How to get a signed $20 bill from Ira Glass

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(Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Beahm)
<p>Ira Glass awarded Erika Randall an autographed $20 bill for her Radio Dance “Hello, blue soul.”</p>

Photo: $20 from IraWhat does it take to receive a signed $20 bill from Ira Glass, the host of public radio's “This American Life”?

For Erika Randall it was a matter of creating a Radio Dance for CPR!

Randall is the director of dance at University of Colorado Boulder. She choreographed and performed a short dance for the Colorado Public Radio airwaves earlier this year.

Glass heard the 50-second piece and liked it.

“My favorite of all of them was this one called ‘Hello Blue Soul’ by Erika Randall because she takes the assignment non-literally,” Glass said in an interview with Colorado Art Report host Chloe Veltman. “She talks about a dance movement she loves. I just thought it had a lot of feeling -- it made me see it and made me interested in that moment.”

While talking about the radio dance, the Glass impulsively reached into his wallet.

“Until the moment we sat down to do this interview, I had no idea I was going to be giving out a prize,” Glass says. “The prize I will be giving will be this $20 bill, which will not cover any of her costs, I’m sure. But that’s what I’ve got.”

One day, Randall came home from work to find an envelope addressed from “This American Life” in her mailbox. Inside, she found a slightly crumpled $20 bill that said, “Erika. Number 1. Radio Dance 2014. Ira glass.”

“Getting something that says I was number one, first of all, in life is always good for business,” Randall says. “But then when Ira Glass writes that and signs it, it’s really cool.”

Listen to Randall's radio dance titled "Hello, blue soul":

Randall’s dance is part of an on-going experiment initiated by the CPR Arts Bureau to discover if dance, a traditionally visual medium, can work in the aural world of radio.

Over the past several months, individual artists and dance companies across the state have sent in their submissions for the “Radio Dances” project. The dances span a variety of styles, from hip-hop and classical ballet, to tap and belly dance.

The Arts Bureau is still accepting submissions for 30- to 60-second Radio Dances to include in its online collection -- and, occasionally, feature on-air.

For more Radio Dances, click here.