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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Kramer

Teens create audio stories, credit Earshot with building confidence, skills

During the first few weeks of June, a few teens surveyed different story ideas about what was going on in Louisville's art community, got familiar with structuring and creating audio stories — and using the needed equipment. They then chose their stories and went on to report and produce them.

Addison Lowery and Alexander Place participated in Arts Angle Vantage's inaugural Earshot audio storytelling program at University of Louisville's Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning. Photo by Elizabeth Kramer.

This was all part of Earshot, the first audio storytelling program from Arts Angle Vantage. It gave teens hands-on experience with reporting, writing and producing audio stories.

The program's inaugural reporters — Addison Lowery and Alexander Place — covered the production of "The Hobbit" by the Kentucky Opera Youth Opera Project during its summer camp and the Speed Art Museum's intricate installation of a new exhibit by Yayoi Kusama, her "Infinity Mirrored Room – Let’s Survive Forever." (That exhibit opens July 12.)

Listen to their stories here.

Youth take the stage in Kentucky Opera's "The Hobbit" summer camp • By Addison Lowry | Arts Angle Vantage Reporter, duPont Manual High School

Installing Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Room," a new Speed exhibit, no small feat • By Alexander Place | Arts Angle Vantage Reporter, Homeschool Student

Because the teens listened to and examined audio from various sources in discussions, they said they learned how to give greater attention to listening to their sources and their surroundings while gathering information. They also learned how to incorporate sound into their reporting.

The Speed Art Museum's English Renaissance Room where Earshot participants and their audio stories got the spotlight on the museum's June Community Day. Photo Courtesy Speed Art Museum.

After they reported, wrote and produced their pieces, Arts Angle Vantage turned the spotlight onto these reporters in a listening event during the Speed Art Museum's June Community Day. On June 30, visitors filled the museum's English Renaissance Room to listen to their audio stories and then hear from the teens about their experiences.

Addison talked about how the program gave her opportunities to do things she wouldn't have done otherwise — go out into the community, get interviews, and talk to random people and different adults.

"Conducting interviews is really nerve wracking," she said, "but I learned to just kind of be bold and be open."

"When I started off, I didn't know how to do any of this," Alexander said. "If you get down to it — making a good story — you find out what people have to say and you learn a ton of stuff by doing that."

Arts Angle Vantage mentor Claire McInerny working with Addison Lowry and Alexander Place in this summer's Earshot program.

He and Addison credited collaboration with their mentors and each other for helping them produce their stories. Their mentors were Elizabeth Kramer and Claire McInerny.

"We listened to the audio, the finished product over and over again," Addison said. "We thought — OK, what can we put here to make it like give it more depth? Or what can we do here?"

Addison also has advice fother other teens: "I would say for people that are going to come do this — just join."

Alexander laughed before he said, "I managed to get a story out."

If you are a teen, parent or educator interested in our programs, please, contact us.


Made possible by Metro Louisville and the University of Louisville Department of Communications and Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning.


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