Rachel Hopkin

Folklorist and Radio Producer

Folklorists in the South retreat – April 2012

24 December, 2013

In a couple of weeks’ time, I’m going to be spending a few days at the 2012 Folklorists in the South retreat, along with folklorists and folklore-friendly folk from nineteen US states.

The retreat is organised by South Arts and this year, the theme is “Stakeholders in Creative Economies”, so there will be various panels and discussions looking into the role that traditional culture can play within the Southern economy. This is the kind of thing that generally flies under the radar and the money-making possibilities (both actual and potential) don’t usually get a lot of attention. As a result, I think it’s going to make for an interesting few days of thought-provoking exchanges.

I’m going to be participating in a panel on Media Arts along with Meredith Martin-Moats and Steve Grauberger. Meredith is based in Arkansas where she works as an independent radio producer, blogger and also writes regularly for a local newspaper. She’s particularly engaged with harnessing the power of the media to help build a vibrant engaged community. Steve works as a folklorist within the Alabama Folklife Program where he has a weekly radio show that focuses on local culture, and he’s also produced a series of music CDs. As for me, I’ll be talking about my experience of making radio about Southern culture both for global audiences (via the BBC and other international media outlets) and for local listeners (via WKU’s Public Radio service). I’ll also be covering some of the practicalities of raising money for projects as an independent radio producer.

So all in all, it should be a good retreat. It’s happening in Memphis from 21st to 24th April and there’s still time to sign up if it sounds like your bag. I’d love to see you there.