ARTSPEAK RADIO + Chiavelli, Shapiro, Sommer, & Pavey

Wednesday May 29, 2019 noon – 1pm CST 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Rita Chiarelli, Mikal Shapiro, Heather Sommer, and Shawn Pavey on to the show.

HEATHER SOMMER- Food is at the center of most cultures around the world. Even in the poorest regions, people show hospitality by feeding neighbors and guests. Shared in tribute to her late son, Francis, Heather Sommer offers his collection of unique recipes that invite us to have a delicious meal with Francis while encouraging home cooks to explore their own creative talents in the kitchen. In addition to his delectable recipes, Heather also includes touching reflections that provide a glimpse into the life and loves of Francis, who was an army veteran and gourmet chef before his death in 2011. His recipes include such diverse and decadent dishes as fig jam, chocolate éclairs, eggs benedict, shrimp étouffée, poached salmon, mushroom Madeira sauce, steak soup, and port wine poached pears. Cooking with Francis shares a heartfelt collection of recipes and moving reflections that reveal the talents, loves, and life of a young gourmet chef with an enthusiastic passion for food.

Heather Sommer is a career educator and teaches in the Shawnee Mission School District. As a child, she acquired a passion for cooking. She loves exploring foods and recipes and sharing home-cooked meals with family and friends. After the death of her son, Francis, a culinary arts student and Army veteran, she began her own culinary journey and reflection on grief in the creating and writing of her first book, Cooking with Francis: Gourmet Home Cooking.
Heather lives with her husband, Bob, in Overland Park, Kansas, where she also volunteers for Heifer International and is a volunteer facilitator of the Walking the Mourner’s Path program at her church.
Book Launch- Sunday, June 2nd, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Overland Park, KS
Catering by Ellen Beier of Engineered Edibles, with recipes from Cooking with Francis

Proceeds support The Francis D. Memorial Fund for Homeless Veterans and Heifer International.

SHAWN PAVEY is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Press, 2008) and Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (Spartan Press, 2015), and Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse (2019, Spartan Press). He co-founded The Main Street Rag Literary Journal and served as an Associate Editor for three years. He served as an officer on the Board of Directors at The Writers Place, a Kansas City based literary non-profit. His poetry, prose, and journalism has appeared in numerous national and regional publications as well as several poetry anthologies. A graduate of the University of North Carolina’s Creative Writing Program, he likes his Tom Waits loud, his bourbon single-barrel, and his basketball Carolina Blue. His infrequently updated blog is at

Canadian musician & filmmaker Rita Chiarelli and KC based cinematographer Mikal Shapiro of State City Films talk about their work to facilitate a music program inside the Topeka Correctional Facility for Women. This project culminated with a concert on May 4 that was presented to their fellow inmates, families, victims, and the community. Authorities from the Department of Corrections were invited and includes the Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. Rita & Mikal have planned 10 days of filming with an all-female crew inside the facility. The Kickstarter Campaign reached its’ goal April 17, 2019.

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