Michael Buckley

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  • Program Manager, Oral History Program Director
  • C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College
  • starrcenter.washcoll.edu
  • none

Biography: Michael A. Buckley

Michael Buckley is an accomplished producer, editor, writer, radio host, and arts administrator. For the past 17 years Buckley has worked as producer/writer/host of the critically acclaimed “Sunday Brunch” on 103.1 WRNR-FM Baltimore/Annapolis/ DC/MD Eastern Shore. This groundbreaking weekly radio broadcast combines all of the various musical genres into a coherent journey, inviting listeners to experience music as a single world of sound with many variations. Musical genres include traditional and contemporary strains of folk, rock, jazz, classical, spoken and musical styles from around the world. The Sunday Brunch was voted “Best of Baltimore” by the Baltimore City Paper. In the same publication two years later Michael Buckley was voted “Best Radio Disc Jockey” in the Baltimore/Annapolis region.

The Sunday Brunch begins with atmospheric music, a middle hour of quirky, heartfelt tunes, plus in-depth interviews each week with Buckley’s musical friends. Musical guests have included Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Steve Winwood, Graham Nash, and Eric Clapton, multiple Grammy Award winners Yo Yo Ma, Pat Metheny, Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Keb Mo, Emmylou Harris, Peter Tork, Johnny Cash and Peter Gabriel, among many others.

The Sunday Brunch also features the critically acclaimed spoken series “Voices of the Chesapeake Bay.” The Voices interview project features over 500 interviews with many of the fascinating people of the Chesapeake Bay region on a variety of subjects. The Voices project has been honored with two Maryland Governor’s Citations and an Annapolis Mayoral Proclamation. Buckley has produced a ten-CD Voices Interview Project boxed set which is housed in the Talbot County Library’s prestigious Maryland Room and is being formulated into an Eastern Shore themed archive for Miller Library at Washington College in Chestertown. The Voices Project has also resulted in a music CD entitled Songs of the Chesapeake Bay which features 16-songs including three Grammy Award winners. Michael was a co-producer and host of Chesapeake Songs and Stories at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Buckley also wrote and published Voices of the Chesapeake Bay the book featuring over fifty of the Voices interviews, plus a unique series of black & white photographs from Baltimore Sun photographer David Harp.

In 1999, Michael Buckley produced the acclaimed radio program “World Party” for WRNR featuring traditional and contemporary music from around the globe. In 2000, Buckley produced and hosted “The Morning Ride” (weekday drive-time show) on WRNR, and was chosen “Best Morning Disc Jockey” by Baltimore Magazine. During 2003, Buckley produced and hosted the eclectic “Michael Buckley’s Music Box” on 97.5 WRYR Deale, MD. The Voices Series was also presented on WINX-FM. For the past five years Michael Buckley has been a music and culture features writer, and weekly columnist for the The Capital in Annapolis, a grandchild of America’s oldest newspaper, The Capital Gazette.

Arts Administration

Michael Buckley was Program Coordinator of the Heifetz International Violin Training Institute, featuring world-renowned virtuoso Daniel Heifetz and maestro Pinchas Zuckerman. For eight years Buckley has worked as Public Relations Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival, a two-day annual affair featuring world-class artists such as John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Wilson Pickett and Buddy Guy. His public relations work resulted in cover stories in the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore City Paper, plus major network and public television coverage of the event. The festival raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for major charities including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, We Care and Friends of Annapolis and Johns Hopkins Cranial-Facial Center.

Currently, Michael Buckley works as Program Manager for the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College producing events and talks with some of the world’s finest historians and writers, a summer concert series, and the WAC Oral History Workshop. The C.V. Starr Center presents the annual series American Pictures in partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the national Portrait Gallery with guest presenters such as Allan Gurganus, James McPherson, Anna Deveare Smith, John Waters, Laurie Anderson and Tony Horwitz. Many other Starr Center programs are augmented with films, music, theatre, and the fine arts. Michael also produced and engineered a new riverfront audio tour featuring the Starr Center's home in the historic Custom House on the Chester River.

During the nineties, Michael Buckley was a founder and Managing Director of The American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia (AHT), leading AHTs cast of historical interpreters on two European tours, resulting in a feature length film for the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). Buckley also led the American Historical Theatre across the U.S. on corporate sponsored tours, including the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Tour, and appearances with an impressive array of elected officials, including two American Presidents and numerous public performances at The White House. Michael Buckley’s sound recordings have been featured on the White House Historical Society website, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience’s Custom House audio tour, and in many other museum presentations across the nation. Between 2002-05, Michael Buckley produced and directed five educational videos for The American Historical Theatre.

Michael Buckley was founder of The Philadelphia Town Meeting, a series of public discussions, and a forum for the exchange of ideas regarding civic and social issues ranging from the Gulf War to the Bill of Rights sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia and the National Issues Forum of the Kettering Foundation.. For 1990, Buckley acted as Program Coordinator for the Elmwood Institute (now the Center for Ecoliteracy), a think-tank for environmental leaders from across the nation, including its founder, physicist/author Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics, Uncommon Wisdom). During that year, Buckley coordinated two international conferences, three conferences in U.S. cities, and a series of public dialogues in the San Francisco Bay area. Buckley also coordinated the affairs of the Institute while Dr. Capra attended the making of a film about his life at Mont St. Michele in France (Mindwalk stars Liv Ullman, Sam Waterston and John Heard).

From 1985-89, Michael Buckley worked as the Program Coordinator for the New York Open Center for the Arts and Humanities. For the Open Center, Michael Buckley coordinated a weekly presentation schedule of sixty classes and workshops in five performance spaces featuring many of the world’s top thinkers and writers. At the Open Center, Michael produced hundreds of performing and musical concert artists from around the world, including the original Pat Metheny Group, Hot Tuna, Mickey Hart, Dave Holland, Pauline Oliveros, a whirling dervish, a hurdy gurdy player, and representatives of many other cultures from around the world. Buckley also acted as curator for a number of world-class art exhibitions at the New York Open Center located in Soho, NYC (a center for world-class art), presenting photography, textiles, modern Russian paintings, the creation of a mandala by visiting Tibetan monks, and contemporary American sculpture.

During the 1980’s, Michael Buckley worked in a variety of capacities as an arts and humanities administrator, as a presenter, and as set/lighting/sound designer and stage technician. He was Grants Director for the Brooklyn Arts Council (NY), Budget Director for the La Jolla Playhouse (CA), Producer of the Los Angeles Contemporary Music Festival (CA), Producer for the Arts & Science Festival at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry (CA), Production Coordinator for the Explorations Series of Contemporary Performance at the LA Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Japan America Theatre (CA), and on Broadway: A Chorus Line, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. As stage technician: Le Cirque du Soliel (CAN), La Jolla Playhouse, Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC-ENG), Piccolo Teatro di Milano (ITALY), Robert Wilson (NYC), Old Globe Theatre (CA), Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival (CA), Los Angeles Actors Theatre, Berkshire Performing Arts Center (MA), The Wooster Group (NYC), Mabou Mines (NYC), and Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival (NYC).

Michael Buckley was educated at California Institute of the Arts (CA) in Music/Theatre/Film Design & Management (BFA-86), and in the prestigious masters level Arts Administration Program at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY).

Michael is a firm believer in the practice of life-long learning and of understanding life from a wide variety of perspectives.

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