A new project called “In This Moment” is highlighting Black leaders, writers, and photographers in our community. The work will result in a series of chat books, where essays and photos tell the remarkable stories of local leaders – stories the project’s organizers say are historically undervalued.

We talk to the team behind “In This Moment” about their work, their goals for the series of books, and the value of highlighting Black voices through art. Our guests:

A number of local artists have said they've seen changes and setbacks in their work as a result of the pandemic. This hour, we talk with members of Rochester's arts community about how they are adapting during the crisis, and how a possible reopening will impact their work.

This episode will primarily feature visual artists. It's one in a series of similar conversations we'll have on the program. Our guests:

Britton Bradford is a local artist and a talented basketball player. Growing up as an African American youth, he thought his only options for career success were as a rapper or as a professional athlete. But now, he's a successful artist and says he wishes he had known there were other opportunities available to him.

Christopher Washington is a local designer with a similar story. He found success in the fashion scene after thinking basketball was his only path to the professional world.

Both men join us to share their stories and to discuss how to change the culture of expectations for African American youth. In studio:

An exhibit set to open Friday at the Visual Studies Workshop is exploring perceptions of Black masculinity and gender identity.

We talk with artist Joshua Rashaad McFadden about “Evidence,” and our guests discuss what it means to be a Black man in America today. In studio:

  • Joshua Rashaad McFadden, visual artist
  • Gatekeeper Adrian, artist, activist, photographer, filmmaker, organizer, and founder and chair of Rochester Black Pride
  • Jonathan Ntheketha, performance educator with Impact Interactive
  • Brandon Stroud, yoga instructor, and residence coordinator at RIT

When service members leave active duty for civilian life, they may face challenges. Female veterans report that they have specific hurdles that are hard to overcome — including a lack of social support.

We sit down with several female veterans who share their stories, and a new project they worked on called Eyes Front. It’s a photography and writing collaboration where they’ve documented their experiences. We talk to them about what they want the community to know. In studio:

  • Jennifer Wiese, veteran, social worker at the Rochester Vet Center, and participant in the Eyes Front program
  • Jade Starr, veteran and participant in the Eyes Front program
  • Megan Charland, director of photography and digital arts at Flower City Arts Center

We have a conversation about art, artists’ intentions, and how audiences perceive art. Earlier this summer, the Rochester-based band Joywave released a new song and music video that has generated conversation. “Like a Kennedy” features lead singer Daniel Armbruster playing former President John F. Kennedy on the day of his assassination. The song and the video have a tone and a message – both of which Armbruster addressed in advance of possible criticism. On YouTube, he wrote that the video is absolutely hard to watch and that it’s supposed to be.

We’ve invited a number of people to watch the video and record their thoughts. We share those reactions this hour, and our in-studio panel discusses the video, its message, and the message they think Joywave means to send. In studio:

As the world watches France attempt to rebuild Notre Dame, experts tell us that there are historical parallels. Katherine Clark Walter, from the College at Brockport, says, “The major Gothic cathedrals of Europe were often born of renovations necessitated by devastating fires just such as this one and their renovation often foregrounded the relics these churches held as key to their spirituality and identity, so there is a fascinating meeting of past and present as the whole world now watches to see what survived from Notre Dame.”

We talk about the meaning of those relics, the process of rebuilding, and more. Our guests:

  • Katherine Clark Walter, associate professor in the Department of History at The College at Brockport
  • Jean Pedersen, associate professor in the Department of Humanities at the Eastman School
  • Sarah Thompson, associate professor of art history at RIT

Rochester is often praised for its dynamic arts scene. But just how inclusive and equitable is that scene? Members of a recently formed arts group say, in so many words, not enough. So, they decided to do something about it. A number of heavy-hitters in the arts world - many renowned in Rochester and, some, around the world - recently launched the WOC Art Collaborative. The multi-generational collective of black women and women of color creators are advocating for each other and finding ways to support other creatives in Rochester working to impact the community.

We are living in a time of great tension in our country. Race, gender, religion, politics, and policing are a handful of the issues challenging modern society. They’re also some of the issues being tackled by the group Art Force 5 founded at Alfred University. Armed with passion and paint, these young people are using art to promote equality, inspire creativity, and build community. On this edition of Need to Know, we learn how their most recent work took them to Atlanta for a special Super Bowl community-building project.

The documentary “Don’t Be Nice” tells the story of five slam poets from New York City who have teamed up to compete for a national title. Their coach encourages them to push past the entertainment value of the form and write and speak from a place of vulnerability, confronting painful issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and identity.

The film will be screened as part of the Black Cinema Series at the Little Theatre on Friday. We preview the film with its director and local slam poets who share their process. Our guests: