Community Voices Project

WBAA has asked four citizens to write on topics in which they are expert, for a series of weekly essays it's calling the Community Voices Project.

These essays should not be construed to represent the views of WBAA, Purdue University or any of the staff members of either organization. They are solely the views of the authors, who are (in alphabetical order):

Tim Brouk, who covered the local music scene for 12 years as Arts and Entertainment Reporter for the Journal & Courier newspaper. Today, he is a proud employee of the Purdue College of Science and a music writer, photographer and videographer for

Lauren Ehrmann, who recently graduated from Frankfort High School. She is a professionally exhibiting artist, a member of the Frankfort Arts Council and member of the Tuesday Night Inkers. Lauren is a recipient of the Wells Scholarship and will be attending IU Bloomington to study art history.

Helen Hudson, a former Icelandic scholar, professor and teacher. Her educational career took her to Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin and Indiana — all away from her Iowa birthplace and upbringing. An addiction to her passion for food and sustainable living, she works with passenger mail and is involved with community organizations in Crawfordsville where she lives.

Rev. Marcia Mount Shoop, a theologian, minister and author of Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports. Marcia and her family have been involved in football in the NFL and at Division I collegiate levels for over two decades. She is also a middle school cross country and track coach in West Lafayette, IN.

A Cross Country Parable

Jun 23, 2016

There once was a boy who played a lot of video games. He always got picked last in gym class and he had started to believe he wasn’t ever going to find something he was good at. 

There once was a girl who had lots of friends but lived in fear they would find out her secret shame.  She lived in a household with lots of pain.  She wondered if the scars would ever disappear. 

Is A Compost Pile In Your Future?

Jun 16, 2016

    I’m holding in my hand the most delicate vessel.  It is exactingly made and of a lovely bulbous shape.  Its thin walls curve outward then back, suggesting a perfect pear.  The front side has a small aperture in it.  Could this be an elegant drinking cup?

Think Before You Cover

Jun 9, 2016

  The cover song can be a loaded weapon for a live band.

Used correctly, it can incite a crowd, perk up their ears and get them moving. Used poorly, a bad cover song can raise questions of your chops, your taste and your overall role as a musician. Are you a weekend warrior? Do you have an artistic bone in your body?

Let’s talk about some good and bad with local bands’ use of the cover song bomb.

Art Clubs: Why Artists Create In Groups

Jun 2, 2016

      On the third Tuesday of every month, in the studio on the second floor of the Frankfort Community Public Library, something amazing happens. Wood carvers, painters, jewelry makers, and milliners all meet to make prints. Ideas are shared. Advice is given. And at the end of the evening each artist leaves the studio with a head full of new ideas and a portfolio full of new prints.

    These are the Tuesday Night Inkers. It’s a printmaking group, but artists of all kinds are encouraged to come and no previous printmaking experience is required.

Moneyball And The Myth Of The Unpaid Collegiate Athlete

May 23, 2016

The circularity of many arguments against paying collegiate athletes is enough to make you dizzy. Round and round universities and the NCAA go with their “they shouldn’t be paid because they shouldn’t be paid” arguments.

Cooking Up Wellbeing to Combat Cranky May

May 19, 2016

Once upon a time, in the role of Guinevere, Vanessa Redgrave lolled around in a forest clearing clad in a gold gown, her red hair gleaming in the sun.  These were the earliest days of Camelot.  “It’s May, it’s May, the lusty month of May,” she sang.  And there it was—quintessential, foxy, cheerful, sunny May.   By definition this month is supposed to be blue-skied and blossoming.  It’s no time to be grumpy.  But look out the window—chilly, windy, wet, gray weather!  The cross country teams running this afternoon along the Crawfordsville High School track sport hoodies.  I even see a winter

The Resurrection Of The Purdue Student Band

May 12, 2016

  You hear it all the time: “Purdue University doesn’t have a music school.” “Purdue is just for engineers,” or, more recently, it’s “STEM or bust.”

There’s just no time for Purdue students to start bands, let alone good ones.

The Power Of Art In Growing Communities

May 5, 2016

On a street just off Frankfort’s main square, tucked between a bakery and an empty storefront, sits Frankfort’s only art gallery, Studio 6. On any given Friday or Saturday night, long after the other stores on the square have closed, citizens of Frankfort can still see artists and patrons gathered in the warmly-lit gallery interior. Inside, local art covers the walls and artists sit in armchairs and talk to the gallery’s owner, Wendi Hall, brainstorming ideas for local art events and new projects. 


On April 19, in a federal court room, lawyers representing former collegiate athletes took on the NCAA and the University of North Carolina in what could prove to be a landmark case.  At stake is "academic integrity," a term that both the NCAA and its member institutions like to trot out when athletes are under investigation for academic fraud. Except this time, it is the NCAA and its member institutions (most notably UNC) who are the accused. 

Boxing Their Way To Cooking & Healthy Eating

Apr 21, 2016

As the writer and creator of the Real Food column in the Crawfordsville Journal Review, a column which focuses on eating fresh food prepared at home, I would never have thought I’d be writing about food in a box….Why, my food writing began as a celebration of Crawfordsville’s burgeoning Farmers’ Market…but, an e-mail last month changed that.  In my inbox I found the nicest invitation:  one of my former students had invited me to lunch—which he would prepare and serve.