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TCP 028 - Independent Music, With The Spacesuit Junkies

The only label attached to The Spacesuit Junkies is artists. Michelle chats with Plex Boogie and Stevie Zenith of The Spacesuit Junkies about their journey as independent recording artists. From the origins of their duo to their entrepreneurial vision, these two performers break down the commitment and determination it takes to flourish independently. Michelle shares her own experience of trading a corporate career for a more fulfilling, autonomous business and this leads to a conversation...


TCP 027 - Lighting Design, With Connor McVey

A symphony of moving parts must cooperate to bring a theatrical production to life. One critical element has the tricky job of uniting those varied aspects into one cohesive experience: lighting. Lighting designer Connor McVey brings his expertise to The Cultured Podcast where he and Michelle break down the fundamentals of lighting design and the unique way it sets out to interpret the script. He explains the supportive role his art plays within the crew and how he surprisingly feels most...


TCP 026 - Public Art, With Monica Campana

While most people look past city walls as everyday structures, Monica Campana recognizes them as canvases bursting with potential. As the executive director of nonprofit arts organization Living Walls, Monica spend much of her time jumping through bureaucratic hoops in order to transform once anonymous public spaces into intimate displays of community expression. Michelle and Monica explore the history and purpose of street art while digging into the political and emotional roots behind...


TCP 025 - Stand-up Comedy, With Joel Byars

From the moment he stole the microphone during a church play, Joel Byars knew laughter would be essential in his life. A seasoned stand-up performer, comedy teacher, podcast host, and writer, Joel chats with Michelle about his passion for comedy and the path he’s taken to pursue it full-time. We get insight from their conversation about the power of social accountability and the tools Joel utilizes to sustain his creative output. They also dive into the fear element often associated with...


TCP 024 - Healing Homeless Youth With the Arts, With Malika Whitley

Malika Whitley is the type of person that restores your faith in the power of good. Once a homeless youth, Malika now applies that painful experience to generating artistic opportunities for underprivileged teens across the globe. Through her nonprofit organization ChopArt, Malika shines a powerful spotlight on a population that often goes unrecognized and unheard, giving them the opportunity to express themselves in a safe and trusting environment. She talks with Michelle about her life...


TCP 023 - One-Person Shows, With Taylor M. Dooley

You know those people who just ooze charisma and talent? That’s our Episode 23 guest Taylor M. Dooley in a nutshell. Taylor most recently starred in the one-woman show "Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up," an equally heart-wrenching and hilarious play written by Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild). Throughout the two-act production, Taylor embodies 10-plus characters. She clues us into the painstaking process of capturing the well-rounded essence of each character. Taylor then...


TCP 022 - Photo Manipulation, With Bhargava Chiluveru

On Episode 22, Michelle welcomes photographer, digital media maven and man with many hats Bhargava Chiluveru. Bhargava and his wife Anu own Chil Media and, which are bastions of stylish branding and artistic expression. Over the course of the conversation, he lets us in on what it was like to move from India to Atlanta at age 13, then shares how Adobe Photoshop lit the match that set his creativity on fire. He also clues us into how he got the idea to turn Atlanta into a...


TCP 021 - Animation, With Peter Gulsvig

This week, Michelle welcomes illustrator and animator extraordinaire Peter Gulsvig! Pete has worked on FX’s Archer, Adult Swim, PBS Kids, and more, so you know he knows a thing or two about animation. In fact, his own animated series, Tammy’s Tiny Tea Time, was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival in December 2017! In this episode, Pete and Michelle discuss the long, winding journey that led him to animation—but not before he got a degree in history and worked as a custodian at Disney...


TCP 020 - Poetry, With Jenny Sadre-Orafai

On Episode 20 of The Cultured Podcast, Michelle welcomes Jenny Sadre-Orafai to the show. Jenny is an acclaimed poet and a professor at Kennesaw State University. Her newest book of poetry, Malak, is as much about her grandmother, the book’s namesake and a mystic who read people’s futures in coffee grounds, as much as it is about Jenny’s own experiences with metaphysical miracles. Jenny shares how poetry gave way to a lifelong journey of self-discovery, awareness, and putting complex...


TCP 019 - Improv & Voice Acting, With Amber Nash

Michelle welcomes the gregarious and talented Amber Nash to The Cultured Podcast. While you may not recognize Amber’s face, you will surely recognize her voice! She is the voice actress for Pam Poovey on FXX’s Archer, a massive hit animated series that’s already on its ninth season. Amber shares with Michelle how a chance evening at Whole World Improv made her fall in love with improvisational acting. She also lets us in on how an audition that went completely wrong landed her such a...


TCP 018 - Wearable Tech & Performance Art - ATLTVHEAD

Atlantans may know about Nate Damen—he’s the guy walking around the city with a glowing 1969 RCA TV on his head. Nate, better known as ATLTVHEAD, joins Michelle for a Cultured chat about performance art, wearable technology, and whether Nate is on the good or bad side of a robot invasion. Nate opens up about how feelings of loneliness paired with creative ingenuity to bring his charming, lovable alter ego to life. He tell us that perhaps the most surprising thing about wearing a mask is...


TCP 017 - Musical Theatre, With Adrianna Hicks

Join Michelle as she heads to Broadway for a chat with actress and singer Adrianna Hicks, who plays Celie in Broadway’s The Color Purple North American tour. Adrianna’s powerhouse voice has led her all the way to some of the biggest stages in Germany and Austria and back to Broadway. Through the conversation, Adrianna sheds light on what it was like to go from being the girl who sang in a church choir to performing in front of hundreds of people nightly. She discusses how transforming...


TCP 016 - Storytelling in the American South, With Doc Lawrence

Master storyteller Doc Lawrence joins Michelle on The Cultured Podcast for a discussion on the Southern tradition of storytelling in the U.S. Over plates of fried chicken and jars of sweet tea, Doc developed a knack for storytelling that’s ingrained in him at his very core. And boy, does he have some stories up his sleeve. Just take the night he spent in a jail cell with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or the tale of his dinner with Ella Fitzgerald...or his chance encounter with yet another...


TCP 015 - Double Exposure Photography, With Matthew Terrell

Photographer, artist and writer Matthew Terrell joins Michelle for an exploration of double exposure photographer. Matt is a jack of many trades but this go-round, we focus on his ethereal and vintage-inspired double exposure photography. Remember those 35 mm rolls of film that you used to take to your local drugstore to get developed? Matt manages to take those rolls of film and a 1979 Pentax K1000 camera that he’s had since he was 16 to capture ethereal images of intimacy, nature and...


TCP 014 - What is an Art Biennial? With Tami Katz-Freiman

On Episode 14 of The Cultured Podcast, Tami Katz-Freiman is Michelle’s Sherpa into the world of contemporary art curation. Tami recently curated Gal Weinstein’s five-installation exhibition Sun Stand Still, which represented Israel at the world-renowned Venice Biennale. Tami explains that her job as a curator is to make art installations digestible for appreciators, by acting as a translator or mediator between the artist and audience. This is no easy job, and one that includes writing,...


TCP 013 - Modern Choreography, With Juel D. Lane

Michelle chats with modern choreographer, dancer, teacher and filmmaker Juel D. Lane on Episode 13 of the The Cultured Podcast. Together, they dig at the roots of what it takes to choreograph a piece of modern dance that sparks dialogue while making hearts flutter. He gives us an inside look at what goes into his pre-performance rituals and how he conceives of his pieces. Whether he’s paying homage to an old-school Atlanta dance called “yeek” or giving a voice to the LGBTQIA community,...


TCP 012 - Documentary Filmmaking, With Billy Corben

Episode 12 of The Cultured Podcast may as well be a masterclass in documentary filmmaking thanks to guest Billy Corben. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director of “Cocaine Cowboys,” “Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja,” “Limelight,” and several films for ESPN’s “30 for 30” (to name just a few), joins Michelle for a high-energy conversation filled with Billy’s unbelievable experiences behind the lens, including coming face to face with drug traffickers, murderers, and other...


TCP 011 - Global Herbalism, With Tash Nikol

In Episode 11 of The Cultured Podcast, Tasha Nikol joins Michelle for an exploration of the ancient practice of herbalism. It’s estimated that nearly 75% of the world’s population still relies on natural or herbal remedies as mainstream medicine. Tash comes from a long lineage of farmers and herbalists, but only recently decided to explore her ancestral connection with plants. She tells us about her month-long immersive apprenticeship at Centro Ashé in Manzanillo, a village in the jungle...


TCP 010 - Figure Painting - Christian Fagerlund

Michelle welcomes figure painter Christian Fagerlund to Episode 10 of The Cultured Podcast for what turns out to be a mesmerizing conversation about painting the human body. Christian is an oil painter who has focused on depicting the human form for 25 years. Christian's intuitive, rather than analytical approach, enables him to capture each subject’s energetic essence, rather than simply transcribing what his eyes see. That essence is what Christian believes brings a figurative painting...


TCP 009 - Disruptive Fashion Design - Bianca Cooper / Biyunka

Dig at the roots of disruptive fashion design. Michelle interviews fashion designer and hypercreative Bianca Cooper, who unearths the secrets to eliminating expectation and achieving artistic liberation. Influenced by shows like Project Runway during her formative years, Bianca decided to forge a relationship with her sewing machine and unleash her creative dreams with her clothing line, Biyunka. From nature, texture and contrast, to the depths of metaphysics and the continuum, Bianca's...


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