Creative Life

Our series Creative Life discontinued on October 30th, 2017. It has been replaced by Ways of Life

The Creative Life archive lives on this page. Creative Life offered an audio tour of arts, culture, and inspiration on the Cape and Islands. Our region is rich with creative diversity, and so are the stories we tell.

Creative Life is edited by Jay Allison.

Creative Life is made possible by The Circle of Ten, ten local businesses and organizations committed to local programming on WCAI.

A Nose for Memory: Antonia's Flowers

Aug 1, 2016


  Antonia Bellanca makes perfume, but not just any perfume.  Her scents are inspired by memories from her own life.  It began with  her former flower shop Antonia’s Flowers.  Dissatisfied with the lack of variety in women’s perfumes, Antonia set out to make her own, and she began with her favorite flower: freesia.  

Throughout history, humans have made music to communicate emotions that are difficult to put into words. On Cape Cod, an artist named Michael Page has created an array of brooding soundscapes to give vent to the darkest things inside of him. In this story, Ryan Sweikert takes us on a journey inside the mind of a troubled musician. 

Photo by Organic Photography


Local musician Sarah Swain wasn’t always local. She was once a guitar player in a pop punk band in LA. They were about to make it big, but the music just wasn’t her style. So Sarah packed her car and disappeared in the middle of the night.

Gyotaku is a 2,000-year-old Japanese art form. Jenny Bovey is one of its few full-time practitioners in the United States. You can find her immersed in paints, ink, fish, fabric, and fine paper in her studio-and-store on Main Street in Chatham. 

Jacqueline Schwab

May 30, 2016

 A profile of Chatham pianist Jacqueline Schwab, best known for her work with Ken Burns on his epic public television series “The Civil War.” Reported by Brian Morris.

Lil' Big Sound

May 16, 2016

In Steve Gregory's ukulele classes at The Cotuit Center for the Arts, that tiny instrument is a big deal.

For more information about lessons, you can visit the website for The Cotuit Center for the Arts.

The Art of a Wig Maker

Apr 29, 2016

Richard Theodore started working with wigs and hair pieces over 50 years ago. Throughout his life's work, he's seen how wigs have come in and out of style. Wigs were once an everyday fashion statement, a part of life in the 60s. Today wig fashions are considerably less visible.  Ellie Payne Smith went to speak with Theodore in Hyannis.

Michael Craughwell is a welder. He was born in Galway, Ireland, but now lives in West Tisbury with his wife, a Martha’s Vineyard native, and their two small children. For our series Creative Life, Steve Junker paid him a visit.

Photo by Jacqui Helbert



Teenagers are often overlooked by the artistic community because it is assumed that they do not have enough life experience to have an original voice. Fifteen year old poet Sierra Abbott proves that it would be a mistake to discount her unique form of expression.

Photo by Ciara Gillan

Mick Carlon teaches English to 7th graders. Word is that Mick is the most popular teacher in school - most likely because of his unique approach of bringing literature to life.  

Carlon’s class read books like The Outsiders and The Pigman. Books that tackle complex issues: Racism. Segregation. Class Divisions. Carlon’s challenge is to engage mostly white, 11- and 12-year-olds with books set in a time and place that is far removed from their own. 

photo by Bethel Habte


When most kids grow up, they leave fairy tales behind. Instead, 23-year-old fashion designer Bree Billiter infuses her work with a little bit of storybook magic.  

A Hidden Slice of Jamaica... Just Down the Road

Feb 1, 2016
photo by Jimmy Gutierrez


Imagine trying to cook without the conveniences of electricity, running water, or a stove. Growing up in Jamaica, that’s exactly how Glenroy Solomon Burke, better known as Chef Shrimpy, had to learn. Today he owns a restaurant in South Yarmouth cooking his native cuisine.

photo by Josh Chapman


Bouncing back from addiction takes strong support. Mike Riordan and Josh Chapman find that in skateboarding and the friendship that has ensued. The two celebrate their friendship and stave off addiction by creating skateboarding videos. 

Photosynthesis in Polka Dots

Jan 4, 2016
photo by Devika Bakshi

Molly Bang is a children’s book author and illustrator. She’s written celebrated books like The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher and When Sophie Gets Angry…Really Really Angry. Her modern-day fables have been translated into dozens of languages. But over the past few years, she’s been working on something quite different.

In Dennis, the Pan Man reigns supreme

Dec 14, 2015
Photo by Martine Powers October 2015


 Michael Gabriel has lived on the Cape for decades, but he originally hails from Trinidad — the birthplace of the metal percussion instrument known as the steel pan. Gabriel is a virtuosic pan player, and his gifts allow him to lead a kind of double life.