Stamberg to advocate for museums, says art is thriving


Susan Stamberg

Ellie Haugsby | Staff Writer

Susan Stamberg has asked questions since 1972.

As the host of such NPR programs as “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” and “Weekend Edition Saturday,” it was her job to pick the brains of her guests. When she comes to Chautauqua, however, it will not be to question but rather to answer.

“If I have talks, I need to give answers,” she said. “I talk a great deal about the things I learn. It’s a mutual circle.”

Stamberg will give a lecture at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater, where she will add to the week’s theme, “A Case for the Arts.”

“Art is thriving, and all the evidence is on the Internet,” she said. “All this new technology has given creative people opportunities they’ve never had.“

Despite these successes, she said, there still exists a fundamental problem.

“I’ve spoken with (English artist) David Hockney, who now makes art on his iPhone. He’s very successful, but he still asks, ‘How do I make money from it?’ If David Hockney is having that problem, what is Joe Smith going to do?”

Stamberg said because of this, she lectures to help bring attention to artists like “Joe Smith.”

“Museums and art matter,” she said, “and when I speak at museums, that’s what I talk about.”

Stamberg’s roles at NPR have brought her voice into the homes of millions. She was the first female journalist to host a nightly news program, “All Things Considered,” and has since been elected to both the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Her experiences have led her to speak with such people as Rosa Parks and Luciano Pavarotti.

In addition to her work with NPR, she has hosted multiple PBS television series, moderated three Fred Rogers television specials and narrated performances with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.