Amy Kiley | WABE 90.1 FM

Amy Kiley

Host, All Things Considered and Marketplace

Amy fell in love with radio while serving as the news director at her college station, Northwestern University’s WNUR. After working as a host and show reporter at Milwaukee Public Radio, Amy headed south to be the local voice of "All Things Considered" for WMFE in Orlando. Now, she’s excited to serve WABE’s Atlanta-area listeners through that role.

Amy has filed stories for NPR, Marketplace, the BBC and a number of national print publications. She has earned fellowships in legal and immigration reporting as well as awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Associated Press in Florida and other organizations.

Along the way, Amy lived in New Zealand and Argentina and picked up graduate degrees in music and liturgy.  

Atlanta Homeward Choir

Each winter President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a list of holiday activities at the White House.  This year the Atlanta Homeward Choir is on that list and slated to sing the afternoon on Monday, Dec. 21.

What’s remarkable about the honor is that every singer in the all-male chorus is homeless. Amy Kiley interviews members of the choir and Donal Noonan, the executive director of the choir.

Atlanta-area voters will choose a new state senator for District 43 on Tuesday, Dec. 1.  The runoff race follows a special election in November in which no candidate got the required 50 percent of the vote.   

Seth Martin / Meridian Herald

Most modern Christians don't encounter “camp meetings,” except as occasional words in hymns and choral works, but camp meetings were actual Protestant gatherings that were popular in rural America in the 19th Century. 

These meetings would last for days and feature preachers, music and, of course, camping.  One Methodist bishop noted about 400 camp meetings, from Georgia to Michigan, in the early 1800s, and other denominations held them too. 

Matt Dunham / Associated Press

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi was in Atlanta on Friday for the Fulbright Association's "Pathways to Peace" conference.  

The Indian activist won the prize in 2014 for his work to free child laborers. WABE's Amy Kiley spoke with him during his visit.


Heather Kennedy / Kennedy

It's an election day in Georgia, and, though no statewide posts are on ballots, voters will have their say on cityhood, state legislative and municipal posts and area referendums. Polls are open until 7 p.m.


Atlanta-based CARE said staff members in Afghanistan are OK after Monday afternoon's massive earthquake, but the humanitarian group's office there is damaged.

Country Director Christina Northey says the roof is partially collapsed at CARE's base in Kabul, even though the office is about 160 miles from the epicenter of the quake. "We were in our offices and the building shook for what was probably only seconds but certainly seemed to be a lot longer," she recalls.

WABE listeners who tune in during "All Things Considered" these days might notice a few new voices. Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers are the newest national hosts of that NPR flagship program. They follow a tradition that began with original hosts Robert Conley and NPR "Founding Mother" Susan Stanberg back in the early 1970s.

Members of a group that supports the Confederate battle flag have been indicted in Douglas County.   Respect the Flag members allegedly disrupted an African-American boy's birthday party in July. On Monday, Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner announced that a grand jury had indicted 15 participants Friday. They face charges for "terroristic threats" and violations of Georgia's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Two of the 15 also face charges for battery.

Atlanta-area composer and singer Elise Witt
Irene Young

"We're All Born Singing:" that's the name of a new CD and book from Atlanta-area composer and singer Elise Witt. It's also her paradigm as a music educator. 

Witt will officially launch her album with a concert at Decatur's Oakhurst Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Thursday, but she gave Amy Kiley a preview. Witt began by explaining how she herself was born singing.

Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra season has started. But, before music director Robert Spano ever took the stage opening night, another conductor stepped to the podium to prepare the ASO singers for that concert.

Norman Mackenzie is the ASO director of choruses. Symphony-goers might not always see him on stage, but they hear his work whenever the ASO Chorus sings.

Mackenzie's role as the conductor behind the conductor is explored in this interview that walks through time and space.

The Cathedral of St. Philip's choir, Nov. 2014
Courtesy The Cathedral of St. Philip

How do you pick out the music you want hear? Do you raid your CD collection, browse Pandora or perhaps rely on your favorite WABE arts program?

It can be hard moving to the U.S. from another country, especially for a teenager. Imagine taking a high school test on Shakespeare when you barely speak English – while trying to make new friends, graduate, get a good job and help your family get out of poverty. 

About 15 percent of children in Georgia’s immigrant families were born in other countries, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Quite a few who came here as teenagers live in DeKalb County and attend Clarkston High School.  


Georgians have cause to celebrate the U.S. women's national soccer team heading to a record fourth Women's World Cup Final this Sunday.

Two of the 23 players on the team have Georgia roots. The youngest player, midfielder Morgan Brian, is from St. Simon's Island. She's the newly named Atlantic Coast Conference female athlete of the year.

Defender Kelley O'Hara, who scored a goal for the U.S. in its semifinal win over Germany Tuesday, grew up on the soccer fields of Peachtree City before heading to Stanford University.

US and Georgia state flags
Shane Ronemus /

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina has ignited debate over the Confederate flag. The flag flies on the grounds at South Carolina's state capitol and, on Monday, Governor Nikki Haley called for its removal.

It wasn't long ago that Georgia flew the Confederate emblem as part of the state official flag. From 1956 until 2001, it took up most of the state flag, and remained a tiny part of another version of the flag for two years after.

In this Saturday, May 31, 2014 photo, members of the graduating class and faculty attend the SCAD Commencement in Atlanta. On Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, the College Board said the average cost of attending college crept up again in 2014.
John Amis / Associated Press

  A new program called Achieve Atlanta aims to improve the college graduation rate for Atlanta Public Schools students.

Maria Saporta of the Saporta Report gives an overview of $20 million initiative to WABE's Amy Kiley.

Michell Eloy / WABE


Memorial Day was born in a cemetery. Originally called Decoration Day, it was a time to bring flowers to the headstones of fallen soldiers.

Decatur resident Mary Mahoney honors that tradition – and her late husband – when she visits his grave at the Georgia National Cemetery.  Mahoney’s husband, Victor, was a Navy veteran of World War II, stationed at Pearl Harbor. He died in 2012.

On Memorial Day, Mahoney explained why she finds beauty in military headstones at her husband’s resting place in Georgia National Cemetery.

Maria Saporta

More than 100 Atlanta leaders are in Toronto, Canada, this week.

It’s part of the annual LINK exchange – when municipal heads travel to other cities to meet the people who run them.

Maria Saporta of the Saporta Report is in Toronto with the delegation. She told Amy Kiley what Atlanta leaders are learning up North.

The Cathedral of St. Philip's choir, Nov. 2014
Courtesy The Cathedral of St. Philip

This weekend’s joyous Easter festivities celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

The Psalms have held an honored place in such religious services since Jews sang them at the Temple over 2,000 years ago – and Christians later included them in the Bible.  For Easter, many Christians read or sing Psalm 118.  It has lines like: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  This sacred text has seen thousands of years of languages and musical styles, and has outlived almost any other music in human history.

Nobel Peace Prize Summit
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

More than 20 Nobel Peace Prize laureates are scheduled to meet in Atlanta this November, but it looks like city leaders won’t be in the welcome party.

Mayor Kasim Reed has withdrawn the city of Atlanta’s involvement in organizing the summit. To find out why and what it means for the city’s reputation, Amy Kiley spoke with commentator Maria Saporta, editor of the Saporta Report.

Brenna Beech / WABE

You have until Sunday to tour area historic sites through the Atlanta Preservation Center’s Phoenix Flies event, but our three-part sneak peek of it concludes with this installment.  

WABE’s Amy Kiley previewed the Sweet Auburn Avenue walking tour. She met up with Atlanta Preservation Center Education Director Paul Hammock in front of the old Atlanta Life Insurance building. 

Brenna Beech / WABE

The Atlanta Preservation Center’s annual Phoenix Flies event continues – and so does our sneak peak at some of its historic building tours.  Earlier, WABE’s Amy Kiley took us to the old Atlanta Daily World building. Today, she brings us inside the former home of WERD, the nation’s first African-American-owned radio station.

The Atlanta Daily World entrance
Brenna Beech / WABE

The Atlanta Preservation Center’s annual Phoenix Flies event runs March 7 through 22.  It’s a chance for the public to tour the city’s historic buildings and hear what happened inside them years ago.

WABE’s Amy Kiley got a sneak peak of the newly rehabilitated Atlanta Daily World building at 145 Auburn Ave.  There, Atlanta Preservation Center Education Director Paul Hammock explained that it used to hold one of the nation’s first – and most influential – African-American newspapers.  

Sacred Harp Shape Note singing
Alison Guillory / WABE

One of the oldest musical styles born in the U.S. looks a lot different on the page than typical music. Shape note singing uses symbols to represent notes: a triangle, a circle, a square and sometimes a diamond.

A small ─ but growing ─ number of people around Atlanta gather regularly to sing from the shape note hymnal, the "Sacred Harp." So, a scholar released a new version of it this month.  

Listen to the Sacred Harp singers in an audio slide show by clicking here.

Dan Raby / WABE

The new Atlanta Falcons stadium has a lot of people keeping an eye on the intersection of Northside Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.  But, a local businessman and philanthropist wants people to shift their focus a few blocks west to an area of Atlanta that’s struggling.

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy says crossing Northside Drive in that spot is like walking into another world: from the wealth and flare of professional football … to the poverty and crime of ZIP code 30314.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., right, winner of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, receives a glass bowl inscribed to him as a ''citizen of Atlanta, with respect and admiration,'' from Rabbi Jacob Rothschild of the Temple Synagogue in Atlanta on Jan. 27, 1965.
Associated Press

On Jan. 27, 1965, the city of Atlanta gathered to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. for his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

But many in the Atlanta business community were against King and against the dinner.

Last week, the Atlanta History Center held an event commemorating the anniversary.

Emory University professor Hank Klibanoff and WABE contributor Maria Saporta stopped by the studio to talk to WABE’s Amy Kiley, who begins by asking Hank Klibanoff: what happened? 

When most people drive to church on Sunday, it's to sit for an hour-long service on uncomfortable wooden pews. Not at the Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church in Florida.

As church attendance continues to decline in the United States, some parishes are doing what they can to draw congregants: embracing social media, loosening dress codes and even altering service times for big sporting events. At this church, people park in rows on the grass facing an altar on the balcony of an old drive-in theater. To hear the service, they switch on their radios.