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Feb 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Podcast School

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Podcast School:

Learn how to make your own inspiring and successful podcast


An exceptional group of professional podcasters, artists, radio producers and entrepreneurs help you develop your audio practice and podcasting vision.

This seminar, designed by UnionDocs in partnership with Mathilde Walker-Billaud, will show producers the various creative practices of podcasting. It will offer them technical tools and skill sets for navigating through the podcasting revolution and finding their own path in this emergent medium.

10 years ago the internet and low cost audio production tools radically transformed the radio landscape, liberating makers from traditional media and the audience from time and space. Nowadays, anyone can become a broadcaster. But hosting a successful listener-supported podcast is a professional engagement. A successful podcaster has a great dose of imagination and a strong entrepreneurial initiative along with many technical skills, from audio engineering and radio journalism to sound storytelling and online marketing.

This week-long seminar will explore storytelling to sound design to audience engagement and more. 15 producers will learn from a team of seasoned guest speakers and practitioners — public radio reporters, sound engineers, radio auteurs, successful podcasters, media entrepreneurs and artists. Workshops, discussions, exercises, field trips and work-in-progress critique will put this new knowledge into practice. Tina Antolini (radio producer, host and creator of Gravy, a podcast with the Southern Foodways Alliance) will lead the course.



When: Wednesday, August 26th to Sunday, August 30th, 10am – 5.30pm

Where: UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211

Who is eligible?

We are looking for audio producers and podcasters (both new and experienced) from all aspects of the media industry and beyond with demonstrable skills in storytelling, sound editing and mixing.

Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience in audio production and a project idea (if you have one), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required.

Please note: Participants *will not* be producing an audio piece during the week. Focus is on discussing and listening. The goal is also to develop your podcast project conceptually.


The fee for the intensive follows the schedule below. A non-refundable deposit of $350 is due upon application to the program. The balance payable two weeks in advance of the intensive.

August Session:

$750 – Early Bird Registration. Deposit received by July 20th at 5:00 PM.

$850 – Late Registration

Participants coming from outside NYC are responsible for their own transportation and room and board during the intensive. UnionDocs can provide assistance in locating housing and guidance for getting around town for those not native to New York.

Refund Policy:

The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until July 26th. After July 26th, the fee is non-refundable.


DAY 1 – Wednesday, August 26th – Podcasting is the New Radio

What makes podcasting different from traditional radio? The first day of our week-long program looks in-depth at the ways we make and hear audio podcasts.


Morning: Tina Antolini
Afternoon:  Radio host and editor Anna Sale

DAY 2 – Thursday, August 27th – Power of Voices

Voices convey a message, tell a story, make a point, guide the audience. What is magic with podcasts is that they are free from the radio clock and standardization. The second day of the intensive looks at the diversity of voices, the multiple ways to interact with audiences and build a relationship with listeners.


Morning :  Playwright, poet, actor and radio host Al Letson
Afternoon: Vocalist Artist Samitha Sinha

*Field Trip:

DAY 3  – Friday, August 28th – Radio Storytelling

Radio making and storytelling are inseparable. How do you take an idea, a recording, an interview and turn it into a story?  On Friday, we focus on writing and shaping a sound story from scratch.

Morning : Radio host and producer Sean Cole
Afternoon : Radio host and producer Jonathan Mitchell

DAY 4 – Saturday, August 29th –  Turning a Podcast Into a Show

The podcaster sees beyond one episode to create a series. Behind each podcast, there is a strong concept and a recognizable identity. The session on Saturday explores the multiple roles of the podcaster: at once host, producer, editor and visionary.

Morning: Radio host and producer Andrea Silenzi
Afternoon: Radio host and producer Kaitlin Prest

DAY 5 – Sunday, August, 30th – Being Public

It is time to launch your podcast. How to generate an audience and evaluate its growth? How to make your practice sustainable? The last day of the seminar examines audience strategy, marketing and various business models for podcasting.

Morning: Erik Diehn
Afternoon: Final presentation, critique and discussion of individual projects

Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:

10:00a    Warm up, inspiring references, listening exercises, ear training.

10:30a    Presentation

11:45a    Discussion

12:30p    Share / Discussion / Exercise

1:00p      Lunch (on your own – lunch will be provided on Friday)

2:00p      Presentation

3:15p      Discussion

4:00p      Workshop Exercise

5:00p      Workshop Critique

5:30p      End


unnamed-7Sean Cole began his radio career as an intern at Boston station WBUR in 1997, and went on to work as field producer for WBUR’s “Morning Edition” and then as a reporter for the documentary series “Inside Out.” Over the years, he’s contributed to lots of other public radio programs including “Radiolab,” “Marketplace,” “Studio 360,” “All Things Considered,” “99% Invisible” and “This American Life” where he is currently on staff. Sean’s awards include an Overseas Press Club citation for his documentary “South Africa’s Kwaito Generation – Inside Out” and a UNITY Award for his story about P.B.S. Pinchback, the first African American governor in U.S. history. He has also published two short collections of poetry and a full-length volume of postcard poems titled “The December Project.”

DSM_Anna_Sale_2_1Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of Death, Sex & Money, a biweekly interview podcast at WNYC. A veteran public media reporter, Anna covered politics for years, including the 2013 New York City mayoral race, the 2012 presidential campaign, and the statehouse beat in Connecticut and West Virginia. She is a frequent fill-in host for The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show and has contributed to This American Life, NPR, Marketplace, PBS Newshour, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Slate, and NY1.

AndreaSilenziAndrea Silenzi is the Senior Producer of The Gist with Mike Pesca, and is the host of Why Oh Why. Her work has aired on the Organist Podcast from Believer Magazine and KCRW, BBC4, StoryCorps, PRI’s Studio 360, Re:Sound, APM’s Performance Today, Saltcast, and on Too Much Information with Benjamen Walker. She holds the world record for most guests booked for an hour-long radio show, and that’s 67.


al-letson_webAl Letson is a playwright, performance poet, actor and radio host.He is also the host and executive producer of “State of the Re:Union,” one of the fastest-growing public radio programs, airing on more than 200 stations. In each episode, “State of the Re:Union” travels to an American city or town to tell stories about the people and explore how communities are being created. The program won a 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award in the news documentary category. Letson resides in Jacksonville, Fla.He currently hosts Reveal, an investigative journalism program available on public radio stations and online.

Erik DiehnErik Diehn is an executive with 15 years of experience building, launching, running and improving products that straddle the worlds of media and technology. Currently, he serves as the Director of Cross-Platform Strategy at Bloomberg, LP, where he helps the market-leading news and information company transform from a financial services data and software provider to a multi-product, multimedia conglomerate. While at Bloomberg, he has overseen the launch of a new suite of data visualization products; an initiative designed to raise the profile of Bloomberg journalists and analysts; and an effort to re-imagine the business news experience for mass-market consumers.Before joining Bloomberg, Mr. Diehn worked at The Boston Consulting Group, MTV Networks’ digital music service (now Rhapsody) and, Marvel Entertainment. To find out about his latest project visit this website

Tina Antolini HeadshotTina Antolini is the host and producer of Gravy, a podcast with the Southern Foodways Alliance. She’s worked in public radio for more than 10 years, producing stories on everything from the sex lives of lobsters to Iraqi religious minorities. Before helping to launch Gravy, she served as senior radio producer of NPR’s State of the Re:Union (SOTRU), and as a daily news reporter and host at New England Public Radio. Antolini has won national awards for SOTRU’s hour on gay Civil Rights era pacifist Bayard Rustin and for her series documenting the transgender community in western Massachusetts. She’s a graduate of Hampshire College with a degree in Ethnomusicology, and has a certificate in Radio Production from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

KaitlinPrest_bio_photoKaitlin Prest is an audio artist working in radio, performance and installation. She works creatively directing independent podcast projects (Audio Smut, The Heart//Radiotopia, Life of the Law//APM). She does public speaking and private consulting about storytelling with sound (Third Coast International Audio Festival, Union Docs, Transom Story Workshop). Her documentary work was awarded the Hearsay Festival’s Overall Prize 2014, and the National Community Radio Award’s Outstanding Achievement in Documentary 2011.

Johnathan Mitchell is the creator and producer of The Truth, a podcast that makes short films without pictures. He’s contributed a wide range of pieces—documentaries, fictional stories, non-narrated sound collages, and original music— to all sorts of public radio programs: Radiolab, Studio 360, This American Life, Hearing Voices, Fair Game, The Next Big Thing, and All Things Considered, to name a few. His work has won many awards, including the Peabody, Third Coast, and the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio. He studied music composition at University of Illinois and Mills College, and lives in New York City.
IMG_4028Samita Sinha is a performer and composer who combines tradition with experiment to create bold new forms, combining a deep grounding in North Indian classical vocal music with jazz, electronic, folk and ritual music in multiple languages. Samita has composed for a number of film and dance projects and has performed her solo projects at venues across NYC and around the country. Committed to combining art and civic practice, Sinha has devised and led social singing rituals for diverse groups of people in varied public settings. The development of her new work, CIPHER, includes the Open Voice workshops for young women of color in NYC. Her awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, Urban Arts Initiative, and a Fulbright Scholarship; and residencies with Atlas Performing Arts Center (DC), BRICLab (NY), Coleman Center for the Arts (AL), Millay Colony for the Arts (NY), Ohio State University, and The Watermill Center (NY).

Workshop Policies:

Registration & Cancellation: To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via PayPal. After the registration deadline of July 26th, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.




Feb 16, 2017
7:08 pm

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