radioplasma podcast

iohann rashi vega

Bilingual Podcast and media platform dedicated to conversations and the exchange of ideas from a multicultural community in Holyoke, MA, the surrounding area of the Pioneer Valley, and Western Massachusetts.

Music, arts, storytelling, conversations, performances, creative projects, and randomness.

All Episodes

After an unexpected hiatus due to COVID-19, here we are. Radioplasma is back in the cyber-ether. We return to our conversations and randomness, with a session and a story of resilience, adaptation, and a reminder of self care, with Iréne I-Shea Shaikly, emcee, poet, percussionist, dancer, singer, actress, youth worker, and educator. On this session we talked about Iréne's process and adaptation through COVID-19, the experiences of a trip to Senegal that inspired some of her most recent musical work with the Lost Tribe. A song titles "Say Their Names"

Jul 9

39 min

Betsayda Machado y su Parranda el Clavo, se presentaron en Gateway City Arts en Holyoke, el 1 de marzo. Después de una cálida y energética sesión musical, Betsayda nos brindó unos momentos para conversar sobre su trabajo musical, así como algunos detalles de los instrumentos de la cultura musical de Venezuela y una pieza teatral que esperamos poder disfrutar en el futuro.

Mar 15

15 min

Produced in partnership with Holyoke Media. On March 5th, 2020, Dr. Stephen Mahoney, Executive Principal at Holyoke High School, met with students, teachers, parents, school committee members, and community members, to listen to their feedback on the implementation of this policy. This meeting continued showing the different angles of how the random searches policy seems to be creating more problems than solutions, and it brought some moments of tension, and statements worth of scrutiny regarding data, research, and consistency in the reasons for the implementation of a random search policy. This second public meeting was held at the Tea Room in the Holyoke High School Dean Campus, and had the participation of students of both campuses of Holyoke High, teachers, school committee members from wards 1, 2, and 3, students from Smith College and UMass, the Pa’Lante Restorative Justice Program, and Ethnic Studies, among partners and members of the community. Dr. Mahoney opened the session with a timeline of the events that led to the implementation of this policy, followed by questions from the attending public, that started with a focus on medication. Dr. Mahoney announced he will be conducting lunch meetings with students, in order to continue gathering input on this matter, however he didn’t provide a specific date for when those meeting would happen. This audio recording captures the dialog between Holyoke High principal, and the attending audience, from the moments of the medication discussion, until the conclusion of the meeting.

Mar 15

82 min

This is the recording of the public meeting, held at Holyoke High School, North Campus, regarding the random searches policy. Dr. Stephen Mahoney, Executive Principal at Holyoke High, met with students, teachers, parents, and community members, to listen to their feedback on the implementation of this policy. Recorded on February 27, 2020.

Feb 28

77 min

Nicole Ortiz is a young entrepreneur, who is also a student at the HCC Culinary Arts Institute. In this conversation, we learned about CRAVE, her new business, a food truck with a plant forward menu, focused on using local ingredients, and exploring different culinary influences. An inspiring session, that sets a standard for taking action and pursuing dreams and goals, while giving back to the community.

Feb 20

23 min

Our teen host Shayleena, shares a conversation with Micah Katz Zieger, who is in charge of the programming and activities with the House of Colors LGBTQ Youth Group, based at Enlace de Familias in Main St. in Holyoke, MA. This youth group engages in different activities to provide a safe space and create awareness in different spaces around the city. House of Colors has been meeting at the Teen Room in the Holyoke Public Library for the past months, and as a way to recognize their presence, Shayleena and Micah talked about House of Colors in this radioplasma episode.

Feb 16

17 min

We had a conversation with Veronica White, "Vicky", the new teen librarian at Holyoke Public Library to give her a welcome to our community, and also to learn about the ongoing activities designed for the teen community that gathers in this dedicated space for them. With the participation of one of the teens from the group, we invite everybody to explore all the activities and programs at Holyoke Public Library. A safe place for everyone, to be.

Feb 5

22 min

El Centro de Periodismo Investigativo de Puerto Rico es una organización creada en el 2007 para fomentar el acceso a la información del pueblo de Puerto Rico mediante las vías del periodismo de investigación, la litigación y la formación periodística. Como parte del trabajo investigativo del CPI, resaltan los recientes eventos en Puerto Rico que resultaron en la renuncia del gobernador, Ricardo Rosselló en el verano de 2019. Durante la visita del CPI a la ciudad de Boston, se llevó a cabo una conversación sobre el trabajo de este grupo de periodistas y la importancia del trabajo investigativo. La periodista Cristela Guerra, fue la moderadora de este charla con Omaya Sosa, fundadora del CPI, Carla Minet, directora ejecutiva, y Rígel Lugo, directora de desarrollo. Agradecemos a Ágora Cultural Architects por todas las facilidades otorgadas para la cobertura de este evento. Grabado el 26 de enero de 2020, en Boston, MA. Para conocer más sobre el CPI y su contenido informativo, pueden visitar: http://periodismoinvestigativo.com/

Feb 4

75 min

Our very special guest, is Pasqualina Azzarello, City Arts Coordinator at Easthampton City Arts, Painter, Public Muralist, and educator. In this conversation, Pasqualina shares with us the work process that took place on the creation of COALESCENCE, an exhibition that opens the residency program at the Readywipe Gallery, inside the Baustein Building in Holyoke, created as a collective work with artists Zoe Sasson, and Jason Montgomery.

Jan 25

27 min

PodCamp WesternMass is celebrating its 12th edition on February 29th, 2020 at Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), in Springfield, MA. We got the chance to talk with the new team in charge of putting together this un-conference about social media, online networking, podcasting and media creation. In this session, we talked with three young entrepreneurs and professionals in the social media, marketing, and branding industry: Robyn Lee, owner of MorningBird Media. Jamie Cocco, owner of Empowered Social Media, and Aimée Boettcher, owner of Two Moons Creative.

Jan 17

37 min

We welcome Lady Moon & the Eclipse, on their first show and visit to Holyoke. Being this show, their last of 2019, we got the opportunity to have a conversation with all the band about its origins, the meaning of representation of Cosmic Soul, with a multi-cultural proposal that fuses soul, R&B, afrobeat, jazz, and Congolese roots. This diverse band work together as an alignment of talents, that creates music connected to the cosmic soul energy. The voices of Lady Moon & the Eclipse are sisters Ngonda Badila, on lead vocals; Ntangou Badila, and Nkoula Badila, on backup vocals, representing Congo. The rest of the band includes Arlen Ginsburg, on the Keyboards (from Chicago, USA); Jonathan Camuzeaux, on the Bass (from France); and Ken Reichl, on the Drums (from Japan). Our podcast session includes the performance of their songs "Augmented" as the opening track, and it wraps up with "Vibrations".  This is the video recording of our podcast interview, on November 23, 2019, at the New England Media Lab studio, in Gateway City Arts, in Holyoke, MA.

Nov 2019

52 min

Meet Ta'Naya. She is a blind 15 years-old black girl, who recently joined our teen group for media literacy. She writes poetry, and plays piano. She is a high school student, and she is full of positive energy. In this conversation with our teen host, Shayleena, we got to learn more about Ta'Naya's story, and to be more aware of what it means to live with a disability. A powerful and moving experience, we wanted to share with everybody.

Nov 2019

19 min

We welcome Monte Belmonte to talk about Monte's March. A fundraiser for the Food Bank of Western Mass. intended to provide food for people in need, and create awareness about hunger, and the need to end food insecurities in the region. In this conversation we got to learn about the march's origins, and how it has been an event that has engaged different members of the communities in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, to address the issues of hunger. Monte's March, is happening on November 25, and 26, of 2019, starting in Springfield, and ending in Greenfield.

Nov 2019

33 min

We welcome our guest, singer songwriter, teacher artist, Kimaya Diggs to an interview about her musical work, and the opportunity of enjoying a couple of songs recorded live in our session. Kimaya is an artist who explores music from different streams, and creates a unique sound, reminiscent of the vibes of folk, soul, jazz, in a soothing, vibrant, and personal musical experience. We got the opportunity to talk about her personal story, her debut album, Breastfed, her process making music, and also, her teaching experiences.

Nov 2019

33 min

We welcome singer, songwriter, educator, Amy Porchelli. A local talent who embraces art as the way to share stories and empowerment. Amy released her album "Bigger Than Me" in September 2019, and she shares a live performance of the title song with us, in this session. This radioplasma session with Amy, was an intimate conversation that approaches her process creating this musical storytelling production, and how it connects to her work as an arts educator through her program, ArtSong.

Nov 2019

39 min

Session recorded at the Readywipe Gallery, in occasion of the celebration of the Day of the Dead, titled: "Por Nosotros y para Todos Nosotros, Día de los Muertos Holyoke Community Altar." This was an emotive, colorful, beautiful collective experience, created by Neftalí Duran, Jason Montgomery, and the Readywipe Gallery, to make a space to honor, remember, and celebrate the lives of the dear departed friends, and family members of the community, in a ceremonial ofrenda that connects to the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1st, and 2nd. In this conversation with Jason Montgomery, we discussed the meaning of this altar for the Chicano, Mexican, Indigenous people, and how this event became a shared experience for members of the community in general to feel part of it, ensuring there is a respect for this tradition, ritual, and cultural manifestation, while we celebrate together being alive, and being able to remember our dead.

Nov 2019

26 min

Michael Thomas Siciliano is a candidate for Ward 4 at Holyoke City Council. On this conversation, he addresses his continuous interest on joining local government, in hopes of improve the public service, putting politics aside, and taking care of the issues that are of concern for neighbours and constituents.

Oct 2019

29 min

Jordan Lemieux is a candidate for Holyoke City Council at-large. As a retired firefighter, and skilled on negotiations, Jordan wishes to continue serving the City of Holyoke at City Council, and we had an engaging conversation about all the possibilities available to Holyoke, his motivations to serve at City Council, and his priorities to take care of, on behalf of the constituents, should he join City Council.

Oct 2019

32 min

We welcome Jens Michaelsen to our series. Jens is a candidate for Ward 5 at Holyoke City Council. As a challenger to the incumbent Linda Vacon, Jens shared his motivations to run for office, his priorities for Ward 5 and the city, the experience, expertise, and skills he brings to the table, and his ideas on how to bring fresh energy to City Council.

Oct 2019

27 min

Gladys Lebron-Martinez is the incumbent City Councilwoman for Ward 1. Running unopposed, she shared her reasons to continue serving at City Council, as well as the main concerns with Ward 1 and the city, that would be part of the work in this new two-year term at City Council. Also we addressed some issues regarding representation, holding power in local government, and ways to engage better with the underrepresented members of the community.

Oct 2019

48 min

Juan Anderson-Burgos is the City Councilor for Ward 6 in Holyoke. Running uncontested for this election, he spoke with us about the work as Councilor for the past two years, and the priorities to continue looking forward to a new term. In this conversation we addressed issues of safety, the importance of listening to everybody's concerns, the middle schools, and overall, how his work looks to be a mediator that integrates all parties involved in a discussion, to find a common ground where decisions are made, thinking about the benefit of the whole city of Holyoke.

Oct 2019

32 min

Our guest is Joe McGiverin, City Councilor at-large, seeking a new two-year term at Holyoke City Council. McGiverin joined us for a great conversation in our series Know Your Candidates, and we addressed some of the details about the work being done at City Council, regarding the Middle Schools, and what are some of the priorities for the City Council to take care of.

Oct 2019

30 min

We welcome Rebecca Lisi, City Councilor at-large, who is seeking for a new term at Holyoke City Council. On this conversation, we covered her campaign, her priorities for the City of Holyoke as City Councilor, and we addressed the need for more civic engagement, and leadership development in the community. Also, we pointed out issues on gender, race, and social equity in local government.

Oct 2019

32 min

Sgt. Wilmer Puello, is a candidate for Holyoke City Council at-large. After serving his country in the Air Force, now Puello wants to serve as City Councilor, and we had a good conversation about the issues that are important for him to pursue a seat at-large. We discussed the two middle schools, safety, democracy, and how he is planning to work at City Council, should he be elected.

Sep 2019

29 min

This is the audio excerpt, taken from the archives by Holyoke Media, of the Development and Government Relations meeting of September 9, 2019, with statement by Clr. David Bartley, in regards of Whiting Street Reservoir. From the Agenda: Item 9: Bartley 8/6/19: Ordered, that in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, the City Council declare a lot on Easthampton Road as surplus property available for disposition. Said parcel is identified by the Holyoke Board of Assessors records as Map 212, Block 00, Parcel 001 consisting of vacant land of approximately 53.5 acres in size. The property is more particularly described at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds in Book 5574, Page 41. On May 21, 2007, the property was awarded to the City via a Land Court Decree with a Final Judgment recorded in Hampden County Registry of Deeds Book 16740, Page 126. The property is zoned Business General (BG) and has an assessed value of $1,112,300.

Sep 2019

13 min

Nelson Lopez is a Candidate for Holyoke City Council, at Large. Born and raised in Holyoke, Nelson shares his story, reasons to run for City Council at Large, and we discussed some of the main concerns that the city needs to have as priorities to take care of.

Sep 2019

31 min

Recibimos con mucho orgullo, la visita de Raquel Obregón, quien es la anfitriona y productora del espacio radial "Tertulia", que se transmite en NEPR, los Domingos de 8-10 de la noche. En celebración del Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, Raquel, quien es originaria de Lima, Perú, es una de las homenajeadas en las celebraciones a realizarse en Holyoke durante Septiembre y Octubre. En esta sesión conversamos sobre su trayectoria y la importancia de espacios como Tertulia para la difusión cultural de la representación Latina en la región, tanto para el disfrute de estas comunidades, como del público en general.

Sep 2019

35 min

This is a special coverage of the Rainbow Supper Club's Interfaith Panel, recorded at the Holyoke Council on Aging and Senior Center on September 4, 2019, presented by WestMass Elder Care. During this event, the panelists had a dialogue examining the intersections of faith, gender, and sexuality, linked to the LGBTQ+ community.

Sep 2019

54 min

As part of the Millpond.Live series of concerts, the third show, offered a powerful experience with Haitian artist, Vox Sambou. In this backstage conversation right after his show, we talked about the amazing experience we all had, and also the importance of representation, multi-cultural awareness, and diversity. After the interview, you will enjoy a sample of his performance in this free series of concerts in Easthampton, MA. Thanks to Laudable Productions for all the support and access to produce this interview. Recorded backstage at Millpond.Live in Easthampton, MA on September 7, 2019

Sep 2019

24 min

City Councilor for Ward 2, Terry Murphy, is running unopposed for the 2019 Holyoke Municipal Election. In this conversation, we talked about his plans for the new upcoming term, the challenges and needs for the communities in Ward 2, and also we addressed some important topics like safety, quality of life, and the schools. More than a campaign conversation, a deep review of the work being done. This is part of the series "Know Your Candidates" that also includes conversations with candidates who are running unopposed, in order to know more about their work and performance at City Council, and to learn about their plans for a new term.

Sep 2019

56 min

We welcome Dr. Diana Alvarez in this beautiful conversation and music session, with all the recent and most relevant activities by this Chicanx singer, songwriter, activist, educator, and inspiring human being. Also, this session is an invitation to join Diana at Millpond.Live this September 7, 2019 in Easthampton, MA.

Sep 2019

37 min

We welcome our guest, El Oso Azul, representing Attack bear Press. We talked about lucha libre as a way of representation of culture, heritage, values, sports, fun, and the link to the arts, through the fantastic art initiative Attack Bear Press, developing all sort of cultural events in the Valley, connecting Holyoke, Easthampton, Northampton, and more.

Sep 2019

34 min

We experienced a great music session and conversation with the band Sodada. Celebrating the release of their EP "Phase", we learned about the story and evolution of this musical project, created by Hannah Rose and Andy C. This session includes the live performance of their songs "Ultraviolet", and "Lit Up".

Sep 2019

38 min

Libby Hernandez is one of the candidates for Ward 4 at Holyoke City Council. As part of the series "Know Your Candidates", we talked about her personal and professional background, her motivations to run for Ward 4, and the priorities she identifies for the community of Ward 4, and the City of Holyoke.

Sep 2019

28 min

Esta es nuestra conversación con el proyecto musical Cimafunk, directamente desde Cuba. Previo a su presentación en Millpond.Live en Easthampton, tuvimos esta charla con Erik Iglesias Rodríguez, sobre el concepto de CImafunk y sus fusiones, la escena musical de Cuba, y algunos de los artistas que han influenciado el trabajo musical de Cimafunk. Interview recorded in Spanish. For an English subtitled video version, visit radioplasma.com.

Sep 2019

14 min

Rachel Dowd, Teen Librarian at Holyoke Public Library, hosts this session, with a deep conversation with Shayleena Figueroa, junior student at Holyoke High School, about the new school year, and some topics around school, teen life, goals, struggles, advice, and expectations.

Aug 2019

21 min

We welcome community leader, Israel Rivera, "Izzy", as we know him in the community. He is a candidate for Holyoke City Council At-Large, and we talked about the reasons for him to run in this Municipal Election, bringing a wide view of the different scenarios the city of Holyoke has, and his life experiences that can contribute to a better understanding of different matters in the policies and decision making in local government.

Aug 2019

28 min

We welcome Amy Johnquest, the BannerQueen, in this conversation about the third anniversary of her space, Spot 22, and we also talked about her work as an artists, some of her creations, and the arts in general.

Aug 2019

28 min

Erika Slocumb talks about the most recent activity around her research on the project Black Holyoke. As a way to showcase this research, there will be a series of events at the Wistariahurst Museum, that include performances, and an exhibit of stories and images of the Black community of Holyoke, compiled by Erika, through several interviews.

Aug 2019

32 min

We visited the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston, a space dedicated to podcast creation, production, and access for independent producers to learn, develop, record, their own podcast content. We had a conversation with Palace Shaw, Community Manager at PRX Podcast Garage, and a podcaster herself. This visit allowed us to know more about this fantastic project, that is celebrating its 3rd anniversary during August. The Public Radio Exchange (PRX), is expanding, and now is opening a new site in D.C.

Aug 2019

20 min

We welcome the Colombian band Cimarrón, with a musical sample of their performance at Gateway City Arts, and the conversation we had with singer Ana Veydó, and harp player, Carlos Cuco Rojas, after their show. This conversation is in Spanish.

Aug 2019

32 min

This is the conversation describing the story and process behind the creation of the two murals at the Holyoke Public Library, made by Girls Inc on their summer externship program, along with teens from the Holyoke Public Library, and three artists from Colectivo Moriviví, from Puerto Rico. In this session, we talk with Salomé Cortés, Raysa Rodríguez, and Sharon González, from Colectivo Moriviví, and Rachel Dowd, Teen Librarian at the Holyoke Public Library.

Aug 2019

44 min

This is the interview with Dennis Birks, Holyoke City Council Candidate for Ward 3, in the Municipal Election of 2019. As part of the series “Know Your Candidates”, we welcomed Candidate for Ward 3, Dennis Birks to talk about his experience as member of the School Committee, as an aid for City Council, in a better decision making, and the need for changes in Ward 3.

Aug 2019

34 min

Our teen host, Shayleena, received a surprise visit by Bevan Brunelle, Theater and Media Literacy teacher at Holyoke High School, and they had a conversation about the upcoming activities that include a Haunted House at Wistariahurst, and a new play, featuring Clue (yes, that same Clue as the board game).

Jul 2019

10 min

We welcome Edo Mor, one of the organizers of the music festival Barbès in the Woods, a full day multi-cultural event, celebrating the blending of cultures from the New York City's bar, performance space, musical incubator Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn, doing a midsummer special event in the Bartlett Farm, in Montague, MA. On this conversation, we talked about the details and backstory of this festival, happening in August 17, 2019. The Lineup for this gathering of international artists include: Antibalas Combo Chimbita Underground System Slavic Soul Party! Anbessa Orchestra Alsarah & The Nubatones Stephane Wrembel Big Lazy Klezperanto The Berkshire Bateria & Bossa Triba

Jul 2019

29 min

July 25, is a relevant, historical date for Puerto Rico. in 1898, The United States invaded and seized Puerto Rico as part of the Spanish-American War. In 1952, Puerto Rico became self governed commonwealth of the U.S. under the name of Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. In 1978, two young men were killed by police at the sad events of the Cerro Maravilla massacre. Today, July 25th of 2019, Puerto Rico is celebrating the resignation announcement of its governor, Ricardo Roselló, scheduled for August 2, 2019, after several large demonstrations from the Puerto Rican people in the island, and the diaspora in the U.S. and around the world, as a reaction to several acts of corruption and a series of comments and expressions made by the governor in a chat conversation, and exposed to the public. Natalia Muñoz, News Director of Holyoke Media, joins the conversation to discuss the backstory of these events, and its relevance for the Puerto Rican society, moving forward.

Jul 2019

31 min

As part of the series "Know Your Candidates", we welcome Deborah Aloisi, Candidate at-large for City Council in the Holyoke Municipal Election. We had a conversation about her campaign plans, structure, and goals in this process to become part of the Holyoke City Council at-Large.

Jul 2019

31 min

Olivia Mausel and Robert Comeau are our guests in this fascinating conversation about several important updates and announcements related to the preservation and history of Holyoke, like the Stained Glass Windows restoration project at City Hall, a tour of the Clock Tower at City Hall, and different tours through cemeteries, parks, and the canal system.

Jul 2019

39 min

As part of the series "Know Your Candidates", we had a conversation with Anne Thalheimer, Candidate for Ward 3 in the City of Holyoke. This interview covered her motivations to run for City Council, her campaign, and some relevant points about local government and civic engagement. Also, Sarah Oelker joined the conversation, as Anne's Campaign Manager.

Jul 2019

31 min

This session is part of the media literacy activities at the Holyoke Public Library's Teen Room, where our Teen Host, Shayleena, interviews Rachel Dowd, Teen Librarian, about the activities for this summer of 2019.

Jul 2019

11 min

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