JakeMacArthur Foundation Announces Support for The Moth Radio Hour

Jake posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Blog, Press Releases

The Moth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to live storytelling, is thrilled to announce a two-year $200,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to produce The Moth Radio Hour.

Debuting in 2009 with five pilot episodes, The Moth Radio Hour was an instant success airing on over 200 public radio stations around the country. “The Moth Radio Hour is the realization of a ten-year-long dream to bring The Moth to public radio. We have long felt that radio was the perfect medium for our stories to reach a wider audience, and we are grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for making this possible,” says Lea Thau, Executive & Creative Director of The Moth.

The radio series captures the energy and authenticity of live performance at The Moth and weaves it into a compelling hour of radio. Presented by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, and produced by award-winning producer Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media, ten new episodes will be available to public radio stations for broadcast in 2010.

With generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, The Moth is building on the success of the pilot season. “I love The Moth. It is elemental, even primitive, in its simplicity: One person stands up and tells a story to a crowd of eager listeners. The only thing missing is the cave and the fire. The only thing we add is a microphone,” says Producer Jay Allison.

Originally formed by the writer George Dawes Green as an intimate gathering of friends on a porch in Georgia (where moths would flutter in through a hole in the screen), and then recreated in a New York City living room, The Moth quickly grew to produce immensely popular events at theaters and clubs around New York City and later around the country.

“Public radio is powered by true stories that illuminate the human condition,” says Jake Shapiro, Executive Director of PRX. “The Moth introduces new dimensions through live performances as well as online participation.”

PRX first funded a sample hour of The Moth in 2007 and is now the exclusive distributor for the program on public radio.

The Moth 2010 series is available to public radio stations at http://www.prx.org/themoth beginning May 1.

About The Moth
The Moth is a nonprofit organization with ongoing programs, all of which contribute their best stories to The Moth Radio Hour: The Moth Mainstage where celebrities appear alongside unique voices from all walks of life; The Moth’s StorySLAM competitions, which are open to all and rapidly expanding to cities across the country; and The Moth’s community outreach program, MothShop, which brings workshops to people whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Two additional projects are launching in 2010: The Moth StoryLine invites people to pitch story ideas online or through a toll-free hotline; and the MothUP program helps groups around the country form their own Moth storytelling groups in their homes and submit the recorded stories from these evenings to The Moth.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning public media network focused on innovation at the intersection of technology and talent. The PRX platform is an open distribution marketplace connecting thousands of producers and local public radio stations, creating public radio’s largest archive of on-demand programs for broadcast and digital use.

About Jay Allison
Jay Allison is an independent broadcast journalist and Executive Director of Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. With APM, he co-founded PRX, Transom.org, and the Cape and Islands public radio stations. Jay was the curator and producer of This I Believe on NPR, and has made hundreds of documentaries and features for national broadcast. He is the recipient of five Peabody Awards and CPB’s Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio.

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