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The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU hosts the inaugural RESONATE Podcast Festival

RESONATE Podcast Fesitval Logo
RESONATE: A Richmond Podcast Festival

The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (ICA at VCU) is pleased to announce its inaugural RESONATE Podcast Festival, taking place on October 14-15. The weekend fest will include workshops with industry leaders in the VPM + ICA Community Media Center, a live podcast pitch competition, one-on-one consultations, exhibitions, and special performances featuring Sharon Mashihi of Appearances and Nick van der Kolk of Love + Radio

Celebrating the art of podcasting, RESONATE is open to everyone: whether you are a student curious about podcasting, a producer looking to pick up additional skills or an avid listener who wants a look behind the scenes. "RESONATE brings the aesthetic, educational and community aspects of podcasting together, all in one place,” says Chioke I’Anson, ICA at VCU Director of Community Media. “Our workshops address the elements of podcasting that novices and even mid-career producers have the most trouble mastering. The live performances will delight and amaze. We’ve got art exhibitions, opportunities for you to talk directly to the experts, and even a live party where three producers will compete for a podcast contract from VPM. This is an immersive auditory experience, featuring some of the coolest podcasters in the business. Plus, there will be snacks." 

Throughout the weekend, professional podcasters will lead sessions on all aspects of podcast production—from scoring, to long-form narrative, to marketing and promotion. Session hosts include audio producer, storyteller and host Ronald Young, Jr.; award-winning audio producer, project manager and educator Nichole Hill; Mission to Zyzz recording engineer, mixer and sound designer, Shane O’Connell; independent radio producer and editor and former Artistic Director of Third Coast, Sarah Geis; Editorial Director/founder of Story Mechanics and Executive Producer of Admissible, Ellen Horne; VP of Creator Partnerships, Gumball, Dane Cardiel and co-hosts of NPR’s Invisibilia, Yowei Shaw and Kia Miakka Natisse. During the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in discussions and Q&A with presenters and build connections with other podcasters. As part of the VPM + ICA Community Media Center’s partnership with AIR Media, RESONATE attendees can sign up for one-on-one consultations for editorial guidance and engineering support. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to listen to newly commissioned audio works at the VPM + ICA Community Media Center’s podcast art installation throughout the weekend, which will feature individual listening stations. Here, listeners can experience six hours of never before heard content from The Secrets Hotline, a Love + Radio spinoff podcast where callers leave revealing, anonymous messages.

The events will take place at the ICA at VCU located at 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220.

Call For Pitches | Pitch Party

RESONATE, in collaboration with VPM, invites established and aspiring podcasters to pitch their best idea for a chance to receive funding and production support to produce a pilot episode of their show. Submissions must not have been previously published and must align with one or more of these genres: Arts & Culture, History, Science, News or Education.

Three finalists will be selected to present their idea at the RESONATE Podcast Festival Pitch Party in front of a panel of judges and a live audience for a chance to win the top prize — a $10,000 production contract to create a pilot episode of their podcast with VPM.

All finalists will receive free passes to the 2022 RESONATE Podcast Festival and will have the opportunity to work alongside producers from VPM to hone their pitches prior to their presentation at the RESONATE Pitch Party. Finalists must attend the RESONATE Podcast Festival and participate in the Pitch Party to be eligible for the grand prize.

Reflecting on their partnership with the museum, VPM’s Chief Content Officer, Steve Humble, shared, "VPM is committed to growing local and regional podcasting talent and giving them a platform to tell their stories. The VPM + ICA Community Media Center is a place where anyone can hone their podcasting skills. We are thrilled to partner with the ICA for RESONATE celebrating podcasting excellence."

Special Performances:

  • Love + Radio with Nick van der Kolk and Friends

Sturgeon riders, roving eye-gouging gangs, slave rebellions, vampires, randy but cruel aristocrats, pink confederate statues, and drinking whiskey straight from the gutter. Welcome to the weird, wonderful, and complicated history of Richmond, Virginia, in this special live presentation from the critically-acclaimed podcast. 

  • Sharon Mashihi of Appearances 

A performance about relationships, death, and Sharon's inner battle with personal storytelling. Written, performed and sound designed by Sharon Mashihi.

RESONATE Sessions:

  • The Importance of Play with Sarah Geis 

To make a podcast, you need a production plan. But to make a podcast great, the greatest tool in your arsenal just might be your ability to play. Sarah Geis teaches how play can boost your podcast.

  • Scoring for Non-Musicians with Nichole Hill 

Confused about adding music to your podcast? Improve your flow between segments, set tone, and create a better overall listening experience with new skills - even if you are a non-musician. Join Nichole Hill as she guides you through scoring. No experience necessary. 

  • Pro Mixing, Across the Galaxy with Shane O'Connell 

Most podcasts have a couple vocal tracks. Easy peasy. But what happens when you have more than a dozen, plus sound effects, plus music? How on earth do you mix all that? This limited session with Mission to Zyzz's Shane O'Connell will show you how to mix spatial audio. Like, really mix it. 

  • How to Pitch a Podcast with Ronald Young, Jr.  

One day you will shop your podcast around to media networks. When that day comes, you will need to be very good at explaining your show. That's why you need a pitch deck. Join Ronald Young, Jr., a guy who has hosted and pitched quite a few shows, for a session on how to get the pitch just right. 

  • Marketing your Podcast with Dane Cardiel 

Make sure your story gets heard. Learn How to reach more ears and impact more people as Dane Cardiel teaches marketing strategy for your podcast.

  • A Longform Manifesto with Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw 

A dedicated producer might work for days on an engaging 4-minute story. What does it take to fill an entire hour? Come hear the duo behind NPR's Invisibilia deliver their treatise on making one powerful hour of radio.

  • Writing For Podcasts with Ellen Horne

The rules of writing vary across all domains. In podcasting, the mantra is "write for the ear.” But what does this mean exactly, and how can you turn your podcast script into something that people will want to listen to again and again? Learn the secrets in this session with Ellen Horne.