Dr. Carla Neuss on the Transformative Power of Theater



ISM Fellow Dr. Carla Neuss explores education and the transformative power of theater, medieval and modern, asking “When theater accomplishes something, or does something within us or within the audiences, how does it actually DO that?”


Support, advocacy and resources with Matt Kudish and Corey Minor Smith



As we approach the holiday season and a time of thanksgiving, it’s important that we reflect on joys, express genuine gratitude and savor time together, even while acknowledging the realities of stress, reminders of losses or lost loved ones, and the mental health challenges that can also accompany this time of year. Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – NYC Metro, Matt Kudish, and transformational speaker, author and mental health advocate, Attorney Corey Minor Smith, join for a heartfelt and helpful conversation on mental health advocacy, support and resources. Throughout the conversation, we discuss gratefulness, the importance of looking after ourselves, and the realities of mild and severe mental health challenges of loved ones in our circles and in society. On a practical note, both guests also share information on resources offered through NAMI, the benefits of community support for addressing mental health challenges, the need for policy changes, the importance of reasonable housing accommodations for those living with severe mental illness, and the necessity of support and self-care for caregivers and family members. We even engage in a lively discussion about brain health and about holistic approaches to mental health and overall wellness. A wonderful, genuine, and uplifting episode!


Craft & Career – J.M. DeMatteis, writer, comic-book creator – Part 2



The Craft & Career series connects with professional creatives from the arts, entertainment, and media industries, to discuss the nuances of their craft, the reality of their careers, and how, in often surprising ways, these two concerns can work together.

We welcome back J.M. DeMatteis, legendary comic book creator and prolific writer, to dig beneath the surface of the freelance artists journey… with some suitably DeMatteis-style creative mysticism thrown in for inspiration.

More guest info: http://www.jmdematteis.com


Ep. 44 – Rick McIntyre on the stories of Yellowstone’s greatest wolves



In 1995, the U.S. government took unprecedented actions to restore the wolf population of Yellowstone National Park, which it had brutally destroyed seventy years prior. More than thirty wolves from multiple packs were captured in Canada, transported to the park, and released in a grand experiment that would become the most successful wildlife reintroduction effort in history. Our guest, the legendary wolf expert Rick McIntyre, has dedicated his life to those wolves. For the past 26 years, he has observed the park’s wolves nearly every single day, accumulating more than 100,000 sightings. After retiring from the park service, McIntyre – who still watches the wolves daily – penned a gripping series of biographies of Yellowstone’s greatest wolf leaders: Wolf 08, one of the first reintroduced wolves who grew from a runt into a powerful pack leader; his adopted and brave son, Wolf 21, known for his long and successful reign as king of the park’s Druid Peak pack, his deep devotion to his mate, and his unusual benevolence to his defeated rivals; and 21’s nephew, Wolf 302, who started life as an irresponsible Casanova who stole food from pups and slept during battles, but transformed his character and died as a heroic father. In this episode, McIntyre describes the wolves’ unique personalities, the packs’ dynastic dramas, and the exuberant joy that he’s seen through his spotting scope, and explains why federal action is urgently needed to protect these wolves, who are at risk of being massacred once again due to draconian new state laws.


African American Womanist Preaching: Word in Conversation with Sound



ISM Fellow Dr. Melanie R. Hill explores how African American literature mutually influenced and informed Black womanist preaching. “Literature, music and theology . . . all of these elements have really been the heartbeat of who I am — not only of my research, but of who I am as a scholar and an artist.”


Navigating Society, Mental Health & Wellness with Sean Astin



This week, acclaimed actor and mental health advocate, Sean Astin, joins for an enjoyable and thought-provoking conversation on several topics including his personal & family journey over the last year and a half, our re-engagement in society, our daily rhythms, how we engage with our mental wellness, and the benefits of living with a spirit of playfulness. Sean also shares powerful mental health insights on stigma, empathy and the sometimes unintentional condemnation of mental illness, from his perspective as the son of Patty Duke, who both navigated mental illness and was strong mental health advocate. A genuine and honest conversation, challenging all of us to examine how we approach and talk about mental health and mental illness, the importance of hope, and the benefit of focusing on how to effectively navigate mental health challenges. We’ll even hear quotes from a well-known hobbit “guest” speaking to community and the importance of holding onto the good, amidst many of the challenges we may face.


Craft & Career With J.M. DeMatteis, Writer, Comic Book Creator – Part 1



The Craft & Career series connects with professional creatives from the arts, entertainment, and media industries, to discuss the nuances of their craft, the reality of their careers, and how, in often surprising ways, these two concerns can work together. This week we welcome J.M. DeMatteis, legendary comic book creator and prolific writer, to discuss the creative freelancer’s journey.

More guest info: www.jmdematteis.com