This is fantastic news, hot off the presses (full details below). Our friends and partners at The Moth are recipients of the prestigious “genius” award for nonprofits – The MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. This is a transformative grant, will help fuel The Moth’s remarkable expansion and the breakout success of The Moth Radio Hour. PRX has some personal experience with this having also been a recipient of this award in 2008, and we can’t wait to see what this leads to for The Moth.
Congratulations! – Jake
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THE MOTH, ACCLAIMED NATIONAL STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION,
RECEIVES MACARTHUR AWARD FOR CREATIVE & EFFECTIVE INSTITUTIONS
$750,000 grant will enable The Moth to expand Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into weekly series and preserve its 15-year video and audio archive of live storytelling
New York, NY – The Moth, the non-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, today announced that it has received a $750,000 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions that will allow it to expand its Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into a weekly series, as well as preserve its vast video and audio archive of live storytelling events from the past 15 years.
Presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the award recognizes The Moth’s role in promoting live storytelling to an international audience and “documenting our common humanity.”
Founded in 1997, The Moth (www.themoth.org) will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary this year. Since the first Moth evening in founder George Dawes Green’s living room in New York City, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.
According to executive director Joan Firestone, the award will be used to increase the number of episodes of The Moth Radio Hour from ten each year to a weekly series beginning in January 2013. The MacArthur Foundation’s early support of The Moth Radio Hour contributed to its meteoric growth. Launched in 2009, the show is recognized as one of the most successful launches in public radio history, with more than 250 stations now airing the program. Presented by PRX (www.prx.org), The Public Radio Exchange, The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and by Catherine Burns, The Moth’s artistic director.
The award will also be used to preserve The Moth’s 15-year video and audio archive, protecting live stories of hundreds of storytellers from Malcolm Gladwell, Annie Proulx, and Al Sharpton to an astronaut, a pickpocket, and a hot-dog eating champion. In 2011 alone, more than 15,000 minutes of stories were recorded.
“Receiving the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions is an incredible honor for The Moth and a testament to the power of live storytelling,” said Joan Firestone, executive director of The Moth. “As The Moth celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, this award will enable us to take the organization to an exciting next level, reaching an even wider audience through our radio show, while preserving our vast archives for future generations.”
“From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “They provide new ways to address old problems. They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates. And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size.”
The Moth is one of only 15 organizations from six countries to be recognized today with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The MacArthur Foundation does not seek or accept nominations for these awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur’s core programs.
About THE MOTH
The Moth is not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth features simple, old-fashioned storytelling on thoroughly modern themes by wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors.
The Moth conducts six ongoing programs – The Moth Mainstage, which tours nationally; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open-mic story competitions around the country; The MothSHOP Community Education Program, which brings storytelling workshops free of charge to underserved adults and high school students; The Moth Podcast, which is downloaded over a million times a month; The MothSHOP Corporate Program, which offers corporate storytelling solutions; and The Moth Radio Hour, which is, produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange. The Moth Radio Hour airs on 250 public radio stations across the country.
The Moth’s executive staff are: Joan D. Firestone, Executive Director; Catherine Burns, Artistic Director; Sarah Austin Jenness, Producing Director; and the pro-active Board of Directors is represented by Anne Maffei, Chair.
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