Erin Wright | WABE 90.1 FM

Erin Wright

Radio Producer

Erin Wright produces "City Lights" and "Strike Up the Band." After studying viola, German and Musicology at UGA, Erin began working at Public Broadcasting Atlanta in 2011. 

Ways to Connect

Photo courtesy Hank Stewart

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes";

Erhard Rom

“War cannot be described in film, or in theatre, or in opera … you can’t replicate the actual experience. But what you can actually achieve is [to] tell the universal truth about what it is to be a soldier.”

That’s according to Tomer Zvulun, the general and artistic director of the Atlanta Opera. Zvulun identifies with the soldier’s experience because he is a veteran himself, having served as a combat medic in the Israeli army.

Tim Whitby / Alamy Stock Photo

Too old to trick-or-treat?

Then we have some bone-chilling suggestions for you, if you're feeling a little adventurous. Atlas Obscura is a virtual guidebook to our world's hidden and curious wonders. Now, Atlas Obscura is offering a sampling of those curiosities in the form of a "real" (read: hardback) book, subtitled "An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders."

EAP Pictures/Double Raven Pictures

“This show is a blend of ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘American Horror Story.’”

That’s one way actor Keith Brooks describes “Edgar Allan Poe’s Mystery Theatre,” a new public television historical drama series based on the life of Edgar Allan Poe, interwoven with the enigmatic author’s most bizarre tales. So far, only the pilot has been shot, but the creative team behind the new series already has the rest of the season sketched out. All this Georgia-based team needs is the financial backing and distribution to get the show running.

Ballethnic Dance Company

Atlanta’s Ballethnic Dance Company has seen its share of success and setbacks in its 26-year history.

Nena Gilreath and Waverly Lucas founded the country’s second African-American classical ballet company in 1990. The real-life couple actually met while performing with the country’s first African-American classical ballet company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

David Pedde

Iconic public radio programs are synonymous with their hosts. When you hear "Fresh Air," you think "Terry Gross"; "This American Life" and Ira Glass; "A Prairie Home Companion" and Garrison Keillor.

Well actually, it's now "A Prairie Home Companion" with Chris Thile. Longtime fans of “Prairie Home” recognize Thile as a frequent guest artist as well as a rare substitute host in recent seasons. Outside of “Prairie Home,” Thile is known for his cross-genre mandolin musicianship in bands like Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers.

Charlie McCullers

On any given night in Atlanta, there are around 900 homeless LGBTQ youth on the streets. That’s according to Lost-n-Found Youth, a local nonprofit helping these homeless youth with a mission to stabilize their lives, find permanent housing and stable employment.

Al Such / WABE

In his recent article for ArtsATL, architect Michael Kahn wrote that “Atlanta is a city that is often accused of forgetting its past. Indeed, as progress plows ahead and the heart of the city bustles with new development, older buildings are often cast aside as worthless, either replaced by or surrounded by monotonous, anonymous gleaming glass towers.”

Stephanie Mackinnon / Oxingale Records

Matt Haimovitz had a big idea with the passion and the work ethic to see it through; all he was lacking was the funding.

The inventive and ever-evolving cellist wanted to commission six composers to write six overtures to J.S. Bach’s famous cello suites. It was an untraditional proposal, but it’s the sort of challenge that intrigues seasoned composers like Philip Glass.

Gadi Dagon

Israel is at the forefront of modern dance, and for six weeks Atlanta is very lucky to host some of Israel’s finest talents for the EXPOSED contemporary dance and physical theater festival. The festival officially opens Oct. 5, but some of the artists are already in town.

In this Feb. 23, 2015 file photo, the First Folio of Shakespeare plays is displayed after a press conference at Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London.
AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File

William Shakespeare, more than any other playwright in history, sustains an ever-expanding cultural relevance and vibrancy that lives on in classrooms, on stages and in every form of media. This is all the more impressive considering 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Artist, Fahamu Pecou, currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University's Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), stands in front of his artwork at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Ga.
Bryan Meltz

Fahamu Pecou is here to re-define black masculinity.

Pecou’s paintings are in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection and have even been seen on the hit TV series, “Empire.” The Atlanta artist and scholar took time from his new major exhibit opening at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, S.C. to talk with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights.”

Herb Ritts / AP Photo

Print cartoons and movies are “twin media.” 

That’s according to Dr. Eddy Von Mueller, a senior lecturer in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Emory University. Mueller says that newspaper comic strips first appeared on American newsstands in 1892, the same year Thomas Edison introduced his first movie-watching machine. Both forms of media were treated with suspicion by the sophisticated elites.

Courtesy Malek Jandali

Malek Jandali is a multi-faceted talent. The German-born, Syrian-American pianist is best known as a concert pianist and composer. The Arab Spring in 2012 and the ongoing Syrian Civil War have focused his musical gifts on activism and humanitarian work.

Lord Aeck Sargent

A new exhibit at Georgia Tech is celebrating the life and work of one of Atlanta's great architects: Terry Sargent. But the exhibit, called "Triptychs," is also about the collaborative, artistic process of building design, starting with the architect's sketches, then the illustrator's watercolor and finally the photographer's image of the completed project.

Architect Joe Greco, a colleague of the late Terry Sargent, told Lois Reitzes that architecture is “really about finding the intersection of program and logic, and then putting it together in a really artful way.”

Adam K. Thompson

The first alternative-American films and pre-cursors to today’s independent movies were created by African-American filmmakers. These filmmakers worked outside of the Hollywood studio system that was just beginning to solidify between the two world wars. The so-called “race films” depicted black culture and issues and were screened in segregated theaters across the country.

courtesy Elisabeth Koch

Though “The Milliner of Beijing” may sound like the title of a Rossini opera, it’s actually the nickname given to Atlanta native Elisabeth Koch.

As mainland China’s only milliner, or hat-maker, Koch has steadily carved out a couture fashion niche, crafting hats for Chinese blockbuster movie stars and models on the cover of Vogue magazine.

In an interview for “City Lights” with Lois Reitzes, Koch credits her craftiness to her Dutch/Welsh parents: “I come from a very creative family … If you didn’t have it, make it.”

Courtesy of Shev Rush PR

Some words are simply untranslatable, but the meaning remains universal. Take, for example, “Gigil.” It’s Filipino for that irresistible urge to pinch something cute. Or “Waldeinsamkeit” – that’s German for the feeling of being alone in the woods. “Bazodee” is Trinidadian slang for a feeling of confusion, often because of love or lust.

It’s also the title of a new film set in Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean island nation where the two dominant groups in the country are those of South Asian (sometimes referred to as East Indian) and African descent.

Freddy Bensch co-founded SweetWater with his friend Kevin McNerney. On February 17, 1997, they sold their first keg of beer.
SweetWater Brewing Company

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.  

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here

Bryan Meltz

In his recent op-ed for ArtsATL, Fahamu Pecou wrote that he makes art "as a form of protest, but more so as a form of love."

The artist and scholar is protesting representations of black masculinity in pop culture — think sagging pants, hoodies and gold chains — by transforming those portrayals from caricature into a nuanced narrative, one informed by history, politics, fashion, fine art and more.

Spencer Weiner / Associated Press

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.

Sept. 18, 1990. Maynard Jackson was serving his third term as mayor when, on that September day in Tokyo, the president of the International Olympic Committee announced that Atlanta had won the bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Charlie McCullers / ArtsATL

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here. To read the whole story on ArtsATL, click here.

Brandon Amato

Joey Ward understands that it's not cheap to go out to dinner these days, so he tries hard to make it worth your while.

A night dining out at Gunshow, the Kevin Gillespie restaurant where Ward is executive chef, is akin to an evening spent at the symphony or at an art gallery opening. The chef told host Lois Reitzes on "City Lights" that cooking itself is a form of art.

Courtesy of Village Theatre

While best-known for his endlessly quotable character Kenneth Parcell on the NBC sitcom "30 Rock," actor and comedian Jack McBrayer has actually spent most of his career on the improv stage.  

McBrayer should feel at home this weekend when he's onstage at the second annual Atlanta Improv Festival, hosted by the Village Theatre near downtown Atlanta. It will also be a sort of homecoming for McBrayer, who was born and raised in Macon and graduated from high school in Conyers.

illa hip hop musical
Courtesy of John Ridings

"Hamilton" has been nothing short of a Broadway phenomenon, bringing hip-hop and history to America's most storied musical stage. 

Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association

In traditional music pedagogy, a student learns to play their instrument or sing while simultaneously learning to read music. That's like learning to talk and read a book at the same time, according to 20th century violinist and pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki.

GSU Winter 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE

In early May, Georgia State University announced its plans to form a College of the Arts separate from the current College of Arts and Sciences. The new college's founding dean, Dr. Wade Weast, is a musician by training who has earned three degrees in trumpet performance and who spent the first years of his career gigging and teaching.

Though the decision to form an independent arts college was made before his arrival at GSU, Weast discussed the reasoning behind the move with Lois Reitzes on "City Lights." 

Kristian Bush from Sugarland; playwright Janece Shaffer with WABE's Lois Reitzes
Al Such / WABE

When Katy Perry sang with Dolly Parton at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony, the pop star knew how to dress the part: big hair, bright colors and bedazzled boots.

But country music didn't always embrace sequins and satin, which one Atlanta playwright noted on a visit to Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. Janece Shaffer told Lois Reitzes that the costumes "went from church wear — brown slacks and string ties — to these bedazzled, crazy things."

Matthew Guard

Music can help guide us through some truly frightening, traumatic events. For Skylark Vocal Ensemble artistic director Matthew Guard, Sergei Rachmaninov's "All-Night Vigil" or "Vespers" helped him cope with his child's complicated birth.