Around Cincinnati

Sundays at 7 PM

Greater Cincinnati has a vibrant arts scene, and Around Cincinnati keeps you up-to-date with local, regional and national guests weekly on Sunday evenings from 7-8pm.  Local contributors and their guests explore a wide range of subjects including books & poetry, art exhibitions, theatre & dance productions, musicians, and concerts.

Some of the contributors include John Kiesewetter, Rick Pender, Anne Arenstein, Jim Stump, Roberta Schultz, David Delegator, Barbara Gray, Ron Esposito, Stuart Holman, Yemi Oyediran, Victor Paruta and Kelly Blewett.  Brian O'Donnell, Suzanne Bona, Howard Wilkinson, Andy Ellis, Elaine Diehl, and Jim Nolan, staff members of Cincinnati Public Radio, also help out.

If you have an interview idea for the award-winning program, Around Cincinnati, please contact Lee Hay, Producer/Host of Around Cincinnati, at

Curious about a piece of music you heard on Around Cincinnati? You can find more information on the Around Cincinnati playlist. Our theme music is courtesy of the Phil DeGreg Trio from their release, Table for Three.


Local illustrator and author Will Hillenbrand has just released his latest children's book, Santa's Story, in time for the holidays. He's in the studio with Barbara Gray to talk about the story and the feelings he gets when he's drawing the jolly old elf.


There's only one place in the tristate where you can see 75 outdoor sculptures, 100,000 holiday lights on a 2.5-mile drivable route through the park – Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum in Hamilton. Sean FitzGibbons from Pyramid Hill joins Anne Arenstein with all that's part of the 20th anniversary of Holiday Lights on the Hill.


Singer/songwriter and unique instrumentalist Matt Venuti returns to Cincinnati for a November 30 performance at the Center for Spiritual Living. He joins our Ron Eposito by phone to talk about his music, his fascination with instruments like the Hang, and his life on the road as a traveling musician.


The story of young wizards in training sounds vaguely familiar, but a new parody version is coming to the stage at Over the Rhine's Know Theatre. Puffs, by Matt Cox, takes the familiar and presents it through a bent wand of reality. Joining Jim Stump for a preview are director Andrew Hungerford and cast member Brandon Burton.


The fall installment of the Victory of Light Expo will take place on November 22 and 23 at the Sharonville Convention Center. Organizer Victor Paruta and participant Gene Jackson, known as "The Crystal Guy," join Lee Hay to preview the vendors and special guests coming to the event.

Ronny Salerno/WVXU

He's one of the key actors in the Star Wars franchise, yet you probably wouldn't recognize him if he passed you on the street. Anthony Daniels, the man who brought life to the droid C-3PO, stopped by our studio while in town this week and spent a few minutes discussing his new memoir, I Am C-3PO, with our Jim Nolan.

Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

2 Pianos, 4 Hands tells the story of two characters lifelong pursuit to become elite concert pianists. Described as funny and relatable, Rick Pender learns more about the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production from the director, Tom Frey.


Pets in Need of Greater Cincinnati is a nonprofit veterinary clinic, providing pet care for neighbors who can't afford it. They have a fundraiser called Petcasso happening on November 16 that Lee Hay learns more about in this conversation with the organization's board chair, Barb Lichtenstein, and veterinarian and board member Jack Walkenhorst, DVM.

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The history and impact of Cincinnati's 60's-era underground paper, Independent Eye, is spotlighted in an exhibit and upcoming panel discussion at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Mark Neeley is the force behind both, and he joins our David Delegator to discuss the importance of the paper, how his interest was piqued, and who will join the panel discussion on November 13.


Local author Randy Overbeck (Leave No Child Behind) is out with his second novel, this time delving into the world of murder mysteries/ghost stories/touch of romance stories. He joins Barbara Gray to talk about Blood on the Chesapeake, the first in his Haunted Shores Mysteries series.

Book Review: "Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage"

Nov 8, 2019

Book review: Roberta Schultz has a review of Kentucky's Cookbook Heritage: Two Hundred Years of Southern Cuisine and Culture by John van Willigen.


For a quarter century, the gathering of local women artists known as the Studio Collection have hosted a holiday show and sale of original works, perfect for gift-giving. Joining Lee Hay with a preview of the November 23 event at Harmony Lodge are artists Ursula Roma and Pam Korte.


Singer Marcia Ball, renowned for her rollicking live blues shows, will appear with her band on November 7 at Middletown's Sorg Opera House. She's on the phone with our Elaine Diehl to talk about life on the road, her band, and her admiration for the blues musicians who came before her.


Don Tassone left the corporate world to dedicate his time to creative writing and teaching. He recently released his third collection of short stories entitled Sampler and he's with Barbara Gray to talk about his work and his fondness for the short story format.


One-time American Idol winner Ruben Studdard will be in concert at Memorial Hall in OTR on November 14 with his tribute to the late, great Luther Vandross. He recently spoke by phone with our contributor Yemi Oyediran about his life, career, and his interpretation of the classic Luther hits.


Artist and curator Saad Ghosn of SOS Art has assembled a multi-genre retrospective from 12 of their "For a Better World" projects that is on display through the month of November at Xavier University's Art Gallery. He joined our Barbara Gray in the studio to talk about the years the exhibit covers, some of the artists whose works are on display, the exhibit-affiliated mini-conference, and the recent call to artists for next year’s events.


The end of November will bring the traditional visit by holiday favorites, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, for two performances at both U.S. Bank Arena (November 29) and Dayton's Nutter Center (November 30.) Drummer and original member Jeff Plate previews this year's concert in a conversation with host Lee Hay.

A Poem From Michael Henson

Nov 1, 2019

Local poet Michael Henson recites Come On Up from his book, The Dead Singing.

Actor Michael Blankenship helps celebrate Halloween with a reading of Edgar Allen Poe's "For Annie."


Newport's Mentoring Plus is a small nonprofit supporting local high school students needing academic help but also providing a safe haven for friendship, food, and more. Local musician and former judge Mickey Foellger will be part of a fundraising music festival on November 2 at the Southgate House Revival.