PRX’s Podcast Garage — 2017 in Review
In 2017, we marked our first full calendar year at the PRX Podcast Garage. It was inspiring, heart-warming … and busy!
This year we hosted all kinds of events, hired instructors, recorded audio with new and established shows, developed community partnerships, and so much more.
In 2018 we plan to continue our lively Maker Mingles with AIR, reach out to more neighborhoods and diverse artist communities in Boston, expand our training program for audio storytellers of all experience levels, and possibly open more Garages in new cities.
Before we look ahead, here are some of our 2017 key stats.
We hosted 85 events focused on audio storytelling, including our Five Things series where we interviewed Jenna Weiss-Berman (Pineapple Street), Nick Quah (Hot Pod), Kaitlin Prest (The Heart) and Jody Avirgan (30 for 30). From podcast dinner parties to garden storytelling nights and experimental jazz/painting performances — we opened our doors to it all. In 2018, we’ll continue our talks, live shows, and get-togethers while rolling out a new roster of trainings for beginner and intermediate producers.
We welcomed over 2,500 attendees and students into our space, including over 300 people at our monthly orientation to podcasting — “Is This Thing On?”. We received a ton of great (anonymous) feedback from students in some of our new trainings this year. Here’s a sample:
“I enjoyed listening to other people’s stories, partnering with other classmates to discuss our stories, and having to make myself vulnerable in front of a small crowd.” — on a four-week workshop on personal storytelling with Aaron Wolfe
“[This workshop was] among the most important learning experiences I have had at this stage in my audio storytelling journey…. Jeff was so generous with his creative process and openly shared with us the ways he discovers, invents, and carefully crafts the unique sounds that flesh out his narratives.” — on a workshop on sound design with Jeff Emtman
“Dianne is a national treasure with decades of experience and the ear of a master.” — on a workshop on field recording with Dianne Ballon
We logged about 500 hours of audio in our recording studio with independent shows like Culture Hustlers, MidPod, Teaching While White, The Lonely Palette, Caught Up: A Podcast from South Boston, Ask Susan, The Editorial, Hiding in the Bathroom, Sourcing Matters, and The Courage to Listen. We also recorded with our friends at In the Thick, Splendid Kitchen, The FRONTLINE Dispatch (episode: “Child Marriage in America”), Gimlet’s .future, The Daily (episode: “Wednesday, Oct.18, 2017”), and more. Take a listen below.
Since expanding our programming in September, we’ve hired 15 instructors to lead workshops on specific skills to use in the studio or the field. We’re excited to welcome new instructors in 2018 like Juleyka Antigua-Williams, Heidi Shin, Karen Given (Only a Game) and Andrew Leland (The Organist).
Also since September, we’ve awarded 16 full and partial scholarships to students in our workshops. These scholarships are an important part of our commitment to encourage new voices and welcome beginners in the audio space.
3 community partnerships
We formed partnerships with three local nonprofits as part of our Community Hours program, which includes free studio time and training. Our partners at the Parent Leadership in Autism Network launched the show Live from the Spectrum this year — a podcast for parents about what it’s like to raise kids on the autism spectrum. We’re also looking forward to new audio work from the Improbable Players and the New England Innocence Project in the coming months.
1 birthday party
We had our first birthday celebration in July with hundreds of birthday pies for all, including Podcast Peach Crumble, Boston Blueberry Basil and Maker Maple Pecan.