Reporting the Arts for Radio with Studio 360 Senior Editor David Krasnow, CUNY Jschool, Aug 7

An ongoing series of events in August for prospective CUNY jschool students – FREE! Details here and below:
Tuesday, August 7

9 a.m.-Noon
Constant Culture: Reporting the Arts for Radio, Studio 360 Senior Editor David Krasnow, Room 436
Join veteran editor and radio producer David Krasnow as he dissects the experience of making a story, from pitch to broadcast, at the national arts and culture program Studio 360. Students will learn what makes not just good, but great arts reporting. Bonus: Bring that story idea you’ve been tossing around and if you’re brave enough to pitch to the crowd, David will give you his two cents. (Limit: 20 students)

David Krasnow is the senior editor of “Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen,” public radio’s weekly national program on the arts and pop culture. As an editor and writer, he has worked in various media covering music, art, design, land use, history, science, and health care. Formerly the reviews editor of Artforum, he has contributed to the Village Voice, Jazz Times, Metropolis, The New York Observer, and The Wire, and remains a contributing editor for Bomb. He teaches radio writing to print journalists at Mediabistro and has appeared as a panelist at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the Public Radio Program Directors conference. He began filing for “Studio 360″ with a profile of experimental musician Pauline Oliveros and joined the staff in 2003. For the program’s American Icons series, he produced features on Andy Warhol’s soup cans, the folk ballad “John Henry,” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” He was first on air at age 17 on his college station, WESU.

2012 CA Documentary Project – Grants for film, radio, new media

Grants from $10-50K are now available for CA doc producers in radio, film, and new media. Deadline is Oct 1. Go for it! Details below.


Guidelines are now available for the California Documentary Project (CDP), a competitive grants program of Cal Humanities that supports documentary film, radio, and new media productions that enhance our understanding of California and its cultures, peoples, and histories. Projects must use the humanities to provide context, depth, and perspective and be suitable for California and national audiences through broadcast and/or distribution. CDP grants support projects at the research and development, production, and public engagement stages. Award amounts range from $10,000 up to $50,000 and the deadline is October 1, 2012.


Please see for the latest guidelines, a list of recently supported projects, and information on upcoming grant workshops and webinars.


Thanks so much for helping to spread the word. Please feel free to direct any inquiries to me at


All the best,



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This American Life THEME LIST

The latest from TAL!

Dear This American Life friends and contributors,

It’s been a while! We’ve been sending out these Theme Lists with less
frequency lately in the hopes that we don’t exhaust you and your
patience with us. But please know that you’re free to pitch us
stories whenever you like. You don’t need to wait for a Theme List or
appropriate theme. I know the Theme List can help generate ideas or
remind you about a story you heard about a while ago so, below, we've
got a new round of themes-in-progress listed. Please send us your
story pitches, thoughts and suggestions for our upcoming shows.

How this process works: When you send in a story idea to me, I'll
respond with a generic email letting you know that I received your
pitch and that I've read it. I promise. I read every pitch. (I
won't send you the auto response until I've read your pitch so expect
a bit of a delay getting that email.) If we think the pitch is right
for us, or if we need more information from you, I'll send you another
email asking for more info on the story or letting you know we'd like
to commission the story. But if you don't hear back from us within two
weeks, beyond the initial auto-reply email, it means the story just
isn't right for us or for the needs of that particular show. The idea
of doing it this way is just to get through pitches and get back to
everyone quickly.

Like always, these themes are shows we're actively pursuing right now
but we're always on the lookout for new stories or ideas. So if
you've got a story that you think would work especially well for us
but doesn't fit a specific theme listed below, please send it along

Thanks so much for your pitches. We appreciate it.


RED / BLUE : We’re thinking about doing a show this fall on the
impossible divide between right and left, how we’re two separate camps
with two completely different perspectives on what’s happening in this
country. Of course there are many stories where the two camps are in
collision. That’s basically all the news, every day. For this
episode we’re looking for something more specific: we want stories
about the people who have to confront that chasm in their everyday
lives. For instance, we have one story about a guy who lives in a red
small town in a red state but he himself is secretly blue. He is a
central figure in the community – even holds elected office – but he
hides his political and social views from everyone in town. We’re
looking for others like him; we’re especially looking for Republicans
who are living in the blue world. We’re also looking for stories of
people trying to cross from one side to the other. Or trying to drag
someone from the other side to their side. Or maybe just trying to
collaborate and bridge a divide. Another story along those lines is
one we’ve maybe sent out on this list before: stories about previously
moderate people getting more extreme, egged on by watching Fox or
MSNBC. This seems to be an affliction common among older people (your
parents?) but we’re looking for any age. And finally, our ultimate
dream story: Romeo and Juliet. Or, like, kind of. A story about a
relationship that is actually affected by the political divide (one
family is blue, the other red! The couple is forbidden to be
together!) would be awesome. But we don’t necessarily need a couple –
it could be a story about good friends who get driven apart or a
divide in a group of friends or co-workers. Or send us your examples
that don’t fit in any of these categories. We’re still at the early
stages, thinking through the possibilities.

SUPERLATIVES: The Best Show Ever! Also known as the Superlative
show. We’d like to do a show where all the stories revolve around the
idea of an extreme of some kind. The biggest, the oldest, the most,
the least, the noisiest, the smallest … you get the idea. As usual,
we’re looking for plot-driven stories in which the characters are
facing a conflict, and ideally, we’d like a superlative quality to be
central to that conflict.

LOOPHOLES: We have a fairly long story in the works for this show so
we’re now looking for a couple smaller stories to help fill out the
show. The long-ish story is about an estate planner who has found a
way to exploit the fine print in health insurance policies, allowing
hospice patients to make some quick money while he makes something of
a fortune for himself. It’s not illegal and, at times, the insurance
companies themselves have actually encouraged the practice. It’s a
great story but pretty straight-forward in terms of the “finding a
loophole” kind of story. We’re now looking for other takes on the
theme: maybe a story where some person or group finds themselves the
accidental beneficiary of someone else’s sloppy lawmaking? Or maybe
someone misinterprets a rule or policy to right a wrong in some way?
Basically, we’d like stories about clever or unexpected workarounds.

BACK TO SCHOOL: This show is timed for early September and we have a
couple of stories already about education policy type things and a
piece about what makes students succeed and fail so what we’d really
like for this show is maybe something kind of fun. Or, at least, not
related to policy or curriculum. But just stories about the fun,
weird, unexpected, exciting or even depressing aspects of starting a
new school year. We’d love a story about “back to school” shopping.
Is there someone who has to take a truculent teen shopping for
appropriate clothes? Or maybe a simple story about dropping an
anxious kid off for her first day of school? A kid who has decided to
come back to school as a whole new person? Or maybe a place that
approaches the new school year in an interesting way?

DOPPELGANGERS: It’s common that children and teens who grow up in
high-violence neighborhoods will show the same kind of post-traumatic
stress disorders seen in veterans returning from combat. For this
show, we’re putting together one story where a former gang member and
a former soldier tell surprisingly similar stories about their
experiences living in a place with an ever-constant threat of
violence. Their stories begin in very different worlds but end up
coming together and, at times, they almost seem to take turns telling
the same story. We’re now looking for more stories about people who
seem to be “doubles.” Maybe a story about two people who are commonly
mistaken for one another? Or a story about doubles who are in very
different phases or places in their lives? The stories don’t
necessarily need to be about people, though. Maybe two businesses?
Or similar events that eerily repeat?

HIMBY: or, rather, “Hot In My Backyard.” Basically, we’d like to do
a show about the weather. And probably that means the show will end
up being about climate change, too. We’ve actually been trying to do
a show about climate change for several years but we always lose steam
once we start delving into stories that take place in the Arctic. Or
talk about the quickly-disappearing habitats of various species. The
difficulty with climate change stories is that many times you’re
speculating about what is likely to happen in the future. But you
can’t interview the future. So we end up sort of feeling stuck.
Until now. Because now it’s beginning to feel like it’s happening,
right? In America! So we’d like to do a show about the weather and
it’s effects on us Americans. It’d be great to find weird stories
about how extreme weather is being reflected in every day things.
Changing businesses? Changing the way common animals interact with
humans? Maybe stories about engineers who are coming up with strange
or frightening designs for things, in light of extreme weather? We’d
also like to assemble a ‘Gong Show’ type panel consisting of people
who aren’t climate change deniers or anything, they’re just people who
have a hard time totally caring enough to make a call for action. Are
you one of these people? We’d like to run various stories and
anecdotes past these weather agnostics and see what kinds of facts,
stories or happenings sway them to want to take action. All of that
stuff is on the climate change front, though. We’re also open to any
stories that are weather-related, too. Stories where the weather has
a big effect on the plot of the story or acts almost like a character
in the story.

AIR New Voices Scholarships for minority producers – Apply Now! Deadline 8/20

Funding is available for minority producers to attend the Third Coast Festival in Chicago this Oct 5-7. It's an amazing conference – get there if you can!

AIR's New Voices scholarships were established 3 years ago with
funding from CPB and NEA to support professional development for
minority producers working independently or at a public media
stations. Our goal is to broaden the pipeline for a new generation of
diverse talent – people who show potential to help make public media
more reflective of the American public. Many of our New Voices alumni
have found ripe opportunities to further develop their talents, expand
their professional relationships and understanding of the field, and
strengthen their voice.

We’ll be directing our 2012 scholars to attend the Third Coast
Conference happening in Evanston, IL on October 5-7. This is the
largest gathering of audio creatives in the country. We’re looking for
emerging and mid-career producers to take advantage of this
opportunity.  You may be working primarily with audio or sound, or you
may be a multi-media, video, or film producer interested in expanding
your chops. Get the scoop by reading our FAQ:

and also visiting:

Will you be one of the 20 we choose this year?  Apply @


We'll provide up to $1500 to each individual chosen. The funds must be
used to offset costs associated with Third Coast transportation,
meals, hotel, and registration. For more information and to apply:

If you know talented, eligible candidates, please forward this email to them.

If you have any questions about AIR’s New Voices scholarship contact
Erin Mishkin at

+++ AIR is everywhere. +++

Funding for this program comes from the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting (CPB) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

SoundCloud Fellowship – deadline extended to July 27

From the folks at SoundCloud – new deadline July 27. Details below.

Wanted to let you know that the submission deadline for fellowship applications has been EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 27.

If you haven't yet heard, SoundCloud is hoping to support 10 amazing 2-month fellowship projects with PR support + funding up to $5000.

We've got a fantastic selection panel who will pick the projects:

Producer Shea Shackelford representing AIR (!!)

Julie Shapiro, artistic director of the Third Coast Audio Festival, the country’s biggest showcase of audio feature and documentary work.

Lea Thau, The Peabody award-winning creator of The Moth Radio Hour and the new hit radio show Strangers

Corey Ford of The Public Media Accelerator, a new incubator for public-service media focused start-ups

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital officer of Columbia University

Tyler Moody, Vice President of CNN Radio

Nuala McGovern, Presenter of the BBC World Service’s Newsday

The crew from NPR and PRX’s Snap Judgment

Soraya Darabi, a New York City based entrepreneur, working on a new initiative. She is a co-founder of Foodspotting and sits on the Notables Board of Carnegie Hall.

Steve Angello of the world-renowned Swedish House Mafia


More info on the submission process can be found here:

CDS’s Making It Sing – AIR stipends available!

Last chance to sign up for the advanced radio course at CDS in a few weeks. Details below!

One more reminder about our summer week-long audio courses at CDS. We
still have openings for Making it Sing, our advanced course, August 6
– 11. If you're in, it's time to say so! Neenah Ellis, Shea
Shackelford and I will be working with producers as they produce a
piece they've brought to work on. In a special treat, we're looking at
a special guest appearance by the wonderful Tift Merritt, daughter of
North Carolina, singer-songwriter and interview podcaster.

Go here for the course description and registration  — note also the
fast-approaching Audio Retreat  offered by our good friends from Big

AIR is offering its members a $100 travel stipend to attend Making it
Sing. Four stipends for each course are available, first come, first
served. If you know someone who's NOT an AIR member who might benefit
from this opportunity, tell em to join AIR.

To apply for the AIR stipend:
Any questions, let me know ( ), or contact
my colleague April Walton:


John Biewen

Advanced Audio Storytelling at Maine Media Workshops, Aug 19-25

The very talented Sarah Kramer is teaching an advanced audio workshop in Maine this August. Details HERE and below. Don't miss it!

Advanced Audio Storytelling

Mesmerize your audience with audio narrative

Rob Rosenthal interviewing: Photo by Kate Philbrick

Rob Rosenthal interviewing: Photo by Kate PhilbrickAudio narratives engage the imagination. As Ira Glass of This American Life says with a smile, “Radio is your most visual medium.” That may be heretical to say to photographers, but Ira has a point. Audio storytelling engages the imagination like a good book. The listeners create their own images. Now that photographers are being asked to produce audio slideshows, videos, podcasts, and other media with a sound component, it’s important to learn to effectively harness the power of audio storytelling.

This workshop puts students in contact with some of the radio industry’s most qualified and creative individuals as a means to explore and utilize sound. During the week, students find and produce short documentary audio projects about the local community. In class, students discuss narration, interview techniques, ambient audio and story structure as a means to create compelling audio narratives. Additionally, instructors provide daily lectures, equipment demonstrations and critiques.

This is an advanced level audio class. Students should have a good understanding of digital audio content gathering. Students will utilize ProTools in editing and mixing their projects. General familiarity with this industry standard software is encouraged but not required.

Be a SoundCloud Community Fellow, rolling deadline ends 7/25

Be a SoundCloud Community Fellow and Help Us Unmute the Web!

High five to sound creators!

At SoundCloud, we’re continuously striving to unmute the web. Today, we’re looking for leaders to join our mission!

After last year’s inaugural program, today we’re launching our 2nd annual SoundCloud Community Fellowship to support and encourage the best creative minds to express their vision through sound. From mid-August to mid-October 2012, we will support up to 10 Fellows as they pursue a project of their own design using sound as a creative medium.  

So who are Community Fellows? Our Fellows are people who want to be heard, people with a story to tell, pursuing sound projects that cause a visceral reaction in their listeners. Our Fellows aim to make us laugh, cry, or think. They want to inspire and motivate others to follow in their footsteps and express creatively through sound. With SoundCloud’s support, we’ll bring to life the projects you dream up. And together, we’ll demonstrate to the world the compelling nature of sound.  

To get you inspired, here are some categories we are looking to pair with a potential Fellow. If you have ideas for creative sound projects in one of the following categories, please specify this in your project proposal. Feel free of course to also send us your proposals for projects outside of those categories:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Education
  • News & Politics
  • Storytelling

Take a look at the proposal process here and send us your proposals pronto. Don’t delay –  it’s a rolling submissions process so the sooner you apply, the better your chances will be of getting the support you request. Final deadline for consideration is 11:59pm Pacific Time on Wednesday July 25, 2012. Questions? Email Eliana at eliana(dot)sur(at)

Alright, let’s do this! We can’t wait to learn about your ideas for creative and engaging sound projects.

A Documentary Retreat July 29 – Aug 4, Durham, NC

Well this is just about the best idea I've ever heard. If you have the time and the means, go spend a week with these folks. I will be envious.


Any chance there's a project/tape/a documentary/proposal you've been meaning to set
aside the time to work on, but you're too busy? Wishing to freeze time or build a

secret room where you can just hide away and make the creations you imagine?

There is another option! 

Digging In: A Documentary Retreat
with Big Shed
(at the Center for Documentary Studies)
July 29 – Aug 4, 2012  |  Course fee: $480

For details —

Spend a week with a community of independent producers, Big Shed and
special guests at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke in Durham,
North Carolina. What you work on is up to you — a story you’re finishing,

a proposal you’re developing, a project you’re conceptualizing, or maybe you
just want the space and community to think about your creative trajectory.

I'm also super excited to join Shea Shackelford and Jesse Dukes of Big Shed 
in leading the retreat this summer.

The week is lightly structured to help you make significant progress
on a project that’s important to you.  Each day we’ll help you think
about how you can make the most of that time and offer some tools for

working to help you during the week and beyond.  Each day you’ll share
your ongoing work with other participants, the Big Shed team and
other special guests. While you’re getting helpful input, others
will be benefitting from your valuable ideas.  And when it’s time to

put your pencils down, we’ll stoke your creative fires and create ways
for you to relax and play.  Throughout the week you can expect
brilliant adventures, special guests, tasty food, music, dancing, thought provoking

presentations, late-night conversations, and hand-cranked ice cream on
the porch.

If you could use a break to really focus on something important in
your work, and you'd like to do that in a community of other producers

who will be doing the same sort of thing, Big Shed will make sure you
have an intensely relaxing, invigoratingly supportive time to dig deep
and get some serious (or not so serious—it’s up to you) work done.

– Kara (and Shea and Jesse)

Ps. This summer, we’re expanding our invitation to other documentary
mediums — writers, photographers, new media, film, et al. If you have
colleagues in those fields whom you think would be interested, please

feel free to share this with them.