Summer school

School is definitely not out for summer!  This June, Oral History Summer School returns to Hudson, New York (June 13 – July 1).  This program, which is now in its third year, brings together an international group of writers, social workers, radio producers, artists, teachers, and human rights workers with the purpose of helping them employ Oral History in their work.

Picture 1Oral History Summer School 2014 kicks off with an eight-day intensive introduction to Oral History that covers interview techniques, ethics, archives, project design and advocacy.   The week-long intensive will be followed by two production-focused workshops: Oral History and Radio and Oral History Experiments: Project Lab.  This year’s visiting instructors include Eugenie Mukeshimana (Genocide Survivors Support Network), Michael Garofalo (StoryCorps), Sarah Kramer (New York Times, NPR, HBO, PBS) and Jen Karady (Soldiers’ Stories From Iraq and Afghanistan).

To learn more about the program and apply go to



I already mentioned one great radio reason Chicago rules, but hey! Here’s another (and oddly enough, they both have a bird in the logo…).  I heard about Chicago Independent Radio Project, aka CHIRP, the moment I arrived in this city by what feels like osmosis.  And it has certainly been a huge part of connecting to a new life in a new city for me.  Oh, how I love some homegrown radio, run by people.  And for music, there just isn’t a better station in this town.  CHIRP started broadcasting online in January of 2010.  Its many dedicated volunteers were very active in getting the Local Community Radio Act passed, which allowed for more slots on the dial to open up.  They’re now pressuring the FCC to let low-power FM stations apply for those spots, especially in urban areas where dial space is precious.  This is in hopes of getting community voices on air and preventing big, corporate stations from repeating their already-in-existence stations on the newly opened spots.   When they’re not advocating for community-powered radio, they’re broadcasting awesome music online and supporting a ton of local independent shows and goings on around town.  They’re only in their second year of broadcast, and I totally see CHIRP blossoming into a community-run version of KEXP or KCRW.  Also, stay tuned for a new series I produce with the CHIRP news department in the coming weeks!

Listening on the Third Coast

We Recollectors are often spread out in different towns, and I currently find myself in Chicago, city of big shoulders.  A huge benefit to being in Chicago is sharing turf with other people who love radio, including the Third Coast Audio Festival and CHIRP (more on them later).  Third Coast describes itself as the Sundance for audio.   In addition to their audio conference, they also occasionally host listening lounges around town, giving people the opportunity to listen to radio with others!  I recently attended an evening focusing on the power of voice, and heard this great piece from 1989, called The Auctioneer.  It evoked really specific images for me.  The next listening lounge happens July 21 at the Old Town School of Folk Music (a place I would spend a lot of time if I had it) and will feature radio that makes you laugh!