cairo Rooster.”

Jeff McCormack

Feb 17, 2012

Jeff McCormack’s long relationship with plants includes starting Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Garden Medicinals and Culinaries, co-founding Virginia Plant Savers, and being lead author of Bush Medicine of the Bahamas,  an ethno-botanical study of the native uses of medicinal plants on San Salvador Island.

JMU student Shanell Dowling reads “Won’t You Celebrate With Me” a poem by Lucille Clifton,  in honor of Black History Month.

Urban Renewal XVIII

Feb 10, 2012

To honor Black History Month, JMU student Kirsten Warne reads Major Jackson’s poem Urban Renewal XVIII.