Carla Eckels

Director of Cultural Diversity, news & engagement | 'Soulsations' Music Host

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for news and engagement at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 21 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosted Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on Q92FM.  Prior to KMUW, she was the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition at WYSO public radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Gospel Countdown Radio show in Cincinnati. Carla also was program director for KIBN, 90.7 The Inspirational Black Network in Wichita. 

In January 2018, she was honored with the Drum Major Award at Wichita State University's MLK Unity Walk.   In April 2016, WSU presented Carla with the exclusive honor of the Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award, The Carlisle Award is presented to an unclassified professional who models the standard of extraordinary service exhibited by the late Wayne Carlisle.

Carla has reported on national news stories such as the Hesston Shootings, BTK serial killer case, Roeder trial, Greensburg tornadoes and the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in for NPR.  The Dockum feature was the number one listened to story on KMUW’s website in 2007.

Aileen LeBlanc and Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of ant-abortion demonstrations to Wichita. Eckels is the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow regional awards for her reporting including a 2015 award for her story on Shockers Men's Basketball: A Candid Look. Carla also won a Public Service Announcement, 2nd place: “A Wichita Basketball Coach Overcomes Depression” in 2017 and a 1st place Kansas Association of Broadcasting award in 2015  for her story on Bipolar Disorder and 2nd place for DJ Personality Aircheck for Soulsations.  Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments.

From 2004 to 2007, Carla hosted the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ. She is the recipient of the Best Disc Jockey award voted on by subscribers of The Community Voice Newspaper.

Carla is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in communications. Her greatest joy is her family. She is married to Wichita and WSU Football Hall-of-Famer, Reuben Eckels and they have two children.

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Sunday, July 8

Sunday on Soulsations, new R&B music from Lynne Fiddmont. She’s sang soul, jazz and pop with Stevie Wonder, Seal, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, George Duke, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Streisand, B. B. King and Phil Collins. Fiddmont calls her 4th album, Power of Love, a throwback to when music was a groove and love was king.  

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

The Voices of the Rainbow Choir, made up of youth with different abilities, will make at least nine stops in Wichita this summer at various locations, and recently made a stop at KMUW.

Candace Staker is the family support services coordinator at Rainbows United, an organization that supports children with special needs. Staker says singing at different sites is a way to get the kids out and into the community.

"To get our kids out to meet people, work on some socialization and also a way for folks in the community to meet someone a little different from them," Staker says.

Courtesy Patricia Patterson

The Kansas African American Museum in Wichita will celebrate the blues this weekend with a new exhibition that showcases the genre's history and legacy.

Sunday, July 1  

Sunday on Soulsations, “Sweet Love” singer Anita Baker. The R&B music legend recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards 2018. The eight-time Grammy award winner is in the mist of her Anita Baker Farewell Tour. 

Sunday, June 24

Sunday on Soulsations the sounds of ultra soulful songstress, Stephanie Mills. The legendary Grammy-winning artist and Broadway actress has launched Stephanie Mills Network on YouTube. Mills continues to tour and is scheduled to perform on a Soul Train cruise (January 2019) with other artists including George Clinton, Gladys Knight and the Ohio Players.  

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The 1st Street and 2nd Street improvement projects in Wichita’s Old Town are well underway, with another new mural near completion.

The city-funded project includes four murals on the walls of the railroad underpasses.

Artist Todd Whipple is part of the design team that's working with Law Kingdon, an architecture firm, and TranSystems, an engineering firm that he says is responsible for the project.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Leola Montgomery is the widow of the Rev. Oliver Brown, the lead plaintiff in the 1954 landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Montgomery, who is scheduled to be in Wichita on Saturday to receive a special award, doesn’t look one bit of 97. Nor does she act like it.

John P. Kee Facebook

Award-winning gospel artist John P. Kee will be the headliner of this year’s Gospelfest on Monday at the Wichita Riverfest.

Courtesy of Comfort Care Homes

Gov. Jeff Colyer is scheduled to sign an executive order on Friday night that will lead to the development of a state dementia plan.

Kansas is the only state without a plan. Advocates have been in contact with Colyer since July about forming a task force and putting a plan together.

 

Sunday, May 27

This Sunday on Soulsations, legendary R&B crooner Howard Hewett talks about writing the 1980 hit "For the Lover in You" for the group Shalamar. Hewett is known for his soulfully smooth voice and still tours with Shalamar, singing lead vocals. Aside from Hewett, Shalamar's classic lineup included Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel. The group produced a total of three gold albums including Big Fun in 1979, Three for Love in 1980 and Friends in 1982. The latter eventutally went platinum.

We'll also feature gospel music from John P. Kee, headliner for Gospelfest at this year's Wichita Riverfest on Monday, June 4.

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