Briana Duggan

CAJA Fellow

Before finding her way to public radio, Briana traveled throughout South America, Europe, and the Middle East in the pursuit of adventure. When she returned to Charlotte, she found that there was much exploration to do in her own hometown. She was the reporter on the area's arts and culture scene as part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance (CAJA), a consortium of local media dedicated to covering the arts.

Briana graduated from South Mecklenburg High School, and later UNC-Chapel Hill, with a degree in International Relations.

In her free time, Briana likes to practice her Spanish, and her dance moves, at the local salsa clubs.

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Arts & Life
11:57 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Dancing Out True Tales Of Murder

UNCC professor E.E. Balcos, at center, practices with several local dancers for Friday's performance of Deep Water: The Murder Ballads. Balcos and composer John Allemeier have been working together on Deep Water for about two years.
Briana Duggan

Not all love stories have a happy ending. Consider one of the most famous ballets of all time, Swan Lake. The story ends with two lovers drowning themselves when they can’t be together.

But then again, that is fiction. A dance performance this weekend portrays true stories from our region. We already know how these relationships end: with murder in the first degree.

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CAJA
10:19 am
Mon May 20, 2013

The Latest Exercise Fad: Run From Zombies

Briana Duggan

Running is a chore for many, and that can make the business of putting on races extra challenging. But on Sunday, one 5K race attracted a crowd of 3,500 people. It featured some unusual extras:  a helicopter, smoke machine, and, oh yes, zombies.

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Local News
10:18 am
Tue May 7, 2013

WWII Vet Didn't Want To See War Memorial, But Now He's Going

Vince Adametz with his WWII medals
Credit Briana Duggan

Seventy-seven World War II veterans from upstate South Carolina are on their way Tuesday morning to see their memorial in Washington DC. They’re taking what’s called an Honor Flight.  These flights have transported thousands of vets to DC free of charge since the memorial opened in 2004.  With an estimated 600 World War II vets dying every day, there’s a real urgency to these flights.

Vince Adametz is one vet on the flight who thought he’d never make the trip. 


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Arts & Life
8:55 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Providing Distraction At Hospital, Thanks To A Couple Of Red Buttons

A young girl plays with the new permanent interactive display at the Levine Children's Hospital. The work represents the mythological concept of "The Heroes Journey", where a hesitiant hero confronts challenges, and is empowered in the process.
Credit Briana Duggan


Medicines, needles, strange buttons, there are plenty of things in hospitals you can’t touch – and are tempting for kids to touch.  But a new art installation at the Levine Children’s Hospital turns that on its head. Children are supposed to touch it. 


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Arts & Life
4:28 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

When A Poet Throws Rhymes, And A Right Hook

Boxer John "Spidey" Williams is ranked 41 in his weight class in the country. He is also a poet. "I wanted people to understand and listen to my words rather than just think I'm a fighter," he says. "A lot of times they say boxers are not thinkers."
Briana Duggan

Boxing requires physical strength to be sure, but a boxer’s words can also pack a punch.Perhaps the best known wordsmith is Muhammad Ali, who is known for his clever rhymes, like in 1974 when he said “I have wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, I done handcuffed lighting, thrown thunder in jail,". One local boxer also embraces poetry,  Spidey “The Boxing Poet” Williams. 


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Arts & Life
11:47 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Breaking Into The Fashion Industry From The Kitchen Table

Johnson hopes that showing her collection at Passport for Fashion will connect her with professional designers. "I would love to find a mentor," she says, "someone that can teach me and help me further my craft."
Briana Duggan

Passport for Fashion is Charlotte’s largest spring fashion show and is estimated to attract around 3,000 people to the NC Music Factory. Around 200 models will wear designs from fashion industry professionals, as well as work from local aspiring designers. WFAE's Briana Duggan spoke with one of them.


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Arts & Life
9:26 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Folk Society Blends Bluegrass With Some Latin Romance

Fiddler Glen Alexander, and bolero musicians, Jesus and Alberto Morales will perform at Bluegrass Meets Bolero, the latest monthly concert put on by the Charlotte Folk Society.
Briana Duggan

For over 30 years, the Charlotte Folk Society has given free monthly concerts to share the region’s traditional music. At this Friday's concert, North Carolina’s bluegrass meets a Latin import, bolero. And this music – was made for romance.


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CAJA
9:39 am
Fri April 5, 2013

A Blumey-ing Theater Program in Belmont

Senior Kourtney Conway was part of last year's award-winning cast. "It was a major thing that clicked with me at that point," she says. "I was like, 'hey, maybe I can do this', when we won."
Briana Duggan

Just about every high school has its cliques, groups like the jocks, and the theater crowd. South Point High School in Belmont is no different. 

The school gets a lot of recognition for its football team, which has won a long list of conference and state titles over the last forty three years. But last year, the drama crowd gained some ground with its own title.


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Arts & Life
9:56 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Morganton's 'Music Lady' Finds Her Calling Behind Bars

"I try very hard not to be judgmental and offer these guys understanding," says Gordon. "They desperately need someone to listen to them."
Briana Duggan

North Carolina has sixty-six prisons, housing more than 37,000 inmates. Morganton’s Western Youth Institution is meant for the youngest of them; It houses about 430 inmates for sentences ranging from ninety days to life in prison.

It also has a flourishing music program, a rarity in the state’s prison system.  It was started by Millicent Gordon thirty years ago. Now in her eighties, the Juilliard-trained pianist has found her meaning behind bars.

Only one person at Western Youth Institution has a reserved parking space, and it’s not the warden.

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Arts & Life
12:29 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Bechtler Exhibit Examines Art Through Artists' Relationships

Above: Alexander Calder, Glacier with Coloured Petals, Wool on linen and cotton, 1971 Below: Joan Miró Danseuse Espagnole (Spanish Dancer), Wool and cotton, ca. 1962
Briana Duggan

Warhol and Basquiat, Monet and Renoir ; Some of history’s greatest artists were also great friends.

A new exhibit at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art looks into some of modern art’s greatest relationships, using its collection as inspiration. On display until July 29, the exhibit pairs together art by lovers, mentors, and friends as a way to see how these relationships may be reflected in the art.

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