Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Gabe Bullard on WFPL & Louisville Public Media

Gabe Bullard is the Director of News and Editorial Strategy at WFPL and a dear friend.

In the final hour of this fall's membership drive, I said something silly about my coworkers. I called us "true believers," like I was Stan Lee introducing a new Avengers adventure. 

You hear it a lot during pledge drives. "What we do is kind of crazy." We spend money buying national programs, sending reporters across the city and state and paying DJs, administrators and technicians. Then we ask people who have been getting this content for free for six months to voluntarily call us and help pay for it. No bills mailed to your house, no set amount to pay. It takes true believers to work in an enterprise like this, but it also takes true believers next to their speakers or computer to make it work. It's amazing to have a community that supports us, and I can assure you that every time you hear someone on air say thank you, they mean it.

The last pledge drive brought in $435,000. Now what? Well, we continue bringing you the shows, programs, music and coverage you listen to. But we're not resting. That would be too easy. It would be easy for our reporters to come in, read some press releases and knock off early. It would be easy to play the same hit songs over and over. But what we do here is a little crazy. We want to make things. We want to dig into stories. We want to develop new podcasts and shows. We want to find new music and uncover big news. We want to find more shows and bring them to you. And we hope that you'll help us pay for all this later on. 

I know this sounds a bit "group hug," but it's true. To spare you, though, I'd like to mention a few things I'm excited about. 

First of all, news. I have been a journalist my whole career. I always wanted to be one. Now I get to work with some of the best journalists in the city. It's great to be in news meetings and hear the ideas for stories that we'll be reporting in the next hours, days and months. Also, we're building an investigative reporting center.

Second, shows. We love the shows that have defined public radio for years, and we're always looking for what will define our sound in years to come. WFPL was among the first stations in the country to play some of my favorite programs: Q and the Tobolowsky Files (note: I didn't make the decision to put these on, but I certainly celebrated it). We also have Bullseye on Friday nights and WTF on Sundays. Both are must-listens for me, and they're hard to find on the airwaves in other cities. And there are also great pieces out there coming from independent producers. I go through the website prx.org the way record collectors dig through bins. You may hear short and excellent pieces from the Memory Palace, 99% Invisible and Decode DC when you listen to WFPL, because we want to showcase things we like. 

Third, more shows. We love finding great shows and bringing them to you. We also like making them. Phillip M. Bailey's Noise & Notes is a new addition to our Saturday night lineup, and our new podcast Strange Fruit: Musings on Politics, Pop Culture and Black Gay Life just launched. That's in addition to new reporting series: The Big Break, Unique and You Again. 

We want to bring you stories and shows that we find interesting and important on air, and we want to do it online and in person, too. Look for us to be in the community more. We're launching new blogs. Check out our Instagram, where we're showcasing photos from This...Is Louisville magazine. 

None of this is meant as a knock on anyone else in media around town. We share the same goals. We all want a robust media, and we all benefit from it. But this isn't a great time for media. Things are tough and we're always making sure we spend our money in the most beneficial ways possible. We're happy to be expanding. We're happy to be building a reporting center. We're happy that we can do all this through support from local people who like what we do and who want to keep it going.

Sometimes it helps to be a little crazy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Late Notice: A Trio of Halloween Radio Plays

I'm sorry I wasn't able to bring this to your attention sooner, but I just got the press release. 

You only have two more chances to see the Coffee Cup Theatre Company's (CCTC) presentation of three Halloween radio plays at the Bard's Town Theatre-- tonight and Saturday night at 7:30pm. 

I'm a big fan of all three stories presented: "The Monkey's Paw," "The Canterville Ghost," and "The Cask of Amontillado."

When I was a wee lass-- single-digits-young-- I was a precocious reader. I taught myself to read at age three and blew through reading levels until I was reading-- and devouring-- Agatha Christie novels before the age of ten. 

Before I was in my teens, my mother handed me Dante's Inferno and the Cliff's Notes to Dante's Inferno, and I read it from cover to cover, dutifully sketching maps and diagrams of Dante's journey through Hell with colored pencils and a pad of newsprint.

But when I was really wee, maybe seven or eight, my Nana gave me a beautifully bound and illustrated collection of Poe stories. I could read most of it myself, but I struggled with some of the vocabulary. I remember sitting with Nana on the couch of her beach house (which would later become her full-time home after retirement) and having her read "The Cask of Amontillado" to me before bed.

I still remember the chill I felt when she read the exchange between Fortunato and Montressor at the very end of the story (I don't think this is a spoiler at all, in case you haven't read it).

Fortunato says, "For the love of God, Montressor."

And Montressor responds, "Yes. For the love of God."


And for the past six years I have taught that story to high school juniors. And every time I get to that point in the story... chills. 

Here's info from the press release from the CCTC: 

Coffee Cup Theatre Company (CCTC) will open its 2012 – 2013 Season with a trio of Halloween plays performed at The Bard's Town, located at 1801 Bardstown Road, on October 11, 12, 13, & 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 pm. 

The production entitled Halloween Trilogy of Radio Plays featuring "The Monkey’s Paw" by W.W Jacobs and adapted by Jeanette Jaquish; "The Canterville Ghost" by Oscar Wilde; and "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe and adapted by Cecilia Fannon and John de Lancie.

Tickets are now on sale and reservations can be made by calling (502) 299-8501 or e-mailing coffeecuptheatre@gmail.com. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors (Cash & Checks only).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday Randomness: What have I been up to?

Is it the middle of October already? My goodness. Time really flies when you're having fun.

And, gentle readers, I am having so much fun these days!

Sure, money is way tight, and I am still struggling with what to do about my lack of insurance. But if you zapped those two stressors from my life (anyone? anyone?), I'd be fool happy.

I'm totally crazy about my new freelancing life. I have the best readers (that's YOU!). My friends never cease to amaze me. And The Guy and I just passed the one year of dating mark, and I couldn't be more in love.

So, what else have I been up to? 

  • Tomorrow marks the end of my second week of employment at Insider Louisville. Depending on who you talk to, I'm either the "Deputy Director of Content" or the "Associate Managing Editor." I'm not really hung up on titles; whatever you want to call me, I'm having a hell of a good time. I've been helping out around the joint, writing 2-5 articles a day, working on vetting freelancers and much more. We're still moving into our new office in NuLu, and every morning when I drive to work I have to pinch myself. Ever since my job hunt began, I've had a superficial goal of either working downtown or in NuLu, and here I am with my own desk, an endless supply of good coffee, and a job that I can't wait to go to when I wake up. My bosses respect me. I feel like I add a lot to the organization. And I'm getting paid to do cool stuff and write about it. My fingers and toes are crossed that this turns into a full-time gig with benefits someday soon. (And my fingers and toes are crossed that I continue to be this happy with this job).
  • For the past six weeks or so, I've been working part time as a "Twitter Specialist" for 520 East Brands. Shane is a dream to work for, and I'm thrilled to be the "twitter voice" for many beloved local and national brands. I knew one day my Twitter addiction would pay off!
  • Chipman Creative was hired two months ago to "ghost blog" for local real estate agent, WordCamp maestro, and fellow Start-Up Weekend attendee, Scott Hack. We did the true "ghost" thing for a little while, but over the past few weeks, we've started to put my name on the posts. So if you're looking for more of my posts, follow Scott's blog. And obviously, if you have any real estate needs, you should contact Finish Line Realty. Scott is awesome.
  • Last Saturday, my Louisville, Not Kentucky co-host Linda and I worked a booth at the Flea off Market. We signed people up for our mailing list and interviewed people for Episode 7 and beyond. We met lots of listeners and even got to interview the Mayor. It was a beautiful day, and we're looking forward to doing it again in November.
  • Tuesday, a group of Loueyville readers and friends volunteered to answer phones at the NPOTM, Louisville Public Media fund drive. Thanks to Kara, Dawn, Bethany, Stephanie, Stephen, Ashlee, and Linda for coming along. We ate lots of pizza and talked to some great LPM supporters on the phone.
So now, besides this blog, my twitter, my facebook, and my pinterest, you can now catch me on Insider Louisville, the Finish Line Realty blog, Louisville Not Kentucky, and as the voice of brands you know and love on Twitter. 

Hope you all have had an excellent fall so far! Thank you for your support!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Louisville, Not Kentucky at Flea Off Market

One of my favorite monthly events in the city is the Flea Off Market-- an open air market in NULU that runs from 10am til 6pm almost all year 'round.

Last Flea, I bumped into Linda, my podcasting partner, and we both decided that Louisville, Not Kentucky ought to do something at the next market.

So this Saturday (10/13), you can visit the Louisville, Not Kentucky booth at the Flea Off Market. There we'll be:

  • Doing live interviews with Flea-goers for future podcasts.
  • Interviewing some of the booth owners for an upcoming podcast.
  • Accepting pitches for future podcast segments.
  • Collecting adult-beverage drink recipes.
  • Signing people up for our new mailing list.
  • Taking pre-orders for Louisville, Not Kentucky t-shirts ($15).
So come visit us! Bring us your favorite drink recipe-- you can drop it off, or fill out a recipe card at the booth. We might mix up your drink for one of our "What are we drinking tonight?" segments-- and of course, we'll credit you. 

Bring us your pitches for story ideas-- what would you like us to cover in future podcasts? We might be able to interview you right on the spot! 

Sign up for our mailing list, so you'll never miss the latest Louisville, Not Kentucky podcast news. 

Thank you so much to Flea Off Market for providing us with the booth space. Thanks in advance to Christine (of the Cyclocross) for loaning us a shade tent and to Bobbi (Kyle's mum) for loaning us a table.  

And thanks once again to Kyle Ware for providing us with our gorgeous logo art and all of our design needs. If you're looking for an artist or designer, you can't go wrong with Kyle. And you'll definitely want a tshirt with his awesome logo design! Linda & I will be wearing sample shirts at the Flea, but if you're interested in pre-ordering one, sight-unseen, email me at Lou (at) loueyville.com.

We're so excited to meet you! Drop on by! 

Episode 6 is now available. All episodes are available for download on iTunes

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bonus Moth StorySLAM in October!

One of the best things that I do every month is volunteer at The Moth StorySLAM on the last Tuesday of every month at Headliners. My dear friend, Tara Anderson, is the producer and has allowed me to basically become the "permanent volunteer" for the event (I actually have it listed on my resume, that's how hardcore of a Moth fan I am).

This month you have TWO chances to check out The Moth StorySlam-- at its regular date and time AND in conjunction with the current exhibit at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft (KMAC) called "Storytelling as Craft."

The event is on Thursday, October 18 at 8pm (doors at 7pm). It's free for KMAC members or $8 for the general public. Awesome Louisvillager, Gabe Bullard, will be hosting.

According to the press release: 

The Theme for this evening is: MUSE. Throughout history, artists have been inspired by influential individuals in their lives, motivating them to create their best work. Now it's your turn. What is your interpretation of this word and more importantly - how will you TELL it? This is an open-mic event where anybody can sign up to tell a story. Between 7 and 8pm, place your name in the hat and 10 storytellers will be chosen at random to present on the stage. Three teams of judges will also be randomly chosen from the audience. They will give each story a score and help determine the winner at the end of the night. Storytelling tips are available on The Moth's website: themoth.org/tell-a-story/storytelling-tips. Event information can also be found on KMAC's Facebook page.

I assume I will be there "taking stories" like I normally do.  Stop by and say hi!

And no. I am too much of a wimp to get up on stage and tell a story myself. I gave a speech at the LFPL a while back and truly, TRULY thought I was dying of a heart attack halfway through. If the theme is ever "superheroes" then maybe... MAYBE... I'll tell a story. Maybe.

Don't forget Louisville Public Media is the NOPTM this month!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NPOTM: Louisville Public Media

One of the many things I love about Louisvillagers is their willingness to come together and share ideas. The idea for Non-Profit of the Month sprang from a conversation I had during a lunch with the lovely and talented Robyn Sekula in late May. So next time you see her, thank her.

Each month for the foreseeable future, My Loueyville will feature an ad and promoted content from a non-profit that I believe in and want to celebrate. On the website, you'll see a prominent ad and throughout the month, the blog will feature guest posts, contests, and/or special posts related to that non-profit.

When I was weighing my move to Louisville, I made a pro/con list. The "con" side of the list consisted of mostly ill-informed stereotypes like "1) It's in Kentucky" (hence the name of the podcast I co-host).

The pro list looked like this:

1) Bourbon
2) Bluegrass music
3) Great Public Radio

Again, still ill-informed... I got a healthy dose of Bluegrass music when I lived in Knoxville, TN for a summer with WDVX. I just assumed I would get even more in, you know, the Bluegrass State.

But I came to Louisville Public Media before I even moved here. Before I visited for the first time, I googled Louisville Public Radio to make a mental note of the channel just in case I decided to rent a car. I was floored to discover that there was not just one station but three.

New Orleans has some damned good public radio, but what always bummed me out was that there were so few options when it came to talk programming. We had "Car Talk" and "Wait Wait" and "A Prairie Home." The standard news programs of course. But-- if I remember correctly-- only classical music from 9am til 4pm and from 7pm on. And all day on Sunday.

I did a happy dance at my computer when I brought up WFPL's programming. And that was before the programming got as awesome as it is now. So. Much. Talk.

And you may think that my "pro" list is silly or tongue-in-cheek, but as Kai Ryssdal is my witness, the quality public radio in Louisville was a very big reason why I decided to take the plunge and move here.

I'm super-excited to be going to see Stephen Tobolowsky this Friday at the Kentucky Center. If you aren't listening to the "Tobolowsky Files" on WFPL at 9pm on Thursdays or on his podcast, you're missing something special.  But it was the final lines of his bio that made me swell with love for our Louisville Public Radio.

His bio concludes: "He currently performs his stories on “The Tobolowsky Files” at Slashfilm.com and on iTunes. They are also broadcast weekly on radio in Seattle, Louisville, and Austin. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons."

Right? His brilliant show is only on three stations... and Louisville's WFPL is one of them.

It's pledge drive month. So October is the perfect month to make Louisville Public Media my Non-Profit of the Month.

Here's my standard pledge drive spiel:

It's that time again, Louisvillagers.

Louisville Public Media is gearing up for their fund drive in a couple of weeks. During the past few fund drives, online personalities have repeatedly said, "Give what you can. Give what Louisville Public Media is worth to you." 

I've realized I really can't afford to give what WFPL and WFPK are worth to me. They are the only radio stations I listen to. WFPL is the source of all my non-online news (and the source of much of my online news as well through their blog). I live in a very NPR world. I probably should pledge 10 times what I actually do in order to really "pay back" what WFPL and WFPK give to my life.

But I can't.

So I volunteer to answer phones. Give a little human capital to the pledge drive. And it is a ton of fun. 

So this fund drive I'm putting a little group of Readers of Loueyville together to volunteer to answer phones at the fund drive. If you're interested in joining us, please drop me an email at Lou (at) Loueyville.com. Our block of time is from 6pm until 9pm on October 16

If you're reading this blog, you probably listen to one of our public radio stations. So I hope you consider giving back. 

 If you can't join us, volunteer to answer phones on your own. Email: kwilkinson@louisvillepublicmedia.org for details. 

You can also pledge in advance . Just click the link or call 502-814-6565.

Monday, October 1, 2012

WordCamp Louisville 2012

Scott Hack, who participated in StartUp Weekend Louisville with me, was kind enough to point me to info about WordCamp Louisville-- All day on October 13 at the Holiday Inn Louisville East1325 South Hurstbourne Parkway. 

I'm a Blogger user, and even on Blogger, I am very conservative with what I do. But WordPress is used for all kinds of web development (even, I am told, our CityAnchor site... isn't it sad that I don't know for sure?). 

From the WordCamp website:

WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 25 million sites on the web.... WordCamps are attended by people ranging from blogging newbies to professional WordPress developers and consultants, and usually combine scheduled programming with unconference sessions and other activities.

The schedule is packed and looks great for people with short attention spans:

  • 8 to 8:45 Check in, Network, meet fellow attendees and nosh on a light breakfast.
  • 8:45 to 9AM Opening Remarks from Organizer and message from Jason Clark with VIA Studio
  • 9:10 to 9:45AM – WordPress and E-commerce ( Johnathan Davis )
  • 9:50 to 10:25AM – Foundation of Plugins and Themes ( Tammy Hart )
  • 10:30 to 11:00 – Deploying WordPress ( Jason McCreary and Nick Temple )
  • 11:05 to 11:35 – Frameworks and Child Themes ( Bill Rice )
  • 11:40 to 12:15 – How not to suck as a freelancer ( Drew Poland )
  • 12:15 to 1:15 LUNCH
  • 1:20 to 1:55 – WordPress Security ( Juston Jones )
  • 2:00 to 2:30 – WordPress Mobile ( Hal Bugriss )
  • 2:35 to 3:05 – 24 Ways to Make WordPress FAST ( Jason McCreary )
  • 3:10 to 3:45 – The State of HTML5 ( Wesley Reitz )
  • 3:50 to to 4:25 – bbPress : Plugin development done right ( Pippin Williamson )
  • 4:30 to 5:00 –
  • 5:00 to 5:10 – Wrap up!
  • 5:30 to ???? – After party at TBD
I'll be working at Flea Off Market with my Louisville, Not Kentucky peeps, otherwise I'd go. It's only $20, and as Scott says, "like most conferences, material between sessions and networking are just as valuable..."

At risk of sounding like a broken record and being "that person" in the Louisville Tech/Start-up scene... I have to point out... eleven fantastic speakers/presenters... but only ONE woman. 

For more information, visit: http://2012.louisville.wordcamp.org/