In the Spotlight with Terra Brantley (Interview with WBOI Arts/Entertainment reporter Julia Meek)

Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:15 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - WBOI’s arts and entertainment reporter Julia Meek, may be the station’s biggest fan, as well as most dedicated employee. She’s remembers (and has been listening too) it’s first days on-air, broadcasting in Fort Wayne. Meek has been involved on-and-off the air for over 40 years.

“One could say, if it’s community-focused and art-centric I probably do it — or have done it,” Meek told WBOI’s general manager and president Terra Brantley. “I, for many years have been a DJ if you will — and that all started many years ago, with classical music. But currently, and continue to do, a show of world and folk music on a topical theme every week called folktales, that is syndicated every week.”

And for the tenured radio host that has spent decades putting others in the spotlight, Meek has done numerous notable works herself. The iconic Fort Wayne mural The Fort Wayne Story on the Hyde Brother’s Booksellers building on Wells St. made her the city’s first female muralist. “I’ve never met a medium I didn’t like,” she told us, “but I love illustrating. My medium basically is ink. Then put color with that.” Sitting beside five other murals on 222 Pearl St. downtown, is one of Meek’s most recent public works, Some Things Never Get Old. “Butterflies are a symbol for so many wonderful but including rebirth and metamorphosis.”

Julia Meek also illustrated the posters for two special Three Rivers Festival years: 1999, and 2000. “It was the first and only time they decided to have original artwork done,” she shared. “The first year we did what I thought was a slam-bang wonderful rendering of a horn player in a parade… The next year we did the fireworks.” We spoke to then-director John O’Rourke who had those pieces commissioned. “I immediately went, ‘wow! This is cool!’,” he reflected. “I was expecting someone who was a graphics person — not a true artist who did art from the heart, and with emotion.”

You can follow Julia Meeks arts and entertainment coverage online here, or listen on-air at 89.1. “I love Fort Wayne,” she concluded. “I do love to tell a good folk tale, and I have never met a medium I didn’t like.”

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