December 2014: Philabundance, Soul Music and the Gross Lab


Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

Philabundance has just made it to 30 years of service and is now the largest hunger relief organization in the Delaware Valley serving up to 75,000 people a week. It all started with a single woman, Pamela Rainey Lawler, realizing the need for connecting people in need with food. She first would use her small station wagon but now Philabundance is run by ten trucks daily, 100 staff, thousands of volunteers and has 400 member agencies. In the midst ofmuch of service, they are taking serious initiatives to end hunger by getting at the core of the problem: poverty. A couple of those initiatives include the Philabundance Community Kitchen Program, a culinary arts vocational programgiving low to no income adults an opportunity to get a job in the food industry and reclaim a self sustainable life. Other initiatives include Grocers Against Hunger, Fresh for All, Kids Bites and Fair & Square.

“Soul Music”

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Making music since 1982, Choral Arts Philadelphia actively participates in the region’s musical community by celebrating the talents of local professional and amateur musicians. As Philadelphia’s premier chamber chorus, Choral Arts Philadelphia presents concert experiences that delight and engage the community as well as contribute to their appreciation of the repertoire. Choral Arts Philadelphia is committed to musical excellence, historically informed performance practices, and furthering the great tradition of choral music.

Under the tenure of its first artistic director, Sean Deibler, the chorus regularly partnered with the Philadelphia Orchestra in concert and on recordings. Since then, Choral Arts Philadelphia has built a significant reputation and artistic presence in Philadelphia and has maintained a particularly strong commitment to exploring areas of the choral repertoire outside of the central canon. Under the artistic direction of Matthew Glandorf since 2007, Choral Arts Philadelphia has continued to build its reputation as a premiere early music choir. In its distinguished 32-year history, the choir has performed nearly 300 works by more than 100 composers.

Art of life visited with Choral Arts during rehearsals for a performance that was part of their Bach@ 7 series. In Fall 2013, Choral Arts and Bach Festival of Philadelphia launched a new season-spanning collaborative project that highlights rarely heard cantatas by J.S. Bach. We talk with Matthew Glandorf about the organizations beginnings and why the music of Bach is so special. We also meet singers and musicians and learn why they cherish their roles with Choral Arts.

The Gross Lab

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

In THE GROSS LAB, you will find rows and rows of cadavers. Many people would consider this an apt description of the “icky” things found here. But this is not what the “gross” refers to. Rather, gross is used to refer to the large or macroscopic sense of the body to which medical students are introduced, (alongside microscopic anatomy) that is a hallmark of the life of a first year medical student. Enter into this lab, Michael Grimaldi. Michael is an artist who founded a course of study devoted to the artistic depiction of the human anatomy. Much like Leonardo Da Vinci 500 plus years ago, Thomas Eakins strove to depict the human form with an unprecedented accuracy, and both used the deceased as subjects for study. Michael, working with The Gross Anatomy Lab at Drexel College of Medicine, continues this tradition, which is actually closer to Eakins in 19th century Philadelphia than Florence during the Renaissance. While modern study has much better tools (HD flat screen study aides and halogen lighting as opposed to books and gas lights, and donated cadavers rather than bodies from robbed graves), at the heart of the experience, the human form remains the same as does the desire to connect with other people, whether they are present or have passed, both through science and through the ancient tools of art.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal