WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Rebecca Sheir

Host, Metro Connection

Sheir joined WAMU in 2009 as a news anchor, host and reporter. She became the host of Metro Connection in August 2010.

Sheir came to the nation's capital by way of Alaska, where she traveled amongst the moose and mountains as the host of AK, the award-winning show on the Alaska Public Radio Network. While in the Last Frontier, she also did reporting for NPR member station KTOO in Juneau.

Sheir's radio stories have won numerous awards – including the Third Coast International Audio Festival Directors' Choice Award – and have aired on public radio venues and programs, including All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The Splendid Table, Latino USA, Only a Game, Here & Now, Interfaith Voices, Voice of America, Chicago Public Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio. She has taught her original radio essay/commentary course, "Radio Voices," at the University of Iowa and University of Alaska Anchorage.

Sheir received her BA from Columbia University in New York City, where she also worked in Off-Broadway theater production: first with Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc., then with Naked Angels Theatre Company. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa.


Articles Written by Rebecca Sheir

WAMU 88.5
The National Mall suggests the rich cultural and political history of the nation's capital. But one of the things historian Paul Dickson enjoys about the Mall is that once upon a time, a specific part of it symbolized how "Washington was just as severely struck by the Depression as any other place in America." The spot was where the West Building of the National Gallery of Art stands ...
WAMU 88.5
Starting July 3, if you take a trip to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, you'll be taking a trip to the distant future. A new exhibit titled, Ellen Harvey: The Alien's Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C., proposes a scenario in which human civilization has long since ended, and aliens land in Washington, where they encounter the rubble of the city's many neo-classical buildings. ...
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June 26, 2013 brings an event that could forever change our understanding of something so hot, its temperatures can be 12,000 times more blistering than the hottest lava on Earth. We're talking about the sun. And NASA Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist Alex Young is pretty well versed when it comes to this sizzling celestial body. "'Helios' comes from Greek fo...
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On June 5, 2013, a 93-year-old Washington institution was feeling the heat in a most devastating way. That night, for reasons still unknown, Frager's Hardware, on 11th and Pennsylvania SE, caught fire. Longtime owner John Weintraub — or J....
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Washington, D.C.'s very own father of jazz, Duke Ellington, grew up in the Shaw neighborhood of northwest D.C., a historically vibrant center of African American intellectual and cultural life. And an especially vibrant center within that neighborhood was a place Ellington came to know quite well as a budding musician: Frank Holliday's Pool Hall. Today, 624 T Street NW stands ...
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Being a father can be really hard work. As one of the country's most famous fathers, President Barack Obama, said during his annual Father's Day address back in 2011: "This Father's Day weekend I'd like to spend a couple minutes talking about what is sometimes my hardest, but always my most rewarding job: being a dad." But for Maryland native Richie Lynch, being a dad has been...
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If you've ever seen a classic rookie-cop film, like 1990's The Rookie, then you know the score: you've got the old, grizzled veteran all set in his old-school ways, you've got the wet-behind-the-ears rookie, and adventures and hijinks ensue -- not to mention some pretty spectacular action scenes. "On TV they make it look so cool," says Kimberly Curry, a rookie officer with the...
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A new play premiering at the 6th annual Source Festival shines the spotlight on a secret that, more than 60 years ago, was a reality for many people in Washington, D.C., and around the country. Perfect Arrangement takes place in Georgetown. The year is 1950. McCarthyism is creeping its way through the government, and the U.S. Department of State has begun purging susp...
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According to the latest ranking by the Legatum Institute Prosperity Index, Norway is the happiest country in the world, and Simon Liestøl Idsøe has his own theory as to why. "It makes sense, because we have such small towns, and like taking care of our neighbors a lot, and eating seafood a lot!" he says with a laugh. Idsøe lived in Norway his entire life, up until n...
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If someone were to ask you how happy you are, how would you respond? University of Maryland sociologist John Robinson has been studying how people answer that question for nearly 40 years, and he's been looking at that happiness question as it relates to two other questions, both about how people view their time. The first: "Would you say that you always feel rushed, o...
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When it comes to his relationship with Anton Chekhov's classic 1895 play, The Seagull, D.C.-based playwright and director Aaron Posner says it's complicated, particularly for young theater artists. "It's [The Seagull] about theater, and it's about art and 'I'm going to change the world' and all that," says Posner. "So it was one of my favorite plays." But as ...
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In Loudoun County, just off Leesburg Pike, there's a place where hundreds of people "wing it" every day — sometimes in more ways than one. Anthony Leonardo is one of those people, and today the bespectacled, pony-tailed young scientist has led us to the window of the "Dragonfly Flight Arena," deep within the main building of the Janelia Farm Research Campus. "The roo...
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It's common knowledge that California has produced a mother lode of gold. Ditto on Colorado and Alaska. And according to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History geologist Tim Rose, "Australia produces some fabulous gold to this day." But back in the day, a place much closer to home produced some pretty "fabulous gold," too: Montgomery County, Md. "I grew up in t...
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Being a mother comes with a million different experiences, stories, attitudes, and opinions. But when it comes to all these things, might there be some specific trends in terms of how today's moms view themselves and their roles? A new study says yes. Pew Research Center's Kim Parker and Wendy Weng co-authored and recently released the study. They interviewed about 2,000 adult...
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Shanghai native Yi Chen says she's always enjoyed film, but back in China, "becoming a filmmaker was an impossible dream for me. I never thought one day I would be making films." After college, Chen moved to the United States and attended film school at American University. Now, the 32-year-old has just released her very first documentary: Chinatown. The film explores a neighb...
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Think back to fourth grade. What were you doing in school? Were you practicing fractions? Learning photosynthesis? Maybe you were studying the British colonization of the New World? Well, if we fast-forward to now, a modern-day fourth grader named Sarah Schmidt has been up to something a little bit different. "We made the treaty last week about buying the land," she e...
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Rebecca Sheir introduces us to the native Washingtonians behind Ugly Purple Sweater: An eclectic, up-and-coming local band whose brand-new album features songs about life in Washington....
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Residents of Maryland's Eastern Shore are trying to make over one of the earliest existing skipjacks in the Chesapeake skipjack fleet. "Kathryn" is undergoing a complete restoration after a mishap during the 2011 Skipjack Races in Deal Island, Md. Rebecca Sheir visits the oyster dredgeboat to see how she's coming along, and how the community plans to raise the $300,000 needed to get K...
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This past weekend, the Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society presented its 40th anniversary production of Trial By Jury. It was this same politically satirical operetta that launched the Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society back in 1973, thanks to a first-year student by the name of Jack Marshall. "Early on, I was sitting in what was then the moot courtroom; n...
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Some residents in Sandy Spring, a rural town just east of Olney, in Montgomery County, Md., have been tangled up in a legal dispute against the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission since 2006. The residents are part of a kinship community — an area settled by freed slaves after the Civil War. Under dispute is their property and why it doesn't have an address. ...