Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local journalism.
Explore the database of 400+ Local that Works projects. To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semifinalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorites will show up in the left column.
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Every weekday morning, Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) presents Kids Commute, an interactive exploration of classical music centered around weekly themes (such as mermaids, opera and elephants) that are designed to educate and entertain our youngest listeners. We also explore ballets, their stories and the music that goes along with them. This interactive radio experience delivers strategies for early childhood artistic development that can be easily replicated in a variety of genres.
Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high schoolers, providing opportunities to refine performance skills; build connections between engaged and talented young people; expose participants to the multiple career opportunities available in creative industries; and to participate in performances and talks by professional musicians, entertainment industry professionals and artists. This program is critical to meeting the growing and changing needs of our city and youth – Grace Weber’s Music Lab reaches kids with art forms that are increasingly relevant and central to their lives, including diverse music from hip-hop to alternative to spoken word.
The RadioWest Book Club brings listeners together to read and talk about books and has proven to be a great way to reach new audiences, engage with librarians, scholars and other community partners and create an enduring podcast of the monthly club discussions.
Part performance and part conversation, Songversations feature live music and interviews from the comfort of home. Each Tuesday and Thursday at noon (on Facebook Live and WFAE.org), Joni Deutsch (host of WFAE’s award-winning Amplifier podcast) sits down with some of Charlotte’s brightest music-makers for a transparent conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on the local music community, including the challenges and newfound perspective the pandemic has presented to creatives both personally and professionally.
KBBI AM 890 is hosted an on-air remote ‘Concert on YOUR Lawn’ Fundraiser – a socially distant homage to our Concert On The Lawn days and an opportunity for us to celebrate our amazing listener-supporters. Throughout the two days, listeners heard the regular shows they love as well as live music, KBBI testimonies and giveaways all culminating in the Concert on Your Lawn event with local musicians broadcasting from their homes.
Valley Public Radio launches a new broadcast series and podcast dedicated to rediscovering the short stories of Pulitzer Prize winning author and Fresno native William Saroyan. The program features acclaimed authors reading the works and discussing their relevance to our lives in the COVID-19 era.
“Get Lit with All Of It” is a virtual book club in partnership with the New York Public Library (NYPL) that has become a source of culture, connection and community for New Yorkers even as we remain apart. Participants access each month’s book for free using the NYPL app (with thousands of extra e-copies made available for a free 3-week download) and each month, Alison Stewart hosts a livestream book club event with the featured author, special musical guests and experts who put the themes of the books in a cultural context. “Get Lit” has helped “All of It” reach a larger audience than ever before, and of the top 10 checkouts from the NYPL from March-August 2020, three are are “Get Lit” books.
The Local is a daily dose of hometown news for Portland, Oregon. New episodes are released every weekday morning; each installment features a rundown of the day’s top stories, a featured story segment and an interview with someone from the community — a local politician, creative, thinker, journalist or leader.
The Content Collaborative led by WUCF is a strategic partnership initiative among arts and news organizations in Central Florida to develop and distribute content with limited resources and staff. The Collaborative leverages world-class content created by community partners with WUCF’s production expertise to provide new on-air programming for public media audiences.
Classical IPR’s Kids Commute
Our mission is to inspire love and appreciation for classical music among young people by providing history, context, and insights into composers and their work. Every week, we ask our young listeners a trivia question related to the current theme. Those who answer correctly receive a Kids Commute Prize Pack. We also encourage them to participate in the Kids Commute Story Challenge to create artwork or a story inspired by a specific piece of music. We then pick our favorites and bring them to life in a dramatic reading voiced by Interlochen Arts Academy theatre students.
Kids Commute educates and inspires our audience by not only connecting them to the mainstays of classical music, but also introducing them to what’s new and relevant in classical music. Our “Pop! Goes the Classical Week” highlighted classical arrangements of pop songs by modern classical ensembles and interviews with renowned musicians and composers.
Many of our young listeners are learning to play a musical instrument themselves, and we encourage them to record their version of our show’s theme song and send it in. To date, dozens of students have submitted their greetings, artwork, and stories, and the program features them regularly. Through these efforts, we are creating a generation of listeners who have the capacity to appreciate music and hear with a more sophisticated ear.
In addition to its weekly broadcast, Kids Commute has hosted popular live concerts in cooperation with Interlochen Arts Academy faculty. For example, the Circus Extravaganza concert featured students from the IAA Theatre Department who, in collaboration with the IAA Wind Ensemble’s performances, depicted clowns portraying how various emotions can be expressed musically.
Kids Commute educates and inspires our audience by connecting them to not only the mainstays of classical music but also introduces them to what's new and relevant in classical music. Many within our audience are learning a musical instrument themselves, and we encourage them to record their version of our show‚ a simple theme song on their instrument. To date, dozens of students have submitted their greetings, artwork and stories, and they are used regularly on the program. Each week kids eagerly await the opportunity to respond to our trivia or Story Challenge. Through these efforts, we are creating a generation of listeners who have the capacity to listen to music with a more sophisticated ear.
Kids Commute Live concerts, regularly engage over 300 kids and parents during each annual public performance. Through these live public performances, we ignite a lifelong passion for the arts through excellence in educational, artistic, and cultural programs that enhance their quality of life through the universal language of the arts.
Kids Commute continues to inspire listener support during our annual fund drives. Kids Commute receives underwriting support from local and national businesses who have identified the Kids Commute audience as a desirable, influential, and active demographic. Underwriting examples include Go-Go Squeeze, the regional network of seven Chase banks, and The Traverse Symphony Orchestra are all enhancing their brand, and reaching new audiences through the power of Kids Commute.