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Riverside Chats with Tom Knoblauch

Riverside Chats with Tom Knoblauch

By Riverside Chats
Riverside Chats is a series of conversations hosted by Tom Knoblauch exploring culture of all kinds, broadcast from the Heartland. Topics include politics, film, business, history, music, and much, more more.
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38. Filmmaker Georg Joutras

Riverside Chats with Tom Knoblauch

38. Filmmaker Georg Joutras

Riverside Chats with Tom Knoblauch

77. Matthew Wurstner on the History of the Presidential Pardon
Matthew Wurstner discusses the history of the presidential pardon and how its evolution leaves big questions for our country going forward.
September 20, 2021
76. Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar on You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism
Both Omaha natives, you probably know Amber Ruffin as the host of The Amber Ruffin Show. Her sister Lacey Lamar still lives in Omaha where she has worked in the healthcare and human services field for more than twenty-five years. The two co-wrote the book You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism, which is a recounting of the multitude of racist encounters Lacey has had living in Omaha over the years. It’s a hilarious, biting insight into the Midwest Nice culture and it’s available now wherever you get books.
September 8, 2021
75. Senator John Cavanaugh on Meaningful Conversations and Progress in the Nebraska State Legislature
Nebraska State Senator John Cavanaugh discusses growing up with a dad who served in the House of Representatives, how he shaped his worldview, and the tricky business of trying to bring progressive policies to a senate body in a very red state. 
August 30, 2021
74. Adam Fletcher Sasse on North Omaha History
Adam Fletcher-Sasse has been compiling North Omaha History through articles, a podcast, and several books which are available now and aim to tell Omaha's lesser known stories to provide a fuller understanding of its culture. Check out his work at
August 20, 2021
73. Film Streams Executive Director Deirdre Haj
Film Streams Executive Director Deirdre Haj discusses her relationship to the film industry and her vision for Film Streams as a hub of Omaha’s culture going forward. 
August 13, 2021
72. Author Timothy Schaffert on The Perfume Thief
Timothy Schaffert discusses his journey as an author and his new novel The Perfume Thief. A Gentleman in Moscow meets Moulin Rouge in this stylish, sexy page-turner about Clementine, a queer American expat and notorious thief of rare scents, who has retired to Paris, only to return to her old tricks in hopes of protecting the city she loves when the Nazis invade in 1941. The Perfume Thief is available now wherever you get books. 
August 9, 2021
71. Dakota Smith AKA Bobo Jiggs on Identity, Photography, and "Still-Lives"
Dakota Smith AKA Bobo Jiggs talks about his new photography installation "Still-Lives," a study of relationships between pairs of seemingly unrelated photographs, which can be seen at the next Benson First Friday in Studio 62.  Find some of his other work at
July 31, 2021
70. Maha Festival Executive Director Lauren Martin
Lauren Martin, executive director of the Maha Festival tells her story and the evolution of Maha. This year’s festival is on July 31 and tickets are available at  What issues are on your mind this week? We’re starting a new feature here--a kind of letter to the editor--where you can call in and speak your mind in a brief voicemail to 402-881-0089 for a chance to be featured on one of our upcoming shows.
July 23, 2021
69. Maria Corpuz on Local Activism, Journalism, and Nite Caps
Maria Corpuz talks local activism, journalism, and hosting the live late night show Nite Caps at OutrSpaces through significant personal and societal shifts over the past few years. 
July 16, 2021
68. Author Tyler J. Kelley on Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America's Waterways
Author and Documentarian Tyler J. Kelley talks about his new book Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America's Waterways, a revelatory work of reporting on the men and women wrestling to harness and preserve America’s most vital natural resource: our rivers. Check out Tyler's book here. 
July 11, 2021
67. Maggie Wood and Cammy Watkins on Inclusive Communities and Becoming Antiracist
Inclusive Communities executive director Maggie Wood and deputy director Cammy Watkins talk about discrimination in Omaha--its causes, its effects, and ways organizations like theirs work to address it going forward. 
July 2, 2021
66. Activist Ja Keen Fox on Political Persuasion and a Vision for Omaha
Racial equity consultant Ja Keen Fox tells his story and theory of persuasion as he works to bring a progressive vision to Omaha.
June 23, 2021
65. Journalist Leah Cates on Queer Nebraska: A Timeline
Leah Cates writes for The Reader and compiled Queer Nebraska: A Timeline, which commemorates milestones in LGBTQ Nebraska history as part of The Reader’s Pride feature and seeks to broadcast voices from Nebraska’s vibrant queer community, spotlighting the struggles and strengths of LGBTQ Nebraskans. Queer Nebraska: A timeline is available on The Reader’s site and print edition, which is out now. She talks about compiling the article as well as the implications of broadening our approach to history and the types of voices that make it into the popular narratives. 
June 17, 2021
64. Matthew Wurstner on Policing as an Institution
Attorney Matthew Wurstner returns to the show to discuss the constitutional obligations of the police and its formation as an institution--as well as what possible reforms might look like.
May 17, 2021
63. Filmmakers Brent Scott Maze and Derek Maze on La Flamme Rouge
Filmmakers Brent Scott Maze and Derek Maze discuss their new film, La Flamme Rouge, which was filmed in Fremont and recently played at the Omaha Film Festival.
April 12, 2021
62. Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert tells her story and vision for a third term.
April 5, 2021
61. Omaha City Council Candidate Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson tells her vision for Omaha and why she felt compelled to run to represent District 1 on Omaha's City Council to switch up the status quo.
March 22, 2021
60. Omaha City Council Candidate Jen Bauer
Jen Bauer tells her life story, from childhood dreams of joining the Supreme Court to her current campaign to represent District 3 on Omaha's City Council.
March 15, 2021
59. Omaha City Council Candidate Sarah Smolen
Sarah Smolen tells her story as an Omaha educator running to represent District 4 on Omaha's City Council.
February 15, 2021
58. Omaha Mayoral Candidate RJ Neary
RJ Neary discusses his vision for the city, including thinking bigger and addressing the interconnected nature of issues holding Omaha back from reaching its full potential.
February 8, 2021
57. Author Ross Benes on Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold
Author Ross Benes discusses his new book, Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold--including the past 30 years moving Nebraska to the right, what went wrong for Democrats, and what the future may look like for the state. Check out the book here:
February 1, 2021
56. Omaha Mayoral Candidate Jasmine Harris
Jasmine Harris tells her vision of shifting Omaha from stagnation to progress by addressing the interconnected nature of the city's problems from transportation to communication to health and more. Learn more here. And consider supporting Riverside Chats as a patron for access to the full backlog, early access to new episodes, and exclusive content for $1 a month.
January 25, 2021
55. Omaha Mayoral Candidate and Educator Mark Gudgel
Omaha educator and mayoral candidate Mark Gudgel discusses his vision for the city and the future of politics in America. Find more about Mark Gudgel's campaign here.
January 18, 2021
54. Omaha Mayoral Candidate and NOISE Founder Dawaune Lamont Hayes
NOISE founder Dawaune Lamont Hayes discusses his vision for changing Omaha to meet his ambitions, now including a run for mayor.
January 11, 2021
53. Matthew Wurstner on the Stolen Election of 1876
Matthew Wurstner tells the history of America's stolen election, rife with fraud, corruption, and questionable implications for the American democratic experiment--all in the 1876 election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden.
December 21, 2020
52. Precious McKesson on the Electoral College and Making History
Precious McKesson tells her story as the first woman and the first woman of color in Nebraska to cast an Electoral College ballot for a Democrat, as well as her assessment of the current political climate.
December 14, 2020
Author Adam Nayman on Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks (Radio Edit)
Critic Adam Nayman discusses his new book, Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks, as well as the state of the auteur today and the future of cinema after the pandemic and the streaming revolution. Check out the book here.
December 7, 2020
51. Author Adam Nayman on Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks and the Future of Cinema
Critic Adam Nayman discusses his new book, Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks, as well as the state of the auteur today and the future of cinema after the pandemic and the streaming revolution. Check out the book here.
December 7, 2020
50. Omaha City Council Candidate Naomi Hattaway
Naomi Hattaway discusses her campaign to represent District 6 on Omaha's City Council, including the logistics of a digital campaign, the formation of her worldview, and her vision for the city.
November 30, 2020
49. Brent Crampton on Circular Food Systems and Hillside Solutions
Brent Crampton discusses how we can shift to a circular food system and become more conscious of waste, re-use, and regeneration, which he is helping Omaha embrace through Hillside Solutions.
November 23, 2020
48. Author Theodore Wheeler on In Our Other Lives
Author Theodore Wheeler discusses his new novel, In Our Other Lives, which follows a series of characters trying to make sense of the post-Patriot Act world and is available wherever you get books.
November 16, 2020
47. Astronaut Clayton Anderson on Letters from Space
Astronaut Clayton Anderson discusses his upbringing and dedication to following his dream of joining NASA and going to space, as well as his ability to share his experiences in his books like The Ordinary Spaceman and his newest release, Letters from Space, which is available now.
November 9, 2020
46. Screenwriter Patrick Stibbs on The Call
Screenwriter Patrick Stibbs tells the story of his first screenplay, The Call, which took 20 years to make it to the screen and is now in theaters across the country, starring horror icons Tobin Bell and Lynn Shaye.
October 28, 2020
45. Omaha City Council Candidate Cammy Watkins
Cammy Watkins discusses her decision to run for Omaha's City Council after years of waiting for political willpower to manifest in order to fix the city's problems before finally deciding to get hands-on to enact change.
October 21, 2020
44. Attorney Matthew Wurstner on the Supreme Court and the 2020 Ballot
Omaha attorney Matthew Wurstner gives an overview of legal issues from the national to the local, including the recent developments at the Supreme Court and what made it to the ballot this year in Nebraska.
October 12, 2020
43. Congressional Candidate Kara Eastman (September 2020)
Kara Eastman comes back onto the show to discuss her run to represent Nebraska's Second Congressional District as she challenges incumbent Republican Don Bacon over healthcare, presidential loyalty, and the influence of corporate money in politics.  This is the third Riverside Chats conversation with Kara Eastman. You can find the old conversations in our episode backlog. 
September 28, 2020
42. Nebraska State Senate Candidate Terrell McKinney
Nebraska State Senate Candidate Terrell McKinney is running to represent District 11, which is currently represented by Ernie Chambers. McKinney speaks about the legacy of Ernie Chambers as he grew up in North Omaha as well as his personal struggles and ultimate determination to become part of the solution to problems he sees in Nebraska by running for office.
September 14, 2020
41. Musician/Author Pascal Bokar
Musician, author, and professor Pascal Bokar discusses the way traditional sounds like the banjo originated in West Africa and became mainstays of Midwestern music, as well as how the center of any country represents its truest cultural expression. Check out his new album American Trails and his book From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta: How West African Standards of Aesthetics Have Shaped the Music of the Delta Blues. 
September 7, 2020
40. US Senate Candidate Alisha Shelton
US Senate Candidate Alisha Shelton discusses her life as a practical problem solver and how she's had to forge her own path in every venture, including this particularly messy senate race against incumbent Ben Sasse and primary winner Chris Janicek.
August 24, 2020
39. Musician Andrew Bailie
Musician Andrew Bailie discusses his album Wasteland and how he's processing the world around him through his music and neighborhood concerts. 
August 17, 2020
Screenwriter Christine Burright McGuigan (Radio Edit)
Screenwriter Christine Burright McGuigan discusses her life leading up to the writing of The Headliner, the award-winning short that played in the Omaha Film Festival, the Film Stream Local Filmmaker Showcase, and won Best Narrative at the Lincoln Short Film Festival. It’s now being developed into a feature with the same core team and cast that they intend to shoot in Nebraska once COVID restrictions have eased. Edited from the 2019 podcast discussion. 
August 3, 2020
Playwright Beaufield Berry (Radio Edit)
Beaufield Berry discusses her evolution as a playwright leading up to Red Summer, which dramatized the life of William Brown in commemoration of the centenary of the Omaha Race Riots of 1919. Edited from the original podcast conversation in 2019. 
July 25, 2020
38. Filmmaker Georg Joutras
Documentarian Georg Joutras discusses his hit documentary, Ocean of Grass, filmed in the Nebraska Sandhills. Edited from the 2019 podcast conversation. 
July 20, 2020
37. Filmmakers Dorothy Booraem and Chad Haufschild
Filmmakers Dorothy Booraem and Chad Haufschild talk about their journey in filmmaking, from making a streaming deal with Netflix to navigating the shifting landscape of media over the past twenty years. Check out their work on Amazon Prime. 
July 13, 2020
36. DACA Activist Fatima Flores-Lagunas
Fatima Flores-Lagunas discusses life as a DACA recipient in Nebraska as well as her activism toward a path to citizenship for undocumented children, which has included representing DACA youth at the Supreme Court.
July 3, 2020
35. Director Tony Bonacci (Featuring Hector Anchondo)
Director Tony Bonacci discusses his evolution in filmmaking leading up to the award-winning The Headliner, which he is now developing into a feature that he intends to shoot in Nebraska. Later in the show, musician Hector Anchondo discusses how COVID-19 has affected his life as a musician trying to reach an audience. 
June 29, 2020
34. Author David Philip Mullins
Author David Philip Mullins discusses his new novel The Brightest Place in the World, which traces the lives of four characters haunted by an industrial disaster, and is available wherever you get books.
June 22, 2020
33. Congressional Candidate Kate Bolz
Kate Bolz discusses her role as a congressional candidate and current Nebraska state senator who is the Democratic challenger to sitting representative Jeff Fortenberry for Nebraska’s first congressional district
June 15, 2020
32. Filmmakers Jesse Snider and Jaz Schoeneck
Filmmakers Jesse Snider and Jaz Shoeneck discuss their new Nebraskan production company, Gnarly Pioneers, their projects The Hero and The Feed, which premiered at the Prairie Lights Film Festival, and their upcoming projects that they intend to shoot in Nebraska once COVID 19 restrictions have eased.
June 1, 2020
31. Writer Sally J. Walker
Author, playwright, and screenwriting instructor Sally J. Walker discusses the necessity of pragmatism in a life as a writer and what techniques she has learned from decades of craft that can be found in her new book Learn Screenwriting--available wherever you get books.
May 25, 2020
30. Author Amy Bonnaffons
Author Amy Bonnaffons discusses her new novel, The Regrets, as well as her life as a writer in isolation during the COVID 19 pandemic. Check out The Regrets as well as the short story collection The Wrong Heaven wherever you get books.
May 18, 2020
29. Actor Darrick Silkman
Acclaimed actor Darrick Silkman discusses his evolution from stage performances such as Angels in America and Nebraska Shakespeare to becoming a major presence in Nebraska filmmaking--most recently by starring as a seasoned comedian in the award-winning film The Headliner.
May 11, 2020
28. US Senate Candidate Angie Philips
On today's episode, Riverside Chats concludes its series leading up to the Nebraska primary on May 12th in a conversation with US Senate candidate Angie Philips, who is running against sitting senator Ben Sasse.
May 4, 2020
27. US Senate Candidate Chris Janicek
Riverside Chats continues its look into the congressional candidates who want to represent you in the federal government leading up to Nebraska’s primary on May 12. This week, Tom speaks with US Senate candidate Chris Janicek, who is running against Nebraska’s sitting Senator Ben Sasse. Janicek speaks about his disillusionment with the political system and how his personal struggle with healthcare inspired him to take the leap to run for office and influence the country with his ideas for improvement. Later in the show, Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt addresses frequently asked questions about mail-in voting.
April 27, 2020
26. Congressional Candidate Kara Eastman (April 2020)
Riverside Chats continues its look into the congressional candidates who want to represent you in the federal government leading up to Nebraska’s primary on May 12. This week, Tom has a conversation with congressional candidate Kara Eastman, who is running to represent Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Later in the episode, Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt answers frequently asked questions about mail-in voting. This is episode three of Riverside Chats produced in conjunction with KIOS Omaha.
April 20, 2020
25. Congressional Candidate Ann Ashford
On today’s show, we continue our look into the congressional candidates who want to represent you in the federal government leading up to Nebraska’s primary on May 12. Last week, Tom spoke with Representative Don Bacon. This week, he has a conversation with congressional candidate Ann Ashford, who is running against Bacon for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Ashford speaks about her feeling that, after growing up as a Republican, the party left her, so she left the party and became a Democrat who prioritizes individual views over forced consensus. This is the second episode of Riverside Chats produced in conjunction with KIOS and has been edited from a July 2019 conversation. Music featured: No Good Layabout by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
April 13, 2020
24. Congressman Don Bacon
Representative Don Bacon talks about his life, his journey in politics, and the inability of our current political moment to agree on a definition of socialism. Episode one of Riverside Chats produced in conjunction with KIOS Omaha.
April 6, 2020
23. Connor Brandt and Jordan Gaul of The Real Zebos (Extended Podcast Edition)
Connor Brandt and Jordan Gaul talk about the founding of their band, The Real Zebos, and the story of their new album, Strictly Platonic.
November 13, 2019
22. Writer Christine Burright McGuigan (Extended Podcast Edition)
Christine Burright McGuigan has had a busy couple of years. She's best known for writing the hit short The Headliner, which is currently being turned into a feature film from director Tony Bonacci. On today's show, she tells the story of her life as someone who didn't always want to be a writer but then found that she had a talent for it that has developed into several projects she's currently working on--including a spec and multiple pilot scripts. Support the show at
October 23, 2019
21. Actor Raydell Cordell III
Raydell Cordell III fell in love with acting as a kid in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He has done Midsummer five different times and uses it as a way to get to know himself better and gauge how he's changed as an actor and a person. He's currently in the hit play Red Summer, which has sold out its entire run at the Bluebarn. Support Riverside Chats at
October 9, 2019
20. Playwright Beaufield Berry (Extended Podcast Edition)
Beaufield Berry doesn't know how to be bored. She does know how to jump headfirst into her passions and create all sorts of projects that both entertain and explore the human condition. Her latest project is Red Summer, a play which is currently opening the Bluebarn Theatre's 31st season. Red Summer explores the life of William Brown, the butcher lynched in downtown Omaha 100 years ago last week. On today's show, Beaufield discusses how she became interested in theater and how this show came to life. Tickets are available at Red Summer runs through October 20th.
October 2, 2019
19. Congressional Candidate Morgann Freeman
Morgann Freeman is running for congress on a simple mission: she wants to serve constituents by placing their interests above her own. She sees congress losing its ostensible purpose as public servants, and she wants to make that the new reality by embracing the democratic ideal of the Founding Fathers over the current political climate. On today's show, she explains her political ideology and how she felt compelled to run for office.
September 11, 2019
18. Senator Megan Hunt
Senator Megan Hunt has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. From getting kids in her third grade class to submit creative writing to a website she'd created as an eight year old to running a successful business in Omaha (Hello Holiday), Senator Hunt has always had diverse interests and works hard to achieve whatever she sets her mind to. In 2018, that meant running for state legislature. On today's show, Senator Hunt discusses how she ended up getting involved in politics as well as her pitch for an honest legislating philosophy. Support Riverside Chats at
August 1, 2019
17. Performance Artist Caitlin Little
Caitlin Little is always processing the world through her art, but that doesn't mean she wants the commentary to be obvious. On today's show, she explains her philosophy of adjacency and her experiences with performance art in Omaha. Support Riverside Chats at
July 25, 2019
16. Documentarians Cathy Lohmeier and Sharonda Harris Marshall
In 1978, Tim Lohmeier turned his family’s fried chicken restaurant, The Drumstick, in Lincoln, Nebraska into a rock n’ roll club that would go on to be frequented by bands such as REM, Joan Jett, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. On today's show, Tim's sister Cathy Lohmeier and filmmaker Sharonda Harris Marshall discuss the tragic story of The Drumstick and how they are turning its legacy into an upcoming documentary: Remember the Drumstick. Support Remember the Drumstick at Support Riverside Chats at Music by Kevin Macleod.
July 18, 2019