Last month, I wrote about QCA’s efforts to make our grant panel process more transparent, and to document our new Artist Commissioning Program. These objectives ended up materializing into a podcast project, which will share live recordings from our October 2017 sessions.

THE AUDIO

The Artist Commissioning Program’s two panels produced almost 13 hours of audio content: 12 from the panel itself, and about an hour of interviews with the art producers. Now, it’s matter of what to do with all the content now that we have it. Here’s a visual mockup of the situation:

unnamed-1.jpg

We wanted to take the content we have and reorganize it: specifically, to divorce the audio from its current applicant-response format. Rather than playing the discussion of each application verbatim, we could organize the audio by themes. This format would allow us to exclude sensitive information such as artists’ and panelists’ names, as well as be a length people will actually listen to—i.e. not 6 hours of unedited comments.

The bottom third of the diagram breaks down the audio into categories. The left, artist scoring criteria (see evaluation criteria), represent the pillars of conversation during the panel. These were the factors we asked the panelists, or art producers, to evaluate the applications. After the panel, our recording partner Clocktower interviewed the art producers about their experience. The three questions we asked are listed on the right.

THE PROCESS

ACP Panel Podcast Draft 1.png

After talking with staff from Clocktower I planned to create one hour-long podcast with four individual sections, or chapters. Each 25-minute chapter would focus on one the four artist selection criteria. Interview questions could be interspersed with these panel comments, like so (see right).

I still wasn’t sold, so I asked our staff, “If you were creating something from this material, how would you organize it? What is the right format, the most important points to hit?” Here’s what they came up with.


THE RESULT

The staff suggested making multiple podcasts that unveil the content in a series. This was totally different than what I had been envisioning, which was to create one thing combining everything. The new plan creates a 5-series podcast that alternates between interview spotlights and panel excerpts alongside a conversation with a feature guest:

  • The interview spotlights highlight the art producers’ experience reviewing the applications and selecting the artists.
  • The panel excerpts focus on what took place during the panel: In the latest Podcast, by highlighting the main priority of the ACP, or the capacity to create works not visible in American culture (see evaluation criteria here). This part of the panel is specific to ACP, and is meant to help listeners understand ACP’s selection process.

Podcast 1: What are the gaps in American Culture?

  • Feature interview: Hoong Yee Krakauer, QCA Executive Director
  • Art producer interview spotlight: Art producers answer the question, “How did you decide what works are not visible in American Culture?”

Podcast 2: How do you tell an untold story?

  • Feature interview: Brendez Wineglass, Art Producer
  • Panel Spotlight: Behind-the-scenes panel audio of the art producers discussing Category 1, or the artists' capacity to create new art that tells untold stories

(Coming soon) podcast 3: what does an exceptional project look like?

  • Feature interview: Neil Padukone, ACP Awardee in Music Composition 
  • Panel Spotlight: We hear the art producers discuss and select Neil's project application
  • Interview Spotlight:  Art producers answer the question, "What was it like being responsible for selecting the commissioned artists?"

(coming soon) podcast 4: what is it like to be a cultural gatekeeper?

  • Feature interview: David Johnston, ACP Advisory Council Member & Exploring the Metropolis Executive Director
  • Panel Spotlight: Excerpts from both panels discussing artistic quality, clarity, and project feasibility 

(coming soon) podcast 5: how do you talk about artistic excellence?

  • Feature interview: Mike PrattScherman Foundation (ACP Funder) President 
  • Interview Spotlight: Art Producers' answer the question, "What language did you find most helpful in discussing these works?"

Listen to the latest podcast here, and let us know what you think of the format! Feel free to email me your comments & feedback at kolshan@queenscouncilarts.org.

Next month, I’ll walk you through our thought process – what I think this accomplishes, and how we could potentially go further.

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