Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Lara Hamdan

St. Louis on the Air Producer

Lara Hamdan joined St. Louis Public Radio as the news intern in 2017. A year later, she became a producer for “St. Louis on the Air.” A St. Louis native, Lara graduated with a degree in journalism from Webster University. She is a cat-mom to Sali and Sami, a lover of traveling, fluent in English and Arabic – and in eating falafel sandwiches and veggie burgers. She enjoys discovering new people and gems in the city throughout her work at St. Louis Public Radio.

Ways to Connect

Theckla Mehta (left) and Nartana Premachandra (right) talk about Dances for India's upcoming 40th anniversary performance.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Classical Indian dance is a traditional art form with roots in India that date back over 2,000 years. The rhythmic dance often tells stories with body movements, facial expressions and symbolic clothing.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Dances of India members about the history and tradition of their dance. The company was founded in St. Louis in 1976 and was the first of its kind established in Missouri. 

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

After spending eight years as executive director of ArchCity Defenders in St. Louis, Thomas Harvey will move to California to take on a much bigger role.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Harvey about his career and what work he hopes to continue. Harvey will move to Los Angeles at the end of the year to establish a national organization that will bail out people held in jail who cannot afford their temporary release.

Gigi Benson / Contributed Photo

Some of the most famous photographs of past celebrities were taken by one man – photo journalist Harry Benson. He’s photographed all the presidents since Eisenhower, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and Richard Nixon’s resignation.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to 87-year-old Scottish-born Benson about his iconic career.

Contributed Photo / Leila Sadat

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to local professor, Leila Sadat, about her work on finding a global solution to prevent and punish crimes against humanity.

Sadat is the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law and Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University School of Law.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

A full story of what ifs and comedies: A history of the St. Louis Browns

St. Louis’ baseball history includes one of the best teams in baseball history, the Cardinals — and the worst— the Browns.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the history of the St. Louis Browns baseball team with Ed Wheatley, one of the authors of “St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team.”

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

A recent three-part series on local VA healthcare included a lot of criticism of the Department of Veteran Affair’s healthcare services.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh addressed the criticisms raised by local veterans with representatives from the VA St. Louis Health Care System.

 “We’re not perfect…we have come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go,” Keith Repko, medical center director at the VA St. Louis Health Care System, said.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

Universal design involves designing buildings, products and services that meet the accessibility needs of everyone. It can help people with disabilities, but it’s intended for everyone.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about how the use of universal design can help people with disabilities and can improve the overall safety and quality of life of all people when used during disasters.

John D. & Catherine T. / MacArthur Foundation

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Damon Rich, a designer and urban planner in Newark, New Jersey. He received a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, which includes a $625,000 stipend – commonly known as a “genius” grant. He was cited for originality and creativity in the field of urban design. In 2015, he co-founded an urban design planning and civic arts studio called Hector. Rich grew up in Creve Coeur.

 

Q: How do you intend to use the $625,000 stipend?

Jeff Strong, a trumpeter with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, previously played in the U.S. Marine Band.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Former Staff Sgt. Jeff Strong enlisted in the Marines specifically to join the “President's Own” United States Marine Band. After completing his service, he now plays in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Strong about his time in the Marine Band.

The Marine Band, founded in 1798 by an act of Congress, is the oldest continually-active professional music organization in the country. Its primary purpose is to provide music for the president of the United States and commandant of the Marine Corps.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

Transition from jail back to the community can be a difficult process that often leads to repeat offenses and more jail time.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about local efforts to improve the health outcomes for people re-entering their communities after time in jail. St. Louis Integrated Health Network’s Re-Entry Community Linkages (RE-LINK) program helps make the transition easier.

Jess Luther / I Went to a Show

Jess Luther, a music expert who’s among the founders of the local music blog I Went to a Show, continues to highlight local musicians across several genres.

Luther, who also works in business operations at St. Louis Public Radio, featured up and coming artists with producer Alex Heuer on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. Luther premiered songs from local musicians and talked about their collaborations with each other.

Paige Alyssa’s “Worth It”

 

Luzena Adams / Contributed Photo

When St. Louis native and comedian Kathleen Madigan did a show in St. Louis a while back, her family bought out the bar’s Bud Lights and Budweisers.

“Look, they’re not going to drink non-union beer,” she told the bartender. “You’re going to need to get in a car, and go to Schnucks or Kroger, whatever is open, and buy all the Bud Lights that they have.”

Madigan looks forward to performing in front of friends and family again at her upcoming standup show at The Peabody Opera House on Nov. 11 — as part of her national Boxed Wine & Bigfoot Tour.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

None of former International Space Station commander Scott Kelly’s life experiences would have happened had he not read Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff.”

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Kelly about his new memoir, "Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery,” and a new PBS film, "Beyond a Year in Space."

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis American was founded in 1928 and played a critical role in publicizing civil rights struggles in St. Louis, among other black press outlets.

The mainstream press did not cover relations that mattered in African-American communities. Due to the lack of coverage, black newspapers filled the void missing in their communities.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

The Climate Change Theatre action put theater and advocacy together to bring awareness to the harmful environmental impacts of climate change. The action began on Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 18 – involving over 225 events in 40 countries.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about a local production of short plays inspired by climate change and the current attitudes towards science.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

Gateway Media Literacy Partners is hosting its 12th annual Media Literacy Week. The events of the week encourage community conversations to help audiences evaluate what they see or hear in the media.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Gateway Media Literacy Partners members Mary Pat Gallagher, founder and executive director of Lolly’s Place, and Natasha Casey, professor of English and Communications at Blackburn College, about the importance of media literacy and issues of inclusion.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Treasurer Tishaura Jones is calling on St. Louis residents to vote against Proposition P on Nov. 7 – a half-cent sales tax increase that will fund public safety efforts.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Jones, who said sales taxes are regressive and disproportionally affect the poor.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis voters will decide on Nov. 7 whether to increase the city’s sales tax by a half cent to fund increased public safety efforts.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who endorses the ballot measure Proposition P.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Addressing police aggression and unequal policing are among Judge Jimmie Edwards’ top issues to address as the new public safety director for the city of St. Louis.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Don Marsh talked with Edwards, a former St. Louis circuit court judge embarking on a new role that oversees the police and fire departments.

Garrison Keillor
(photo provided)

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with long-time host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” Garrison Keillor. 

A best-selling author, he’s received Grammy, ACE and Peabody awards, as well as the National Humanities Medal and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Using his unique blend of wit, wisdom and humor, Keillor will share stories on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Fox Theatre about growing up in the Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon, and late-life fatherhood.

 

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