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Try This: The Columbia Museum of Art’s “Binder” podcast

We talked to podcast host Ray McManus and producer Drew Baron to learn how the project began.

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Podcast host and producer smiling at camera from inside recording booth

Binder podcast is hosted by Ray McManus (left) and produced by Drew baron (right).

Photo provided by the Columbia Museum of Art

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Hey, Charleston — David here. 👋 Did you know that the Columbia Museum of Art has an award-winning podcast? In September, the CMA (located in Columbia, SC) was the recipient of the 2022 Southeastern Museums Conference Gold Award for Media Production for its podcast, “Binder.”

I recently joined Binder host Ray McManus and producer Drew Baron for a chat about the podcast, what they’ve learned since it started in 2021, and some of the stories they’ve been able to tell.

In addition to being the host of the podcast, Ray McManus is the CMA’s inaugural Writer-in-Residence. He earned his MFA in poetry and his doctorate in rhetoric and composition from USC, and is an associate professor of English at USC Sumter. Together with Drew, the duo tells the stories of artists, scholars, curators, and more through monthly episodes in which listeners can get insight into all things CMA-related.

Here’s more on the podcast + how you can Try This:

What we tried:

The CMA’s “Binder” podcast is a free offering from the museum that can be streamed or downloaded from your favorite podcast app. Episodes range from short 20-minute specials to hour-long feature interviews with artists.

What not to miss:

It doesn’t all take place inside the CMA. Recently, producer Drew went to the South Caroliniana Library at USC to learn about Shades of Life artist Sigmund Abeles. Now in his 80s, Sigmund was inspired as a child by the art and sculptures he saw at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC.

What we’re still talking about:

I learned a lot about the CMA by listening to the podcast. For example, did you know that the museum has a massive collection of over 7,000 pieces of art in storage with around 300 on display at any given time?

How you can experience this:

Currently in its second season, “Binder” brings people together through complex conversations and personal stories. Find it wherever you prefer to listen to podcasts and enjoy a new episode each month.

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