My stories for Blue Ridge Public Radio

In August 2017, I moved to Asheville, NC, to launch the position of Arts & Culture Producer with Blue Ridge Public Radio. I cover Asheville’s fertile arts community through broadcasts, video and online written articles. 

Here’s the best place to catch up on the latest stories I’ve produced, and here’s a more curated sampling.

Special Programs

In March and April 2021, I solely produced separate hour-long programs for BPR’s “The Porch.”

Chelsea Labate
Chelsea Labate

The first focused on artists of this region coping with their mental health through a year of turmoil. You’ll hear stories from several artists from this region, along with research and thoughts from psychologists both about the trope connecting artists and mood disorders and alternatives to traditional counseling.

The second posed the question: If communities benefit from the work and presence of artists, what is our collective responsibility to publicly pay for the arts? I spoke with local and national arts advocates and also with random people in public.

The Porch: Artists Coping With Their Mental Health Through A Year Of Turmoil (March 17, 2021)

The Porch: What Is Our Collective Responsibility To Fund The Arts? (April 29, 2021)

Community Forum: The Future of Policing

On July 23, 2020, I stepped outside my arts world to produce a Facebook Live public forum on the future of policing in Asheville. Blue Ridge Public Radio had never produced an event like this and, to my knowledge, neither has another public radio station in the country. A few visual glitches aside, I’m pretty proud of the content, and guests on both side of this contentious issue commented to me after the fact to express their satisfaction with how it went:

The forum lasted nearly two hours, and I edited it down to an hour for broadcast the following week over BPR’s airwaves. Despite the length, it performed really well, both in real time and in the subsequent three weeks: 4,600+ unique viewers, 450+ comments and 66 shares (all highs for Blue Ridge Public Radio content):

Here’s the story I produced in January 2020 about artist compensation in relation to the Asheville Art Museum exhibition “Appalachia Now!”

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