WBUR Staff

Andrea Shea

Arts Reporter, WBUR

Andrea started listening to NPR on WEOS, her college radio station, during the Gulf War. She didn’t have a T.V. so it was her primary broadcast news source.Her attraction to public radio and the human voice continued into grad school. Andrea got a M.A. in Media Studies at the New School in New York (’93) with a focus in audio production. Her first sound piece was about America’s fear and fascination with tattoos.

Following graduation, Andrea moved to Washington D.C. and was lucky enough to get an internship on the NPR National Desk. After a few months, Andrea switched over Weekend Edition Sunday after being hired as the editorial assistant. Waking up on Sunday mornings at 4 a.m. as a twenty-something was not easy, but she did it for more than two years and learned a ton from the generous and talented producers and host Liane Hansen.

Then Andrea left NPR to brew beer professionally. She did that in Arlington Virginia and Key West, Florida. Soon enough the public radio siren beckoned Andrea back north, where she edited interviews for The World, an international daily news show produced by WGBH and the BBC.

In 1997 WBUR started developing the program Here & Now and Andrea was a founding producer. Over time she evolved into the show’s Arts Producer. The WBUR newsroom created an Arts and Culture Reporter position in 2007. Andrea has been following the explosively vibrant scene in Boston and beyond to the best of her abilities ever since.

Her work has been recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award for audio feature reporting, the Public Radio News Directors Award for use of sound, the Associated Press for use of sound, and a media award from Arts Learning, a group dedicated to arts education.

Recent stories

Turn It Down: Berklee And Spotify Team Up To Save Our Ears

May 19, 2015
The World Health Organization predicts 1 billion young people could develop hearing loss due to poor listening habits. While all of our ears are at stake, the prognosis is worse for musicians. So Berklee College of Music and Spotify are teaming up to raise awareness about threats to our hearing.(Emily Orpin/Flickr)

The World Health Organization predicts 1 billion young people could develop hearing loss due to poor listening habits. While all of our ears are at stake, the prognosis is worse for musicians. So Berklee College of Music and Spotify are teaming up to raise awareness about threats to our hearing.

A Yellow-Feathered Homecoming For The World’s Most Famous Bird (And Grouch!)

May 15, 2015
Archival photo of Caroll Spinney puppeteering Big Bird. (Courtesy Robert Furhing)

A new documentary about the Waltham native whose voice acting and puppetry are behind “Sesame Street’s” Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch is screening at the Brattle Theatre..

Keith Lockhart Marks 20 Years With The Boston Pops

May 06, 2015
Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the 31st annual “A Company Christmas at Pops" at Symphony Hall in Boston in 2014. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Lockhart, who began conducting the Pops at age 35, reflects on his time with the beloved orchestra.

100 Miles Of Rope And A Half-Million Knots — Say Hello To Boston’s New Piece Of Public Art

May 05, 2015
Janet Elchelman's 2,000-pound fiber net sculpture is suspended between three skyscrapers and looks like it's floating high above the Rose Kennedy Greenway. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

It’s hard to miss Janet Echelman’s massive public art project on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Brookline resident’s 2,000-pound sculpture is suspended between three skyscrapers and appears to be floating.

‘Don Giovanni': BLO Tries To Keep Mozart’s 18th Century ‘Charming’ Sexual Predator Relevant

May 01, 2015
Donna Elvira (Jennifer Johnson Cano) and Don Giovanni (Duncan Rock) in the Boston Lyric Opera's latest production. (Eric Antoniou/Courtesy Boston Lyric Opera)

The opera’s director acknowledges that depictions of rape in the play feel especially disturbing in light of a spate of revelations about college campus rape, but she says the centuries-old tale is still “interesting, relevant storytelling.” The Boston Lyric Opera’s Don Giovanni opens Friday at the Shubert Theatre with performances through Sunday, May 10.

‘Too Small To Fail': Boston Still A Training Ground For Budding Comedians

April 17, 2015
Comedian Eugene Mirman, pictured here performing during the 2014 SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, is known for his roles on TV shows like “Flight of the Concords” and “Bob’s Burgers.” He’s back in Boston this weekend for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. (John Davisson/Invision/AP)

Comedians with Boston roots are returning this weekend for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. Many comedians, including Mirman, began their careers training and bombing in Boston.

Boston MFA Names Matthew Teitelbaum Its New Director

April 09, 2015
Matthew Teitelbaum (Courtesy of The Art Gallery of Ontario)

Teitelbaum, who’s led the Art Gallery of Ontario since 1998, will be the 11th director in the MFA’s 145-year history.

This Boston Composer Finds Inspiration In His Cupboard

April 07, 2015
Brian Friedland, a composer who puts text from product packaging to music, scours the cereal aisle at a Trader Joe's. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

With his “Household Items” project, Brian Friedland takes words on packaging for products — such as granola, mouthwash and tea — then sets them to some music.

Boston Symphony Orchestra To Reveal More About Conductor Andris Nelsons

April 03, 2015
Andris Nelsons conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra. (Marco Borggreve)

In its upcoming season, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is expected to showcase new works that share more about the personal stylings of its music director, Andris Nelsons. He’s entering his second season.

Hokusai's 19th Century ‘Great Wave,’ So Iconic It's An Emoji, Comes Home To The MFA

April 03, 2015
"Under the Wave off Kanagawa," Katsushika Hokusai, about 1830–31 (MFA Boston)

“The Great Wave” has been adored, co-opted and parodied, used in ad campaigns for everything from Patagonia to Sapporo beer, it’s even an emoji. And now it’s the star attraction in a new exhibition at the MFA.

‘My Mom Can Bench Press Your Mom’ — Female Power Lifters Celebrated In Photo Exhibition

March 24, 2015
Jane in Competition

Feminine strength comes in many forms. The physical kind is on display now in a photography exhibition at City Hall featuring female power lifters.

Saving A Slaughterhouse: Why Groton Rallied Behind Blood Farm

March 12, 2015
Tom Peyton, Blood Farm's plant manager, walks in front of the newly built processing facility in Groton. A fire in December 2013 destroyed the business that has been staffed by seven generations of Bloods. After the fire, the community of Groton joined with the local meat industry to urge the family, one of only two USDA certified slaughterhouses in the state, to rebuild. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Bloods (yes, that’s their real name) have been running Blood Farm in Groton for seven generations.
When a fire threatened to shut them down for good, the family was surprised by the outpouring of support urging them to rebuild.

Gov. Baker Proposes Eliminating Film Tax Credit

March 04, 2015
Rebecca Hall, left, and Ben Affleck are shown in a scene from "The Town." (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Claire Folger)

The cut would pay for Baker’s proposed increase in the state’s earned income tax credit for low-income working families.

Is Making Sausage A Manly Pursuit? One Local Female Charcutiere Says Not Necessarily

January 08, 2015
Charcutiere Julie Biggs (Courtesy Julie Biggs)

Boston-area charcutiere Julie Biggs is up for a Good Food Award Thursday night in San Francisco.

Why Are These Scientists Singing About Ebola?

October 03, 2014
Computational biologist Pardis Sabeti (YouTube)

A Harvard scientist and her African colleagues create an uplifting song about Ebola that both helps heal their grief over fallen colleagues and serves to educate the public.

The Art of Aging And Destruction

August 19, 2014
Film/TV "ager/dyer" Jill Thibeau. (WBUR/Andrea Shea)

We profile costumer Jill Thibeau, whose job is to age and destroy clothing to fit the needs of a particular a character or scene in film and television.

Tanglewood Embraces Local Food Movement

August 07, 2014
Classical music fans have been picnicking on Tanglewood's lush lawn for years. (Alan Solomon/ AP File)

Food has always been a big part of the Tanglewood experience. But a larger effort is under way this summer to use more locally-sourced products at all events on the Lenox campus.

Porter Square Ramen Shop Wants To Make Your Dreams Come True

July 16, 2014
Yume Wo Katare owner and ramen master Tsuyoshi Nishioka welcomes customers by yelling “Irashaimase!” from behind the long counter that separates his open kitchen and the shop's 18-seat dining room. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Eating ramen at Yume Wo Katare in Cambridge is seen as a path to personal fulfillment — if you can finish their giant bowl of ramen, you can do anything in life. That’s the concept. Some customers even write their dreams down and hang them on the restaurant’s walls.

Smell Ya Later: The World's First Transatlantic Scent Message Has Been Received

June 18, 2014

A Harvard University professor and inventor is behind the world’s first transatlantic scent message that was successfully transmitted Tuesday.

You Lend What? Seed Lending Libraries Crop Up Around Massachusetts

June 18, 2014
One of the goals of the seed lending library movement is to preserve antique fruit, vegetables and flowers, otherwise known as heirlooms. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

There are lending libraries for tools, fishing poles, telescopes, even baking pans. Now gardeners are increasingly finding places to “borrow” too, as seed lending libraries crop up across the country.

Music Freaks At Somerville’s The Echo Nest Fuel The Engine Under Spotify’s Hood

May 01, 2014
Echo Nest created the behind-the-scenes platforms that recommend songs we might like when we use music screaming sites like Spotify or iHeart Radio. (William Brawley/Flickr)

Somerville-based The Echo Nest creates the behind-the-scenes song recommendation platforms for music streaming sites and was recently acquired by Spotify.

With Help From MIT Engineer, Marathon Bombing Survivor Dances Again

March 19, 2014
Marathon bombing victim Adrianne Haslet-Davis dances at the TED Conference in Vancouver on Wednesday. (James Duncan Davidson/TED via Flickr)

Wednesday at the TED conference in Vancouver, Adrianne Haslet-Davis will dance on the bionic leg she inspired MIT engineer Hugh Herr to create.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Cello ‘Boy Band’

February 01, 2013
From left to right: Mihail Jojatu, Blaise Dejardin, Alexandre Lecarme and Adam Esbensen at Symphony Hall in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Four members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s cello section are taking their beloved instruments into the spotlight with a group they’re calling the Boston Cello Quartet.

The Man Behind A Thousand Bows Gets A ‘Genius Grant’

October 03, 2012
Benoit Rolland, in his home bow-making studio (Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

We visit Benoit Rolland in his Watertown studio, after he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”

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