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Helga

Artist, performer and host Helga Davis brings a soulful curiosity and love of people to the podcast Helga: The Armory Conversations. She draws the listener into intimate conversations with artists, scholars and cultural change-makers, famous and lesser known, who join her to share the steps they’ve taken along their paths. These inspiring conversations expand our world and our imaginations as we explore what we think we know about each other. The new season of Helga is a co-production of WNYC Studios and Park Avenue Armory. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, and Death, Sex & Money. Part American palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory supports unconventional works in the performing and visual arts that cannot be fully realized in a traditional proscenium theater, concert hall, or white wall gallery.

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Solange

Solange is determined to express herself fully and with integrity. The musician, singer and songwriter has been writing music since she was in the fourth grade. In this episode, Solange and Helga retrace the pop-star’s journey from being a young mother in Idaho with a major-record publishing deal, to self-autonomy and accountability in the music business. The two also discuss the themes behind her recent album, "A Seat at the Table," of living authentically and of owning your voice, body and art while being black and beautiful in contemporary America. --- About the podcast: HELGA with host Helga Davis features probing conversations with artists across the creative and performing arts that have a unique, uncompromising voice and a stake in the matter of social change. Produced by Q2 Music www.q2music.org Q2 Music is WQXR, New York's multi-platform home for dynamic and inspiring contemporary music. Discover countless new artists via our 24/7 music stream – hand-crafted daily to reward your curiosity – and surprise your imagination with a world of new sounds.

1hr 14mins

5 Dec 2016

Rank #1

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Hilton Als

Hilton Als is an intellectual omnivore who roots his art and criticism in reality and a search for the truth. A writer, New Yorker theater critic, curator, photographer, director and professor, Als’s work gracefully slips between genres to comment on contemporary American politics, pop culture and the African-American experience and to place the current condition in a longer history. In this tenth and final episode of the first season of Helga, Als and Davis talk about what he learned living next to Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, and how to get comfortable owning your anger and art-making. --- About the podcast: HELGA with host Helga Davis features probing conversations with artists across the creative and performing arts that have a unique, uncompromising voice and a stake in the matter of social change. Produced by Q2 Music www.q2music.org Q2 Music is WQXR, New York's multi-platform home for dynamic and inspiring contemporary music. Discover countless new artists via our 24/7 music stream – hand-crafted daily to reward your curiosity – and surprise your imagination with a world of new sounds.

48mins

23 Jan 2017

Rank #2

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Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett talks about her life as a mother, daughter, lover and leader and the ways that all of those roles converge in her work as host of the podcast, On Being. Subscribe to Helga, wherever you get your podcasts.

55mins

14 Apr 2020

Rank #3

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Art Maven Kimberly Drew

Kimberly Drew, also known online as @museummammy, is a unrelenting, taste-making purveyor of art, fashion and culture. Her work has appeared in Glamour and W magazines, as well as Teen Vogue and The Fader. Across her varied platforms, from social media manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to her powerful blog, Black Contemporary Art, to her influencer Instagram account, Drew strives to shape a brighter future through inspiring art and advocacy. She joins host Helga Davis in this episode to discuss the importance of mental health, what it really means to work in the art world, and how drinking water helps her keep the beat. "You're inundated with so much information. But when given the privilege of time, it can be an opportunity for intense, expansive interaction." -Kimberly Drew Learn more about New Sounds at newsounds.org.

52mins

13 Jun 2018

Rank #4

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Bethann Hardison

Activist, entrepreneur, and former model Bethann Hardison recounts moments from her unconventional life. She shares personal stories from the past 60 years in the fashion industry and how she sought to hold the powers that be accountable for their actions.  Subscribe to Helga, wherever you get your podcasts.

29mins

21 Apr 2020

Rank #5

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Sarah Jones

Playwright and stage actress Sarah Jones dexterously hops from one character to the next. In her one-woman shows, she seamlessly slips into characters of different class, race and gender backgrounds. Her award-winning multi-character performances cover topics such as sex work, post-9/11 America and racism in the healthcare system and illuminate the differences and strengths between one another. Sarah and Helga talk self-worth and self-love in a culture that teaches self-alienation. --- About the podcast: HELGA with host Helga Davis features probing conversations with artists across the creative and performing arts that have a unique, uncompromising voice and a stake in the matter of social change. Produced by Q2 Music www.q2music.org Q2 Music is WQXR, New York's multi-platform home for dynamic and inspiring contemporary music. Discover countless new artists via our 24/7 music stream – hand-crafted daily to reward your curiosity – and surprise your imagination with a world of new sounds.

1hr 7mins

9 Jan 2017

Rank #6

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Stanley Whitney

Visual artist and colorist, Stanley Whitney talks about his life as an artist and as a person. He uncovers what it means to be a black abstract painter, firmly rooted in the United States. Subscribe to Helga, wherever you get your podcasts.

30mins

17 Apr 2020

Rank #7

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Jacqueline Woodson

Author Jacqueline Woodson won the 2014 National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming, and this past January began her two-year tenure as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; her latest book Another Brooklyn was a New York Times best-seller. In this conversation, host Helga Davis sits down to talk with Woodson about family – the alternative one she was born into and the one she made for herself. Finding the ones with whom she can connect has been invaluable for her; here she shares how she made her community and how they have influenced her process. "For me the extended family is about having more parenting tools. [...] And then we have to make other decisions, we're a biracial family, right? We're a two-mom family, we're not going to send our kid to a school where they're the only kid of color, or the only kid in the class with two moms or two dads. So we had to, from a very early age, start investigating which schools are going to see my kid as wholly human." –Jacqueline Woodson Learn more about New Sounds at newsounds.org.

47mins

7 May 2018

Rank #8

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Shara Nova

After moving to Detroit from New York and separating from her husband, My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden decided to change her last name to Nova. The frontwoman for the indie-rock band, singer and composer talks to Helga about about her upcoming album and Southern roots, about leaning into vulnerability, and why being uncomfortable is crucial in art-making. She also talks about why it was important for her to escape the art scene and to rub shoulders with construction workers, and what it means that her new name translates to "new song." --- About the podcast: HELGA with host Helga Davis features probing conversations with artists across the creative and performing arts that have a unique, uncompromising voice and a stake in the matter of social change. Produced by Q2 Music www.q2music.org Q2 Music is WQXR, New York's multi-platform home for dynamic and inspiring contemporary music. Discover countless new artists via our 24/7 music stream – hand-crafted daily to reward your curiosity – and surprise your imagination with a world of new sounds.

42mins

15 Nov 2016

Rank #9

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Henry Threadgill

Henry Threadgill wants to know how to build the house. Whether it Moby Dick or jazz composition, the 72-year-old jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist has spent his life figuring out what goes into building the greatest works of arts. Recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Threadgill talks with Helga about giving license to your imagination in order to create, the life energy that connects a performer to his creations, and pushing yourself to go beyond excellence to greatness. --- About the podcast: HELGA with host Helga Davis features probing conversations with artists across the creative and performing arts that have a unique, uncompromising voice and a stake in the matter of social change. Produced by Q2 Music www.q2music.org Q2 Music is WQXR, New York's multi-platform home for dynamic and inspiring contemporary music. Discover countless new artists via our 24/7 music stream – hand-crafted daily to reward your curiosity – and surprise your imagination with a world of new sounds.

44mins

21 Nov 2016

Rank #10