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.

The Judy Chops

Jan 13, 2012

The Judy Chops, whose five members hail from various parts of the Shenandoah Valley, share their eclectic music and love of making that music.

Eye on Art : Town-Coolness and Real Public Art

Jan 13, 2012

Terry Ward's essay on public art and what impression it can make on visitors --and what constitutes "real" public art.  (Virginia's fiberglass apples don't count.)

Stonemason Dana Nelson, a guest of WMRA's The Spark, teases us with just one of his funny Irish stories.

Patricia and Don Lansky each had successful careers before being called to the Ministry… and to each other.

Kate Kessler

Jan 6, 2012

A tribute to Kate Kessler, intrepid teacher, dancer, WMRA contributor and solo hiker of the entire Appalachian Trail. We just heard this week that Kate is in hospice.

Jonathan Coleman

Jan 6, 2012

Best-selling author, Jonathan Coleman, talks about his collaboration with NBA icon, Jerry West, on West by West, My Charmed, Tormented Life.

Information about Jonathan’s WriterHouse talk on “The Art and Responsibility of Narrative Nonfiction Writing”

Earl Martin

Jan 6, 2012

Earl Martin, life-long Asian traveler, discusses his recent house-building foray into North Korea.

The Fuller Center for Housing web account of Earl’s trip

Andi Arndt

Dec 16, 2011

Former WMRA classical music announcer (and Harrisonburg resident), Andi Arndt, has taken her voice international through the magic of the WEB.

Roanoke resident Jeff Ell is the author of Ruth Unsensored.

Royce Campbell

Dec 16, 2011

Jazz guitarist Royce Campbell backed-up Marvin Gaye, toured for almost two decades with Henry Mancini, and has written music for the movies.

Dana Nelson, a guest on WMRA's The Spark,  is mostly a stone mason, having learned his trade over a decade spent working in Ireland. But occasionally, he moonlights as a musician... and he’s allowed The Spark to premier his soon-to-be Christmas classic, "Rockabilly Christmas on the Radio."
 

Mimi Elrod

Dec 9, 2011

Lexington Mayor Mimi Elrod jumped into local politics as a way to re-ignite her own spark after the death of her husband.

Doug Harwood is the founder and long-time editor of the Rockbridge Advocate. His essay is about "doing" radio.

Kate Tamarkin

Dec 2, 2011

Charlottesville's Kate Tamarkin is in an unusual profession for a woman; she's a conductor and a music director.

Matthew Minnicino

Dec 2, 2011

Fourth-year student Matthew Minnicino's play, Troy is Burning, is the first undergraduate play to be presented main stage by the UVa Drama Department in the last twenty-five years.

Helms Theater Box Office

Steve White

Dec 2, 2011

Singers Glen resident and avid bird watcher, Steve White, worked for the CIA for a couple of decades as a Russian specialists.

Steve's bird group of choice: The Rockingham Bird Club

Elliot Majerczyk

Nov 18, 2011

By day, Elliot  Majerczyk is a producer for the public radio program,  With Good Reason. By night, he creates music out of found sounds.

The 2nd and 3rd sound files above are samples of Elliot's Music:
"Sway What"
"For Martha"

Dan Bonner

Nov 18, 2011

Staunton's Dan Bonner has been a college basketball analyst for over 2 decades. He works (or has worked) for CBS Sports, ESPN, RAYCOM Sports, and Fox Sports.

The 2nd audio clip above is a sample of Dan Bonner and Kevin Harlan announcing the thrilling 2010 NCAA tournament Kansas/ Northern Iowa upset.

Eye on Art : Camera Angle and "Like"

Nov 18, 2011

Terry Ward recalls teaching an art class about how camera angles and other visual techniques can make  viewers like or dislike the people pictured --whether actors or politicians.

Anita Cooper

Nov 11, 2011

Anita Cooper is a late-blooming watercolorist who lives in the Staunton Area.

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