YEAR IN REVIEW

Alta’s Best Podcasts 2019

The Alta Podcast brings the pages of the magazine to life with interviews and select live events. 

The Alta Podcast brings the pages of the magazine to life with interviews and select live events. These six podcasts from 2019 range from an intimate conversation with Vietnam War resister David Harris at his Marin County home to an evening with jazz singer Paula West before a live audience at Sweetwater Music Hall. Our podcasts offer Alta members a fresh—and decidedly personal—way to experience our stories.

Northern California’s Wild Horses


Wild mustang populations are out of control, competing with cattle and native wildlife for vital resources like land and water. If the federal government doesn’t rein them in, ranchers may take matters into their own hands. Journalist Jason G. Goldman joined us in studio to discuss his Alta cover story, which focused on the controversy surrounding the thousands of feral horses in Northern California’s Modoc National Forest—and beyond. 

Hosted by Beth Spotswood

An Evening of Conversation and Music with Paula West


You’ve never heard Paula West like this before. For this episode, recorded at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California, West discussed her process—and her politics—during an intimate evening of conversation and music. West, backed by a jazz trio, performed a personal selection of songs and was interviewed by journalist Marcus Crowder before a packed house of Alta members. This event was inspired by Crowder’s profile of West in Alta’s Fall 2019 issue.

Moderated by Marcus Crowder

The Original Girl in the Well


Historian Bill Deverell joined the Alta Podcast to discuss the 1949 San Marino “girl in the well” story. He provided details about this piece of California history and explained how little Kathy Fiscus’s fall into a well changed the course of modern media.

Hosted by Beth Spotswood

Mr. Peace on Modern Resistance


David Harris is a former contributing editor to the New York Times and Rolling Stone, and he is the author of nearly a dozen books—but he is most famous for leading the draft resistance during the Vietnam War. Alan Goldfarb profiled Harris in Alta’s Fall 2019 issue. We visited the famous protester at his home in Marin County to discuss his work, the power of resistance, and how a terminal illness hasn’t dimmed his hope for the future.

Hosted by Beth Spotswood

Past, Present, and Future of Women in Classical Music


For this podcast episode, Alta partnered with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to host a panel discussion on women’s emerging roles in classical music, the issues and challenges female musicians face, and the future of inclusivity in music. This event, held at Books Inc.’s Opera Plaza location in San Francisco, was inspired by Catherine Womack’s article on the diversity of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its efforts to include female composers. Past, Present, and Future of Women in Classical Music

Moderated by author, opera singer, and neuroscientist Indre Viskontas, with panelists Nicole Paiement of Opera Parallèle, Cordula Merks of San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and Melissa Kleinbart of the San Francisco Symphony.

Remembering Climbing Legend Tom Frost


Famous in climbing circles for his remarkable humility, Tom Frost is one of the lesser-known legends of the rock climbing world—as well as a photographer, conservationist, and inspiration to generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Tom Seawell and Craig Flax, two of the filmmakers behind a feature-length documentary film about Frost, joined the Alta Podcast to talk about the extraordinary appeal of this complex man. Contributor Dan Duane penned a look at Frost’s efforts to preserve a beloved Yosemite campground in Alta’s Fall 2019 issue.

Hosted by Beth Spotswood

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