> Broadcasts, publications, readings, and other noteworthy events.

  The US Supreme today upheld a three-drug cocktail method for conducting lethal injections. Hear the story of Carol Weihrer, whose experience of awakening during an eye operation some say mirrors the possible risks of lethal injection as a form of capital punishment.
  We were saddened to hear of the passing of Rev. Robert Shields, author of the Worlds Longest Diary, on October 15, 2007. Rev. Shields stopped compiling his diary in 1997, after suffering a stroke, but never lost his humor or spark. He is survived by his wife Grace and three daughters. He was a beloved member of the Sound Portraits family, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the Shields family.
  Herta Freiberg, who along with her family, heroically hid Siegbert Freiberg from the Nazis during World War II, died quietly in her sleep last night. She was 96 years old and lived in New Jersey. Siegbert and Herta were the subjects of our Yiddish Radio Project program "Reunion." Siegbert passed away on April 20, 2002. Their courage, love and devotion will inspire us always.
  The famed Cyclone roller coaster turns 80 years old today. Meet the the Cyclone's devoted repairman Walter Williams in the radio documentary Coney Island.
  On March 21, Sound Portraits lost a dear friend with the passing of Bernie Barker—the world's Oldest Male Stripper. Bernie, a retired nuclear engineer, began performing as a strip-tease artist following a surgery for prostate cancer when he was 60.

In the years since his story ran, Bernie continued to dance professionally and compete in dance competitions. He also followed his dream of becoming an actor and appeared the big and small screen. Bernie wore many hats, but was always a gentleman and something of a philosopher. In his unpublished autobiography Bernie described his personal credo as follows: "I believe that anything is possible and good things sometimes happen to those that try hardest...I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon if I can. I seek opportunity not security...I want to take the calculated risk: to dream and to build to fail and to succeed. All this is what it means to be an American."
  Sophia Newman, Lloyd Newman's older sister who told her story in the documentary Ghetto Life 101 , died of a lung ailment this morning. Sophia is survived by her sisters and brothers: Lloyd, Mike, Precious Lindell and Erica Newman and her two children George and Gelya. Sound Portraits mourns the loss of a warm, intelligent, brave and loving friend. Sophia was born wise beyond her years and valued her family above all else. She will be sorely missed. Cards can be sent to the Newman family care of Sound Portraits, 80 Hanson Place Brooklyn, NY 11217.
  July 2nd would have been Sylvia Rivera's 55th birthday. Sylvia (1951-2002) was the Rosa Parks of the gay rights movement, and a beloved member of the Sound Portraits family. Sylvia was featured in our 1989 documentary Remembering Stonewall.
  A recent Supreme Court decision left the door open for death row inmates to challenge the constitutionalty of lethal injection by arguing that the standard use of pancuronium bromide (which immobilizes but may not block consciousness) amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. That nightmare was the experience of Carol Weihrer who found herself conscious during eye surgery in 1998. You can hear Carol's story here.
  Matt Kennedy, born more than a century ago in Coney Island, Brooklyn, spent his childhood reveling in Coney Island's wonders, and his adulthood fighting against its decline. In 1990, Dave Isay interviewed Matt Kennedy for a short documentary. Mr. Kennedy died on March 22nd, having lived to see his efforts rewarded by Coney Island's current renaissance. Click here to listen.
  "Charlie's Story" is a rare first person look into life in a flophouse on New York City's Bowery. Charlie Geter, who worked on the project for nearly two years, would have been 59 on February 2nd. He passed away on January 7th, 2005.
  December 1st marked the 1,000th execution in the United States since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Listen to the Sound Portraits documentaries "The Execution Tapes" and "Witness to an Execution" for a personal perspective.
  Our latest piece, Kaleria Palchikoff Drago, Witness to the Atom Bomb, airs on NPR's All Things Considered.
  Our latest piece, Jack Aeby, Atom-Bomb Photographer, airs on NPR's All Things Considered.
  We're proud to announce the opening of the World Trade Center StoryBooth. See the press release for details.
  Our sister project, StoryCorps, is proud to announce its nationwide MobileBooth tour.
  Belmont Park celebrates its 100th anniversary. Listen to our story on the park's barbershop.
  April 15, 2005, marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Listen now to recordings made that day.
  Our piece Julius Howell, Civil War General airs on NPR's Morning Edition. Listen now.
  We've posted an update from Bernie Barker, the oldest male stripper.
  Happy birthday to Joe Franklin, born March 9, 1926, in the Bronx.
  Former Sound Portraits intern Brett Myers has a piece on NPR's All Things Considered. Listen now on NPR's site.
  After 44 years, Wilbert Rideau, narrator of Tossing Away the Keys, has been freed from prison. The Times-Picayune story has details.
  Charles Geter, the author and subject of the radio piece "Charlie's Story," has passed away.

Charles Geter passed away last night at the age of 57. Charlie was the author and subject of "Charlie's Story," our first feature about New York's Bowery. He also worked closely with us to produce The Sunshine Hotel. Charlie learned he had AIDS over the course of recording his documentary.

Soon after its completion, he began working as a maintenance man and moved into his own apartment, where he lived, drug free, for the rest of his life. He died of pneumonia at the Veterans Administration Hospital at 6:11 PM on January 7th, with his mother and siblings at his side.

Charlie was a deeply courageous man, a loving friend, and a beloved part of the Sound Portraits family. Our condolences to his mother Ruby, his siblings, his nieces and nephews -- and everyone who never had the privilege of being in the presence of this remarkable human being.
  We've posted our year-end letter. Read it for highlights of 2004 and upcoming projects for 2005.
  December 10th would have been Jeannie Reilly's 47th birthday. She is the author of the radio piece A Letter to Butchie.
  Our sister project, StoryCorps, is hiring facilitators for its StoryBooth. Read the job description for details.
  Our piece Red Mike's Band airs on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. Listen now.
  Our piece Barbers of Belmont airs on NPR's Morning Edition. Listen now.
  Sound Portraits has moved offices. See our contact info page for our new address and phone numbers.
  Our piece "Northlandz," about the creators of the world's largest model railroad, airs on NPR's Morning Edition. Listen now.
  WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show broadcasts more stories from the StoryCorps StoryBooth. Listen now (RealAudio file).
  "Parents at an Execution" wins a Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award. The press release has details.
  Sound Portraits needs your support. Read about our urgent need to move offices and find out what you can do to help.
  Our piece "George Stinney, Youngest Executed" airs on NPR's Day to Day. Listen now.
  Our piece "Paralyzed" airs on Weekend Edition Saturday. Listen now.
  NPR's Morning Edition features a StoryCorps interview with poet Billy Collins for Father's Day. Listen now.
  StoryCorps is currently seeking a Director. See the job description for details.
  StoryCorps will build its second StoryBooth at the site of the World Trade Center. See the NY Times article for more info.
  WNYC's "Brian Lehrer Show" features Father's Day stories from the StoryCorps StoryBooth. Listen now (RealAudio file).
  NPR's Morning Edition features Mother's Day stories from the StoryCorps StoryBooth. Listen now.
  More stories from the StoryCorps StoryBooth air on WNYC. Listen now (RealPlayer required).
  Our piece Remembering Kitty Genovese airs on on Weekend Edition Saturday. Listen now.
  Our piece Joe Vitacco, Freelance Embalmer airs on NPR's All Things Considered. Listen now.
  More stories from the StoryCorps StoryBooth air on the Brian Lehrer Show. Listen now (RealPlayer required).
  NPR broadcasts a special StoryCorps segment for Valentine's Day. Listen on the Weekend Edition Web site.
  StoryCorps has been shortlisted for inclusion in the World Trade Center Memorial. More »
  More stories from the StoryCorps StoryBooth air on the Brian Lehrer Show. Listen now (RealPlayer required).
  Got an MP3 player? Download your favorite Sound Portraits stories from
  Our condolences to the Jones family, of Ghetto Life 101, on the passing of the family's patriarch, Gus Lee Jones. Gus died of heart failure on December 18th. He was 77.
  The first StoryCorps segment airs on NPR's Morning Edition. See the Morning Edition site for details.
  Shopping for the holidays? Check out our holiday gift suggestions for Sound Portraits books and CDs.
  We've posted our year-end letter from executive producer Dave Isay is online. Read it now.
  WNYC's Brian Lehrer talks to oral historian Studs Terkel about StoryCorps. Listen to the interview on
  New in our archive: Harold Cotton, Hatblocker, the story of a man and his hatblocking shop.
  This holiday season, why not give a Sound Portraits CD or book? Visit our store for great gift ideas. All proceeds help support Sound Portraits.
  Producer Dave Isay introduces StoryCorps on NBC's Today Show. See for more info on the project.
  Producer Dave Isay introduces StoryCorps on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show. Listen now (RealPlayer required).
  The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress announces it will house the StoryCorps Archive. Read the press release.
  Photographer Harvey Wang's exhibit Going Strong is now open in NYC. The exhibit, which originated at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and has been touring the country for two years will be on display at 176 Grand Street, 3rd Floor, between Baxter and Mulberry, in New York City until Dec 18.
  Our latest piece, "The Last Elevator," is now online. Listen now.
  Sad news from the last orthodox temple in Mississippi: Ahavath rayim President Leslie Kornfeld has passed away. In lieu of flower, please send a donation to the Ahavath Rayim Cemetary Fund at 501 Howard St, Greenwood, MS, 38930, in memory of Leslie Kornfeld.
  The New York Times reviewed photographer Milton Rogovin's show at the New-York Historical Society. Read the review.
  The Aug 4 issue of Newsweek has an article on StoryCorps. Learn more about our latest project on the StoryCorps Web site.
  Photographer Mitlon Rogovin will be featured on the Today Show on Wed, July 30. See photos from Milton's latest book.
  Transcripts of Q&A's with the Sound Portraits staff are now available on
  The deadline for applications to be a StoryCorps facilitator is August 1. See the StoryCorps Web site for details.
  Want to interview your grandfather or get your best friend's story on tape? Reserve a pilot StoryCorps session now!

If you?ll be in NYC any time this summer you can be one of the first to participate in StoryCorps. We'll teach you how to conduct the interview and what questions to ask, and you'll walk away with a broadcast-quality CD -- for free! You?ll be helping us shape this project in the process. For more information, e-mail
  A passionate teacher, writer, and activist -- and Milton Rogovin's inspiration and partner for more than 60 years -- Anne Rogovin has passed away at the age of 84. Milton may have wielded the camera, but it was Anne's insistance and perseverance that convinced him to bring it out into Buffalo's streets -- and eventually around the world. Our hearts and prayers go out to Milton, to the entire Rogovin family, and to the countless subjects Anne touched so profoundly. She is greatly missed.

You can listen to Milton and Anne talking about the party where they first met.
  Our latest piece "Bernie Barker, Oldest Male Stripper" is now on-line. Listen now.
  We've posted excerpts from our new book, Milton Rogovin: The Forgotten Ones.
  The deadline for internship applications has been extended to July 1. See our internship page for more info.
  Missed the broadcast of our latest short, Clemency, on All Things Considered ? Listen now on-line.
  Sound Portraits is featured this month on
  We have a new initiative to help people collect each other's stories in sound. It's called StoryCorps. Learn more on the StoryCorps Web site.
  The May 7 issue of the New York Times has an article on StoryCorps.
  We are proud to announce that the Yiddish Radio Project has been awarded a Peabody. Read the press release for details.
  Check out archival photos of the Ida B. Wells Housing Projects, home of Ghetto Life reporters Lloyd Newman and LeAlan Jones.
  The Supreme Court has blocked the execution of Delma Banks, Jr. More ?
  Our latest piece, "Parents at an Execution," is now on-line.
  New from the archive: "Hula Ville," the story of a desert park and its billboard of a girl in a hula skirt.
  Photos by Sound Portraits collaborator Harvey Wang are now on display in Brooklyn, NY. Wang's exhibit, Selected Works From Harvey Wang's America, is at the Popcorn Room until January 31.

The Popcorn Room is located at 402 5th St, between 5th and 6th Avenues in Brooklyn. For more information, call (718) 369-3219 or visit

  An exhibit on Horn and Hardart's Automat is on display at The Museum of the City of New York. Listen to our feature about the Automat's final hours.
  Learn how you can support Sound Portraits. Our year-end letter from producer Dave Isay is now on-line.
  The great Yiddish crooner Seymour Rexite has passed away. Rexite's funeral will be on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 1:15 pm at the Riverside Chapel at 76th Street and Amsterdam in New York City. Read his obituary in the New York Times.
  Jim Searles, president of the Brooklyn Elite Checker Club, has passed away at the age of 90. Listen to Jim talk about his love for the game [RealAudio] and read his obituary in the NY Times.
  New from our archive: the story of Geneva Tisdale, the first African-American to be served at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, NC.
  Mac versions of Sound Portraits documentaries are now available from Audible. See Audible's Web site for more info.
  The Yiddish Radio Project series is now avaiable on CD and cassette. Order your copy from the NPR's on-line store.
  Producer David Isay will host the grand opening of the Bowery Poetry Club on Mon, Sept 23. The event, a benefit for the Bowery Mission, starts at 7:45 pm and will feature residents of the few remaining Bowery flophouses telling their tales. Tickets, which are $10, will be on sale at the door. The Bowery Poetry Club is located at 308 Bowery, between Bleecker and Houston, in New York City. For more information, call (212) 614-0505.
  The film The Gods of Times Square, on which a Sound Portraits documentary is based, is playing in New York City on Sept 26. The screening, which is free and open to the public, begins at 8 pm at DV Dojo, 310 Bowery, in New York City.
  Producer Dave Isay will speak at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, ME, on Sept 17. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 pm. The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is located in Portland at 110 Exchange Street in the Old Port. For further information, please contact Teri Coviello at (207) 761-0660.
  Missed the broadcast of "Strates Carnival, May 1941" on NPR's Morning Edition? Listen now on-line.
  Photographer Colby Katz, who was photo assistant on our book Flophouse, has posted an amazing portfolio on her Web site:
  Don't miss the movie adaptation of our documentary Ghetto Life 101. See Showtime's Web site for info and airtimes.
  Sound Portraits has suffered a devastating loss: June Marie Jones, 1930-2002. LeAlan Jones's grandmother and a matriarch of the Jones -- and Sound Portraits -- families, June passed away yesterday at the age of 72. She died suddenly of a heart attack in her life-long home on Chicago's South Side, surrounded by family.

Nearly a decade ago, June's blesing of her thirteen-year-old grandson's participation in Ghetto Life 101 made that project -- and all of the work that grew out of it -- possible. Believing that the stories of young people growing up in this country's ghettos needed to be heard, she took the courageous step of sharing her family's story with the nation and the world. June was a spectacular woman who lived an astonishingly rich life. In the last six weeks alone, she saw her grandson LeAlan graduate from college, her granddaughter Jeri graduate from high school, and her life celebrated in the movie version of Ghetto Life 101, which premiered in Chicago.

June's nurturing spirit, courage, unflappable will, faith in God, and fierce dedication to her family were an inspiration to anyone lucky enough be in her presence. Our condolences and love go out to the entire Jones family: her husband Gus and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Listen to June singing "One Day at a Time" from the conclusion of Ghetto Life 101.

  The list of recommended recording equipment in our "How to Record" turorial has been updated.
  New episodes of the Sound Portraits radio cartoon "Julius Knipl," based on the comic by Ben Katchor, have been posted on
  Coney Island's Cyclone rollercoaster turns 75. Go back in time by listening to our radio piece about the island's characters and amusements.
  The Supreme Court has barred the execution of the mentally retarded. Listen to The Execution Tapes for the only known recordings of executions in the US.
  Nathan Smith -- manager of the Sunshine Hotel and close friend of the Sound Portraits family -- has passed away. He was sixty-six. More ?
  Zypora Spaisman, Yiddish stage actress, has passed away. Listen to the piece she recorded in 1996 about her theater company.
 Apr.25.2002 is hosting an on-line discussion about the Youth Portraits series. Visit the site to join the discussion.
  Youth Portraits has been selected for the 2002 Media that Matters Film Festival. Check out for more info.
  Seigbert Frieberg, subject of the Yiddish Radio Project episode "Reunion," has passed away at the age of 75. His wife, Herta, has suffered an unbearable loss. Herta and Seigbert's life together was the stuff of miracles -- a bright, beautiful, righteous flame for all of us to admire and gain strength from. Our hearts and prayers go out to Herta Frieberg. Seigbert is gone, but the example that he and Herta set for us -- with their unspeakable courage and limitless love -- lives on forever.
  Check out the NY Times article on development of NYC's Bowery, subject of our documentary The Sunshine Hotel.
  The Yiddish Radio Project Web site is now live! Check it out to try the amazing new Yid-O-Matic.
  Our good friend and mentor Rick Madden, Vice President for radio at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has passed away at the age of 56. In that capacity, he helped breath life into many of the finest shows on public radio -- from This American Life to Fresh Air. Rick is also directly responsible for the creation of Sound Portraits, and funded almost every documentary we've created over the past fourteen years. Rick was a bold, strong-willed grant-maker, a rare spirit who cared deeply about the medium and took tremendous joy in helping it flourish. Sound Portraits, along with the rest of the public radio community, mourns this devastating loss. Our sympathies go out to Cathy, Erin, and Kate Madden -- and the many, many other people who loved Rick, as we did.
  Sylvia Rivera, gay-rights activist and Sound Portraits family member, has passed away at the age of 50. Sylvia was the drag queen who started the 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked the gay rights movement in this country. She was a true American hero, on par with Rosa Parks and others whose names are much better known. Sylvia never flagged in her revolutionary spirit -- fighting for the rights of gays, lesbians, transgendered people, the homeless, and others through the last days of her life. Up until last week, she directed the food program at the Metropolitan Community Church in Manhattan. Sylvia was to be married to her partner Julia Murray later this year.

For more information about Sylvia and her legacy, please see her obituary in the New York Times. Sylvia worked on two projects with Sound Portraits: the documentary Remembering Stonewall and an oral history that ran in the New York Times Magazine. You can also read a letter she sent us last July.

Sylvia's funeral is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, February 26, at 7pm, and will be held at the Metropolitan Community Church at 446 W. 36th St. For more information, please call (212) 629-7740.

  Missed the Fresh Air interview with Andre Vaughn of the Youth Portraits series? Listen to it on-line (RealAudio required).
  The Youth Portraits series has gotten great press in the NY Daily News and NY Times.
  The film adaptation of our book Our America premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. See the Festival's Web site for more info about the film.
  Looking for the perfect gift? Delight your loved ones and support Sound Portraits by giving Sound Portraits books and CDs this year.
  The year-end letter from producers David Isay and Stacy Abramson is now online. Read it now. »
  The film Pinero, about Nuyorican Poet's Cafe founder Miguel Pinero, is in theaters now. Listen to our story about Pinero.
  David Wilson, subject of our documentary Museum of Jurassic Technology, has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.
  Miss the Youth Portraits premiere of at the Nuroyican Poets Caf? in NYC? Visit the Youth Portraits Web site for audio previews.
  Listen to radio stories by the real-life hero of Riding in Cars with Boys, the new Drew Barrymore movie. Now on the site: three classic documentaries by best-selling author Beverly Donofrio, whose memoir the movie is based on. Also, don't miss Looking for Mary, Donofrio's chronicle of her spiritual search across the U.S. for sightings of the Virgin Mary.
  The Georgia Supreme Court rules execution by electric chair unconstitutional. Learn about Georgia electrocutions.
  Witness to an Execution wins a Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award from Death Penalty Information Center. More ?
  Producer David Isay speaks at at the Museum of Television & Radio in NYC on Tues, Oct 23. Tune in to the live Webcast at 6 pm. The discussion, Open Mics: The Art of Radio Documentary, is part of the Museum's Radio Festival and features other legendary radio documentarians: Jay Allison of Transom, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva of Lost & Found Sound, Joe Richman of Radio Diaries, and Stephen Smith of American RadioWorks. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance at the Museum or by calling the Museum at (212) 621-6600 Tuesdays to Fridays, 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please see the Museum of Television and Radio's Web site.
  Producers David Isay and Dan Collison host a dialogue on making radio stories at the Third Coast Festival in Chicago on Fri, Oct 26.
  The Sound Portraits Manhattan office is open again after the WTC attack. We are safe and sound. Thank you all very much for your calls.
  Producer Dave Isay and writer Lawrence Weschler host a book signing and lecture at Sarah Lawrence College Wed., Oct 3. The presentation begins at 7:00 pm and will be held in Riesinger Hall on George Washington Road, off of Kimball Avenue. For more information, please call Alexandra Soiseth at (914) 395-2371
  "Under the Roller Coaster" aired on NPR's Morning Edition. Listen on-line if you missed the broadcast.
  The NY Times has a glowing review of the Flophouse exhibit at the NY Historical Society. Read the review »
  Twelve American Voices, a textbook based on radio shorts by Sound Portraits, has just been published by Yale University Press. Learn More ?
  Producers David Isay and Stacy Abramson will be participating in a panel discussion at the New-York Historical Society on Tues, Sept 25. The discussion begins at 6:00 pm and is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Flophouse: Life on the Bowery, now on display at the NYHS. The discussion will be followed by a book signing. Please call (212) 873-3400 and press "0" to RSVP or for more information. For directions, please visit the NYHS Web site.
  Don't miss Flophouse: Life on the Bowery, a special exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, on display through Nov. 3. The exibition -- which is based on the radio documentary and book of the same name by Sound Portraits' producers David Isay and Stacy Abramson and photographer Harvey Wang -- explores the past, present and, future of New York's legendary down-and-out Bowery dwellers. For more information, see the New-York Historical Society's Web site.
  LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman, reporters of Ghetto Life 101, have sent in updates. Read their updates »
  Sylvia Rivera, hero of the Stonewall Riots, has sent in an update. Read the update ?
  Witness to an Execution has been awarded a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.
  Mississippi's last remaining Orthodox synagogue won't make minyan for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year. Can you help?

For the first time in well over 100 years, it appears there will be no minyan in Greenwood, Mississippi, to celebrate the high holy days; there are now less than ten Jewish men over the age of thirteen in the area. If you or someone you know can help Congregation Ahavath Rayim, please e-mail Joe Erber at
  A beta version of the Youth Portraits Web site is now live. Please check it out at
  Missed the broadcast of Acting Up this past weekend? Listen to the story on our Web site.
  Witness to an Execution has won a Sidney Hillman Award for social justice. Read more.
  Listen on-line to The Execution Tapes, the historic broadcast of executions tape-recorded by the Georgia Department of Corrections.
  The May issue of Teacher Magazine features an article on Youth Portraits, our new education program. Read the article.
  The Apr 23 issue of the public broadcasting newspaper Current has a feature article on producer David Isay. Read it on their site.
  Witness to an Execution has won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. "Witness" also won a Peabody Award earlier this year.
  Check out two sneak previews from our upcoming Yiddish Radio Project.
  Stephen Housewright has written an update on the Brewer Bell Museum, the subject of our 1992 radio piece.
  Sound Portraits welcomes two new members to the team: Redd Vaughn and Jamie York. Read more about them on the staff bios page.
  Sound Portraits has won a Peabody Award for Witness to an Execution! This is the company?s third Peabody Award. Watch the broadcast of the announcement with your RealPlayer or read the press release about the event.
  Richard Sandler, co-producer of The Gods of Times Square, has a new photography exhibit: New York City Streets. Don't miss the opening this Thurs, Mar 29. The photographs will be on display at 176 Grand St., 3rd Floor, right down the hall from the Sound Portraits office. The opening reception begins at 6:30 pm.
  The documentary The Jewish Giant is currently on display as part of Voice, Image, and Gesture at The Jewish Museum, in New York City. The exhibit, which highlights selections from the Museum's collection, includes works by Andy Warhol, Hannah Wilke, and Diane Arbus and is on display until August 5.
  Abe Lass, the last silent-movie piano player, has passed away. Listen to the short radio piece he recorded in 1997, or read Abe's obituary in the New York Times.
  Read and listen to Nathan Smith's update on the goings on at the Sunshine Hotel, the subject of our 1998 documentary.
  Missed the broadcast of "Steven Fybish, Weather Historian" on Morning Edition? Listen to it now in RealAudio!
  A recent update we posted on the prisoners profiled in the documentary Tossing Away the Keys has new info on the case of prison journalist Wilbert Rideau.
  Jim Searles, president of the Brooklyn Elite Checker Club, celebrates his 89th birthday. Listen as he talks about his love for the game [RealPlayer required]. Jim's wife reports this morning that he's celebrating by playing checkers all day and possibly all night at the Salvation Army in downtown Brooklyn (Ashland Place, between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place). Stop by and wish him well. You can read more about Jim in the book Holding On.
  The New York Times Circuits section has a short feature on the Sound Portraits Web site [registration required].
  The Feb 19 New Yorker profiles the Friends of the Island Academy, Sound Portraits' partner in the Youth Portraits program.
  Producer David Isay talks about sound preservation on WNYC's "Studio 360." Listen to the interview in RealAudio on their Web site.
  The Washington Post PhotoVoyage features the amazing photos taken by Andrew Lichetenstein during the making of "Witness to an Execution."
  RealImpact's new slideshow based on "Witness to an Execution" is now on-line. Watch it now with your RealPlayer.
  Sound Portraits is thrilled to take part in the Third Coast Festival, the first-ever festival of documentary radio. The festival's Web site has information on a related conference and competition, plus a featured audio work updated each week. Check it out to hear to some truly amazing radio.
  Producer David Isay will deliver the inaugural Peabody lecture at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, on Wed., Jan 31. The event, sponsored by the George Foster Peabody Awards and the University of Georgia's Center for Humanites and Arts, begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Ramsey Hall of the University's Performing Arts Center. For more information, please contact Julie Dingus at (706) 542-3966.
  A New Orleans circuit court has overturned the murder conviction of Wilbert Rideau, the prison journalist featured in the documentary Tossing Away the Keys. The court ordered that Rideau, who has spent 40 years behind bars, be set free if the state does not quickly retry him. See the Associated Press article about the ruling for more information.
  Witness to an Execution is now available on CD and cassette from Visit our on-line store for details.
  Producer David Isay and pioneering oral historian Studs Terkel present a free talk at the New York Historical Society on Wed., Jan. 10. The event, part of the Society's exhibition "Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging," begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Sound Portraits radio documentaries as well as a question and answer period. The Society is located at 2 West 77th St. at Central Park West. Please call (212) 873-3400 for reservations.
  The year-end letter from the Sound Portraits staff is out. Read it on-line to find out what 2000 had in store for the company.
  Sylvia Rivera (of the documentary Remembering Stonewall) asks you to "open your hearts" and help out with a food and clothing drive she's working on. Drop off your donation at the the Metropolitan Community Church, 446 W. 36th Street, New York, NY, 10018. If you don't live in New York, you can mail a check made out to "Food Pantry at Metropolitan Community Church" to the same address. For more information, please call (212) 629-7440.
  Ghetto Life 101 and Remorse are currently on display as part of Something Happened at the Apex Art Curatorial Program in New York City. The multimedia exhibit, which explores "the autobiographical, the personal, and self-portraiture across and through artistic mediums," is on display until December 16. Please call (212) 431-5270 for more information.
  David Isay will be participating in Aboard the Narrative Train III, a conference on literary journalism at Boston University on December 2 and 3. The conference will feature other documentarians from print and film, including Susan Orlean, Anne Hall, Robert Atwan, and others. Visit the conference's Web site for registration information.
  Join David Isay at "Documenting Community," a symposium to benefit the Lower East Side Girls Club of New York, this Sunday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m. The Girls Club is also hosting a benefit auction, featuring photographs by Harvey Wang, Annie Leibovitz, Michael Ackerman, Susan Meiselas, and others. You can view the catalog and place a bid on-line at For more information about the symposium or the benefit, please call (212) 982-1633.
  Join David Isay for a reading at the Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City on Sunday, November 5th. The event begins at 2:00 p.m. Contact the synagogue at (212) 978-8800 for ticket information.
  Join David Isay, Stacy Abramson, and Harvey Wang for a reading and book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, Brooklyn on October 30, 2000. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m.
  Producer David Isay delivers a lecture on how to make radio documentaries on October 17, 2000, at the Arts Center in Troy, NY. The event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.
  Producer David Isay will be talking about the Flophouse Project as part of a panel discussion on Bowery lodging houses at the Van Alen Institute in New York City tonight. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6:30 p.m.
  Missed the broadcast of "Witness to an Execution"? Now you can listen to it in RealAudio on our site.
  Sound Portraits's latest documentary, "Witness to an Execution," airs tonight on NPR's All Things Considered. The documentary profiles the men and women who carry out and bear witness to executions by lethal injection in the Huntsville Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. For airtimes in your area, please see NPR's on-line station guide.
  A sneak-preview of the radio documentary "Witness to an Execution" will held in New York City on Wednesday, October 11, 2000. Following the listening, there will be a panel discussion with guests from the documentary, including former death house chaplain Carol Pickett and former tie-down-squad member Fred Allen. The preview will be held at 8 pm in the sanctuary of St. Mark's Church at 131 East 10th Street (at 2nd Avenue) in New York City.
  Join David Isay, Stacy Abramson, and Harvey Wang for a very special reading and signing of their new book Flophouse on Monday, September 18. The event, which will feature readings by Paul Auster, Susan Sarandon, and some of the unforgettable men living in the Bowery's few remaining flophouses, will be held at the Bowery Mission at 227 Bowery in New York City. All proceeds from book sales go to the Bowery Mission.
  Flophouse, the new book by David Isay and Stacy Abramson, is now on sale in bookstores everywhere, including Based on the radio documentary The Sunshine Hotel, the book is a collection of oral histories of men living in the few remaining Bowery flophouses, with photographs by Harvey Wang. Please help spread the word!
  Looking for Mary (Or, the Blessed Mother and Me), by Sound Portraits collaborator Beverly Donofrio, is now in bookstores.
  David Isay will be a guest on WNYC's "New York and Company" today, discussing the making of the new book Flophouse and the history of the Bowery. You can listen to the interview in RealAudio from WNYC's Web site.
  Harvey Wang's photographs from Flophouse are now on display at the Margaret Bodell Gallery at 13 East 7th St. in NYC. The show runs until September 24 with a reception on September 14 from 7-9pm. Call (212) 477-1820 for more information.
  A recently discovered interview with legendary New York crime photographer Weegee airs today on Weekend Edition Sunday. The latest in our American Talker Series, the piece was edited from a rare 1945 radio interview we discovered at the Library of Congress. Find out about what it's like to sleep on park benches and why he gets his pants tailored at the police station.

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