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Heidi Daniel, Enoch Pratt Free Library CEO (episode 69)

In 2016, Enoch Pratt Free Library president Carla Hayden was selected to head the Library of Congress. Heidi Daniel was selected to replace her, stepping in to manage the 22-branch system. Heidi began her career in children's and teen programming in Oklahoma City and Houston before moving into library administration. Before coming to Baltimore, she was the director of Ohio’s Youngstown and Mahoning County system. Right now, she is overseeing a $115 million renovation of the Pratt’s...


Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish, Outcalls (episode 68)

In their own words, Outcalls are electronic opera queens. The band is Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish, who build on their classical training to craft soulful, vocal-forward indie pop. Outcalls was founded in 2015, and Britt and Melissa later split off to form the current iteration of the band. Last year they released the acclaimed EP, “No King.” Britt and Melissa talked about impostor syndrome, ambition and being comfortable with controversy.(Photo courtesy of Lily Olsen-Ecker)


Karsonya "Kaye" Wise Whitehead, radio host, educator and #blackmommyactivist (episode 67)

Dr. Kaye Whitehead is a #blackmommyactivist and an associate professor in Loyola University Maryland’s department of communication. Her research and teaching examine race, class and gender. Kaye hosts a daily radio show on WEAA called “Today with Dr. Kaye,” and before working in academia, she was a documentary filmmaker. Kaye is also the author of several books, most recently 2016’s “RaceBrave,” and an op-ed columnist for the Baltimore Sun.


Sarah Walker, Vent Coffee Roasters founder (episode 66)

For Sarah Walker, coffee has always been about more than just coffee. She founded Vent Coffee Roasters in 2013, with the goal of letting out the bad and taking in the good. Sarah has been the in-house coffee roaster at Argosy Cafe downtown since 2015, and in the spring she’ll be opening her first brick-and-mortar store in Union Collective, a forthcoming manufacturing and retail complex in Medfield. Sarah talked about the turning point in her relationship with coffee, the sense of community...


Michelle Mendez, immigration attorney (episode 65)

Michelle Mendez is a senior attorney at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and manages the Defending Vulnerable Populations Project. In those roles, she trains lawyers across the country on how best to fight deportations and represents clients pro bono. Michelle’s work in the past has had a focus on providing legal assistance to detained mothers and children. Michelle is a lover of Baltimore, and she talked about the current climate around immigration, how her beliefs have evolved and...


Lor Choc, rapper and singer (episode 64)

Lor Choc brings together rapping and melodies to create her unique brand of autobiographical R"B. The Baltimore native came out with a mixtape called "Worth the Wait" in 2016, and is set to release her sophomore effort next month. Last year, Choc broke through to a wider audience with her song “Fast Life,” which drew national praise from prominent music publications. Choc talked about the times people doubted her, drawing on real problems to make music and what it means to be a Baltimore...


Robbyn Lewis, Maryland state delegate (episode 63)

Robbyn Lewis has always been a public servant, but it wasn’t until last year that she held elected office. Robbyn represents Southeast Baltimore in Annapolis as a state delegate for Maryland’s 46th district. Before joining the General Assembly, Robbyn spent her time as a health care professional and advocate for sustainability initiatives and the Red Line light rail. She was also a member of the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association. Robbyn was appointed to the delegation after Del. Pete...


Jessica 'Trillnatured' Hyman, DJ (episode 62)

Jessica Hyman came to DJing somewhat accidentally. Known as Trillnatured, Jessica now brings her eclectic style across the East Coast and DJs a monthly queer dance party at the Crown. She’s also a member of Balti Gurls, an artist collective for women of color. Jessica talked about conflict, community and going from homebody to ruling the club.


Sara Autrey, Wing Dam bassist and vocalist (episode 61)

Sara Autrey plays bass, sings and writes songs in the Baltimore band Wing Dam, a ‘90s-influenced guitar rock trio. The band, which includes Austin Tally and Abe Sanders, has put out three full-length albums, most recently 2016’s “Glow Ahead.” Sara talked about leaving her hometown, loving pop music and building a life in Baltimore.


Carol Ott, Housing Policy Watch director (episode 60)

In 2009, armed with a camera and research, Carol Ott began outing Baltimore’s slumlords. On her blog, Baltimore Slumlord Watch, she shared information about the owners of vacant and neglected properties, who she saw as contributing to the decay of Baltimore neighborhoods. The project found a wide audience, and Carol’s next step was a nonprofit called Housing Policy Watch, which works to create a more equitable city through affordable and safe housing. Carol talked about Baltimore’s vacants...


Jasmine Norton, Urban Oyster chef and owner (episode 59)

For Jasmine Norton, oysters are a family affair. Jasmine is the owner and chef at the Urban Oyster, a mobile oyster bar in Baltimore. Jasmine and her family serve up oysters in a casual, approachable manner, whether char-grilled with buffalo sauce or fried up in a taco, at festivals, farmers markets and other events. Jasmine, who made her first appearance with the oyster bar this spring, talked about her inspiration, being a self-taught chef and why she feels passionately about seafood.


Cara Ober, BmoreArt founding editor (episode 58)

When Cara Ober created BmoreArt a decade ago, she was driven by a curiosity about the ways artists build their lives in untraditional ways. Founded by Cara and friends from grad school in 2007, BmoreArt is an online publication of art and culture in the Baltimore area, offering reviews, reporting and resources for artists and the community. In 2015, Cara launched a corresponding bi-annual print journal that explores Baltimore's cultural landscape thematically. Cara, who is also an artist,...


Jessica Anya Blau, author (episode 57)

Jessica Anya Blau is insatiably curious about people. The author, who splits her time between Baltimore and New York, credits that curiosity with leading her into conversations and situations that sometimes inspire her books. Jessica is the author of four novels: “The Summer of Naked Swim Parties,” “Drinking Closer to Home,” “The Wonder Bread Summer” and, most recently, “The Trouble with Lexie.” Jessica talked about unlikable characters, feeling like an outsider and her unlikely path to...


Meagan "Ducky Dynamo" Buster, DJ and organizer (episode 56)

With a passion for music and the environment, Meagan "Ducky Dynamo" Buster defies the notion of doing or being only one thing. At first managing and promoting artists, Meagan eventually started creating music herself as DJ Ducky Dynamo, and can be found bringing the sounds of Baltimore Club music across the country. She makes up half of the DJ duo Turnt, with Shawn Smallwood, and is also an organizer for the Baltimore City Green Party. Meagan talked about her loyalty to Baltimore, weather...


Maria Thompson, Coppin State University president (episode 55)

For Maria Thompson, education is the family business. With a background in textiles, Maria has worked as an administrator at Tennessee State University and served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at SUNY Oneonta. In July 2015, Maria became president of Coppin State University, a historically black institution in West Baltimore with a history of educating nurses, teachers and other professionals. Coppin has struggled with financial problems and poor graduation rates, and...


Jessica Henkin and Laura Wexler, Stoop Storytelling Series (episode 54)

Everyone has a story. What’s yours? That’s the motto of the Stoop, a Baltimore storytelling series created and hosted by Laura Wexler and Jessica Henkin. Since its founding in 2006, hundreds of ordinary people have shared their 7-minute personal tales in front of a live audience. Ranging from hilarious to heartbreaking, the stories, centered around a common theme, aren’t scripted or memorized. Jessica, an improv comic who works in education, and Laura, a writer and producer, also host the...


Saida Agostini and Shanti Flagg, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (episode 53)

FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is an activist collaboration based in Baltimore that uses art actions to inspire difficult and honest conversations about sexual and domestic violence. Two of the people leading those conversations are Saida Agostini, FORCE’s Chief Operating Officer, and Shanti Flagg, Studio Director. One way FORCE upsets the culture of rape is with the Monument Quilt, a public art project that collects stories of survivors and their supporters, stitched together on red...


Kate Wagner, McMansion Hell creator (episode 52)

You might hate McMansions -- but do you know why? Kate Wagner does, and in wanting to educate people about the oversized, cheaply made and poorly designed beacons of suburbia, started a blog last year called McMansion Hell. On the blog, Kate translates architectural language into humorous criticism of McMansions using real estate photos, obscuring identifying details of the homes’ locations and residents. She also includes educational posts on the site, and contributes to outlets like 99%...


Wendy Osefo, political commentator and professor (episode 51)

Wendy Osefo aims to bring a voice to spaces where it would otherwise go unheard. The professor, media personality and political commentator regularly appears on cable news shows like “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Fox " Friends,” where she often goes head-to-head with opposing interviewers and pundits. Wendy became increasingly sought after as a commentator after penning a widely read op-ed for City Paper on election night titled, “Donald Trump did not win. Hatred did.” As a visiting...


Krystal Mack, Blk // Sugar owner (episode 50)

Krystal Mack has led several lives -- most recently, that of a pastry chef and business owner. Krystal is the owner of Blk // Sugar bakery, which she has described as a food and lifestyle concept from the black feminine perspective. Blk // Sugar serves up treats like macarons, lavender honey pie and activated charcoal brownies, in addition to teas and other desserts. Before opening Blk // Sugar, Krystal was riding a tricycle around the city, selling pies and ice pops as the owner of...


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