Clip
February 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Manhattan Theatre Club’s Stargate Theatre Company is a program that allows court-involved youth to overcome their personal difficulties by writing and performing plays based on their own lives. Tonight, we talk to two people behind the project: Executive Producer Manhattan Theatre Club Executive Producer Barry Grove and Emmy Award-winning playwright and Stargate Theatre Company Artistic Director Judy Tate.

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Episode
February 19, 2016 at 1:32 am

Officials are saying President Obama is ending the estrangement between the U.S. and Cuba by visiting the country within the coming weeks as part of a larger tour of Latin America. Presidential Historian and American University Professor, Allan J. Lichtman, joins us to share his perspective on this historic trip to Havana. We continue our two-part interview with hip-hop mogul and Rush Communications CEO Russell Simmons, who tells us about his friendship with Donald Trump and shares his thoughts on the 2016 presidential race.In our on-going American Graduate series, MetroFocus Reporter Andrea Vasquez takes us inside Columbia University’s Teachers College, where a new program is training future teachers to leverage new technology in art classes.
Just in time for Lent: MetroFocus visits Carnegie Deli, one of New York’s last remaining authentic delis that just re-opened after a 10-month closure.

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Episode
February 17, 2016 at 3:55 am

On July 23rd, 2007, two ex-convicts entered the Connecticut home of Dr. William Petit and killed and tortured his wife and two young daughters. Petit was nearly bludgeoned to death but managed to escape. Eight years later, Ryan D’Agostino captures Petit’s story of tragedy and survival in his new book, “The Rising: Murder, Heartbreak, and the Power of Human Resilience in an American Town.” The author joins us tonight. Travel was often perilous and unwelcoming for African Americans prior to 1964, but that’s where the “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” became vital, with suggestions for places to eat, stay and refuel that would be safe and welcoming for black travelers. To preserve this important piece of history, the New York Public Library is making 30 years of the travel guide available for free digitally on its website. MetroFocus Host Jenna Flanagan takes us within the archives to learn about the origin of the Green Book and its journey to the web. Curious about the grid that New York City was built on in the 19th century? Historian and author of “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York,” Gerard Koeppel walks us through the origin’s of our city’s road network and the debate over whether it was effective. Russell Simmons, co-Founder of Def Jam Records, activist and author, joins us for the first of a two-part interview to talk about his new book, ‘The Happy Vegan,’ which serves as a guide to conscious eating, veganism and the benefits of healthy living.

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Episode
February 13, 2016 at 4:42 pm

In the second installment of a two-part interview and as part of our ongoing American Graduate series, NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia discusses receivership and her request for more education funding. As part of our ongoing American Graduate series, we take a look at Mott Haven Academy, which aims to help educate children in foster care or the welfare system. Charlie Todd, the founder of Improv Everywhere and mastermind behind the “No Pants Subway Ride” prank, stops by to explain where the stunt started and what these viral jokes are trying to achieve.

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Episode
February 12, 2016 at 7:28 am

In the first installment of a two-part interview and as part of our ongoing American Graduate series, New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia discusses the key challenges facing parents, students and educators in New York public schools. In our ongoing American Graduate series, your “personal astrophysicist” and director of the Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us about the state of science education. You might know her as Judy Garland’s daughter: Entertainer Lorna Luft sits down with us to discuss what’s it’s like being “daughter of a legend” and how she overcame breast cancer. New York Fashion Week is here and runs through February 18. “Time Out New York” Editor Carla Sosenko directs us where to go during the high-style event if your name’s not on the VIP lists.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jody and John Arnhold, the Tiger Baron Foundation, the Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross, the Dorothy Pacella Fund, in memory of Vincent Pacella and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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