AIR came together with WHYY and the Public Radio News Directors, Inc to produce a live event at the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia. Host Erlina Ortiz had it right when she described the night as magical, with the hairs on the back of her neck standing up. We hadn’t planned it to happen on the summer solstice, but it was fitting that it landed than way — the day of greatest light. And there was the church itself. I only learned a day of two before our event that it was where the first women — 11 of them — were ordained to the Episcopal Church in defiance of national leadership. And in 1970, the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention was centered at the church, the first (perhaps only?) time respective leaders of the Chicano, Asian, Gay, Anti-War, Black Panthers, American Indian, and Women’s Liberation Movements came together to strategize. Read more
It is an extraordinary time and, as history demonstrates, times of unpredictability and flux are when tried and true forms for human expression are broken and expanded. Think Brahms, who ribboned his melodies across bar lines, shaking off the constraints of measured beats, helping to move out of the Classical and into the Romantic periods of musical expressionism. There’s the painter Agnes Martin who carried her compulsive grid making over decades into pure illuminations of the ineffable – representations of “beauty, innocence, happiness,” blurring the line between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. Read more
AIR’s Localore: Finding America production in New Orleans, “Unprisoned: Stories from the System,” presented a live storytelling event in March as part of a fantastic on-going series called BYO…Bring Your Own. There were 9 storytellers — ex-cons, men on parole, girlfriends/sisters/mothers of men in prison. The audience of 300 was mostly white Millennials. Eve Abrams is our lead producer embedded at WWNO, and Lane Kaplan Levinson is the brain behind the series. Read more
I’m just becoming familiar with Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Friere and his Pedagogy of the Oppressed and was writing to Bill Siemering this morning, sharing some thoughts, sharing some here.
I’ve been thinking about love as the anchor for social change. Radical love. I’ve been inspired by Hodari Davis, program manager at YouthSpeaks, and also the writing of Paulo Friere who Hodari turned me on to…my colleague Adriana Gallardo shared references. Read more
… we know that transformation comes from the outside. We were very deliberate in pairing you – an outside, lead collaborator with an ‘inside’ ‘station producer. Our independent lead producers are coming from the outside — they are working for AIR— to introduce disruption to the dominant order at the station. They are change agents….”
Today, a most extraordinary day at MIT’s Open Docs Lab where our new Localorians assembled with the AIR team and assorted guests to plan for how they’ll take on the challenge of inventing a new public media. Read more