Local podcasters entertain and inform
by Carlos de Gonzalez
In 2004 human speech turned to a new and deeper journey. Software developer Dave Winer and Adam Curry, a former MTV video jockey (yes, back when MTV still ran music videos), created a program for making audio presentations for download to the iPod. Today podcasts are everywhere, and best of all, most of the content is available online for free.
Locally a husband-wife team is making moves in that media game. Kelly Roberge, a trained art therapist and longtime fan of podcasts, insisted that she and partner Charles Matheus, formerly of local youth-mentoring network Boys to Men, start a series of their own. In October 2019 the duo premiered their own unique expression in the podcast world.
Their weekly series Here Together is available every Monday, and as of December 3 they have shared 57 episodes, usually featuring local residents and focusing on personal growth, building relationships, and community engagement. Charles feels that it’s important to create an atmosphere of honesty, curiosity, and a little play.
In his opinion long-form content builds trust among and within the global community, as opposed to just focusing on social media. There may be something to that; Charles and Kelly now have three podcast series going, and they’re working on a fourth.
Beyond Here Together they’ve produced monthly episodes for Prescott Woman magazine featuring interviews facilitated by Editor Breeanya Hinkel, and starting in September they have produced three scripted podcasts for Prescott Unified School District on education-related topics.
Riding on continued inspiration from these successes, Charles is ready to start a fourth project. Although it doesn’t have a name yet, it’s sure to entertain and educate. Charles wants to feature Mark Greene of New York City, author of Remaking Manhood: Stories from the Front Lines of Change. The goal of this production will be to showcase masculinity in a positive light, helping men move away from negative cultural traits like win/lose, domination and bullying. Matheus says that compassion and courage can go a long way when given an opportunity to flourish.
For most of their podcasts the team uses Zoom for a personal touch before editing them down to audio files. Under their Rocket Feather Productions brand they produce and livestream a video series, and recently produced over two hours on Facebook Live celebrating the first anniversary of HereTogether.
Their primary goal is reinforcing the values of honesty and integrity.
Everything that Charles and Kelly have produced on social media is shareable and free. Using Spotify and Anchor to host most of their content, they average 100-200 listens per episode; they expect to triple that by the end of the year.
Naturally they offer some merchandise for sale, but their primary goal is to express their message throughout the community, reinforcing the values of honesty and integrity. Look for a book to be published soon as well, featuring a collaboration with several local photographers.
Other talented locals are also participating in the podcast experience. Candace Devine produces a weekly podcast through Raven Productions called Creative Convergence, covering a range of creative arts. Longtime Folk Sessions Producer Tom Agostino focuses on music on Porch Pods. Matt Rotty features local businesses and local residents on Greater Prescott Podcast. Cadu Medina produces a show on marketing dubbed The Small Business Smart Marketing Podcast. There are many more examples of local voices to be found in the podcast world that I hope to feature here.
With so much information at our fingertips it would seem wasteful to not engage in one of the fastest-growing media, podcasts. The convenience is hard to ignore as well; you can do almost anything while listening to your favorite speakers on myriad topics, so the realm of multitasking is even bigger now.
Where will your journeys take you?
Frequent 5enses contributor Carlos de Gonzalez is known by some as a self-defense instructor, an advocate for social awareness and responsibility, and by many a harmonica player and blues-music enthusiast.