Oh Oberlin, Lets Do This Again

$890 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 11 people in 11 months
Update Dec. 21, 2017: donations are currently being used to transcribe interviews. Visit here for background on the book project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1329741683/oh-oberlin-oral-histories-of-a-place-in-time

Searching for Oberlin's voice in the modern echo chamber, ohoberlin.wordpress.com started with my desire to write about things going on in my hometown and to share those text-based stories via social media. The idea evolved from writing into conducting non-scripted interviews using Oberlin College's station (WOBC), at the pleasure of the staff and at the whim of the college's class schedule. My one-hour "Oh, Oberlin" shows featuring interesting town’s people and issues were then recorded and loaded to YouTube.

In 2014, I successfully funded the initial launch of Oh Oberlin, the podcast, via Kickstarter. The funds raised were used for buying storage on wordpress.com, software (Hindenburg) and hardware in the form of an external microphone used with my iPhone to record the interviews.

In January 2015, I succeeded in my second Kickstarter fundraiser. This larger effort allowed me to significantly upgrade my recording capabilities and proved to me there is an audience interested in listening to Oberlin's stories.

My goal remains not to over-produce these interviews, but to be able to conduct them in a way that translates into more recordings for listening and then, more sharing. I plan posting up to four episodes per month.

The podcast has been listed on iTunes and stitcher.com.

Among those who have been interviewed for the radio show and the podcast are: Kurt Russell, Oberlin High School history teacher; Sean Hayes, executive director of the Oberlin Project; Cullen Naumoff, director of sustainable enterprise for the Oberlin Project; Rev. David HIll, First Church; Steve and Mary Hammond, Peace Community Church; political activists and music reviewers Arlene and Larry Dunn; Harvey Pratt; Scott Medwid; Steve Johnson, former Oberlin City Schools concert and marching band director; Cherilyn (Brice) Holloway and Alan Mitchell, Oberlin Community Services; businessmen and retired Oberlin College professors Bob Piron and Luis Fernandez; James Peake, education and outreach coordinator for the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts; Rudd Crawford, retired Oberlin High School math teacher; Dawn Neely-Randall; and Danny Rosenburg, Oberlin Environmental Dashboard.

There are roughly 50 episodes online, including more recent shows in a 20-minute, scripted format.

We have discussed issues of race relations, past and present. Economic development and sustainable enterprise have been defined. The International Baccalaureate program at the Oberlin City Schools has been talked about in the context of Common Core curriculum standards. We've gone light-hearted with stories of marching band and we've listened to first-hand stories of dealing with Lou Gehrig's Disease. All of this has been against the backdrop of Oberlin, described by someone as a microcosm of the country at large.

I look forward to providing listeners with context for living in Oberlin.

(Note: the first $35 will be used to reactivate the storage capacity of the Wordpress website. That much is necessary. There is no plan no invest in new recording equipment. I gratefully consider donations beyond that to be expressions of interest in, and appreciation of, the stories shared. The $1,000 is a soft goal. The linked video was compiled in 2016 during an experiment with online funding mechanism Patreon. I have since changed employment away from print journalism, but the underlying discussion about community journalism remains important.)
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It's been in the back of my mind for years to consider how to turn these interviews into book form. I'm very much interested in taking the next step on that and would welcome your input.
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Thanks for kicking off this next round of podcasting. The first interview of 2017 is schedule for Tuesday night with Oberlin resident and artist Christian Colbert. The host site has been set up again, and the RSS feeds checked.

Thanks for your support!
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$890 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 11 people in 11 months
Created June 10, 2017
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