The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust has awarded Syracuse University Libraries a $15,000 grant to expand the impact of its Sound Beat public radio program. Funding will enable program staff to enhance Sound Beat‘s engagement with audiences across the country and intensify its academic impact on campus through the Sound Beat Class Partnership.
Launched in 2011, Sound Beat is a daily, 90-second public radio module that highlights the historic sound recordings from the Belfer Audio Archive, one of the largest privately held audio collections in the country. Each episode features a single recording that, along with an entertaining backstory, provides a glimpse into American cultural history.
Sound Beat is currently carried in almost 200 radio markets in the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, with a reach of 8.5 million potential listeners. Sound Beat was recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts on Radio and Television grant in 2011-12.
Funding will support the Sound Beat Class Partnership program, which provides students in the Writing Program, Art and Music Histories, African-American Studies, and the Honors Program with practical experience in researching and developing Sound Beat scripts. The best of the student scripts are produced and distributed for the program. Successful student producers gain real-world experience, a publishing credit, and nationwide exposure.
This sponsorship will fund a graduate internship to assist in production, social media outreach, and with the Sound Beat Class Partnership project, and enable the producer to represent the program at the two main conferences in the public radio field.
The mission of the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust is to make grants within specific focus areas to enhance the quality of life in a number of geographic regions. The Memorial Trust responds to the ever-changing needs of various segments of the population, especially to the needs of young people and people who are disadvantaged either physically or economically. Historically, the Memorial Trust has made grants in the following program areas: Arts and Culture; Community Development; Education; Environment; Historic Preservation; and Journalism.