Sean Powers

Director of Podcasting

Sean Powers is Georgia Public Broadcasting's first director of podcasting. He joined GPB in 2014 as a producer/reporter with On Second Thought, and remained with the program until 2018. For his last four months on the show, he served as acting senior producer.  Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, honors from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. Powers previously developed podcasts for ListenUp Audiobooks in Atlanta. He's also mentored teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta.

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The shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery outside Brunswick, Georgia, sparked nationwide outrage — but not right away. 

Arbery died Feb. 23, but it took more than two months for charges to be filed, and that was only after a disturbing video of the shooting was released. When Brunswick News reporter Larry Hobbs heard about Arbery's death a day after it happened, what struck him was how no one was talking about it. 


John Bazemore / The Associated Press

Since the early days of the pandemic, testing has been widely acknowledged as a fundamental step in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Despite President Trump’s promise that anyone who needed a test would get one, there’s been no federal testing program. Instead, individual states have been left to figure it out. 

In Georgia, which was one of the first states to shut down in the face of the pandemic and one of the first to re-open, having reliable and timely data couldn’t be more crucial. On this episode of Georgia Today, we look at the testing battlefield in Georgia.

GPB News

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new series What You Need To Know: Coronavirus provides succinct, fact-based information to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic with your health and sanity intact.

Across the country, high school seniors are missing out on their final year of school, and not graduating the way they envisioned. A Facebook group called “Love on a High School Senior 2020” gives people the chance to “adopt” these students by agreeing to send them gifts for college and be their mentor. GPB talked to page founder April Ford, high school senior Tony Gregg Jr, and Crystal Toombs, who adopted Tony.

 

Elijah Nouvelage / AP

Over the past few weeks, states have slowly begun lifting some restrictions imposed by the spread of COVID-19. They are following the lead set by Georgia, which re-opened last month. 

 

 


GPB News

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new series What You Need To Know: Coronavirus provides succinct, fact-based information to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic with your health and sanity intact.

There are major concerns about the nation’s food supply amid the pandemic. We’ve heard about disruptions to meat processing facilities, shuttered restaurants, and the challenges facing farmers. 

GPB News

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new series What You Need To Know: Coronavirus provides succinct, fact-based information to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic with your health and sanity intact.

The McCrary family in Albany, Georgia, created a music video about the importance of staying at home during the pandemic for the city’s Shelter In Place Community Video Contest.

Grant Blankenship / GPB News

Spring is an important time of year for three of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And this spring, the contours of Passover, Lent and Ramadan have shifted as the faithful contend with the backdrop of coronavirus.

 


Sean Powers / GPB News

Squidbillies is one of the longest running shows on Atlanta-based Adult Swim. The animated series follows a family of “anthropomorphic mud squids” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia.

Ahead of its 12th season premiere, Chuck Reece of The Bitter Southerner podcast spoke with Nashville-based singer, Elizabeth Cook, and co-creators, Jim Fortier and Dave Willis, at Georgia Public Broadcasting.


Virginia Prescott / GPB

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott has been a judge at three of the semi-annual singer-songwriter shoot-outs at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur.  (Full disclosure: her partner hosts the weekly open mic contests there.)

At the 48th bi-annual shoot-out, then 10-year-old Ansley Oakley stepped up to the mic – all of 4-foot-8 and wearing a vintage maxi dress – and started to sing.  The resulting performance was so jaw-dropping that Virginia invited her to sing at Grocery on Home, an occasional, bring-your-own-everything listening room that she and her partner run out of the old grocery store where they live in Grant Park.   


Sean Powers/GPB

In North Atlanta, where the perimeter meets the Chattahoochee River, there’s a little building just off the highway with a bright red sign that says, “Bar B Que.” That building is Heirloom Market BBQ run by chefs Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee.


Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Every year, fans of anime, gaming, comics, and animation assemble in Atlanta for MomoCon. Georgia’s film and television industry is well represented.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Calling all anime, gaming, comics and animation fans: This is your weekend.

MomoCon 2019 kicks off Thursday in Atlanta. Voice actors, designers, writers and showrunners take animation enthusiasts behind the scenes, making one of the fastest growing all-ages conventions in the country.

GPB's Kalena Boller, host of The Credits podcast, sat down with voice actor Bob Carter ahead of the convention. He voices video games.


Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Host Kalena Boller talks with Chad Darnell, who is a casting director, writer, and actor in Georgia. Chad has spent the last few years in Savannah growing that city's film industry.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Imagine that you have to be on a film or television set at 4 a.m. It can be grueling after working all day. Stephanie Morales is there to the rescue.

She runs a food truck on set for cast and crew in Georgia. She's being doing it for years. Morales believes in the healing quality of good food, a kind smile and a listening ear. She met host Kalena Boller on her food truck during production of the former ABC television show, "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World."

Gnats don’t read maps, but the bugs do seem hesitant to cross an unseen, geographic boundary in Georgia. Learn about the disparities north and south of the "gnat line" from Tales from the Gnat Line author and longtime state lawmaker Larry Walker.


SCAD

On The Credits, we’ve talked to many people who dedicate their lives to Georgia's film and television industry, but what about the next generation of filmmakers? Host Kalena Boller visited the Savannah College of Art and Design to find out how the university is teaching cultural changes in the film industry.

Credit: Jeff Forney

With a curled lip and a graveled voice, Atlanta-based band The Coathangers will tell you what they think. Their gritty garage music incorporates influences that range from early punk to the golden oldies of rock 'n' roll. And yet, their lyrics are undeniably modern. The trio's new album, The Devil You Know, features songs that address current social issues like drug addiction and gun control.

We asked two members of The Coathangers, Meredith Franco and Julia Kugel, to add to our Georgia Playlist of songs written or performed by a Georgian. Their picks? "Frankenstein" by Subsonics and "Bad Kids" by Black Lips.


Sean Powers / GPB News

Birdwatching doesn't require a trip deep into unpopulated forests. There's a wealth of sights and songs even in Georgia's largest city. 


Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

As a cinematographer, Richard Vialet plays a central role in the way a movie looks. He told host Kalena Boller that requires understanding not just the set, but the surroundings … and the full story.

 

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

On this show, we have heard from many different people who work in Georgia’s film industry, but that industry has taken a life of its own off set. Case in point is Film Biz Recycling. This prop house on Savannah’s west side is working to clean up the environment. Host Kalena Boller spoke with Samita Wolfe, who runs the prop house with her husband.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Nathaniel Kendrick is a longtime electrician on film and television sets. He often works as a gafer, which is the head of the electrical department. They are the ones who bring lighting to sets.

Nathaniel says it is important to remember all the unsung heroes who paved the way for other cast and crew members of color. He talked with host Kalena Boller about some of the early African American electricians he’s worked with in Georgia.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Bolaji Bailey began working on sets in Georgia in the 1980s in the camera and electric departments. His son, Irie, followed in his dad’s footsteps as a grip. A grip is someone who builds and maintains the equipment for cameras. Bolaji and Irie have seen the state's film and teleivision industry change a lot. They talked with host Kalena Boller about how it's becoming more racially diverse.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Two technical qualities matter most in a movie: how it looks and how it sounds.

Whit Norris has worked for years as a sound mixer in Georgia's film industry. He’s working on the third installment of the "Bad Boys" franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The movie is now shooting in Atlanta. Host Kalena Boller talked with Norris while he had some time off set.

Don Smith / Georgia Public Broadcasting

We start our second season of "The Credits" with an overview of how Georgia’s entertainment industry has become more inclusive.

The day before the Oscars, host Kalena Boller hosted a panel before a live audience at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. The timing couldn’t have been better. Georgia was well represented at the awards

Some say music holds the power to heal, and, on her album "Rifles and Rosary Beads," Nashville-based singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier directs that power to veterans.

"Rifles and Rosary Beads" is up for Best Folk Album at the Grammy Awards this weekend. Chuck Reece of "The Bitter Southerner Podcast" spoke with Gauthier about the songs, each of which Gauthier co-wrote with veterans and military spouses. 


Super Bowl 53 gets underway in less than one month. The action will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3. Before the game and entertainment, the Super Bowl committee and the arts advocacy group, WonderRoot, are collaborating on murals to highlight the city’s civil rights and social justice legacy. The Off the Wall project seeks to elevate key stories from Atlanta’s pursuit of civil and human rights. Eleven muralists were chosen to create designs based on community conversations. GPB’s Ross Terrell and WonderRoot executive director Chris Appleton joined “On Second Thought” to discuss the Off the Wall initiative. 


Michael W. Twitty/@KosherSoul / Twitter

Culinary historian Michael Twitty traces his ancestry through food in "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South." The memoir won the 2018 James Beard Foundation's Award for Book of the Year. In it, Twitty explores the complex question of who owns Southern food.

 

GPB's Tony Harris spoke with Twitty about why he wanted to wrestle with that question and his passion for food justice.

 

Terrell Sandefur

Terrell Sandefur has organized film festivals across the state in communities such as Atlanta, Rome, Columbus and Milledgeville. He even helped start the wildly popular Macon Film Festival, where he served as a film commissioner.

Sandefur tells host Kalena Boller about what it takes to make a film festival successful, and he shares his plans for spreading the word about Georgia's film industry at next month's Sundance Film Festival

Sean Powers

Location scout Jen Farris of Atlanta has her finger on the pulse of some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods. That makes her a valuable addition to any production.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

On this show, we meet people who are jacks and jills of all trades in y’allywood.

One of those is Greg Waddle. He has several skills: camera operator, set dresser, art director. Being a true Renaissance movie man, he's also a key grip. This is a job many hear about, but barely understand. He talked with host Kalena Boller outside his warehouse in Atlanta.

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