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Marfa Public Radio Studios

Tom Michael
Marfa Public Radio
Sunrise outside our "New Home on the Range" in Marfa.

Marfa Public Radio Studios is supported in part by the Prentice Farrar Brown and Alline Ford Brown Foundation, The FMH Foundation, and The King Foundation.

Marfa Public Radio Studios is a new initiative to deepen the station’s commitment to telling stories, creating engagement opportunities, and training new voices. The Studio is dedicated to using old-school and new-school techniques to create public media that is not only relevant but speaks to the original mission of public media: “to enrich the human spirit,”

The Studio places equal emphasis on compelling narratives, community engagement, and experimentation. While some stations launch podcast studios, Marfa Public Radio invests in both podcast and broadcast content, in both station producers and community producers. While media is shifting to reach people digitally and on-demand, equally essential is the radio station’s role as a gathering space. The Studios represents a more holistic approach to the mission of public media, encompassing both content and engagement and opening the station to those who want to be a part of it.

The Studio builds on the station’s legacy of being a beacon for storytelling and a space for audio innovation. Earlier initiatives included: Marfa Public Radio School, Transom Audio workshops, engagement programming like Love Drive and the Dia de los Muertos on-air ofrenda, live storytelling events, block parties, West Texas Wonders, and visiting producers.

Executive Director Elise Pepple created Marfa Public Radio Studios in 2022. She sets and oversees the strategic direction of the Studios and serves as Executive Producer for Studio projects. Zoe Kurland is the founding podcast producer of the Studios. She develops and produces new content for broadcast and podcast with an emphasis on creativity and community engagement.


Marfa for Beginners

What do you know about Marfa, Texas? Whether it’s Vogue magazine, The Simpsons, or I Love Dick, there’s a certain narrative about Marfa: the romantic art town in the middle of nowhere. But there’s more to Marfa than that. Marfa for Beginners is the audio guide to the Marfa you may not know: Virgin of Guadalupe sightings and limited Tinder options. A place where you can feel like a stranger in your own hometown while also feeling like there are zero degrees of separation between you and…anyone else.

Marfa For Beginners is an expansion of the narrative, a trip down a different road, a tourism podcast for locals…and what does that mean? To find out, listen now.

So Far From Care

Living in a small town in West Texas can feel magical. And part of that magic is how isolated we are: hours and hours down a desert highway from everything else. But when it comes to accessing reproductive healthcare, that remoteness can also be terrifying.
In the Big Bend, the idea of “choice” was complicated long before Roe v. Wade was overturned. Out here, you can’t legally get an abortion — but as recently as last year, depending on the day of the week, you also couldn’t have a baby in a delivery room.

So Far From Care is a podcast about those contradictions. It’s about how people decide when, how, or if to become parents — close to the border and far from the hospital, where you have a literal village to help you raise a child but daycare can be impossible to find.

These are stories about isolation that’s not just physical — all the challenges we deal with in silence. But also, about how a place without options can become the site of community and care.

Marfa Public Radio Puts You to Sleep

Marfa Public Radio is literally never asleep. It operates 24/7 (except when lightning strikes) and there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes to make this happen– fundraising, compliance, protocols, emergency response, maintenance…the list goes on and on.

Do you lay awake wondering what FCC compliance entails? Ever wondered what NPR's code of journalistic ethics involves for the newsroom?

We may never be able to explain what it takes to operate the station, but we can put you to sleep trying to.

For our 2023 fall membership drive, we bring you Marfa Public Radio Puts You to Sleep. It's a sleep podcast wherein we read you the boring documents essential to our jobs, in the hopes we might lull you into slumber.

Community Pitches

One goal of the Studio is to support community-initiated projects. Do you have an idea for a podcast? Have you always wanted to be a host? Or have you always wanted to interview someone but don’t know how? Are you interested in becoming a part of the radio station but don’t know how? Reach out to us at mprstudios@marfapublicradio.org.

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