Marcie Sillman | KUOW News and Information

Marcie Sillman

Arts and Culture Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 1985

Marcie Sillman arrived at KUOW in 1985 to produce the station's daily public affairs program, Seattle After Noon. One year later, she became the local voice of All Things Considered, NPR's flagship afternoon news magazine. After five years holding down the drive-time microphone, a new opportunity arose. Along with Dave Beck and Steve Scher, Marcie helped create Weekday, a daily, two-hour forum for newsmakers, artists and thinkers.

The new century brought new challenges. Marcie and Dave Beck created The Beat, Seattle's only broadcast program to focus specifically on arts and culture. In 2002, after more than 15 years as a daily host, Marcie decided to become a full-time cultural reporter. During her career, more than 100 of her stories have been heard on NPR's newsmagazines, as well as on The Voice of America. In 2005, she became KUOW's first special projects reporter. In this role, she produced in-depth audio portraits and documentary series about life and culture in the Puget Sound Region.

In September, 2013, Marcie was part of the team that created The Record, a daily news magazine focused on the issues and culture of the Puget Sound region. After two years as Senior Host of the program, Marcie returned to full-time cultural reporting.

Ways to Connect

Interfaith Amigos
Flickr Photo/University of Denver

Given all the chaos in Washington ,D.C., we got to thinking about how political compromise comes about.  One factor may be the ability to put yourself in your antagonist’s shoes. In other words, to have a little compassion. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word compassion is defined as “sympathetic consciousness of others distress together with a desire to alleviate that distress.”

The Interfaith Amigos often think about compassion. They’re regular guests on KUOW and we invited Imam Jamal Rahman, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie to talk about how you act on compassion and what the differences are between compassion and empathy.

Flickr Photo/SEIU Health Care 775NW

There are more than whispers of a deal to end the shutdown today. Both the Senate and the House are working on proposals. Whether or not they will pass, however, is another question. Marcie Sillman talks with Representative Jim McDermott, D-Wash., about the politics inside Congress.

KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman and Marty Wingate courtesy photo.

Seattle gardener Marty Wingate loves the Pacific Coast iris: it's a native plant, so it doesn't require summer watering, it has a nice grassy look and it thrives in partial shade.

We may be living longer, but we aren’t necessarily living better, argues Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist and author of Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease.

For years, researchers have been connecting the dots between socioeconomic status and obesity rates. A new study from the University of Washington makes those connections even stronger.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity looked at nearly 60,000 men and women in King County. It found that people in South and Southeast King County were much more likely to be obese. The biggest factors were education levels and home values.

Adam Drewnowski is the study’s lead author. He’s a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and the director of the UW’s Center for Public Health Nutrition. He talks with Marcie Sillman.

Flickr Photo/Mr. Juicebox

As the partial government shutdown drags into its third week, some companies haven’t missed the opportunity to squeeze some publicity out of it. Last week, Starbucks gave away free cups of coffee to anyone who bought another person a beverage in its stores. The company also urged customers to sign a petition, asking lawmakers to end the shutdown.

Your Guide To Avoiding Foodborne Illness

Oct 10, 2013
Flickr Photo/snowpea&bokchoi

On Monday, the USDA issued a warning for salmonella contamination in packaged Foster Farms chicken. Nearly 300 illnesses in 17 states have been reported.

Today, the USDA is threatening to close the three Foster Farms facilities linked to the outbreak. This latest outbreak is just one of the many contamination stories we hear about each year.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that every year, roughly one in six Americans get sick from foodborne illness. How can you protect yourself? Marcie Sillman talks with Scott Meschke, microbiologist and professor Health Sciences at University of Washington.

Flickr Photo/beautifulcataya

Are you ready to take the burdock root challenge? Burdock root is a high source of a complex starch that gives us the energy we need to get through the winter. Registered dietitian Mary Purdy says it is a prime example of the sort of food we should be intruding into our diet during the darkening days of fall and winter.

As we bundle up and spend more time inside we might be tempted to turn to pumpkin lattes and bonbons, but that isn’t the best way to tackle our diminished energy. Purdy is the host of the podcast Nutrition Nuggets; she says there are better ways then caffeine and sugar to keep your energy up during the fall and winter months.

Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer speaks with The Record's Marcie Sillman about whether Canadians are paying attention to the partial government shutdown in the US, Canadian spies snooping around in Brazil and the country's national anthem, which has been accused of being sexist.

Flickr Photo/Jared Kelley

Radiolab is a show about, as the creators simply say, curiosity. It looks into questions on science, philosophy and the human experience. This year, they are touring around the country with their live show, "Apocalyptical." Marcie Sillman talks with hosts Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad about their roots and translating science to radio.

Flickr Photo/Ray Terrill

The Seattle Sounders play the Vancouver Whitecaps today. If they win or draw the game they will clinch the Cascadia Cup. The Cascadia Cup was made official in 2004 by the fans of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps, but its history goes even further back.

Before the Cascadia teams were a part of Major League Soccer they played each other in the North American Soccer League and the United Soccer League. Even then, fans would drive the I-5 corridor to attend sell-out games with their banners and voices primed for cheering.

KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Seattle's international reputation has been burnished by the city's thriving technology industries, by the hip independent music scene, and even by the ubiquity of Starbucks. But 100 years before latte vendors squatted on every city corner, Seattle was a thriving maritime hub. It still is.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Cauliflower. It's a pretty white vegetable that most of us were served boiled, steamed and frankly, pretty tasteless. But autumn cauliflower has the potential for big flavor, according to former chef and Seattle food writer Sara Dickerman. The trick lies in how you prepare it.

The Seattle Times/Dean Rutz

Eli Hastings remembers his first writing experience.  "My mom had given me a diary," he recalled. Hastings was in elementary school, and he scrawled down a little poem, the kind of insulting ditty that schoolboys hurl at one another on the playground.

ACT - A Contemporary Theatre

After 77 plays, Alan Ayckbourn knows his way around a theater. Ayckbourn has won every possible accolade during his long career, but even a 2006 stroke that left him with limited use of an arm and leg hasn't stopped the prolific writer and director.

There are more than whispers of a deal to end the shutdown today. Both the Senate and the House are working on proposals. Whether or not they will pass, however, is another question. Marcie Sillman talks with Representative Jim McDermott about the politics inside congress. 

Produced by Hannah Burn

Flickr Photo/Ivan Chang

There is no denying it, autumn has arrived with a bang: the rain, the low temperatures, shorter days and everyone huddled inside together creates the perfect germ-spreading storm. While many people are going out to get their flu shots, there are also a variety of natural ways to ward off illness.

We decided to ask an expert, registered dietitian Mary Purdy. Purdy is the host of the podcast Nutrition Nuggets and she joins us to explain how we can keep a healthy immune system.

Harriet Baskas' book "Hidden Treasures: What the Museums Can't or Won't Show You"

Seattle travel writer Harriet Baskas stumbled onto her quest for hidden treasures. More than 20 years ago, Baskas was visiting small museums in the Pacific Northwest. She was interested in the collections they had on display, but the curators she met were just as interested in what they had in the back rooms: treasures they couldn't, or wouldn't, show the public.

AP Photo/Mike Segar

Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Although he and President Obama didn’t shake hands, the two leaders expressed their desire to open a dialogue.

What Is A Geek Girl?

Sep 27, 2013
Flickr Photo/GeekGirlCon

On October 19, downtown Seattle will be invaded by geek girls. That’s when the 3rd annual GeekGirlCon kicks off at the Washington State Convention Center. Maybe you’re wondering, what exactly is a geek girl?  And why does she need her own convention?

Amy Peloff has the answers.  She’s assistant director of the University of Washington’s comparative history of ideas program. She teaches classes in gender, sexuality and women’s studies.  She told Marcie Sillman that defining geek girls is a bit like defining pornography. You may not be able to pin down the specifics, but you know it when you see it.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Photo/Lindsay Thomas

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Studio C is a big rehearsal hall, with the same dimensions as the stage at nearby McCaw Hall where PNB performs. Despite its size, on this afternoon the room feels packed to the gills.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

When you think of kale, do you conjure visions of raw greens, a little tough and chewy?  Sometimes they're hard to eat, but you dutifully swallow them down because you know they're good for you.

Actually, foodwriter and former professional chef Sara Dickerman begs to differ. Dickerman says one way to consume your vitamins and enjoy them at the same time is to think outside the box when it comes to healthy foods. Take kale, for example.

Flickr Photo/Semilla Luz

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news with Joni Balter of the Seattle Times, Crosscut's Knute Berger and Eli Sanders of The Stranger. 

A shooting at the Navy Yard in DC and a fatal stabbing in Seattle's Pioneer Square again raise questions about public safety and mental health care. Seattle's race for mayor sees a new round of polling and endorsements. Plus, Pope Francis says Catholics need to find "a new balance" on issues like abortion and homosexuality.  What stories were you following this week?

It has been 33 years since the United States and Iran had diplomatic relations. Now, after an exchange of letters between President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there is new hope for diplomatic dialogue between the two countries.

Iran is currently under UN and Western sanctions over its controversial nuclear program. It claims it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, but according to the BBC, the United States and its allies suspect Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapon. Next week, Rouhani will be in New York for the annual General Assembly of the United Nations.

Dr. Shaul Bakhash is the Clarence Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University. He explains the complexity of diplomacy between the two countries.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage for some workers in SeaTac to $15 an hour could mark a major change in the larger labor movement’s strategy in the US.

Marcie Sillman talks it over with New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse. We also hear from David Rolf, the president of SEIU Healthcare 775NW, and Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council.

AP Photo/STR

The United Nations General Assembly opened this week and on the top of the agenda is the crisis in Syria. UN weapons inspectors said that based on their investigation, chemical weapons were definitely used in an August 21 attack of a city on the outskirts of Damascus.

While many officials believe evidence points to Bashar al-Assad's government as being the perpetrator of the attack, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that the UN and Western officials have incorrectly tied the Syrian government to that attack.

Fred Weir is the Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, he explains why Russia is still blaming the Syrian rebels for the chemical weapons attack.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

The US Census Bureau released numbers this week looking at poverty rates and wages across the US in 2012. Our local numbers reflect what’s happening around the country: the number of people living in poverty has stagnated and wages have stayed about the same.

At first glance, this may seem like good news, or even non-news. But the census numbers reveal a larger picture of what’s happening in the wake of the recession: that people in low and middle income brackets aren’t really experiencing a recovery.

Jennifer Romich is the director of the West Coast Poverty Center and an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work. She told KUOW's Marcie Sillman the "statistically insignificant" numbers from the Census Bureau paint a concerning picture of many people that are unable to get ahead financially.

AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara

The majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, Hiroshi Yamauchi has died in Japan at the age of 85. The former Nintendo President never watched a Mariners game in person, but he’s credited by many for saving baseball in Seattle when he purchased the team in 1992.

What’s his legacy? And what does his death mean for the Mariners organization moving forward? Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He talked with Marcie Sillman.

From DASSdance's Facebook page.

Artists are inspired by all sorts of things: a song, an image or a story they want to tell. Choreographer Daniel Wilkins and his company, DASSdance, will premier a new work this weekend, “Tale of Ten Green.”

It springs from the story of the Awa people, an indigenous tribe that lives in Brazil’s Amazon River basin. The Awa haven’t had significant contact with the outside world until recently, and according to Wilkins, the experience has been both violent and exploitative.

“Tale of Ten Green” premiers Friday evening at Seattle’s Washington Hall. 

Interfaith Amigos
Flickr Photo/University of Denver

Imam Jamal Rahman, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie came together just after the Iraq War began.  They wanted to find a way to discuss politics and faith and to use their religious convictions to forge a path to dialogue and eventually peace.

The Amigos were originally going to be in studio to discuss the subject of compassion and consciousness, but the unfolding events in Syria hijacked our conversation. We talked about whether President Obama’s original proposal to launch a military attack in retaliation for Syria’s use of chemical weapons was the right way forward on this issues.

Pages