Asheville

Simmer 6: Coming to America

The final episode in the Simmer series combines interview with El Salvadorian immigrants in Asheville, NC, cultural reflections from Robert Kohls’ “Values Americans Live By,” and two original songs.

Luiz Antonio Alvarado came to the United States from El Salvador in 1990. Host and producer speaks with Alvarado and his nephew, Noa Herrera, about cultural difference and the challenges of immigration at Alvarado’s home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Interspersed into our interview are sections form Robert Kohls’ “Values Americans Live By.” The episode also features draft recordings of two original songs appearing on Carla’s 2013 Who Are My People? album: “Suffering Song” and “One Way.”

Simmer 2: The Rainbow or the Stick?

“The Rainbow or the Stick?: Teaching and Discipline Across Cultures” features interviews with Renee Owen, director of the Rainbow Mountain Children’s School in Asheville, North Carolina, and Monsieur Bayamna, a junior high school French teacher in Kante, Togo, West Africa.

Producer Carla Seidl starts off reflecting on her own teaching experiences in Azerbaijan from 2006 to 2008. She then juxtaposes perspectives of two teachers: Renee Owen, director of the Rainbow Mountain Children’s School in Asheville, North Carolina, and Monsieur Bayamna, a junior high school French teacher in Kante, Togo, West Africa, to create an thought-provoking reflection on teaching and discipline across cultures. Seidl spoke with Renee Owen in Asheville, NC in 2013 and interviewed Monsieur Bayamna in 2010 while serving as a Girls Education and Empowerment volunteer with the Peace Corps in Kante, Togo, West Africa.

Telling Our Own Stories: Wally Bowen on Creating a Democratic Media

Documentary on the life and work of media reform activist Wally Bowen, founder and executive director of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in Asheville, North Carolina. Interview recorded May 2012.


Media reform activist Wally Bowen of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) of Asheville, North Carolina speaks from his front porch about his work and life, reflecting on themes of democracy, equal opportunity, sense of place, social capital, and the dangers of corporate-controlled Internet and journalism. Bowen shares his vision of locally-controlled media, which he says would not only create fulfilling work opportunities and enhance knowledge and human connection, but also enable us to shift from being passive consumers to engaged citizens. Speaking directly to the problem of social and economic inequities, Bowen introduces listeners to the problem of corporate media control and educates on the possibility of a different, more democratic model of journalism. As Bowen tells his story, including topics of home, spirituality, and facing the challenges of illness (ALS), he encourages us to tell our own. The documentary encourages listeners to become more active and engaged in their own lives.