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NCPR News Staff: Todd Moe

Morning Host and Producer
A native of rural Minnesota, Todd Moe grew up on a farm not far from mythical Lake Wobegon. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN; studied Speech/Theatre and Norwegian, and began his radio career as a student announcer at WCAL (2002 marks its 80th anniversary!).

Moe sings in the Potsdam Community Chorus, and hobbies include food, gardening, history and tango! He was a newscaster and reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for eight years. A favorite memory from that job was interviewing Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann. Moe and his partner, Paul Siskind, moved to the North Country in 1998. Siskind teaches at the Crane School of Music. E-mail

Stories filed by Todd Moe

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SLU junior David Smith is an Environmental Studies major and lives on the school's sustainability farm a few miles from campus.  Chores include tending a flock of chickens. Photo: Todd Moe
SLU junior David Smith is an Environmental Studies major and lives on the school's sustainability farm a few miles from campus. Chores include tending a flock of chickens. Photo: Todd Moe

St. Lawrence junior's coursework includes farm chores

Sometimes spending a college semester abroad means just a few miles down the road. St. Lawrence University junior David Smith, a Potsdam native, is one of nine students living and studying sustainability issues on a 33-acre farm leased from Cornell Cooperative Extension this spring.

The farm, just south of Canton, includes a house, outbuildings, gardens, orchards, a chicken coop and classroom space. Professors visit the farm to teach courses. This spring, students will help prep the gardens that will feed participants in the fall semester program.

Next Tuesday, Earth Day, will be a busy time for Smith, who combines his college studies with environmental activism. Smith is the organizer of NC350, a local chapter of 350.org, an international organization working to address global climate change.

Todd Moe stopped by SLU's Sustainability Semester farm to get one young person's take on helping the planet.  Go to full article
Students from Beekmantown and Saranac Lake gathered at Pendragon Theatre this month for a playwrighting festival, led by      Executive Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham (right).  Photo: David Zwierankin
Students from Beekmantown and Saranac Lake gathered at Pendragon Theatre this month for a playwrighting festival, led by Executive Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham (right). Photo: David Zwierankin

Saranac Lake's Pendragon Theatre taps next generation of playwrights

High school writers gathered in Saranac Lake this month to learn more about theater and writing plays. Pendragon Theatre hosted a day of playing with words and acting as part of its newly revived Young Playwrights Festival.

More than 30 young writers from across the region entered their original one-act plays that were judged by a panel of experts. Two plays were given public performances. It's part of Pendragon's mission to help foster the next generation of theatre artists.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake's Witter Swanson (center) and the cast from his winning play, "Elmer", at Pendragon Theatre.  Photo:  Karen Lordi-Kirkham
Saranac Lake's Witter Swanson (center) and the cast from his winning play, "Elmer", at Pendragon Theatre. Photo: Karen Lordi-Kirkham

In Saranac Lake, young playwrights take a bow

Two North Country teens got the chance to see their plays performed on stage at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake last weekend. Witter Swanson, a student at Saranac Lake High School, received a full production of his one-act play "Elmer." The runner-up, Amber Baker, a student at Beekmantown, received a reading of her play "The Esteemed Institute." The two playwrights were the winners of this year's Young Playwrights contest at Pendragon.  Go to full article
Ray with one of his favorite lures made by the C.W. Lane Manufacturing Company in Madrid, NY. Photo: Todd Moe
Ray with one of his favorite lures made by the C.W. Lane Manufacturing Company in Madrid, NY. Photo: Todd Moe

In Canton, North Country-made antique fishing lures on display

Just in time for fishing season, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York is celebrating the art of antique hand-made fishing lures. In the 19th and early 20th century, anglers were able to purchase lures manufactured in small shops in communities from Old Forge to Lake Clear to Clayton.

Norwood collector Ray Bartholomew grew up fishing in Jefferson County and has been collecting old-time fishing tackle for more than 30 years. Some of his favorites will be on display at TAUNY in Canton starting this Saturday. Todd Moe spoke with Bartholomew about his passion for antique fishing equipment and research into some of the North Country's finest lure artisans.  Go to full article
"Full Circle" founder Camilla Rockwell.  Photo: Camilla Rockwell
"Full Circle" founder Camilla Rockwell. Photo: Camilla Rockwell

Burlington festival to explore the art and heart of aging

Burlington filmmaker Camilla Rockwell says because people are living longer, it's important to investigate the creative potential of these extra decades.

Rockwell is the founder of "Full Circle," Vermont's first regional festival to celebrate the joys and opportunities of aging. She told Todd Moe that the festival, being held throughout downtown Burlington on the weekend of April 11-13 is designed to inspire curiosity, connect generations and spark conversations.  Go to full article

Listen: Vermont's Pete Sutherland makes rural music, with kids

Just in time for the growing season, a new album filled with songs about gardening and rural life. Vermont folk singer/songwriter Pete Sutherland is best known as a member of the Clayfoot Strutters and Pete's Posse, and collaborating with young musicians at schools across northern Vermont. For years, Sutherland has been an artist-in-residence in schools, sharing old and new ballads and helping students shape family and community stories into songs. He'll lead a group of young Vermont musicians on an exchange trip to Northumberland, England, later this month.

Todd Moe talks with Pete about his latest album, "Farmland", which includes ten favorites from his collection of music created with the help of two youth advocacy organizations, the Young Vermont Singers and Young Tradition Vermont.  Go to full article
A nest with Eastern Bluebird eggs.  Photo: Carl Austin, Jr., Grovetown, GA
A nest with Eastern Bluebird eggs. Photo: Carl Austin, Jr., Grovetown, GA

Want to keep an eye on bird nests this spring?

Lots of birds have begun returning to the North Country from their wintering grounds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is recruiting volunteers for its annual NestWatch citizen science project. Participants map any nest or birdhouse location on the NestWatch website. They report the species of nesting bird, when eggs laid, how many hatch and how many fledglings leave the nest.

Todd Moe spoke with NestWatch project leader Robyn Bailey says the nationwide program tracks and analyzes nesting bird data all year. She says sometimes NestWatchers see something remarkable that surprises scientists.  Go to full article
This inmate drawing on a prison envelope is part of the "Cellblock Visions" exhibit on display at SLU's Brush Art Gallery through mid-April. Photo courtesy Phyllis Kornfeld
This inmate drawing on a prison envelope is part of the "Cellblock Visions" exhibit on display at SLU's Brush Art Gallery through mid-April. Photo courtesy Phyllis Kornfeld

In Canton, "Cellblock Visions" shows off prison inmates' art

There's an alternative art world flourishing in American prisons. "Cellblock Visions," an exhibit at the Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University this spring, features artwork by inmates from county jails to death row. Curator Phyllis Kornfeld, who has taught art courses in the prison system for more than 30 years, will give a lecture on the exhibit in Griffiths Arts Center, room 123, Tuesday at 7pm.

Todd Moe spoke with Kornfeld, who began her career teaching art in prisons in Oklahoma in 1983 (hear that interview by clicking "listen" above, or read the transcription below.) Today, she works at prisons in Massachusetts. She says even after 30 years, she finds the art created behind bars to be "fresh and amazing". Kornfeld says men and women inmates, having no previous training, turn to art for a sense of self-respect, respect for others and a way to find peace.

View pictures from the exhibit below.  Go to full article
The Currys will showcase music from their new album, <i>Follow</i>, with a free concert Saturday night (7 pm) in SUNY Potsdam's Snell Music Theatre.  Photo:  The Currys
The Currys will showcase music from their new album, Follow, with a free concert Saturday night (7 pm) in SUNY Potsdam's Snell Music Theatre. Photo: The Currys

The Currys return to Potsdam for homegrown folk rock concert

The Currys: two brothers, one cousin and all musicians. The alternative folk group is releasing its first full length album this spring, and returns to Potsdam for a concert in Snell Music Theatre on Saturday night.

Highlights over the last couple of years include a tour of Ireland, a music video and lots of new music. Todd Moe spoke with Galen Curry by phone as the muscians -- including Jimmy Curry, Tommy Curry, Johnny Humphreys and Matt Kauper -- made their way east through the Rockies on their way to the North Country.  Go to full article
"Carried," by Kris Rozelle
"Carried," by Kris Rozelle

Pictures: In Potsdam, an exhibit of mixed-media art

There's new art on display at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council's Gallery at Town Hall in Potsdam. The show merges the collage-like work by two area artists: Cheryl Mirer and Kris Rozelle. The exhibit officially opens tomorrow night (details) and runs until April 23.  Go to full article

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