Virginia Tech's WVTF-RADIO IQ is one of 15 stations chosen after a national competition to incubate storytelling experiments and expand public media to more Americans.

"Localore: Finding America" was created by AIR, a Boston-based network of independent public media producers, to bring together the most gifted producers and forward-thinking stations in the industry to invent new media models and realize the founding vision of a public broadcasting service for “all of the people.” Principle funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional support from the Wyncote Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In Richmond, independent producer Kelley Libby and WVTF-RADIO IQ’s News Director Connie Stevens will create "UnMonumental," aiming to establish a long-overdue community conversation in Virginia’s capital city by putting a microphone to some of the voices that have remained overshadowed and unheard.

“Richmond is a city of historic monuments, but they don't tell the whole story,” said Libby. “There are places of tremendous significance throughout the city, but you wouldn't know it by just walking through some of them. I'm thrilled to be working with WVTF-RADIO IQ and AIR as we take public media outside and really get to know the people who, together, make up the Richmond of today. We want to share stories from these neglected sites. We want to call attention to Richmond's history while honoring the people who live here today.”

The winning teams were selected from more than 200 applications from independent media talent, radio and television stations, educators, and coders.

“This initiative is emblematic of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s commitment to ensuring public media connects with an increasingly diverse America, in the many ways people choose to access media today,” said Pat Harrison, the president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The teams, matched by AIR with local stations, will produce events, experimental digital projects, and stories for broadcast and publication.

“Localore looks at how and where community talks about itself, where its data is gathered, and where the flow of information moves or is interrupted,” said Sue Schardt, AIR’s executive director and the executive producer of Localore. “Our independent producers are building media with and for that community, on the radio, on the Internet, and in the streets.” Productions will run through July 30, 2016.

“UnMonumental will stimulate our thinking and possibly redefine how we perceive the past, present, and future of an important community in the Commonwealth,” said Glenn Gleixner, general manager of WVTF-RADIO IQ. “We envision compelling and impactful content that will be an important and forceful voice in the ongoing dialog that will surely surface from and surround this series of reports. Kelley Libby is the right journalist for this exploration and WVTF-RADIO IQ is excited to offer this significant series of reports to our listeners in Richmond and throughout the state.”  

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