Rebecca Sheir | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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
At first glance, the similarities between mathematics and music may not be very apparent, but the two subjects are a lot closer than you think. Cellist Yvonne Caruthers says you can find a ton of connections between music and math - such as their common use of symbols, from notes and rest marks in the former, to letters and numbers in the latter. "Little mathematical s...
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Garrett Peck, self-professed "history dork" and author of the newly published book, The Potomac River: A History and Guide, isn't ashamed to admit it: He's a huge fan of the late Triassic age. Why? Because 200 million years ago our region was given a rather distinctive local feature - one you can see in the Cabin John Bridge, in some walkways and doorways of the U.S. Capitol B...
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After the Civil War, Washington, D.C., was, in short, a mess. And the nicknames for various neighborhoods in the District reflect that chaos. Kim Bender, writer of The Location blog, recently dug up a Washington Post map, circa 1877, showing neighborhoods with names like Bloodfi...
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As a founding partner of D.C.'s new venture-capital fund, Fortify.vc, Jonathon Perrelli hopes to nurture what he sees as a burgeoning industry in this government town: technology. "I found a real void for early-stage capital [in Washington]," Perrelli says. "That's why in May of last year we started writing checks, and people were like, 'who are these people writing low six-fi...
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From March 23 through April 1, Maryland’s Round House Theatre presents the tenth annual The Sarah Play, named for Sarah Emily Metzger, a beloved Round House intern who was killed in a car accident during her freshman year of college, in 1999. The Sarah Play is directed, designed, stage-managed and performed entirely by local high-school students. The play has become part of ...
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The Howard Theatre was built near the corner of 7th and T Street NW in 1910. But now, after 30 odd years of neglect, the Howard is being rebuilt. Chip Ellis of Ellis Development is heading up the $29 million restoration of a landmark once billed as "the largest theater in the world for African Americans." The team is introducing new things, like supper club-style seating an...
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Signature Theatre's newest offering, Brother Russia, is actually a play within a play. It opens in modern-day Siberia, with an amateur band of traveling performers who usually spin out rock-inspired adaptations of Russian classics. The actors are led by the old, grizzled, wheelchair-bound impresario "Brother Russia," portrayed by John Lescault. "This particular night,...
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Pac-Man. Super Mario Brothers. Myst. These video games are among five you can actually play, on super-sized screens, in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's new exhibit, "The Art of Video Games." "These games were selected because they did something unique within their era, or they changed the way developers worked, or the types of games they created," says video-game develop...
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Back in the early 1800s, had one wandered around the area that is now 17th Street and Constitution Avenue in Northwest D.C., he or she would have had a direct waterfront view of the Potomac River. That's because the Potomac used to extend nearly all the way to where the Washington Monument stands today. "Because once upon a time," says Kim Bender, author of the blog, The Locat...
WAMU 88.5
Pharmacist Barry Deutschman has owned Morgan's Pharmacy, in Georgetown, since 1992. He keeps a slew of Morgan's memorabilia in the drugstore's back office - like a receipt for a delivery to the White House, for Jacqueline Kennedy. "This receipt was auctioned off at Sotheby's," Deutschman says. "But one of the neighbors' sons worked at Sotheby's and made a copy of the receipt s...
WAMU 88.5
Last night after several hours of debate, the Maryland House of Delegates voted in favor of the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would legalize same-sex marriages in the state, though religious institutions would not be required to perform them. The measure now goes to the Senate, where its passage is said to be guaranteed, as that chamber passed same-sex marriage legislation last...
WAMU 88.5
The Maryland-based organization Adult Musicians With Hearing Loss is a national group for people who refuse to let hearing loss/impairment get in the way of making music. Rebecca visits two local members of the group -- a viola player and a classical guitarist -- who say discovering you have hearing loss isn't music to your ears, but by employing certain strategies, you can keep that ...
WAMU 88.5
This Valentine’s Day, students in Washington, D.C., are competing for a chance to perform at the Kennedy Center, by reciting their own poems, all about love. It’s called the Literary Love Poetry Performance, and the February 29 event is the brainchild of Higher Achievement, an after-school and summer academic program for middle-school students in at-risk communities. ...
WAMU 88.5
Mary Z. Gray, 93, says she keeps “the Z in there before there’s so many Mary Grays, we have to be differentiated from the usual Mary Grays!” But this Mary Gray already has differentiated herself in a number of ways: her writing first appeared in the Washington Post in 1940. She became a speechwriter for the Kennedy-Johnson White House in 1963. And now, she's written a no...
WAMU 88.5
When Metro Connection last visited 52 O Street - the converted warehouse in Truxton Circle that's been providing artists with affordable space to live and work since 1978 - artist Raye Leith was on top of the world. It was May 2011, and not only was she prepping for 52 O's annual open house, she was counting her lucky stars that she'd nabbed such a spacious, sunny, relatively ...
WAMU 88.5
Steve Lickteig grew up thinking he was the adopted son of Don and Mary Jane Lickteig: farmers in Kansas who already had eight biological children. When Lickteig was 18 years old, his two best friends delivered some stunning news: he was actually the illegitimate son of his oldest sister, and everyone in his life had always known the secret. Lickteig now lives in Washington, D.C., and ...
WAMU 88.5
There's an iconic mural on the corner of 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW that's become a fixture of the U Street Corridor. But sometime this year, G. Byron Peck's 'Black Family Reunion,' which he painted in 1994, will be no more. The mural shows a collage of photographs of a local African-American family, and is just one of Peck's masterpieces around town. But while many sti...
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The year 1939 was pivotal for race relations in America. As Georgetown’s history and African-American studies professor, Maurice Jackson, points out, it’s the year Billie Holiday first sang “Strange Fruit,” the haunting tune that shook the jazz world and stoked support for the country’s anti-lynching measures. It’s also the same year the Ertegun brothers organized the Dist...
WAMU 88.5
In a spacious basement dance studio in Loudoun County, a dozen Indian women and girls are learning a rhythmic, barefoot dance called Kathak. The girls range from third to sixth grade, and if you ask them what they like best about the dance, most say it's the way Kathak connects them to Indian history and traditions. "This dance can help me do it at school, or at the other perf...
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Mount Pleasant, Anacostia, LeDroit Park... probably not the first names that come to mind when one thinks of the D.C. suburbs. But these three neighborhoods actually comprised the District's earliest 'burbs. They were called "streetcar suburbs," since their development stemmed from streetcar lines. In the case of Mount Pleasant, the streetcar transformed the community from a s...