Listen Up! Youth Radio is a brand new weekly show that went on air in June, 2018 on KRSM Radio (98.9FM) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is now syndicated on WFNU (94.1FM) in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is hosted by alternating groups of young adults. From elementary school youth to college students, hosts bring a range of original content, conversations and music selections to the air. It is produced and facilitated by Emily Krumberger, a youth worker, DJ and University of Minnesota Youth Development Leadership Master’s student. It is co-facilitated by DJ, radio host and educator Tarik Thornton.
We are seeking $1,400 to support the Listen Up! Youth Radio leadership pilot project.
This project provides a venue for the practice of democracy, media literacy skill development and technical production training for Twin Cities youth.
Background & Vision
Programs like YouthRadio in Oakland, Radio Rookies in New York, and Wattz Up! (Yollocalli Arts Reach) in Chicago have perfected the art of opening the airwaves to young people so they can tell their stories and figure out their place in the world, all while getting trained in broadcasting, journalism and production. Young people involved in radio can create a range of media products: audio journals detailing their experiences as youth, edited journalism stories on a topic they are passionate about, public affairs or music shows, and youth forums. It is within these spaces that young people have an opportunity to grow as critical thinkers, activate leadership, practice democratic skills and develop as interns, employees and journalists.
The Pilot Project
The Listen Up! Youth Radio leadership pilot project involves three components: technical training, youth forums and leadership development:
- Through trainings in studio production, social media marketing and radio journalism, hosts learn basic studio skills, radio show organization, how to market themselves as journalists and identify as media producers.
- Youth forums provide a space for young people to engage as active citizens through facilitated dialogue and storytelling. They challenge participants to clarify their own ideas and understand the context of other youth’s experiences. These discussions will be aired on KRSM.
- Youth will develop their leadership skills through the trainings and dialogues. They will do so by learning to facilitate discussions, report on local issues in the field and evaluate and plan forums.
This pilot project will be used to test out the trainings, youth forums and leadership structure, while bringing hosts together as a collective to evaluate their experience. The pilot project runs from October 2018 to April 2019. Youth forums have aired in November 2018 and will air in February and April 2019. By the end of the pilot project a draft tool kit will be created to support the development of youth radio programming.
There is already strong community support for the Listen Up! Youth Radio pilot from KRSM Southside Media Project, the low-power FM radio station in Minneapolis on which the program airs. The station broadcasts in six languages including English and features nine hours of Indigenous lead programming each week. In addition, Young People’s Action Coalition (YPAC), MIGIZI Communications and Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) have supported the project. YPAC is a youth-run collective comprised of middle- and high-school students organizing within their schools, two of whom host a show on Listen Up! Youth Radio. SPNN is a community access center in Saint Paul that offers media production programming for young adults. MIGIZI is Native-lead media organization that trains Indigenous youth in technical skills. The sponsors will be supporting by providing technical equipment, promotion and youth participation.
Food for youth trainings and 3 dialogues: $400
Radio t-shirts for youth hosts (10 @ $15) $150
10 hours of training & facilitation $200
Youth leadership stipends (5 @ $50) $250
Administration, organization & facilitation costs $200
Toolkit preparation & production $200
5% back to Kickstarter if goal is accomplished $70
After the pilot project is completed in April 2019, the goal will be to expand it to other community sites, schools, libraries and beyond. The program will continue to have a home at KRSM Radio, but also have branches in the community through offsite radio and podcasting trainings, events and forums. This will afford other Twin Cities youth the opportunity to dialogue about critical issues and express themselves through radio and podcasting. Youth hosts who become leaders in the pilot project will help with the community extension of the program when able. The draft toolkit will support this expansion. A long-term goal of Listen Up! is to connect youth hosts in the Twin Cities with other young people in radio programs nationally and internationally.
We cannot fund this pilot project alone. This work is being done through many un-paid volunteer hours by both the facilitators and youth. In order to reimburse the costs involved in the 6 month pilot project, raise money for mobile audio equipment, pay youth for their leadership and compensate facilitators for SOME of their labor, we need YOUR assistance!
In this moment radio is an indispensable resource for young people. It provides a unique platform that can increase democratic participation & understanding, strengthen the role of young people in their neighborhoods and enable youth to have an impact in their wider world.
Risks and challenges
So far the pilot project has been going well. We've completed two of the three forums and two of the trainings, but need funding to support the labor of the youth and facilitators, as well as the production of the toolkit.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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