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Thank you for a great year!

holiday photo featuring air staff on a festive zoom call

Dear AIR community,

For 33 years, AIR has been there for narrative audio makers, no matter where you are in your career. We provide essential tools, resources, training, mentorship, camaraderie and professional support for independents and creators to tell stories, craft podcasts and produce journalism for the ear: the kind of audio storytelling that expands perspectives and reshapes our understanding of the world, in all its complexity.

Over the last year, AIR’s staff and Board of Directors built on our three decades of industry-shaping work in so many ways we’re proud of. Here are just a few:

  • In March, we launched SoundPath, a powerful digital training platform, where we offer real-time classes and mentorship in audio-making, skills, craft and ethics.
  • We collaborated with the Editors Collective to launch Edit Mode, a paid training program designed to diversify and expand the pool of skilled story editors working in audio storytelling and journalism. Since the debut cohort graduated this summer, they’ve edited work for Throughline (NPR), CodeSwitch (NPR), This American Life (WBEZ) and have taken editing positions at Into America (MSNBC), Invisibilia (NPR) and NextGenRadio (NPR).
  • With COVID-19 still keeping many of us isolated, AIR revived a long-dormant member Slack and kicked off Community Coworking in February. If you want to feel the energy of community while getting work done, you should join us!
  • We worked with LWC Studios to launch The Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund -- the fund covers awards submission fees for work by BIPOC, Queer and Trans audio creators.
  • We’ve updated and built on our groundbreaking rate guides, and just this week we released the most recent updates to our indispensable Guide to Fair Practice.

In 2022, we are looking forward to even more energized organizing around fair rates and practices for independent and freelance audio professionals. We have a ton of great classes coming to SoundPath, and we’re planning to build out more resources to help our members navigate a changing landscape and negotiate deals with strength and confidence.

We hope our work has resonated with you directly in recent months: whether you’ve honed your editing skills, accessed our freelancer resources, used our research on rates to guide a negotiation, explored our weekly round-up of paid gigs and opportunities, learned from our training programs and fellowships or sharpened work for your own growing portfolio with the guidance of a mentor. We are committed to expanding access to our flagship programs, offering more flexible pricing models and sliding scale options, and to ensuring that anyone who’s passionate about building a professional path in audio has what they need to thrive. We know that many independent editors, engineers, musicians and producers have struggled to make ends meet over the last two years, and we want to ensure that SoundPath classes are available to the whole community.

We can't do that without your help: will you support AIR with a donation that will allow us to expand our work and continue to make sliding scale classes available on SoundPath in 2022? You can donate at

With gratitude,

Amanda Hickman (Interim Executive Director) and all of AIR’s staff