#1425: Empowering Women Artists In Armenia, Seeing Mary And Her Monster

Nov 16, 2016

On this week’s 51%, we hear from a writer travelling to Armenia to empower women artists, a new exhibit highlights the author of what many consider to be the first science fiction novel and a mother tells a birth story. I’m Allison Dunne and this is 51%.

Suzi Banks Baum is a writer, artist, teacher and community organizer who resides in the Bershires region of Massachusetts. She has embarked on her second trip to Gyumri, Armenia. Her first visit in March sparked the idea for “New Illuminations,” a three-part project for November that includes research and interviews; a workshop, and exhibition in Armenia. The project aims to revive the historic art of hand-bound books by introducing new tools of expression to a select group of Armenian women artists over a four-day workshop, using the book as both an art form and women’s rights tool. I caught up with Banks Baum before she left for her trip and asked about her connection to Armenia.

That was Suzi Banks Baum, writer, artist, teacher and community organizer from the Berkshires region of Massachusetts. She was travelling to Armenia to empower women artists through her “New Illuminations” project.

Reporter Kristin Gourlay was expecting a routine child birth. It was anything but. She went back three years to review the medical records from that day and tells this story about the day that changed her life.

Kristin Gourlay is a reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio. Her son Magnus is now a happy, healthy three year old.

A new exhibit at Minneapolis' Bakken Museum explores the genius behind "Frankenstein," the 1818 novel written by a teenage girl, Mary Shelley. It’s a story that continues to resonate, even after the Halloween candy goes stale. KFAI's Will Wright reports.  

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio