Valarie Smith

Director of Corporate Development

As an avid world traveller and gallivanter, Valarie never lost sight of which way was home.  A Native to Western Kansas, she has been pursuing a life long career in the many forms of expressive arts including radio, photography, videography, graphics and design.  Graduating from Western State College with a bachelors in Art, Valarie once again returns to percolate her love for High Plains Public Radio.  Involved with HPPR since 2006, an inquiry about a drive way moment landed her a position as local host of Weekend Edition.  Wearing many hats at HPPR such as program host and a regional program producer, Valarie now joins us as Director of Membership and Underwriting. (Oh, and she also hosts Songbirds! Check it out.)

Ways to Connect

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A few weeks ago on SONGBIRDS, I reached a magical milestone: an interview with one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Ron PopeWe talked about his new project, "The Builder." As the world of a Nashville-based artist shifts through the rubble-- both from the tornado and a pandemic-- Ron has found a way to rebuild community through his music. (The best part: he gets to wear sweatpants!) 

Hey, Garden City! This just in : catch Kansas folksinger Sky Smeed LIVE in concert on THURSDAY, Nov. 14th at Garden City Community College’s Beth Tedrow Student Center Portico at 7:30 PM. It’s free and open to the public, so come on by. (Donations are accepted, though!)

Thanks so much to Lawrence Hoerman and Buddy Laws for sharing some time with HPPR today in support of the Garden City Municipal Band concert series going on this month.

Every Friday night between June 21 and July 19, the band will get together in the Stevens Park Bandshell (502 N. Main St.) in Garden City, KS from 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm CT. Tonight’s show will feature Buddy Laws on euphonium.

This week on Songbirds,  host Valarie Smith shares the peculiar way she was introduced to the music of Patty Griffin.  Enjoy a little spoken word about stepping stones, right before we sink like a stone to The Bottom of the Sea with Sean McConnell.   We'll join Anais Mitchell with Why We Build The Wall and welcome the music of Martin Gilmore to the HPPR airwaves.   All that and much more this week on Songbirds, Saturdays at 1.

The final farewell to an adventure well lived…

We are meeting with a young El Salvadoran, who has allegiance to his native country, while trying to fit in the best he can in our North American culture.

My taste buds are still seeking out food from Central America, so I am visiting an El Salvadoran restaurant in Garden City to appease my pupusa craving.

Heading home

Jul 1, 2012

Airports and Arrivals… the journey home begins.

We are sitting down on the shore of the largest lake in El Salvador, Lake Coatepeque, to watch the sun set behind the mountains as we say farewell to our time in El Salvador.

In part two of exploring Mozote, we will meet with two local men to hear their touching stories of the massacre and the civil war of El Salvador.

This is the first of a two part series from Mozote El Salvador, a village that was massacred in 1981.  We are meeting with a local woman to learn more.

We are in Tacuba this week, were the first communist rally was held in El Salvador.  We are joining native Osiris Gutierrez to learn more about  the history of this town and this country.

We are hitting the streets of Tacuba to check out the local fare.  We will sample the likes of Candy Oranges and the acclaimed national food of El Salvador, Pupusas!

In the peaceful mountain town of Juayua (why you ah), there thrives a market full of merchants young and old.  Today, we will be meeting a few.  From shoes to slabs of beef, just about anything is up for grabs.

Freedom can be defined in different ways, but freedom to these boys, all means the same thing.  We are crawling on the back of motorcycles for a sea side stroll with the San Salvadoran club "Los Implacables" (em PLAH cah blez).

We are meeting with final guest in the series which explores the culture  of El Salvador through art.   However, we are changing it up a little today, by  putting down the paint brush, and picking up the guitar. 

Antonio Bonilla, is our guest artist this week as we continue to explore El Salvador through the eyes of its artist.  We catch up the the internationally acclaimed artist at the spot of latest endeavor, a mural about the peace agreement of El Salvador.

Part One: We are continuing to get a feel for El Salvador through the eyes of three Artists, at a grass root art co-op in San Salvador. This week will be talking to artist Renacho Melgar, a founder of Urbano Colectivo.

This week on HPP, we are continuing to learn more from Ana at the Museum of Words and Images. This week focuses on the civil war in El Salvador and the role that radio played.

We are continuing to explore the museum of words and images in San Salvador with a look at the archbishop Oscar Romero.