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Jan. 9, 2024: Safe and sound

Authors Gwen Agna and Shelley Rotner with their new book, "Finding Home: Words From Kids Seeking Sanctuary."
Authors Gwen Agna and Shelley Rotner posing with their new book, "Finding Home: Words From Kids Seeking Sanctuary."

We’re checking in to take stock and just make sure we’re doing okay, because not doing okay requires a change.

In some cases that change is huge. TakeWalker Farm at Whortleberry Hill for example, where proprietor Joan Walker left her medical career to humanely raise Devon cattle at the point where Hampden County meets Worcester County. We speak with her about the importance of ethical animal husbandry and what it's like learning the profession from the ground up, all through giant mouthfuls of the delicious samples she brought to the studio.

Change is in the adjustment of people to new environments. Gwen Agna andShelley Rotner focus their new book, “Finding Home: Words from Kids Seeking Sanctuary,” on stories of local refugee children and their families. We chat with the two authors about the importance of recognizing variety in the world around you, the impact that their book has had on the people they’ve read it to, and some of the controversies that have risen to meet their previous book, “True You.”

And it's in the ways we use art to heal. Multidisciplinary artist Lonnie Holley is headed to The Drake in Amherst this week while on tour with Cleveland-basedMourning [A] BLKstar. We speak with Holley about the state of the world, how art has helped him and can help others, and how to ground ourselves within this massive cosmos.

Christopher “Monte'' Belmonte is host and executive producer of NEPM's The Fabulous 413. He was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years — the last 17 of them as host of Mornings with Monte on The River 93.9/WRSI.
Kaliis Smith is a radio host and producer for NEPM's The Fabulous 413. She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on Mornings with Monte for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings.