Episode 25: Author Mary Beth Keane

The New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, stopped by the Ridgewood Library for an author event to discuss her latest novel The Half Moon about a couple in a small town navigating the complexities of marriage, family, and longing. Host Roberta Panjwani–and audience members–asked Mary Beth about her creative process, writing during a pandemic, and the personal connections to the characters in this book.

Episode 24: Singer/Songwriter, Sherma Andrews: “Messenger of Hope”

From Trinidad and Tobago to the world stage, Sherma Andrews’ journey is nothing short of extraordinary. Starting at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, she’s played with some of the greats at venues like Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden, leaving audiences spellbound. Roberta talks to Sherma about some of her greatest inspirations (Aretha, Whitney, Billie) and her lifelong mission of being a messenger of hope.

Episode 23: Fernando Fernandez: From Wall Street to Wine country

Fernando Fernandez - Featured

Fernando Fernandez has always had a passion for wine, so when his time in NYC’s financial industry was thrown into chaos by the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, he transformed that passion into an award-winning career out on the opposite coast. Join A Bend in the Road host Roberta Panjwani as she talks to Fernando about Puerto Rico, his favorite places to spend time, and creating a meaningful label.

Episode 22: Deborah Kampmeier, The Gilded Age Director

Deborah Kampmeier’s move from the independent filmmaker on silver screen to prestige TV on The Gilded Age has a surprise first act appearance from Oprah and Ava DuVernay. Join Deborah as she sits down with Bend in the Road host Roberta Panjwani to talk about “The Ava Effect,” an accidental email that connected her to many of the best directors in the business, and some fascinating moments from Season 2 of The Gilded Age and Harlan Coben’s Shelter.

Episode 21: Victim Advocates Aiza Stevens & Hoku and Library Therapy Dog Coordinator Victoria Schnure

As we embark on Year 3 of our podcast journey, A Bend in the Road is thrilled to share an inspiring episode that we hope will warm your hearts this winter. Joining us in this episode is Aiza Stevens and the incredible therapy dog Hoku, both vital members of the Orem Police Department’s Victim Advocacy Program in Utah, along with Ridgewood Public Library’s very own Victoria Schnure, who helps run the library’s fantastic Read to a Dog program. Both discuss their passion for what they do and their hope for the future. Stay tuned at the end for a special appearance by Carol and Liberty, the therapy dog as they prepare to hear a wonderful story from a young reader.

Episode 20: Roger Durling, Santa Barbara Film Festival Executive Director

Roger Durling

(Photo Credit: Eric Madrid.) From universities to coffee shops, from Broadway shows to the local movie theater, from Panama to NJ to France to NY to Santa Barbara, our guest this episode has had quite the journey to where he is now. Join guest host Diane Sims for a riveting conversation with Roger Durling, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Film Festival for the last 20 years, on how he fell in love with the silver screen, found his way to Santa Barbara, and saved & transformed the nearly dead film festival.

Episode 19: Guggenheim Curator Megan Fontanella: “Every Painting Tells a Story”

Megan Fontanella

You’ve certainly heard of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and its varied collections. What you may not know is what guides those collections. Megan Fontanella, the Guggenheim’s Curator for Modern Art and Provenance, would tell you a good exhibit, and good art education, comes down to two statements: Every painting tells a story. Every object has lived a life. Join Roberta as she talks with Megan about those statements, about the history of the Gugg’ and her role in bringing art to life.

Megan is a strategic leader, art historian, and curator whose research encompasses late 19th- and early 20th-century European and U.S. avant-gardes and specializes in the field of provenance research – the study of an object’s ownership history, from its creation to present day. Since joining the curatorial staff at the Guggenheim in 2005, she has organized or co-organized over thirty exhibitions for the Guggenheim’s museums in Bilbao, New York, Venice, and formerly Berlin.

Episode 18: Author Gretchen Rubin: Get Happy

Gretchen Rubin Featured

Yale graduate Gretchen Rubin had quite the pivot when she went from clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to founding the Happiness Project. How that came to be and what her surprising path to a life of more energy, creativity, luck, and love entails (hint: tune in to the five senses) is the focus of this month’s episode. An acclaimed communicator, known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, Gretchen’s books have sold millions of copies and been translated into over thirty languages, she has an award-winning podcast, and she also has an app. Join Roberta as she sits down with Gretchen to discuss this lifelong exploration into happiness, how we respond to expectations and her daily trips to the Met Museum.

Episode 17: Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde: Learning to Be Brave

“Being brave is not a singular occurrence; it’s a journey that we can choose to undertake every day. ” – How We Learn to Be Brave: Decisive Moments in Life and Faith and Life
In June of 2020, with the eyes of the world watching and the ears of the world listening,  Bishop Mariann Budde had the courage to speak up about the mistreatment of protestors at the hands of the police and the misuse of St. John’s Church in Washington D.C.  Her experience during that time, and the days and weeks that followed, led her to write How We Learn to be Brave.
As the ninth bishop of Washington, Bishop Budde is the spiritual leader for 86 Episcopal congregations and ten Episcopal schools in the District of Columbia and four Maryland counties. She is also the first woman elected to this position. Join Roberta as she talks to Bishop Budde about that seminal moment in 2020, courage and faith, and a little bit of Eleanor Roosevelt to round things out.

Episode 16: One Weekend This Summer: Our Time in the Canyon with Joni, Brandi & 27,000 Friends

Take a trip to the Pacific Northwest with Roberta to experience the epic return of the legendary musician Joni Mitchell during Brandi Carlile’s “Echoes through the Canyon” weekend at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State. Roberta talks with concertgoers who traveled across the country—and the world–about the impact that Joni and music has played in their lives. We hear many remarkable moments from the June 9 & 10, 2023 shows featuring Joni, Brandi, Sarah McLachlan, Annie Lennox, Marcus Mumford and many more. Highlights include “A Case of Blue,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Both Sides Now,” and “The Circle Game.”

Episode 15: String Thing Studio Founder Felicia Eve

Felicia Eve has been everything: a podiatrist, a stay at home mom, a fundraising consultant, and, currently, a business owner as the CEO and founder of String Thing Studio, a yarn shop in Brooklyn. Join Felicia as she sits down with host Roberta and shares her stories on life, loss, and most importantly, yarn.

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