CNC Blog


Tom and AlanaHi Everyone,

Champs Not Chumps is taking a hiatus as Alana and I devote time to other projects. I’ll still post audio pieces now and then, but they may be weeks or even months apart.

We want to offer our heartfelt thanks to all of the people who spoke with us or otherwise contributed to the episodes and shorts posted here, to everyone who offered encouragement, and to all of our listeners.

We’ve enjoyed the hell out of these conversations, and we hope you have too. Keep being champs.




Aliza's Brain Trust

Aliza's Brain TrustIn May 2010, we interviewed artist and indie impresario Aliza Shapiro.

On Monday, July 25, 2011, Aliza was admitted to hospital and is being treated for a stroke caused by a brain hemorrhage. 

She currently has motor and vision impairment on her right side as well as language impairment.

Aliza will have a long challenging road back to full recovery but we know she will get there with the love and support of her family, friends and various creative communities.

Aliza’s friends have established Aliza’s Brain Trust with the goal of raising at least ten months worth of living expenses for Aliza as it is unlikely that she will be able to work for a long while. We hope you’ll consider making a donation to help someone who has given so much to support performers, filmmakers, and artists.

Drawing from Nightlife

Bunnies posing at Dr. Sketchy's. Photo by Justin MooreDr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is not your typical drawing session. It’s held in a bar, for starters, and features models ranging from circus performers to drag queens.

Join us in this CNC short for an evening of bodily contortions, bad jokes, wardrobe malfunctions, and stories from the burlesque stage.

Voices in this short include (in order of appearance): Aliza Shapiro, Helena Prezio, Walter Sickert, Phil Eckberg, Porcelain Dalya (burlesque performer, stage name), Joanna “Jojo” Lazar, Juliana Funkhauser, Fonda Feeling (arielist, stage name).

deathbear.mp3 Drawing from Nightlife (A CNC Short)

A City of Apples

Tree party pomologist Michael Phillips cuts a young apple tree. Photo by Bill Bret for the Boston Globe.On April 10, Champs Not Chumps joined the Boston Tree Party for their inauguration celebration.

We brought our recording equipment along to document the planting of a golden russet apple tree on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a strip of parks and public spaces in the middle of downtown Boston.

Listen to the CNC short below to learn more about the project and the event.

deathbear.mp3 City of Apples (A CNC Short)

Pop Goddess

Anne MooreNo, we’re not referring to Lady Gaga. Popular culture scholar Anne Moore may be radical and fashion-forward, but it was her scholarship and teaching that caught the attention of TuftsNow, the news site for Tufts University.

As Georgiana Cohen explains: “Moore, a Ph.D. English student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is examining the connection between serial narratives and fan communities, focusing on contemporary television shows like Buffy and Battlestar Galactica and Victorian novels like Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone and Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, which were originally published in installments.”

If you missed our interview with Anne about serial narrative and fan communities, be sure to check out Episode 6: Fanspeak.

Photo by Alonso Nichols.

Check out the Boston Tree Party in action!

Boston Tree Party LogoOh Boston-area listeners, you lucky ducks! You can — for the first time — listen to the podcast then go do something related to the podcast in quick succession.

Join the Champs Not Chumps team as we venture forth from the studio (a.k.a. the staff conference room in the Tisch Library at Tufts) and into the city to celebrate the Inauguration of the Boston Tree Party on Sunday, April 10, 2011.

The Boston Tree Party is a collaborative campaign to plant 100 pairs of heirloom apple trees in civic spaces across Greater Boston. The tree plantings will take place in partnership with a diverse range of institutions, organizations, businesses, and communities. We recently recorded an interview with one of the Tree Party’s founders and organizers, Lisa Gross, for the April episode of the podcast, and hope to have it edited & posted soon.

For more information on the Inauguration, click here.

Death Bear Goes Visiting

Death Bear taking away painful memories. Photo by Kevin Walsh. Who or what is Death Bear? 

According to performance artist Nate Hill, this imposing ursine visitor is just a humble servant of the dispirited and the lovelorn:

We all have someone or something we would rather just forget. Things fall apart. Love hurts. Dreams die. But when you summon Death Bear to your door, you can rest assured that help has come … Death Bear will take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave where they will remain forever allowing you to move on with your life.”

In the CNC short below, Death Bear recounts his most harrowing adventure into the sadness of others’ lives.

deathbear.mp3 Death Bear Goes Visiting (A CNC Short)

Coming Attraction | Jess Barnett

Jess BarnettWatch for an interview in the coming year with painter Jess Barnett. 

Jess is a color-obsessed artist living and working in the North End in Boston. Her influences include Franz Kline, Francis Bacon, and Japanese minimalism.

She has shown her work at the FPAC Art at 12 gallery, Achilles, (ahts): The Boston Arts Festival, SOWA, and the Beacon Hill Art Walk, among other places around Boston.

You can see images of her work at and on Facebook.

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