KOKOMO, Ind. — Do you have something to say?
If podcasting is in your future, Indiana University Kokomo has just the event for you, with PodFest ’21, Celebrating Women’s Experiences and Making Women’s History through Podcasting, kicking off a month of events Tuesday, March 2.
Featuring students, alumni, and faculty who are experts at creating the downloadable audio programs, the events celebrate the medium, share tips on how to create one, and will introduce attendees to new podcasts for listening.
Paul Cook, associate professor of English, has used podcasting assignments in his classroom, and saw the success students had in creating them, which gave him the idea to plan the festival.
“One of the things I like about podcasting is that it’s so accessible,” he said. “A lot of people are intimidated by writing, but everyone who has a phone and a voice can create content and put it out on the web for others to hear. It’s an equalizing medium. It enables people to get their content out there in a way that is easy and compelling, and you don’t need any fancy equipment.”
As he outlined his idea and decided on March as the time period, he realized it is Women’s History Month. That, combined with receiving grant funding for the festival from IU Kokomo’s Women of the Well House philanthropic circle, led to his women’s history theme. He added, however, that the festival is not just for women, and all are welcome to participate.
Festival planners invited submissions of brief podcast projects that explore women’s stories, experiences, and issues, connecting to a larger social, cultural, or political issue that uniquely impacts women in society. They encouraged faculty to consider assigning podcasts in their classes, to submit as well, and will present awards March 31.
Student Julie Deem is among the panelists, having co-hosted her podcast UNITED State of Women, since 2019. She’s excited to introduce other students to the medium, and show them what can be done with it.
“Podcasting really gives us an opportunity to reach people on a global basis,” she said. “When I heard we were having PodFest, I was completely geeked out. It’s a forum for everybody to understand and learn about how significant podcasting is, and how to get their foot in the door.”
PodFest events are still being added to the schedule. Links to virtual events, locations for the in-person events, and additional offerings, are available at iukpodfest.com.
Events to date include:
- Tuesday, March 2, 7 p.m.: PodFest Tuesday Night movie, The Story of a Movement (available on PBS). Zoom.
- Friday, March 5, 6 p.m.: Meet the PodFest board of directors Q&A session on Zoom
- Tuesday, March 9, 2:30 p.m.: PodFest panel with experienced podcasters, on Zoom. Panelists to be announced.
- Tuesday, March 9, 7 p.m.: PodFest Tuesday Night movie, Women in Blue (available on PBS). Zoom.
- Friday, March 12, 6 p.m.: PodFest Happy Hour.
- Monday, March 15, 2 p.m.: PodFest panel with experienced podcasters, on Zoom. Includes Julie Deem, student and co-host of UNITED State of Women, Bailey Troutman, alumna and host of Building with Bailey, Brandon Chapman, alumnus and host of Sounding Off, and Benjamin Liechty, director of alumni relations and campus ceremonies.
- Thursday, March 18, 5 p.m.: PodFest Happy Hour.
- Wednesday, March 31, 1 p.m.: Awards ceremony.
Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.