Historical Marker unveiled at Central Library for crucial desegregation case of Swanson v. UVA

On May 19, 2022, a crowd assembled at the intersection of East Market Street and 3rd Street NW in downtown Charlottesville to watch the unveiling of a historic marker to commemorate an important moment in the desegregation of education in Virginia. In 1950, Gregory Swanson applied to attend the University of Virginia School of Law, but he was denied a space because he was Black. He sued in federal court citing 14th Amendment rights to equal protection, and a three-panel judge heard arguments on September 5 that year. Our recording begins with David Plunkett, the director of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

Timeline for podcast:

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:50 – Comments from David Plunkett, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
  • 04:10 – Comments from Risa Goluff, Dean of the University of Virginia School of Law
  • 10:00 – Comments from M. Rick Turner
  • 12:00 – Comments from Donna Price, Chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors
  • 15:30 – Comments from Lloyd Snook, Mayor of the City of Charlottesville
A close up of the historical marker unveiled on May 19, 2022

Whole City Podcast: A conversation with Elizabeth Catte on Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia

The Reverend Alex Joyner is the pastor of Charlottesville First United Methodist Church, and he wants to ask questions about what it takes to make a place more whole. One thread in his questioning is the future of Market Street Park in downtown Charlottesville.

In late February of 2022, Reverend Joyner spoke with Elizabeth Catte about her new book Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia.

You can also watch this interview on YouTube.

A preview of the 15th Annual Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase

What does candy-making have in common with decoy-carving? What does hot-rod car building have to do with baking baklava? All of those activities, and dozens of others, are considered to be aspects of Virginia culture as curated by the Virginia Folklife Program.

This weekend at Highland, Virginia Humanities will put on a show that celebrates all of these activities and more. Producer James Walsh recently spoke with the person behind the festivities.

Virginia Film Festival 2017: Doug Bari on Scenes With Ivan

Filmmaker Doug Bari joins Sean McCord to talk about his film Scenes With Ivan. In this highly personal film, Doug and his wife Judy document the life of their son Ivan from before he was born to a 32 year old adult with children of his own. More information about this and Doug and Judy’s many other films can be found on Doug’s website. The documentary will be shown at the Dickinson Theater at Piedmont Virginia Community on Friday, November 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Virginia Film Festival 2017: John Kelly on The Long Road Home

In addition to helping out the Virginia Film Festival with public relations, John Kelly also serves as a publicist for shows such as The Long Road Home, which will screen an episode at 5:30 pm on Friday at the Culbreth Theatre at the University of Virginia. The eight episode mini-series is being produced by the National Geographic Channel. Kelly talks about the making of the show.

The series, based on The New York Times best-selling book by Martha Raddatz, relives a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War when the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad — a day that came to be known as “Black Sunday.”

Virginia Film Festival 2017: Jason Robinson on his film Walkalong

Filmmaker Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson is in the Virginia Film Festival for the fourth time, this time to support his short film Walkalong which will be shown before the film Shadowman on Thursday, November 9 at the Violet Crown. Robinson, a former project manager at Light House Studio, talks with Sean McCord about how the short piece came to be made.

Virginia Film Festival 2016: Barry Sisson and the Indie Film Minute

Barry Sisson
Barry Sisson

Barry Sisson of the syndicated radio program Indie Film Minute joins Sean McCord to talk about the history of show and how he began it to increase the audience for independent films.

Sisson and the rest of the Indie Film Minute are also screening independent films in collaboration with Light House Studio.

Virginia Film Festival 2016: Restoring Tomorrow

Aaron Wolf at the Virginia Film Festival, November 4, 2016.
Aaron Wolf at the Virginia Film Festival, November 4, 2016.

Aaron Wolf of Howling Wolf Productions talks about his documentary Restoring Tomorrow. The film tells the story of his personal journey of rediscovery by telling the story of a Los Angeles treasure, Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Built by the original Hollywood moguls, the temple came near demise, but became determined to achieve the impossible–raise $150 million to restore its majesty and vibrancy, rebuilding the Jewish community, the greater Los Angeles community–and on a personal level, Wolf himself.

Virginia Film Festival: Andy Edmunds of the Virginia Film Office

Andy Edmunds of the Virginia Film Office
Andy Edmunds of the Virginia Film Office

Andy Edmunds is the director of the Virginia Film Office. He joins Sean McCord at the Virginia Film Festival to talk about how the film office’s mission is to help increase economic development through attracting more filmmakers to the Old Dominion. The idea dates back to the administration of Governor Gerald Baliles. Edmunds gives examples of the kind of troubleshooting his office does for those who choose to film in Virginia.

Virginia Film Festival 2016: Sienna Burning

Sean McCord and Andrea Shreeman on November 4, 2016 at the Virginia Film Festival.
Sean McCord and Andrea Shreeman on November 4, 2016 at the Virginia Film Festival.

Director Andrea Shreeman speaks with Sean McCord about the world premiere of her short film Sienna Burning which was shot in her home town of Roanoke, Virginia. She describes how the project came together and how it involved help from the Roanoke Rescue Mission and how she’s currently preparing to shoot a feature in Charlottesville.

Sienna Burning will screen at Newcomb Hall Theater before The Sweet Life.

Virginia Film Festival 2016: Lydia Moyer

Lydia Moyer, Associate Professor in the McIntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia.
Lydia Moyer, Associate Professor in the McIntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia.

Lydia Moyer, an associate professor in the University of Virginia McIntire Department of Art, speaks with Sean McCord about her experimental films that are appearing at the 2016 Virginia Festival of Film. They will be screened Saturday at 11:00 am at the Vinegar Hill Theater.

From the Virginia Film Festival: “Drawing equally on the natural and socially constructed worlds, these experimental videos play with form and format while focusing on the U.S. as a contemporary and historical site. They cover ground from recent uprisings in response to police violence to climate change to historical relationships between natives and settlers on U.S. ground.”