Media & broadcast

Virginia Commonwealth University launches programme dedicated to the art of podcasting

Embedded within the school's Institute for Contemporary Art, the initiative positions podcasting as a crucial skill for creatives

Dr. Chioke l’Anson with students at VPM VCU University Relations

Do you have a story to tell? A new multi-year programme and dedicated centre for students focused on the art of podcast production will launch this fall at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (ICA at VCU) as part of a collaboration with the Richmond-based broadcasting corporation VPM.

Chioke I'Anson, the director of the programme and an assistant professor of African American studies at VCU, tells The Art Newspaper that the initiative responds to the “needs of the modern citizen to have more skills to express and receive good ideas” during an era where “communication increasingly happens on platforms and different types of social media”.

I'Anson—whose voice you may recognise as one of two underwriting voices for the National Public Radio (NPR)—says the centre will be “a place for community members, students and faculty to learn these storytelling skills [and] build our proficiency in critical communication”. He adds: “Those who sign up will learn about drafting a podcast pitch, how to record audio, how to edit and produce a show and how to refine rhetorical methods for the maximum emotional and educational effect.”

The programme will launch on a remote basis due to current restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, and will comprise a series of workshops, lectures, symposia and other events led by artists, podcasters and other media producers. The physical space at VCU is expected to open in spring 2021 and will feature two recording booths and workspaces for conceptualising and editing and producing podcasts and other audio content.

“If you have a story that you’ve been wanting to tell, or an idea that you think needs to be developed, or if you already have a show and you want to take it to the sonic next level, then this programme is for you,” I'Anson says. “It’s going to be dope.”

You can listen to The Art Newspaper’s new podcast A brush with… here.