The invitation was simple: “pitch audio storytelling ideas that break traditional formats and reach new audiences.”
The reward was not: In June, NPR will host the first-ever Audio Storytelling Workshop, where public media creators will bring their ideas to D.C. for three days of planning, training and collaborating.
In partnership with AIR, NPR invited member station staff and independent producers to bring their best ideas forward. Today, NPR announced 12 winning teams, including six independent producers whose projects focus on more inclusive public media.
NPR’s announcement outlines all 12 projects. The winning independent work (and teams) includes:
• A podcast by Latino millennials that speaks to the issues of their generation.
Team members: Pita Juarez, Carla Chavarria, and Dominique Medina
Pita, a multimedia journalist based in Phoenix, an AIR member, and an alumna of Arizona State University, is inspired by social issues with a focus on underserved populations and the Latino community. She has worked in multiple settings, from mainstream television news to grassroots community radio stations. A contributing writer for both Spanish and English publications, Pita produces an episodic web series about DREAMers and is co-producing her first documentary about the healthcare system within the undocumented community in Phoenix.
As a DREAMer* living in Arizona, Carla couldn’t work for other people so she began working for herself as a graphic designer in modern social movements. In 2012, she founded YCM, building innovative and exciting marketing campaigns. Carla’s work has been featured in ColorLines magazine and the Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS).
Dom‘s family has been in the United States for eight generations, and he can remember a time when cell phones didn’t exist and he looked forward to buying a CD to see the design of the cover. After graduating with an art degree in 2007, he went on to work at the Arizona Attorney General’s office as their digital content creator and there he won the “Best Overall Web Site” award from the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG). Dominique went went on to be a digital organizer for different community organizations
• A podcast that explores people’s life choices — and what could have happened to them if they’d gone down a different path.
Team members: Kelly Jones, Clair Tacon, Chioke l’Anson
Kelly is a producer for BackStory, a public radio show and podcast about American history, and a member of AIR. She joined the BackStory team after leaving a graduate degree in philosophy for the life of a freelance radio producer. Her work has appeared on the BBC and she won a Third Coast International Audio Festival Short Docs prize for a 3-minute story about poutine.
Claire‘s first novel, “In the Field,” was the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke award. Her fiction has been short-listed for the Bronwen Wallace Award, the CBC Literary Awards and the Playboy College Fiction Contest, and has appeared in journals and anthologies such as The New Quarterly, sub-TERRAIN and Best Canadian Short Stories. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and is a lecturer at St. Jerome’s University.
Chioke is an instructor of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He uses Africana and continental philosophy to examine the perspectives and practices of non-governmental humanitarian aid organizations. Chioke is also the community producer for UnMonumental, part of AIR’s Localore: Finding America project. He rides an R1.
Congratulations to all of the teams, and especially to the AIRsters who were chosen: Indie producers Pita Juarez and Kelly Jones; KALW producer/reporter Hana Baba and editor Julie Caine; WLRN editorial director Alicia Zuckerman; Utah Public radio reporter/host Jennifer Pemberton; Alaska Public Media reporter/producer and podcast host Emily Kwong; and KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy.
There is also a strong thread of Localore
and Localore: Finding America
creativity in the chosen teams: Chioke l’Anson, who was selected to work on one of two indie podcasts, is a community producer for “Unmonumental”; WAMU is the host station for Katie Davis’ “Anacostia Unmapped”; and KUT was the incubator station for Localore’s “Austin Music Map.”
Thanks, also to the AIRsters and colleagues represented among the judges that NPR Training asked for advice: Talent Director Bec Feldhaus Adams, “Here Be Monsters” creator Jeff Emtman, award-winning indie producer and mentor Dmae Roberts; radio and podcast consultant Rekha Murthy; Next Generation Radio leader Doug Mitchell; and Kat Chow, who was a member of AIR’s selection committee for Localore: Finding America.