Studs and Stuart Dybek at Chicago’s Rhinofest

A few weeks ago, we told you about the “Terkelogues” show at Chicago’s Rhinofest.  This Sunday, February 8, is the second and final performance.  The show features Jenny Magnus, Beau O’Rielly, and Jeremy Campbell, and is co-written and co-directed by Stephan Brün and our own Tony Macaluso.  This Sunday’s show has a little something extra – author Stuart Dybek will be joining the performance to read a related blizzard-set story from his recent story collection, Ecstatic Cahoots.

We’ve also recently been writing about the Reader‘s Greatest Chicago Book Tournament.  Did you look closely at the seed map on the Reader‘s website?  Look again (scroll down).  There’s a pretty good chance that we could see a Terkel/Dybel book-off in the near future.  But before the competition begins, they’ll be collaborating… maybe synthesizing is better… this weekend at Rhinofest.  Come check it out!

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Studs in Chicago’s RhinoFest

This weekend marks the opening of Chicago’s 26th Annual RhinoFest, the “longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago.”  “Terkelogues,” a show featuring content from Studs’s interviews with comedian/actor Zero Mostel and painter Gertrude Abercrombie, can be seen Sunday, January 25 at 7pm and Sunday, February 8 at 3pm.  As is fitting for a festival that takes place each year in January and February, “Terkelogues” considers blizzards, power failures, being ill and stuck in bed – and the inefficiency and liberation that accompany a snow day.  The play is co-directed by our own Tony Macaluso, the Director of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

Gertrude Abercrombie was a Chicago native.  She got her start painting with the Federal Arts Project, and continued to work in a surrealistic style until her death in 1977.  She was great friends with many jazz artists, including Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson; Richie Powell’s “Gertrude’s Bounce” was written about her.  Zero Mostel, perhaps best known for his Tony Award-winning portrayal of Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” was interviewed by Studs Terkel in 1961 when he was in Chicago as part of the Broadway cast of Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinocerous,” (in another Tony-Award winning role).  The production took a four-week break from Broadway and came to Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Playhouse.  How fitting that the interview will now be a part of Chicago’s own RhinoFest.

For additional information about the production, you can read Thomas Willis’s article in the Chicago Tribune from August 6, 1961.  And of course you can listen to the Mostel interview below.  Hope to see you at RhinoFest!

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#AskAnArchivist Day

Tomorrow, October 30, is the Society of American Archivists‘ #AskAnArchivist Day!  Archivists participating in #AskAnArchivist are eager to respond to any and all questions you have about archives and archival work.  To participate, just tweet a question and include the hashtag #AskAnArchivist in your tweet!

No question is too silly

  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve come across in your collections?
  • If your archives had a soundtrack, what songs would be on it?
  • What do archivists talk about around the water cooler?

and no question is too practical!

  • What should I do to be sure that my emails won’t get lost?
  • I’ve got scads of digital images on my phone.  How should I store them so I can access them later on?
  • How do you decide which items to keep and which to weed out from a collection?
  • As a teacher, how can I get my students more interested in using archives for projects?

Allison Schein, our Archive Manager, will be on hand to answer your specific questions about our collection.  Tag her at @StudsArchive and use #AskAnArchivist.  We’ll be posting our favorite questions and answers in the coming weeks!

Original tapes of Studs's shows waiting to be digitized at the Library of Congress

Original tapes of Studs’s shows waiting to be digitized at the Library of Congress

Using the Studs Terkel Radio Archive in the Classroom (part 1)

Studs Terkel loved to learn (as regular listeners know, sometimes he couldn’t ask his questions fast enough!) – and because his program reached so many listeners, he in turn became an educator.  Those of us at the Studs Terkel Radio Archive love a lot of things about Mr. Terkel, but we’re particularly passionate about continuing his educational legacy by introducing his material to new listeners and seeing it used in new ways.

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet with a group of teachers from public and alternative schools in Chicago to discuss using the Studs Terkel Radio Archive and the Exploring Music Archive in the classroom.  We came in with some specific project goals about teaching critical listening, but we knew that the teachers were the true experts.  After demonstrating some of the digital audio tools that we can provide, we asked for their input and feedback: how can we make our online collections and tools work for you?  We got some great suggestions, including a searchable taxonomy of musical terms, and the possibility of using time-stamped recordings and transcriptions as teaching tools for English-language learners.

You may have noticed that this post is Part 1 of a series; our hope is to have many more posts on this topic in the future.  In fact, our ultimate goal is to develop and curate an online repository of remixes made by students, combining their own recorded oral histories with Studs’ programs.  Imagine hearing Maya Angelou talk about her grandmother’s life in the South, and then hearing a student speak with her own grandmother about her life.  Or hearing Studs’ live footage of the near-riot situation at the Young Lords’ Lincoln Park Fiesta in 1969, and then cutting to a student interviewing a friend or relative who was there, too.  What about splicing Studs’ and Mike Royko’s conversations about journalistic integrity into students’ discussions about a school newspaper or a school blog?  The possibilities are endless and we are very excited to see what students and teachers come up with!

Are you an educator interested in using either of these archives in your classroom?  Please get in touch with Allison Schein, the Archive Manager, at aschein@wfmt.com.  We would love to help you do everything from brainstorming a lesson plan to teaching you the nuts & bolts of our audio remix software.

Special thanks to Bill McGlaughlin of Exploring Music, Rowan Beaird of Project&, Jordan LaSalle of Chicago Public Schools, and Barbara Radner of DePaul University’s School for New Learning!

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