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Listen to Extraordinary Conversations with Helga While The Spark Takes a Break

  • Christina Zeiders

The Spark will be “on vacation” from June 19 through 23. In its place, we invite you to listen to extraordinary conversations with artists, scholars, and cultural icons during a special broadcast of the show Helga, from WNYC Studios.

Artist, performer, and host Helga Davis brings a soulful curiosity and love of people to the podcast Helga, where she talks about the intimate lives of creative people as they share the steps they’ve taken along their path. She draws listeners into these discussions with cultural change-makers, whether already famous or rising talents, whose sensibilities expand our imaginations as we explore what we think we know about each other.

Episode Schedule:

Monday: Sociologist Tricia Rose talks about the rise of hip-hop as a global profit powerhouse. Later, visual artist Carrie Mae Weems reflects on the need for the profound inclusion of Black artists

Tuesday: Visual artist Kara Walker shares how a curiosity for history led her to the silhouette, and Painter Glenn Ligon discusses the power of difference.

Wednesday: Poet Claudia Rankine discusses who holds the power in our democracy. Later choreographer Bill T. Jones reflects on his early years, and how, after decades as a performing artist, the body may retire but the mind never will.

Thursday: Musician Bartees Strange talks about indie music’s overlooked audiences, and with the East African-born, American-raised singer Somi shares about uniting her cultural backgrounds.

Friday: Helga talks with Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning playwright Michael R. Jackson, and with writer Macarena Gómez-Barris about finding beauty in ambiguity.

Helga Season 5 is a co-production with Brown Arts Institute at Brown University. Listen at noon and 8pm June 19 through 23 on WITF 89.5 &93.3, online at or through the free WITF app.

The Spark will return Monday, June 26.

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