Clare Roth

Talk Show Producer

Clare Roth started working at Iowa Public Radio as a seasonal news reporter in 2012. After getting her bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to IPR as a talk show producer, where she has a particular passion for education, sociology, and science at large.

Iowa born and bred, in the past she’s ventured past state lines to work at Minnesota Public Radio and The Onion and is a nationally ranked public speaker. When she isn’t making radio, she reads anything she can get her hands on, lurks around the Midwestern comedy scene, and explores as many Iowa landscapes as weather will permit.

Clare’s favorite public radio programs are Planet Money and Morning Edition.

Ways to Connect

Mike Mozart / Flickr

This show originally aired May 12, 2016 With the lawsuits between North Carolina and the Department of Justice and widespread boycotts of establishments like Target for their inclusive bathroom policies, transgender rights have been dominating the news cycle. In the middle of the politics and punditry, it's easy to lose sight of what being transgender actually means. Jay Irwin, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, says language is a good place to start. ...

Courtesy of Pleasant Valley Garden Center

Aleda Feuerbach knows the garden center business; as it grew, she grew, literally. Her parents raised her in the green house, and when they were ready to retire, she took over the family business with help from her husband. “You don’t count days, you don’t count hours, you just do it,” she says. “You gotta be dedicated to that because family business takes it out of ya. I love it, I’d do it again, but you’ve got to have that make up to make you successful.” After a 60 year history, she’s made...

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

After choosing men for four of his first appointments to his Cabinet and advisers, Donald Trump appointed two women to positions today: Republican philanthropist Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the ambassador to the United Nations. Haley, in particular, came as a surprise as she was a vocal critic of Trump during the campaign. Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science at Iowa State University, says this appointment could be...

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

It’s 2007, “The World Spins Madly On” is a massive hit, and The Weepies are exhausted. “We did a year of our car, coffeehouses, 180 shows in 190 days where we were at festivals in Europe and everywhere, and we were just exhausted. And we are like recluses,” says Steve Tannen, one half of the folk-pop/husband-wife duo. So, after releasing and touring their second album, Say I Am You , he and Deb Talan escaped to a small cabin in a state park one hour outside of Los Angeles, to take a breath and regroup. “For that time, it was a real refuge. Yea, we did run away a little bit. Partly in order to make our next record and not feel like we had something to prove, just to sort of get a little bit of a cave, where we could just sort of do what we do,” says Talan. And while their move to Iowa City may make it seem like they’ve run away again, Tannen and Talan says it’s simply the right place for them and their three children. “This felt more like a running to, to me,” says Talan. “We had two kids, we started looking outside LA. It was so expensive and so crazy, and we had really embraced the crazy for a bunch of years, and then we were just like, ‘I think we need to at least try to feel what it feels like to be outside.’” “We’re vagabonds and we wanted to put roots down somewhere,” Tannen adds, “and every time we’d been through Iowa we’d say to each other, ‘This is amazing, we should buy a house here and raise a bunch of kids.’” Their upcoming tour kicks off at the Englert Theater with “The Weepies: Completely Acoustic and Alone.” In this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with Tannen and Talan about recording Sirens, living in Iowa, and how creating music and creating a family intertwine. Four essentials and four bonus tracks to get acquainted with the folk-pop duo. Somebody Loved Tannen has said the key lyric at the center of this song--"You turned me into somebody loved."--is the Tannen-Talan family motto. The World Spins Madly On The song that catapulted them to folk-pop stardom. "The record sold 238 copies the first week," says Tannen. "Then, three months later, it was the number one song on the folk charts of eight countries, including America, and it was on the strength essentially of people sharing that song. I didn't want it on the record, because it was my voice. I love Deb's voice. Mine is fine, I have a fine voice." "You have a beautiful, emotional voice," Talan interrupts. She continues, "We were very surprised with how it sort of caught. You put out music that you feel. You write songs that you feel and you produce them in a way that is 'feelingful' and you put them out in the world. And we have songs that are particularly personally resonate, but there's no saying what other people will sort of--what will resonate in their own lives." Be My Thrill In a Java Blend interview from May 2015, Tannen explained the origins behind this song were rooted in an argument he and Talan had. "I just stormed out, I was like 'Fine!' in order to not admit that I was wrong. And I went out and I wrote a song about what I thought I wanted, and it was like the angriest song that I've ever-- and it was some of this song. And I played it for Deb, like 'Here, here's my apology.' [strums guitar angrily] And she said 'Oh my god, it's a love song,' proving what I thought, which is that she's insane. And then she took it and she fixed it and she made it like this, and she made it into an actual love song, and that is marriage as far as I'm concerned." Sirens The titular song from their latest album, Sirens was recorded in one take, in the midst of Talan's chemotherapy treatments. "That was while Deb had chemo and we didn't know what was going to happen and she was extraordinarily tired that week and just impossible to live with, because she was like 'I'm getting into the studio today.' And she couldn't get up, so I helped her up the stairs, and we got one take. And that was that take. And it brought me right back there. And I think that that force of will is what got Deb through. I really do. Deb's ability to say 'This is what I'm doing with my life, whatever is happening.'" "And your support through it," she adds. "It was a team effort. It was very much a team effort." Bonus tracks Jolene From their first album, Happiness Orbiting From their third album, Hideaway Can't Go Back Now Also from Hideaway No Trouble This video for another hit off of Sirens features photos of the Tannen-Talans at home

Ian Freimuth / Flickr

RAYGUN, the snarky clothing company based out of Des Moines, has made hand towels emblazoned with a donkey, elephant and the words ‘Thank You For Not Discussing the Election” encircled and crossed through , just in time for Thanksgiving. After one of the most divisive elections in modern American history, Thanksgiving dinner will be undoubtedly dicey conversational territory for many Iowans. But, not all experts agree that avoidance is the best strategy for handling contentious political...

Emily Woodbury

It’s been a long election season here in Iowa, and as the dust begins to settle, there's one thing left to do: grab a pint and debrief with fellow Iowans. On this special edition of River to River , Ben Kieffer and Clay Masters host post-election conversations in front of live audiences in Marion and Des Moines. In the first half of the show, "Pints and Politics," Kieffer is joined by Gazette columnists Todd Dorman and Lynda Waddington, as well as investigative reporter James Lynch, to...

NSHEPARD / FLICKR

In Des Moines, an elementary school teacher reports that a student on the playground hugged her and said she'd be missed if the student's family got deported back to Mexico, and in Cedar Rapids, the Islamic Center is providing counseling for young women struggling with whether or not to continue to wear hijab. But in other parts of the state, Iowans are excited about the changing political tides. During this hour of River to River , we hear from a handful of Iowans who are digesting the...

Pat Blank/IPR

Iowa’s congressional incumbents all won reelection Tuesday, as the delegation remains at three Republicans and one Democrat. Republican 1st District Rep. Rod Blum of Dubuque defeated former Cedar Rapids council member Monica Vernon, capturing 54 percent of the vote across 20 counties in northeast Iowa. Once the race was called in his favor, Blum told a raucous crowd in Dubuque that’s he is going back to Capitol Hill finish what he started when he voted against then-House Speaker John Boehner....

Joyce Russell/IPR

The Iowa African-American Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding achievements of African-Americans who have enhanced the quality of life for all Iowans. Since its inception in 2002, 65 Iowans have been inducted into the IAAHF. This year, they inducted four. Kesho Scott One of the inductees, Kesho Scott, is the author of several books including Tight Spaces , which won the American Book Award in 1988. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Scott received her bachelor's degree from Wayne State...

julep67 / Flickr

Tuesday marked the first day of open enrollment for Obamacare health insurance. It comes just a week after the Department of Health and Human Services announced the prices of policies sold on the exchanges would rise an average 22 percent for 2017. Pete Damiano, Director of the Public Policy Center and of the Health Policy Research Program at the University of Iowa, says that number may be scarier in theory than it is in reality. "The way that this is sort of being talked about is as if the...

Tony Webster / Flickr

In a Quinnipiac Poll conducted from October 20 to 26 in Iowa, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are tied with 44% of likely voters backing each candidate. That polling took place before FBI director James Comey sent a document to Congress explaining there was additional evidence related to Clinton’s use of a private email server. Donna Hoffman, associate professor and head of the department of Political Science at the University...

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

While all eyes are on a recently tight presidential race, politicos in Iowa are considering another razor thin margin: that of the Iowa Senate. With a Republican governor and the GOP holding 57 of the 100 seats in the House of Representatives, the outcome of one or two state senate races could determine whether the Republicans get a Statehouse trifecta. Adding to the complication? Earlier this summer, State Senator Dave Johnson changed his registration from Republican to Independent following...

Comic, author, and actress Jen Kirkman comes to Iowa this weekend as part of the Witching Hour Festival. On her latest special on Netflix, I'm Going to Die Alone (and I Feel Fine) , Kirkman dives into the topic of her decision to not have children. "Even the movement itself is called 'Childfree by Choice' and choice to me illustrates, you know, Coke or Pepsi, you sit there and you weigh the options. To me it was a non-instinct. It never dawned on me to even want children, ever. It wasn't even...

pfkings / Wikimedia Commons

With rising student debt nationwide, career placement is often considered the most important marker of a successful stint at university. But Dave Gould, member of the honors faculty and administrator at the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, says pragmatic, salary-focused concerns can't be the only questions posed to students during their time in school. "If that's even partially true, then the next question is 'What are they?' And I certainly don't propose to know the answer to...

Elizabeth Kimmel / The Gazette

While the unprecedented nature of the 2016 election has given politicos plenty of fodder for conversation, it also could change the script for how our political system moves forward. With many members of the Republican party disavowing their presidential candidate, how the GOP will move forward after this election remains to be seen. An even larger question is how the United States's political process will move forward if Republican nominee Donald Trump follows through on threats to reject...

alamosbasement / flickr

The 2005 video showing Donald Trump bragging about groping and making unwanted sexual advances, and the growing number of women accusing Trump of sexual assault, have renewed a national discussion about preventing sexual assault. While addressing sexual assault has become a prominent discussion on college campuses, action on high school campuses has been slower. When Abigail Strutzenberger was a junior at Treynor High School in 2013, a classmate assaulted her after taking her keys during the...

julochka / Flickr

Doris Montag is a museum curator without a museum. She creates exhibits that are shown at public libraries and museums all over Eastern Iowa. There was the exhibit on egg cartons at the Coralville Public Library this summer and the exhibit on the history of barbers at the Johnson County Historical Society Museum, and one on Black Santas incoming to the African American Museum of Iowa. She finds her inspiration in the stories told by every day objects. "People enjoy the remembering from their...

Why ISIS's Power is Diminishing

Oct 18, 2016
mashleymorgan / Flickr

As the attack on the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul begins this week, many eyes will be upon the Iraqi city watching how the terrorist organization will act. “Well it’s going to be a very intensive and deep battle,” says Malcolm Nance, a counterterrorism and intelligence adviser for the U.S. government’s special operations, homeland security and intelligence agencies. “It’s just a question of whether ISIS is going to put up a fight, or are they going to do a defensive battle and try to fall...

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa State announced this year’s inductees to the Iowa African American Hall of Fame on Thursday. Inductee James B. Morris Jr. was the first black assistant Polk County attorney, had a distinguished career as a trial lawyer, and was one of the first African American officers to lead white troops in the US war effort. Kenyatta Shamburger, the director of multicultural student affairs at ISU, says the hall of fame is a bit of a family tradition for Morris. "His father ironically is also a...

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

In a first for the organization, the World Food Prize Foundation is honoring four Laureates simultaneously for the 2016 prize. The decision originally caused some trepidation within the organization, and Ambassador Ken Quinn, president of the foundation, says that it's unlikely to happen again any time soon. The four laureates all work in the field of 'biofortification.' Howarth Bouis, founding director of Harvest Plus, explains the idea. "Through conventional plant breeding you get a high...

Marnie Joyce / Flickr

It would be hard to come up with a person more connected with the feminist movement of the late 60s and early 70s than Gloria Steinem. Now in her eighties, the founder of Ms. Magazine is still speaking out on issues of equality. As co-founder of the Women’s Media Center, she also works towards that organization’s more specific goal of making “women visible and powerful in the media.” In this River to River interview, Steinem discusses how far the movement has come in more than a half century...

Tony Webster / Flickr

In his Condition of the State, then-Governor Tom Vilsack declared that 2004 would be "The Year of the Arts, Culture and Recreation in Iowa." He continued, "Studies show that creativity spurs economic growth; breakthroughs in understanding are essential to the task of building a world of opportunity. Creative thinking, the hallmark of Iowa's success, will lead us to a more dynamic future." To that end, he launched the Great Places Initiative, an effort to make Iowa the cultural capital of the...

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

The roaring 20s are oft-idealized in modern media, but a dark side persisted. To fuel the parties, the booze, and the fun, an elaborate system of bootlegging, grifting, prostitution and gambling was created by a few prominent mobsters. In this Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Jonathan Eig, author of Get Capone , and Markus Eckhart, curator of Ain't Misbehavin? The World of the Gangster at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.

courtesy of Steve Gerberich / gerbomatic.com

What does it take to make it as an artist? When the line between success and failure is so thin, what factors contribute to an artist making it? For some, the old adage “Success is a third talent, a third perseverance, and a third talent” may not apply. “I’d take ‘a third talent’ out of that, and I’d replace perseverance with attrition,” laughs Halt and Catch Fire actor Toby Huss. Toby Huss grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa in the 1960s and 70s. Today, he has a thriving career in film and...

Andrea Mahoney / Briarwood Healthcare Center

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America says music, when used appropriately, can shift a patient's mood, help with managing stress and agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and help with motor movements. Now, researchers at the University of Iowa are studying the extent of that effect. Alaine Reschke-Hernandez, a music therapist, and Dr. Dan Tranel, a neurologist, have teamed up to measure the impact music has on the health outcomes of Alzheimer’s patients in...

Luther College Archives / Flickr

Last weekend, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors with these words from President Obama. "As Americans, we rightfully passed on the tales of the giants that built this country, who led armies into battle, who waged seminal debates in the halls of Congress and the corridors of power. But too often, we ignored or forgot the stories of millions upon millions of others, who built this nation just as surely." Featured in one of the exhibits is Iowa's own...

(stephan) / flickr

In 2011, investigative journalist Suki Kim posed as a missionary and taught English to the teenage sons of North Korea’s ruling class. In 2014, she published Without You There is No Us, an account of the time she had spent there, an account she risked her life to retrieve. Now, she’s coming to speak in Iowa City on October 9 th from 2-4pm in C20 Pomerantz Center, sponsored by the Iowa City Book Festival. Kim says though she grew up in South Korea, and had visited in North Korea in 2002, she...

7th Groove / Flickr

Iowa City is preparing to host an international sporting event that will be televised live around the world: the UCI World Cup of Cyclocross. John Meehan is a pediatric surgeon in Iowa City and the director for the Jingle Cross . He says cyclocross is different than a typical bike race. "When people watch the Tour de France, they see them race from point to point, it's not like that at all. This is around a closed loop course where there's obstacles and barriers. You have to get off your bike...

International Labour Organization / Flickr

It may seem odd that a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate promotes anger. But that is exactly what 2014 winner Kailash Satyarthi believes is necessary for change to occur in the world. "If you're angry towards things that one does that are not right, then we can strongly protect that anger, preserve it properly and turn it into a very positive energy. Because it is an energy that can be transformed into positive energy in new ideas and finding solutions, and then you put those ideas in action to make...

flickrfavorites / Flickr

Andrew Derocher traveled to Norway in 1996 to study what he thought would be a large, untouched population of polar bears. The country had flat-out banned the commercial hunting of bears as part of the Oslo Agreement 23 years earlier. Derocher, a professor at the University of Alberta and a polar bear biologist, assumed that was enough time for the bears' population and health to rebound. What he found surprised him. "It turned out that in the Norwegian arctic we had one of the most polluted...

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