How do you get young people who might not even own a radio to fall in love with radio?
That's the mission of our annual Radio Camp, a weeklong program for high school students in partnership with ThreeSixty Journalism at the University of St. Thomas. This summer, eight students from diverse backgrounds came to MPR News to get firsthand exposure to our broadcast center and learn the basics of what we do: field recording, interviewing, writing stories and voicing their own scripts.
The camp was created to honor the legacy of Toni Randolph, a longtime MPR News journalist and champion of ThreeSixty. Toni believed newsrooms should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
This year's camp involved reporting at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Each student worked with an MPR mentor and produced a feature story on someone who works at the Guthrie. The culmination of their hard work? Inspiring, sound-rich radio storytelling — featuring the students' own voice tracks and the audio they gathered in the field — mixed by a professional sound engineer.
"I'm glad I got to work hard and experience discomfort because it has motivated me to be a better journalist," one student told us after the camp ended.
Listen to all of the students' pieces below.
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by Autumn McKinney
The actress who plays Anita in "West Side Story," Ana Isabelle, is a pop singing sensation in her native Puerto Rico. She brings authenticity to her character — but there's one big difference between her and Anita.
The set designer
by Heaven Aschalew
Technical director Jim Gangl takes the crazy, innovative and seemingly impossible ideas from the Guthrie's designers and directors — and makes them happen.
by Neng Thao
Long before West Side Story went into production, dramaturg Carla Steen researched the history of gang life in the 1950s. And that research influenced the acting and directing of the musical.
The costume designer
by Heidi Sanchez
In "The Legend of Georgia McBride," it's not only the actors who get to make statements. The costumes do as well. They're flashy, glittery, loud and flamboyant, as costume director Amy Schmidt intended.
by Aaliyah Demry
Joseph Haj, the director of "West Side Story" and the Guthrie's artistic director, understands the immigrant experience in America. Born to Palestinian immigrants and raised in Miami, he remembers growing up in a world of challenges and trying to fit in.
The props team
by Tristan Xiong
Meet the people who make the props at the Guthrie — including "The Blood Guy."
The sound engineer
by Isabel Saavedra-Weis
When sound engineer Alex Ritter is behind the mixing board, he adds a crucial layer to any performance and brings magic to the audience's ears.
The light board operator
by David Gutierrez
While the cast of "West Side Story" enjoys the spotlight, some people, like light board operator Angelina Vyushkova, are content to stay in the shadows.