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Sometime after Southern California Public Radio launched its podcast development and production division in 2019, it pledged that the entire LAist Studios slate would be hosted, produced or staffed by creators from historically excluded backgrounds. And with Hispanics comprising the plurality of Los Angeles County’s population, the studio has partnered with National Public Radio to help develop Latino-centered programming, made by Latino storytellers.
“The Latinx community is the heart and soul of Southern California, and the backbone of LAist Studios content creation and audience engagement strategy,” SCPR CEO and president Herb Scannell said in a statement. “As a Latino, I’m proud to lead an organization that’s so committed to telling the stories of us and support Latinx creators at every stage of their career.”
Applications are open now for Oye: The Lab for Latinx Creators, which will train, coach and provide resources to help its participants develop audio content centered on the Latino experience. The talent accelerator will be paid via a stipend in recognition of the creators’ time and labor spent. At the conclusion of the lab, the cohort will pitch their pilots in consideration for further development.
“Good ideas need space and tools so they can get produced – that is exactly what Oye is for,” LAist Studios executive producer Antonia Cerejido said in a statement. “Oye will be the place to go from blueprint to launch, with the full support of the best professionals in audio storytelling.”
Cerejido noted that Latino-created LAist Studios shows already include California Love, Wild, Yeah No I’m Not Ok and Norco 80, with Lost Revolutionary and Human/Nature still to come.
NPR is anticipating that the lab will bolster its own roster of Latino-focused content. “Through Oye and our partnership with LAist Studios we will elevate Latinx voices, provide resources and training so we can collaborate on new programming for public radio that will join Alt Latino and Radio Ambulante to increase our offering for Latinx audiences,” NPR senior director of programming Yolanda Sangweni said in a statement.
Added NPR senior manager of content development Lauren Gonzalez, “Through Oye, we aim to bring together Latinx creatives who can reflect their lived experience and their communities in a way that feels authentic to them.”
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