At a glance: The Finding America projects, producers & lead collaborators
Visit Finding America’s metasite — findingamerica.airmedia.org — for additional context and ongoing updates from the projects below.
- Anacostia Unmapped → Katie Davis, Brendan Sweeney, WAMU | Anacostia, a historically black neighborhood that is literally omitted from some maps of D.C., is where WAMU and Davis invite residents to lead storytelling efforts and explore the question “What if a radio station sounded like the people it covers?” Three community producers, working with Davis, go out into the community to interview locals on the subject of land: Who has it, who wants it, and what happens when it starts to change hands?
- Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City → Stacia Brown, Marsha Jews, Ali Post, WEAA | It used to be called Charm City. Now, the Baltimore: Rise of Charm City team, based at WEAA, seeks the hidden, forgotten allure of Baltimore — and its modern charms, too — with storytelling in homes, assisted living facilities, libraries, churches, and community centers.
- Beyond Belief → Steve Mencher, Carla McCabe, Janet Saidi, KCPT | With digital and broadcast storytelling and events designed with partners in the interfaith community, Beyond Belief, based at Kansas City’s KCPT, explores the interplay of religious life — and lives in which religion is absent — with youth culture, race, civic engagement, and economic disparity.
- Dímelo: Stories of the Southwest → Sophia Paliza-Carre, Mariana Dale, AZPM | Part public art, part storytelling project, Dímelo: Stories of the Southwest at AZPM explores identity, community, and the cultural geography of Tucson. The community shares micro-stories via Dímelo’s “story mailboxes,” and the producers put them at the center of local reporting.
- Every ZIP Philadelphia → Alex Lewis, Jeanette Woods, WHYY | Every ZIP at WHYY is a community-based project creating a portrait of Philadelphia through the stories that people tell about their lives. Every ZIP has told stories from ZIP codes that WHYY hasn’t heavily covered and has given Philadelphia residents a chance to see and hear each other in new ways throughout the City of Brotherly Love.
- Frontier of Change → Isaac Kestenbaum, Josie Holtzman, Joaqlin Estus, KNBA | In Alaska, climate change not only threatens the natural world, it also threatens cultural history held by rural and Native communities. Frontier of Change at KNBA builds immersive audio tours of a land and community caught in sudden, radical transformation.
- Homefront: Fort Drum → Meredith Turk, David Sommerstein, NCPR. | One percent of America’s population bears a large burden: military service. Who is in the military? How do their families cope and connect? At Fort Drum in upstate New York, the stronghold of the 10th Mountain Division, thousands are actively serving. In the communities that surround Fort Drum, thousands more are military retirees. Homefront: Fort Drum and NCPR tell the stories of their lives, portrait by portrait, by taking listeners behind the scenes of a closed community.
- Invisible Nations → Allison Herrera, Rachel Hubbard, KOSU | Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized Indian tribes — some of whom came to the state on the Trail of Tears. Invisible Nations is a multimedia project investigating and exploring the lives of Native people. In a partnership between KOSU, Firethief Productions, and tribal media outlets, Invisible Nations tells stories that go beyond, as one subject put it, “powwows, gambling, and diabetes.”
- The Junction → Mary Quintas, Rachel Osier Lindley, Audrey Atkins, WBHM | Ensley is a group of neighborhoods on the west side of Birmingham, Alabama. To many people outside of these neighborhoods, “Ensley” is synonymous with “crime and poverty.” The Junction and WBHM seek to reveal a fuller portrait of Ensley by exploring what life is really like in the community, according to the community itself.
- Precious Lives: Before the Gunshots → Eric Von, Brad Lichtenstein, Michelle Maternowski, WUWM | Milwaukee’s inner city is engulfed in an epidemic of gun violence. Through stories and live events created by and with people touched by this violence, Precious Lives: Before the Gunshots and WUWM examine the roots of the bloodshed in an effort to improve life for everyone in the city.
- Storymakers → John Biewen, David Brower, WUNC | Storymakers and WUNC work with 15 storymakers — people who live in one of the South’s most diverse and fast-growing cities — to explore divisions of race, class, and opportunity through a new public media platform created in partnership with SpiritHouse Inc. and Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.
- TruckBeat → Jess Mador, Matt Powell, WUOT | TruckBeat is a health storytelling project about East Tennessee. Lead producer Jess Mador and WUOT take a food truck-turned-mobile-studio on the road to report on community health topics in depth: addiction, obesity, mental health, access to health care — and why your neighborhood may affect your health, even more than genetics.
- UnMonumental → Kelley Libby, Kelsea Pieters, Connie Stevens, WVTF | Richmond is a city of monuments, but many people who live there say the monuments don’t tell the whole story of the city — and many historic sites go entirely unmarked. UnMonumental and WVTF bring you this series about how Richmond remembers its past through the voices of the people who live in the city now.
- Unprisoned: Stories from the System → Eve Abrams, Jason Saul, WWNO | From New Orleans — the world’s incarceration capital — Unprisoned and WWNO meet those serving time inside and outside the criminal justice system. Unprisoned shares stories to incite conversation about the ways mass incarceration affects families, communities, and notions of justice.
- What’s the Flux?: Commuter Dispatches → Mona Yeh, Sonya Green, KBCS | A daily ritual — the commute — shapes our exploration of mobility, access, and economic movement from the margins of a city to its center. With broadcast, social media, ’zines, and more, What’s the Flux: Commuter Dispatches and KBCS bring curiosity to hidden, nonstop migration from the vantage point of Bellevue, Washington.