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2017 Stories Summer Institute Radio Documentary Workshop

“Stories from Deep in the Heart”

2017 Summer Institute Radio Documentary Workshop

June 21-28, 2017

Public Listening Event June 29


Texas Folklife invites all community members interested in radio and folklore in the greater Austin area to participate in the “Stories from Deep in the Heart” Summer Institute, a one-week audio documentary production workshop. During the Summer Institute, participants will work in groups with professional media producers and folklorists to produce short public radio-style audio documentaries on community traditions. Participants will tour KUT 90.5, Austin’s local NPR affiliate, where they will also record narration for their documentaries using KUT’s state-of-the-art production studio. Returning as guest lecturer for this year's Summer Institute is former BBC radio producer and folklorist Rachel Hopkin. On the last day, participants will premiere their stories for their peers and the public.

The workshop costs $200, with full and partial scholarships available based on financial need. Austin-area educators and administrators are automatically entered to receive a scholarship for attendance, and the workshop counts toward professional development hours. Interested educators and community members should fill out the application form online at or request a paper application from The deadline to apply is May 1, 2017.

This year's theme will be centered around folk healing and traditional medicine. Participants will interview local folk healing practitioners to cover a wide range of healing practices in central Texas. They will also explore the role of traditional medicine and its encounters or relation to Western medicinal practices, as told by folk healers. Traditional arts and culture are also considered therapeutic, and the Institute will explore the boundaries of healing practices.

Documentaries produced during the workshop will be uploaded to Texas Folklife’s Soundcloud page and Public Radio Exchange, where they may be selected for broadcast by public radio stations. At the end of the Institute, teachers and administrators will discuss options to implement folklore, media production, podcasting techniques, and technology education in their classrooms. A few teachers will also be selected to work with Texas Folklife to bring an audio documentary program into their school for the following school year. “Stories” media production and folklore documentation covers TEKS and standards from many disciplines, including social studies, world cultures, history, media production, journalism, and English.

Anyone interested in the workshop should contact program director Brian Griffith at or 512-441-9255. Stories from last year can be found at Texas Folklife is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, documenting, and fostering the living traditions and folkways of the state of Texas.