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Cultured Broad

Cultured Broad

By Rasha Shaker

Cultured Broad is an art, music & culture blog and podcast that mixes edge with sophistication. We like to pretend we're more sophisticated than we really are.
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Episode 4: Happily Ever After with Anne Beall

Cultured BroadFeb 11, 2020

Episode 6: Keeping Secrets with Mary Beth Wilkas Janke

Episode 6: Keeping Secrets with Mary Beth Wilkas Janke

Mary Beth Wilkas Janke is a master of staying calm and level-headed in the most daunting circumstances. A former US Secret Service Agent, Mary Beth has fought in life-or-death circumstances and executed high-speed defensive maneuvers in vehicles -- all the while maintaining enough cool to get the job done.

Her new memoir, The Protector: A Woman’s Journey From the Secret Service to Guarding VIPs and Working in Some of the World’s Most Dangerous Places, tells all.

Mary Beth, now a professor of Abnormal Psychology at

Apr 19, 202032:10
Episode 5: Getting Ballsy with Alice Combs

Episode 5: Getting Ballsy with Alice Combs

Alice Combs transformed herself from a divorced mother of two on food stamps into a successful entrepreneur and owner of Vulcan Wire, a provider of baler wire to recycling companies in northern California.

Alice shares the trailblazing stories of her journey from the bottom to the very top of the male- dominated trade. She can describe her eye-opening ordeals with an embezzling partner, cutthroat competitors, and employees who proved unreliable when they were most needed. She can also provide her lessons learned about how to survive and thrive in a man’s world.

Apr 03, 202030:22
Episode 4: Happily Ever After with Anne Beall

Episode 4: Happily Ever After with Anne Beall

Fairy tale expert Anne Beall explains through her research why queens and princesses don't get their happily ever after.

News stories have been playing up the fairy tale theme in covering news of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to opt-out of the royal family.  (E.g.: “When Did the Fairy Tale Go Sour?” and “A Royal Fairy Tale Turns Grim.”)

But what about the role of fairy tales themselves in making and breaking the fantasy of Meghan and Harry?

Author Anne Beall, Ph.D. an expert on fairy tales, data and the psychology of gender, says that if we’d taken a close look at real fairy tales, we could have easily predicted this unhappy ending.

Anne’s firm analyzed 169 of the 200 Grimms’ fairy tales including Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.  Using statistical methods to identify hidden patterns, she discovered that happily ever after is often elusive or questionable for women who marry a Prince or King.

Feb 11, 202031:16
Episode 3: Samantha Sawyer

Episode 3: Samantha Sawyer

In this episode, I interview Sam Sawyer, creator of the animated series SALEM: The Secret Archive of Legends, Enchantments, and Monsters.

As a teenager in suburban Phoenix, aspiring artist Sam Sawyer couldn’t stop thinking about a story about a monster searching for an identity – an animated series that would feature a non-binary character as a hero.

Fast-forward a few years:  now a successful comic artist and visual designer, Sam created the animated series “SALEM: The Secret Archive of Legends, Enchantments, and Monsters,” featuring the vocal talent of Rob Paulsen (“Animaniacs”), Laura Bailey (“Critical Role” and “Dragon Ball Z”) and Adam McArthur (“Star vs. the Forces of Evil”).  It’s the story of a “cryptid” (creature) named Salem, raised by the Boogeyman, who learns that they are adopted.  Without a gender and without a core identity, Salem embarks on a journey of discovery among the world of faeries, goblins, and other cryptids.

Rob Paulsen said of Sam “She did what all the folks at Comic-Con love about this whole experience. It’s not about anything but utter joy in expressing yourself, being creative and being accepted for who you are. I’m really proud of her.”

But Sawyer isn’t only determined to bring back the edgy animation of her youth; she’s also a veteran comic book artist, a published author, and designer of three Tarot decks.  She appears at over 20 Comic-Con events per year and was an artistic collaborator on the new Lindsey Stirling music video, “The Upside.”

With her pink and purple “hombre” style haircut and bright personality, the queer-identified Sawyer knew she was an artist from a young age.  Despite leaving home early, and even being homeless for a time, her determination and talent allowed her to find a space for her unique artistic vision and gave her the confidence to keep conquering new frontiers.

Jan 12, 202033:39
Episode 2: In the Bush with Laura Madalinski
Dec 06, 201932:44
Episode 1: Interview with Julie Williams

Episode 1: Interview with Julie Williams

We sit down with singer-songwriter Julie Williams!



Cultured Broad is a music, arts & culture blog that mixes art with sophistication. Check us out!   




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Nov 15, 201920:21