with Connie Coale

Prairie Home Meets The Late Show: 'WonderLove' Radio Series Debuts Sunday At The Center

It isn't every day you can see a possible national radio series premiere getting made, but that's exactly what's happening at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley this coming  Sunday afternoon.

And according to producer/host Elisa Parker, the pilot episode of "WonderLove" is "sort of  Nevada County's version of Prairie Home Companion meeting The Late Show bringing community together through storytelling, music, art, Living Room Conversation Sessions and dance." 

Admission is free to various WonderLove events, including the live 4 p.m. broadcast on KVMR 89.5 FM, plus 2 p.m Living Room Conversation sessions facilitated by Joan Blades of MoveOn and MomsRising, a 5 p.m.workshop and broadcast with Ken Nwadike, Jr of Free Hugs Project and Restore Civility and a 5:30 p.m.dance party featuring the show house band Whee The People. 

Support for the "transformational" pilot comes from a KVMR grant using the station' Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds. "We think this is a strong vehicle to demonstrate Elisa's hosting and producing strengths to a national audience," notes KVMR Program Director Steve Baker.

“There is tremendous opportunity and potential for us to create the world we want to see in our local community," says Parker. "WonderLove is a great place to have the conversations, explore solutions, connect with global leaders and connect with each other through love and positive action.”  

“With the recent tragic events in Charlottesville and the divisiveness within our country there is no better time to come together, engage our community to explore positive solutions and to show up in love rather than hate.” she adds.  

Parker sees WonderLove connecting national leaders to Nevada County including Restore Civility's Nwadike, who has reached hundreds of millions of people online as he was included in major news headlines for his peace-keeping efforts and de-escalating violence during protests, riots, and political rallies. He was also featured in Google's 2016 Year in Search highlight video, plus appearances on both CNN and BBC, among other media outlets.

Most recently, Nwadike was at the protests in Charlottesville, nearly being hit by the tragic attack that took the life of Heather Heyer.  "Peaceful demonstrators should not have to fear for their lives while taking a stand against hate and injustice,” says Nwadike, “After experiencing what I saw there, I am more motivated to keep trying to make a difference.  We are the people to create the change that we all hope for.”  Restore Civility is also organizing the March for Civility Sept. 23rd in Washington, D.C.

"Restore Civility is engaging citizens to learn how to better develop communities that naviage social justice issues with respect, empathy and positive dialogue," explains Parker. 

Helping to create a space for civic engagement WonderLove is also featuring political activist Joan Blades, coauthor of The Motherhood Manifesto and The Custom-Fit Workplace: Choose When, Where and How to Work and Boost the Bottom Line. Trained as an attorney/mediator with ten years experience as a software entrepreneur, Joan is also an artist, mother and true believer in the power of citizens and the need to rebuild respectful civil discourse and embrace our core shared values. 
 
Prior to the show, Blades and part of the Indivisible Women Across the Aisle team will lead multiple Living Room Conversation (LRC) Sessions at The Center for the Arts and around town.  Blades and the LRC team have been leading LRC sessions across the country.  The idea is to assemble a group of people with diverse outlooks to have a rich, meaningful conversation.  

Says Blades, “When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us,” says Blades.  LRC "helps to open our hearts and open your ears," notes Parker.  There are over 50 LRC topics ranging from United or Divided, Religious Freedom and Non-Discrimination, to Status and Privilege. 
 
Other guests for the broadcast pilot include Oscar Perez of Tending the Fires, Eliza Tudor of The Nevada County Arts Council, author and creative mystic Jean Slatter, and  spiritual counselor Lore Ross, plus some possible surprises.
 
Parker will be joined by house band Whee the People who will wrap up the event with a dance party.  “Tommy Daly of Whee the People, has been an instrumental part of developing the concept and program of WonderLove,” says Parker.  The Indivisible Women Racial Justice team, Communities Beyond Violence (formerly DVSAC) and voter registration will also be on-site.

"This show is a way to discover what's possible through civic engagement from the heart," Parker explains.

After post-production, WonderLove will likely be offered to affiliates of the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and Pacifica Radio Network. 
 
 
KNOW & GO

WHAT: Premiere of proposed national radio series "WanderLove" with producer/host Elisa Parker
WHEN: Live broadcast, 4 to 5:30 p.m. on 89.5 FM (kvmr.org streaming)
WHERE: The Center For the Arts, 314 West Main Street, downtown Grass Valley
TICKETS: FREE, RSVPs welcome at WonderLoveShow.com