With the launch of The Culture Show November 3, GBH 89.7 listeners will get an insider’s view of the arts landscape with an expansive look at diverse local artists and the big talent and productions that play in the region.
“This will be a cultural hub—covering theater, fashion, music, movies, TV, food and more—that people plug into when they want to join the conversation,” said Executive Producer Chelsea Merz, who was for almost 10 years the executive producer for Boston Public Radio, GBH News’ most successful show. “This is for people who want to know what’s going on and hear from the artists who are making this a vibrant and interesting place to live.”
The program will launch as a Fridays-only week in review in the 2–3pm slot following Boston Public Radio. On December 4, the 2pm radio broadcast debuts daily, Monday through Friday. The Culture Show will also air on CAI, the Cape, Coast and Islands NPR station, starting in December.
“This is a significant expansion of our local arts and culture programming,” said Pam Johnston, general manager of GBH News. Bringing inspirational arts and culture programming to the local community has been a vital part of GBH’s mission and history for more than 70 years.
“I hope the program brings listeners a deeper sense of what it takes to create art and the opportunity to see art where they didn’t before,” said Merz.
Jared Bowen is the show’s host and three of GBH’s most esteemed and experienced journalists join him to form the ensemble cast—James Bennett II, Callie Crossley and Edgar B. Herwick III—in a collaborative format,” said Merz.
”There’s almost nothing I love more than talking to artists, writers, chefs and others about what fuels them,” said Bowen. “We're going to have an absolute ball.” Bowen, the long-time host of Open Studio with Jared Bowen on GBH 2, has covered the arts for 20 years.
“Jared has a wealth of knowledge that is unparalleled,” said Merz. “People trust him, and they know that he’s really invested. Anybody sitting across a microphone from him knows that. They know they’re having an honest conversation.”
Crossley, with her longstanding passion for the arts and humanities, “brings her curiosity, passion and depth as a thinker and interviewer,” said Merz. “Anybody who walks away from a conversation with her feels heard and understood. And the listeners get that.”
Many viewers and listeners know Herwick III from the video and radio series The Curiosity Desk, where he uncovers the everyday mysteries hiding in plain sight. “This penchant for exploration is one that he’ll now extend to the arts and culture terrain,” said Merz.
Bennett II, an arts reporter for GBH news and a contributor to CRB Classical 99.5, will join the program when he returns from his production fellowship with This American Life.
“Each one of them has a distinct sensibility, background and expertise, which is going to make each episode something original,” said Merz.
Once the radio broadcast is established, video will follow with a YouTube livestream. Merz hopes to expand with a podcast, newsletter, web experience, events and social media, bringing expanded arts coverage to more media platforms than any other outlet in the region.
“We’ll introduce a new generation of artists and aim to cultivate a new generation of listeners, viewers and downloaders,” said Merz.
Learn more about The Culture Show here.