Louisville Public Media (LPM) strives for a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion intended to embody and reflect our community. We seek out and embrace people of all races, ethnicities and origins, heritages, characteristics and circumstances with intention in our work. LPM’s Podcast Incubator was designed to reflect this commitment.
LPM’s Director of Podcasts & Special Projects Laura Ellis, a Peabody Award-winning producer, was responsible for the incubator’s launch in March 2021.
At its launch, the incubator received over 75 submissions. Pitches included podcasts about Black women reinventing their careers in mid-life, an oral history of Louisville’s 2020 protests, a how-to show where a drag queen teaches you how to navigate civic processes like applying for Medicaid or running for office, and a pitch from four Asian-American Kentuckians, who would become the co-creators of the Podcast Incubator’s first “incubaby.”
In May 2021, the horrific murders in Atlanta and a rise in anti-Asian hate in America was a big wake up call for a lot of Asian Americans. Like many others, Charlene, Dan, Mae, and Nima had the vision to create an opportunity for members of the AAPI community across Kentucky — from rural to suburban and urban neighborhoods — to gather together and have a voice.
Knowing that podcasting was not their expertise, the team pitched their idea to LPM, who saw its value and chose it to be part of the incubator. Through the program, LPM offered strategic and production assistance, as well as promotional support to bring the podcast “Where Y’all Really From?” to life, knowing that these conversations are more important than ever in light of the prevalence of anti-Asian and anti-immigrant sentiment.
The podcast resonated not only with AAPI Kentuckians but with a national and international audience as well with nearly 23,000 downloads across 2,100 markets, including 9% of downloads occurring outside the U.S.
The second “incubaby” to be launched from the Podcast Incubator, “Sprinkle Sparkle”, released in September 2022. Creator Nubia Bennett desired to tell stories about BIPOC women finding and centering joy in their lives.
The Podcast Incubator is proving to be a model that gives community members whose voices are often ignored or silenced the chance to share their stories, not only within their own communities but with a wider audience, so the podcasts’ creators and the communities they represent can be heard and empowered.