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Marfa Public Radio Studios

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Sunrise outside our "New Home on the Range" in Marfa. (Tom Michael)

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.


Projects in development 2022-2023

 

Marfa for Beginners (Podcast)

There’s a particular narrative about Marfa. Articles about Marfa can sound like an exquisite corpse poem repeating the same lines, “down a dusty highway…minimalism, tumbleweeds, and cowboys”. Marfa for Beginners is a different take on the same small town. A place not only synonymous with minimalism and selfies, but Virgin of Guadalupe sightings, a high population density of alley cats, and limited Tinder options. Marfa is a town with zero degrees of separation where the main characters can include loneliness, drinking, gossip, but also people you probably have not heard of.

Newsroom Special Projects
In development.

Desert Dispatch Logo

Desert Dispatch (For Broadcast)
What would it sound like if Presidio, Terlingua, Alpine, Midland, Odessa, Marathon, Marfa, and Fort Davis were talking to each other on the air? The Desert Dispatch will become a regular engagement broadcast. We see it as a block of time to share messages, missed connections, love notes, appreciations, ride shares, ISOs, good news, and more. It is a kind of alternate newscast, an un-newscast. The format will mimic that of a newscast: a six-minute bulletin from voices across our region. We would like to develop this program with you. Is there something you’ve always wanted to say on the radio? Contact zoe@marfapublicradio.org.


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.