Loveseat, a new monthly podcast series for BURNAWAY, is artists talking with their favorite people. Loveseat works to access artists’ most natural voices by inviting them to speak with any one person of their choosing at the intimate StoryCorps studio at the Atlanta History Center. BURNAWAY‘s published excerpts from Loveseat conversations seek to expand our perceptions of how artists live, think and make in Atlanta, as well as of who is doing so alongside them. A wild and ever-growing document, Loveseat captures personal histories, local histories, relationships, communities, obsessions, quandaries, plans, processes, coincidences, jokes and secrets—all with equal enthusiasm.
Loveseat #1: Maggie Ginestra with Marjorie Dove Kent
Marjorie Dove Kent is a favorite friend of mine who happened to be planning a visit to Atlanta just as Amanda Plumb of StoryCorps, Rachel Reese of BURNAWAY and I were thinking together about Loveseat and all of its possibilities. StoryCorps suggested we go in to recording with a plan, so, while escorting Marjorie from the airport to the Atlanta History Center on April 20, 2013, we decided, very simply, to document some pivotal moments in our early friendship. Held by the sound booth’s small halo of light, we decided that our best moments and rituals consistently involved us each serving as oppositional forces within the other’s narrative. It was a happy epiphany, even if rendered tidy by the intentionality of microphones, and we left StoryCorps’s studio feeling softly emptied yet in search of a porch where we could talk more.
We spoke for 30 minutes on tape, and what remains here is a 6-minute sequence of excerpts. I originally imagined choosing one raw portion of our conversation that had some special clarity, but soon realized I wasn’t interested in when Marjorie and I were clear, as much as when we were excited; and so what remains is a collection of enthusiasms left in the order that they occurred. My hope is that the version of reality Marjorie and I make/believe together comes across in the leaps and gaps, and that as Loveseat grows by two voices each month, many more realities will be collected. I am humbled to begin with my own.
The sequence opens with Marjorie in the middle of talking about her experience dancing in an installation I created in 2010, when we didn’t know each other very well yet. She had to sacrifice a pair of shoes to the cause, as I was building a small dance platform out of worn-in shoes of each of the participants. Her sacrifice, I think the other dancers would agree, was the prettiest and bravest of them all. Marjorie is good at letting things mean a lot to her. In one lightning-round of story that day, we managed to trace our way to the final era of our same-city friendship—nights of watching the Mississippi roll by on the rooftop of a St. Louis warehouse, where we, yep, you guessed it…told stories.
Audio: Click the player above to listen, or download the MP3.
Upcoming Issue: Loveseat #2 will be Hormuz Minina with Stan Woodard!
Marjorie Dove Kent is the executive director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, in New York. Marjorie has over 10 years of experience in issue-based, identity-based, and neighborhood-based community organizing from Boston, Massachusetts and St. Louis, Missouri. She is a graduate of the Hebrew College Me’ah Program in Jewish Learning, the Jewish Organizing Initiative Fellowship, and the Community Arts Training Fellowship.
Loveseat theme music courtesy of Adna Moraia.
BURNAWAY is a community partner of StoryCorps Atlanta. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.