KPTZ, our community and the world lost our beloved Marcia Perlstein on Sunday evening, February 25, 2018. Marcia was the host of the two radio programs Pleasures and Treasures (aka Treasures and Pleasures) and Under the Rainbow, and she was a lifelong activist for human rights and justice. She called herself “your friendly neighborhood interviewer,” and urged us all to “Go gently, or as gently as you can.” Marcia was a force for good, for humanity, for justice, for art, for love.
Marcia passed peacefully, with her closest loved ones, including 30-year loving partner Nyla, her sister, and a dear friend from days of yore in Berkeley. Displaying perpetual good humor and good will, most of her colleagues did not know that the indomitably positive Marcia struggled with extremely challenging health issues. It was with disbelief that we learned late Sunday afternoon that she had finally succumbed to those challenges — and many of us lost not only a good friend, but also their most ardent supporter.
On KPTZ, Marcia produced Pleasures and Treasures (or Treasures and Pleasures, an interchangeably monikered radio program) and Under the Rainbow. As a bold protagonist of LGBTQ issues, she always hosted with her characteristic good humor and good will. Marcia also shared her inimitable interview skills every year during KPTZ’s live coverage of the Port Townsend Film Festival, co-hosting along with Program Director Larry Stein to bring us the backstories of participating filmmakers.
Since hitting the streets on her first civil rights march in 1959, Marcia was continually involved in social justice struggles. In her professional life in education and as a practicing psychotherapist since 1967, she helped folks access their strengths for their own growth and the betterment of their communities. She was principal of a special high school in Alameda County, for students having trouble in the regular schools. Her empathy and creative thinking helped many of those students succeed. At one point Marcia ran for Superintendent of the Alameda County school system. She was the author of a number of books and articles about her educational ideas and experience.
KPTZ provided Marcia with the opportunity to be in conversation with our rich collection of personalities and to share those conversations with our listening community. She brought compelling personalities and ideas into our homes through the airwaves and our streaming computers. Marcia said, “As Your Friendly Neighborhood Interviewer, I consider myself homeroom in bringing our community conversations, which tap the talents and dreams of our neighbors.”
Marcia loved and cherished KPTZ, as evidenced by all the good will and creative energy she shared with our entire community, and she was much loved by all those involved in the station. We shall miss her terribly.
The PT Film Festival’s 2018 program “Welcome to PTFF Focus: Women & Film” is dedicating the festival to Marcia’s legacy of activism, compassion and boundless enthusiasm for art and ideas.
A Memorial Celebration is planned for Marcia on Saturday, May at 3-5pm at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
On Wednesday, February 28, KPTZ paid tribute to Marcia Perlstein with a special airing of Larry Stein’s Bring Your Records. Many friends of Marcia talked about her and her wide-ranging influence on our Port Townsend community, as well as the world at large. Click on the links below to listen to the program, divided into hour-long segments, which also include clips of Marcia’s programs:
Hour 1 Guests: Colin Foden, KPTZ Founder; Steve Evans, KPTZ News Director; Ellen Bonjorno, host of Sing It Sister! on KPTZ; Michael Townsend sings Woody Guthrie’s “I Ain’t Got No Home in the World Anymore”; Nan Evans, producer of Nature Now, reads a poem by Marcia; Anna Quinn, of Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Books; Michelle Sandoval, City Council member and former Mayor.
Hour 2 Guests: Anna Quinn, Writers’ Workshoppe; Patty Cogen, friend of Marcia; Janette Force, Director of Port Townsend Film Festival; Judith-Kate Friedman performs a song from Songwriting Works, “Way Up in the Air”; Denise Winter, Director of Key City Public Theater; Amanda Steurer, Actor and Director of Key City Public Theatre; Sheila Khalov contributes a recorded comedy clip she and Marcia shared.