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Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0 Taps 30 to Propose New Approaches
Talent Committee inspired by broad spectrum of talent from outside and within public media

(BOSTON, November 14, 2008) – MQ2, a new CPB-funded initiative that turns to producers to fire up public radio as it transitions to new media, attracted hundreds of nominations from across the globe and across the spectrum of media- makers since the door opened on October 9, 2008. Thirty nominees have been selected to advance to the next round, wherein they will submit proposals detailing their plans to engage audiences in new ways across platforms. In choosing the finalists, the MQ2 Talent Committee moved one step closer to identifying 12-15 of the most imaginative producers, reporters and sound artists in the field, providing them with $20,000 to $40,000 each to bring their projects to fruition. Final selections will be named early in March 2009. The initiative is led by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc.

The finalists represent 12 states — from New York to California and Louisiana to Minnesota — plus Canada. They include producers associated with familiar public radio programs such as “Marketplace,” “On the Media,” and “The World”; veteran independent producers; and a strong contingent coming from outside the industry, including an experimental music composer, a museum audio tour producer, a sound installationist, and a serial entertainment creator. They are Jenny Asarnow, Rose Bianchini, Philip Blackburn, Jacob Brancasi, Kabir Carter, Julie Drizin, Alex Gallafent, Tim Halbur, Anyi Howell, Scotty Iseri, Josh Jackson, Anita Johnson, Tania Ketenjian, Queena Kim, Thomas Lopez, Pejk Malinovski, Kenny Malone, Paul McCarthy, Brendan Newnam, Kara Oehler, Lu Olkowski, Dmae Roberts, Ben Rubin, Shea Shackelford, Laura Starecheski, Nick van der Kolk, Gregory Warner, Veralyn Williams, Trent Wolbe, and Jamie York.

Nominations for MQ2 came from 7 countries, including Mexico, Scotland, England, Russia, Japan, and Australia. Among the nominators, 31 percent came from public radio and television stations, 26 percent from the networks or production houses, and 43 percent were independent or not affiliated with public broadcasting. Included in the latter are professors from a dozen universities, including USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, the New School, Howard University, UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and the Tisch School of the Arts. 

Ellen Weiss, VP of News at NPR, is one of many anticipating new approaches to craft MQ2 may bring forward to "blend authentic voices, interactivity, on a national scope." Jay Allison, one of the founding members of AIR and an MQ2 nominator, also weighed in. “MQ2 represents the first time in 20 years that producers have had a dedicated pot of funding to dip into,” said Allison. “It is the right timing for CPB and for public radio to turn to our most creative producers to help lead us in reinvention.”

For more information about MQ2, visit http://www.MQ2.org. Updates will be regularly posted on Twitter at AIR_MQ2 and AIR’s Public Radio Makers Quest 2 on Facebook.

AIR was founded in November 1988 with a commitment to preserving a place on public radio for the work and inspiration of the individual “maker.” Its extensive social and professional network of 727 audio makers and associates is at the center of unprecedented technology-driven change, rich with opportunity to define and redefine sound art and media — public media in particular. Central to AIR’s mission is providing the support, training, and advocacy necessary for preparing thousands of audio creatives to lead the way to engaging more listeners, and to carry their inspiration to both traditional and emerging outlets.

Funding for MQ2 is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
the Robert E. Davoli and Eileen L. McDonagh Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment
for the Arts (NEA), which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

CONTACT: Erin Mishkin at 617-825-4400 or erin@airmedia.org