Madison podcast features Broadway giants: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Robert Lopez

UW–Madison professor's new podcast that celebrates art educators and mentors will host famous guests in first episode.
The logo for "Arts Educators Save the World"- an animated superhero. Flyer also includes headshots of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Robert Lopez
Courtesy photo
Logo for "Arts Educators Save the World" featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Robert Lopez

A new podcast, “Art Educators Save the World,” hosted by University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education Professor Erica Halverson, will feature two Broadway giants in its debut episode.

The first episode will feature a conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mind behind Broadway hits “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” and EGOT-winner Robert Lopez, a co-writer of songs from the stage (“The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q”) and screen (“Frozen” and “Coco”).

The first two episodes of the podcast — which highlights stories of teachers and mentors who were a source of guidance and support for their students — will drop Aug. 29, according to a news release.

Miranda and Lopez, who attended the same high school, talk with their elementary music teacher, Barbara Ames, in the episode. They both credit Ames for being an inspiration in their careers and encouraging their creativity from a young age. “The direct education we got from Barbara … was life changing for me,” says Miranda.

“I was about 13 when I started writing songs for shows, and I believed that I could because Ms. Ames told me I could,” says Lopez.

Mjh 1096 Erica Halverson Final 1

Erica Halverson (Courtesy photo)

“Art Educators Save the World” will emphasize the importance of arts education, especially during a time where the arts are being devalued and underfunded. Podcast host Erica Halverson is a professor in the department of curriculum and instruction at UW–Madison. She is also the author of “How the Arts Can Save Education,” a book detailing “how we can rethink what learning, teaching, and curriculum can be using theater, music, visual arts, dance, and digital media tools,” according to Halverson’s website.

Other guests on her podcast, which will feature new guests each week, include Josh Radnor of “How I Met Your Mother” fame and Tony Award-winning actress Annaleigh Ashford.

“Art Educators Save the World” is produced by the Story Pirates. Show producers include Alek Lev and Doug Matejka, with sound design by Justin Asher. The show will be available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, and other popular podcast platforms. You can find out more about the podcast and listen to the trailer here.

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