Tom Martin

Tom Martin is co-publisher of UnderMain and producer/host of the weekly public radio magazine program Eastern Standard on WEKU. Tom's 50 year career in media has included network news correspondent, newspaper editor, columnist, and student media advisor.

Arts

The Legacy of Lige: Kentucky-Born Gay Rights Activist Elijah Clarke

In an interview for WEKU’s Eastern Standard, Stephanie Lang, editor of the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, talks with Jonathan Coleman. Dr. Coleman is the co-founder and director of the Faulkner Morgan Archive, home to more than 100 works of art, along with photographs and ephemera, by Kentucky-born painter and sculptor Edward Melcarth. The works were gifted to the archive by enthusiastic Melcarth collector and friend Malcolm Forbes. Along with previously acquired pieces, the Faulkner Morgan Archive has become the largest repository of works by this Kentucky artist.

In this conversation, Coleman and Lang focus on another icon of the Kentucky LGBTQ community, Elijah “Lige” Clarke. Born and raised in Hindman, Kentucky, Clark was a prominent gay activist in the 60’s and early 70’s.

(Photo: Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society)

Please follow and like us:
Arts

The Year of Peril: America in 1942

We may think of World War II as a time when Americans shared a sense of unity and even optimism. But, in reality, America was beginning to splinter from within.

In his latest book The Year of Peril: America in 1942, the University of Kentucky historian and author Tracy Campbell explores the deep social, economic, and political fault lines that pitted factions of citizens against each other in the post-Pearl Harbor era, even as the nation mobilized, government-aided industrial infrastructure blossomed, and parents sent their sons off to war. American society was being challenged by the greatest stress experienced since the Civil War.

As part of UnderMain’s new partnership with the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and WEKU’s Eastern Standard, Tom Eblen’s interview with Dr. Campbell reveals the various ways, both good and bad, that the trauma of 1942 forced Americans to redefine their relationship with democracy in ways that continue to affect us today.

LISTEN

Please follow and like us:
Arts

And then, boom! Pandemic.

Robin Irwin, Executive Director, Appalachian Center for the Arts

Erick Buckley, Director of Education, Appalachian Center for the Arts

Broadway veterans Robin Irwin (Titanic) and Erick Buckley (Addams Family) relocated to Pikeville, Kentucky, one year ago in search of a quality lifestyle and an opportunity to boost Eastern Kentucky’s game in theatre and performance. Then a pandemic struck. Irwin and Buckley discussed the consequences (by phone, of course) with UnderMain’s Tom Martin for his WEKU program, Eastern Standard.

Listen to the interview

Please follow and like us:
Arts

KY Author Debut: Bobi Conn

Bobi Conn grew up in a hollow near Clearfield, Kentucky, a former factory village located just outside of Morehead. It was an idyllic setting of forest, creeks and tin-roofed homes that sang to the tempos of rainfall. But it also was the scene of a traumatic childhood in the presence of an addicted, alcoholic, violent father. Bobi Conn escaped, got herself into college and landed a white-collar job.

Bobi Conn (With permission of the author)

But that same progress earned the mistrust of her family. And her Eastern Kentucky accent and history were often met by the condescension of peers. 

The account of a survivor is detailed in the pages of Bobi’s debut memoir, “In the Shadow of the Valley.”

She discussed her work and perspectives on life with UnderMain’s Tom Martin for his weekly WEKU program, Eastern Standard.

LISTEN

Please follow and like us:
Arts

Reaching Critical Mass (IV)

UnderMain’s annual event “Critical Mass” has been postponed.

Dear Supporters:

We regret to inform you of the following news:

Due to a recommendation from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, the CDC, and WHO for high risk and other populations, and out of reasonable care and caution regarding the hazards of COVID-19 for high-risk populations, we are postponing Critical Mass IV: Tastemakers: Collectors, Critics, and Curators until further notice. The annual event was scheduled for Saturday, March 14th at 21c in Lexington, Kentucky.

UnderMain, The Great Meadows Foundation, and 21C agree that this is the prudent thing to do until the virus no longer poses a threat to our community.


Please follow and like us:
original works

Hemp and the Future of Fashion

The Future of Fashion 2020 show is coming to Lexington on the evenings of March 13-14, with a focus on designs incorporating hemp fabrics. In an interview for the March 5 edition of Eastern Standard on WEKU, I spoke with fashion designer, community activist, and organizer Soreyda Benedit Begley. Click on the image below to listen.

Soreyda Benedit Begley | Photo by Chris Begley

Images courtesy of Soreyda Benedit Begley

Please follow and like us:
Arts

LexPhil’s Maestro Marathon: Enrico Lopez-Yañez

Enrico Lopez-Yañez, Principal Pops Conductor of the Nashville Symphony, is fourth among six finalist candidates scheduled for an audition with the Lexington Philharmonic. Mr. Lopez-Yañez will spend a week in Lexington, interviewing, meeting and greeting and rehearsing for a Friday, February 21 concert at Singletary Center for the Arts. 

Each candidate is being interviewed prior to their arrival by Tom Martin for the weekly WEKU radio magazine, Eastern Standard. You can listen to the conversation here:

Interview with Enrico Lopez-Yañez

-0-

Interviews with previous candidates

Please follow and like us:
Arts

Filmed in Alaska, Made in Kentucky

It was one of those “lifetime moments” for Catharine Axley when the University of Kentucky Filmmaker-in-Residence switched on the TV and saw her labor of love filling the screen. Independent Lens had selected her work from among hundreds and there it was, airing nationwide on the PBS series.

The story of champion Alaskan dogsled racer George Attla had captured her attention, and…well, now we’re getting ahead of things. Click “Listen” to hear Catharine tell it in her own words in a conversation we taped for this week’s edition of Eastern Standard on WEKU.

LISTEN

L to R: Associate Producer/Cultural Advisor Evon Peter, Film participant Kathy Turco, Film participant Amanda Attla, Director Catharine Axley, Film participant Joe Bifelt

Please follow and like us:
Arts

Remembering “Not to Forget”

Filmed on location in Central Kentucky, Not to Forget features Lexington actor Kevin Hardesty in the lead role along with Tatum O’Neal, Lou Gossett, Jr., Karen Grassle, Cloris Leachman and Olympia Dukakis.

The story:  a judge sentences a self-centered millennial to take care of his grandmother, who’s affected by Alzheimer’s. As he realizes the extent of the elderly woman’s wealth and becomes her caregiver, the young protagonist gets ever-closer to Grandma and the treasure he’s been looking for.

Kevin visited WEKU’s Eastern Standard for a chat with host Tom Martin about the making of Not to Forget. To listen, click on this