Opening panel: Listening for Community Change?

IMG_1980Moderator: Wendy Hsu (LA Listens)

Panelists: Kenneth Bailey (DS4SI), Mutetelenu Kalama (Children’s Radio Foundation), Shaw Pong Liu (Violinist, Composer + Teaching Artist), Jennifer Stoever (Binghamton Soundwalk Project)

Description: The opening panel will explore connections across themes and approaches to sound practice introduced at the conference, and will provide us with a variety of perspectives on ways that sound can be used to create community change.

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Amplifying Youth Voices for Change

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Who: Mutetelenu Kalama

Description: When young reporters from the African continent take to the airwaves they don’t only address their peers and community. They also bring out the voices of others who are on the margins. Young radio reporters offer fresh perspectives and compassionate solutions as they advocate for youth rights, opportunities and services. For them radio skills are life skills and a way to navigate to a brighter future.

Audio Mapping

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Who: Jocelyn Frank + Emily Cohen

Description: Maps can show us many things but what can we hear from them? This session will explore the value of, and applications for, audio maps as tools to represent data and understand spatial patterns in unique ways. Emily Cohen (urban planner and ecological designer) and Jocelyn Frank (audio artist and media consultant) will guide participants through an interactive session inspired by geographer Denis Wood’s book, “Everything Sings.” Participants should be prepared to create, listen and record sounds (individually and in small groups). The session will bring to life a new multi-sensory map that uses sound to explore the Port neighborhood in Cambridge, culminating with a discussion around the strengths and weaknesses of these tools for understanding spatial patterns, demographics and more, as well as potential applications for future works.

Listen Up! Democracy + the Environment

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WhoCraig Lemoult + Edgar Herwick

Description: Listening to radio stories is usually a solitary activity, but gathering to listen as a group can create community and lead to meaningful conversations. WGBH reporters Craig LeMoult and Edgar B. Herwick III are the hosts of ListenUp!, a radio story listening session series at WGBH’s studio at the Boston Public Library. Guests listen to and discuss a range of radio stories around a theme, curated by Craig and Edgar. Previous themes include scary stories, stories of home, transition, the holidays, and winter tales. The theme of this session will be “Democracy and the Environment.” Stories will include one of Craig’s own features on an environmental justice topic in Boston, and Edgar’s historical profile of Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring helped launch the modern environmental movement. We’ll also hear stories from NPR reporters and other masters of environmental storytelling on the radio. We’ll discuss each story as a group, and talk about the role that audio storytelling can play in bringing important environmental issues to light.

Listening to Community Needs: Asset Based Community Development through a Historical Soundwalk Project

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WhoJennifer Stoever + Christie Zwahlen

Description: Equal parts walking tour, history lesson, sensory artistic experience, and civic engagement praxis, the Binghamton Historical Soundwalk Project (https://binghamtonsoundwalkproject.wordpress.com/) uses sound to create a venue for discussions regarding Binghamton’s multiple pasts, its present transitions, and the stakes that each participant has in the town and its future. In this session, presenters will discuss theories of asset-based community development and how they shaped the BHSP’s trajectory. Presenters will then lay out how the project intervenes in Binghamton’s racial and economic inequities. The final part of the session will consist of an open strategy discussion regarding the next phase of the project.

Weaving Our Voices, Uniting Our Identities

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Who: Beau Kenyon

Description: Join the Boston Public Library Composer-in-Residence, Beau Kenyon, in a hands-on session exploring identity and storytelling through sound, video, and writing. The session will provide a window into a workshop series currently in progress at the Boston Public Library branches (February – May, 2017) that is designed to unify disparate neighborhoods while celebrating and preserving their unique cultural heritage. Session participants will hear a collection of pieces created by members of Boston’s youth (particularly communities of East Boston, Dorchester, and Roxbury) as well as Kenyon’s larger ongoing piece, which weaves each student’s work together to create a single collection of narration, video, and sound. Participants will also experience and explore elements of this process in a hands-on workshop: writing, reflecting, sharing, and recording their own stories and potentially adding their voice to Kenyon’s large- scale project.

Remixing the City

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Who: Wendy Hsu, Steve Kemper + Jessica Blickley

Description: In this workshop, we will discuss our neighborhood-engaged sound project LA Listens and introduce our multimodal methodology comprised of: community-based listening, soundwalk, sonic data analysis, and creative re-composition. The hands-on portion of the session will engage participants in conducting a community-driven computational analysis to extract patterns from field recordings of cities, followed by creative re-compositions of city sounds from LA Listens team members and artists in the community.