AIR has always been about talent.
Since its inception, AIR’s leaders and network of producers have recruited, cultivated, and deployed independent storymakers to enrich, expand, and strengthen the public media system.
Beginning with MakersQuest 2.0 (MQ2) in 2008, and supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the NEA and NYSCA, and others, we have established a new infrastructure to spur evolution across the public media system. MQ2, Localore, and other initiatives created “intrapreneurial” start-ups inside stations, led by gifted independent journalists. The outcomes of AIR’s productions have been tracked, analyzed, and reported for the benefit of the system. (See What’s Outside (2014), Spreading the Zing (2010), and Schardt Media’s Mapping Public Radio’s Independent Landscape (2004).
Our network has also become an incubator for the development of a diverse public media workforce. AIR’s New Voices Scholars program identifies and supports minority media makers at the beginning of their public media careers. Our peer-to-peer mentorships, and the specialized fellowships that emerged from that program, provide point-in-time development for producers at all stages of their careers.
All of our programming is designed to cultivate a robust pool of independent talent, and provide a pipeline for programs and stations that are ready to create media that reflects all of America.
We are committed to collaboration, to diversity, and to excellence in audio and media craft.
AIR producers carry the mission of public service media to every corner of America.With a particular expertise in audio, we hear what is not apparent, seek what may be hidden, and craft stories that reflect a full spectrum of human experience. We are dedicated to independence and to the highest ideals of craft. We are committed to collaborators sharing our vision. We will use all the resources available to us to create work that brings hope and enlightenment, with the power to embolden and unify.
Office: 617-825-4400 x407
Ava Fields was born and raised in Boston. She joined the AIR team as an Operations assistant in March of 2017. Before AIR, she worked for a class action Law Firm, The Department of Transitional Assistance and multiple factions of the Commonwealth of MASS – all of which had a focus on human service. With a love for stories, the arts and literature, she earned a BA in English Literature from the University of New Hampshire in 2009 with concentrations in Women’s Studies and Cinema Studies. Recently, in 2016, she earned her Master’s degree in Criminal Behavior as well. She currently resides in Boston with her family, boyfriend and twin cats.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Office: 617-825-4400 x403
Ken is a veteran of public media and independent production. During his tenure as Executive Director of BAVC, the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies was launched, the organization was awarded as a Creative and Effective Institution by the MacArthur Foundation and he co-authored the National Public Lightpath white paper as a blueprint for a public service internet for public media. As Managing Director of Public Radio Capital and Public Media Company, he co-architected the video streaming service, Vuhaus, and content-sharing platform, Channel X. Ken remains a partner of Studiotobe, an Oakland, CA-based production studio and co-working space for storytellers he co-founded in late 2017. His history of Board service includes Youth Speaks, Greater Public, The Working Group, Center for Asian American Media, New Art Trust, and The Alliance.
Annie Russell is a comedian and editor. Most recently, she was an editor at WBEZ in Chicago. She is an experienced public radio editor, reporter and producer. She’s worked on a variety of comedy podcasts, news stories and public radio projects.
She was previously deputy news director at Vermont Public Radio and host of The Pub, a podcast about public media for Current.org. In past lives she’s worked as a freelance podcast producer, live sound engineer, music writer, social worker, music director, and video store clerk.
She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School. She was a recipient of AIR’s 2017 Better Edit Fellowship.
She performs stand-up comedy all over the U.S. She’s opened for Marc Maron on the “Too Real Tour” and Al Madrigal at the University of Vermont.
She’s been featured in the Boston Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, North Carolina Comedy Festival, Floodwater Comedy Festival, Motor City Comedy Festival, Boston Comedy Arts Festival, Cream City Comedy Festival, Waking Windows Festival, Tower City Comedy Festival and the Green Mountain Comedy Festival. She was a 2015 and 2017 finalist for Seven Days’ ‘Best Stand-Up Comic,’ a reader’s choice award.
Deputy Director, Programs & Creative
Office: 617-825-4400 x405
Ngoc-Tran Vu is a Vietnamese American multimedia and transnational artist whose work and socially engaged practice draws from her experience as a community organizer and healer. She was born in Vietnam, grew up in Dorchester and Boston, and has lived in various cities and countries. Prior to joining AIR, Tran spent a year in Southeast Asia working on different arts projects and investigative narratives. Tran received her Master’s degree in Arts and Politics from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and her Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts from Brown University. She loves creative storytelling that is accessible, inclusive, and communities-centered, with a focus on social justice and cultural practices. Tran works across borders and boundaries.
Story Talent Curator
Jeanette Woods believes that everyone has a story to tell her and that people are the experts of their experience. Woods is a skilled producer, editor and reporter who has worked in public radio and television, documentary film and digital news. At WHYY she reported on stories from the science of saunas to Philadelphia’s underground economy, trained dozens of radio reporters in technical skills, story development and pitching, created programing around engaged journalism and produced and edited podcasts including Cosby Unraveled and The Remix.
Woods cultivates relationships between newsrooms and community stakeholders to create programming that accurately reflects cultural and ethnic diversity and builds trust between journalists and the public. As project lead for WHYY’s culturally competent newsroom project, she developed initiatives to implement inclusivity in news sources and editorial decisions. Working with NPR’s Vice President of Diversity, she instituted station wide source auditing.
Woods trains and mentors student reporters through NPR Next Generation Radio and serves on the board of Mighty Writers children’s literacy program.
Director, Freelance Futures Initiative
Amanda led BuzzFeed’s Open Lab for Journalism, Technology, and the Arts, and has taught reporting, multimedia storytelling and data visualization at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Columbia Journalism School. She helped launch DocumentCloud, an award winning reporting tool and catalog of primary source documents now used by thousands of journalists around the world, and her work as Director of Technology at Gotham Gazette, won numerous awards, including multiple notable entries to the Knight Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism, General Excellence in Online Journalism from the Online News Association and multiple Knight News Challenge Innovation grants. Amanda is also a foster parent and a mentor and editor with Emojination, and takes great pride in bringing 🧷🧵 and 🧶 to keyboards everywhere.
Erin McGregor is a queer Canadian podcast producer currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. She is the host and creator of Queer Public, a podcast that asks critical questions about queer identity, politics, and culture. Her current season of Queer Public seeks to elevate the voices of independent queer artists in Philadelphia and meets artists in real-life queer life. She is also a feature interview producer on a long-running queer indie music podcast Homoground. Erin holds a Master’s Degree in Social Justice & Equity Studies from Brock University where she studied broadcast news interviews on the CBC.
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