Local that Works

Local that Works is an annual contest that spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations, and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S.

Explore the curated LTW database of 350+ projects. Entries from the 2020 contest will be added to this database this fall.

Tips on using the database: If viewing this on a computer, all projects are listed in the left column. Click on a project name and its longer profile will appear in the right column. If viewing on mobile, clicking on a project name will load the full listing on your screen.

You can filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. IMPORTANT: If you want to change, broaden or narrow the results, make sure to uncheck categories for subsequent searches.

To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semi-finalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorite projects will show up in the left column.

Get inspired!

11 results found.

Safe & Sound: VPR’s Celebration of Vermont Music

Vermont Public Radio

Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, weekly episodes of Safe & Sound follow relevant themes through music and interviews. From how musicians are continuing to create and connect while isolating, to how BIPOC musicians experience racism while living and working in Vermont, the show aims to elevate our understanding of Vermont’s music and culture in a time of social distance.

COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience

WDET, 101.9 FM

“COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience” is a 10-week multimedia visual, audio, and written word series that tell stories of resilience in the local community. It focuses on our local shared experience of the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd and others. WDET partnered with Documenting Detroit, a photojournalism and arts organization, to produce and tell these stories through the eyes of five local documentary photographers and one spoken word artist.

KOSU Audio Diaries


As journalists were furloughed and Oklahomans became isolated during the pandemic, KOSU worked to keep the community connected and to preserve these snapshots of history for future generations through user-submitted audio diaries. In the same way news archives from 1918 have provided perspective for journalists today, these audio diaries are being archived in collaboration with the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Making Buffalo Home

Buffalo Toronto Public Media

Making Buffalo Home is a local multi-platform project from Buffalo Toronto Public Media designed to share the stories of Buffalo’s newest neighbors from around the world and celebrate the rich immigrant history of the city through powerful storytelling. Through digital videos, television programs, radio features, social media and in-person events, viewers and listeners learned more about each other, creating a better understanding of our collective immigration story.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

PBS Wisconsin

PBS Wisconsin shares the voices and talents of students of color involved in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Scholarship program in the documentary “Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars.” By addressing local disparities in accessibility, representation, and education, we help Wisconsin educators be better prepared to implement culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms.



Resettled is a six-part podcast series that explores the complex resettlement process through the perspectives of refugees. The podcast team included two former journalists from Afghanistan and a poet and social entrepreneur from Iraq who had experienced resettlement themselves and offered valuable insight. Working with local nonprofits, VPM held a series of storytelling workshops in the community, and recorded at booths during international festivals around the state.

Safe & Sound: VPR’s Celebration of Vermont Music

Vermont Public Radio
Public Radio
Kari Anderson

Music runs like a heartbeat through the Green Mountain State. And as bars and concert halls went silent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the music-makers of Vermont were still creating and sharing their work. As we work to understand the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, VPR has repeatedly heard from our audience the desire to hear stories that helped them feel connected, that bring them closer to Vermont’s artists. The need for a space to find our state’s resilient, vibrant, and creative spirit.

In response, VPR created the music program Safe & Sound. It was produced initially as an independent special over Memorial Day weekend, and then on a weekly basis beginning in July.

Safe and Sound works to have representation from all musical genres, from across the state. We hear brand new releases and new songs performed from home and in response to the pandemic. We follow themes through music, and using the artist’s own words.

Soon after the broadcast of our episode featuring the voices of BIPOC musicians, VPR received this note from Vermont House Representative Mike Mrowicki. “Yesterday’s edition of Safe and Sound was a powerful and timely effort. Well done!” and wrote further, “I would like to be able to share it, especially with some of the other legislators I work with, in the Vt. House...As a member of the Legislatures Racial/Social Equity Caucus, this can help us share the stories of what it’s like to be BIPOC in Vermont. All too many Vermonters have been oblivious to that reality. While well intentioned and not overtly racist, many, like myself, don’t have much direct experience and would do well to hear the wonderful music and the challenging stories.” This is just one example of the nature of the feedback we get about the show. VPR’s hosts for the program frequently engage in real-time on social media as the shows air, adding an additional dimension to engagement with the program and with the community.

Summer program sponsorship from the Vermont Arts Council and local underwriter 'Patrick's World's Finest Granola' - approx. $4000.