Brantford campus launches new podcast studio and podcaster in residence program

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Graphic by Jamie Mere

Laurier Brantford’s Creativity Hub is getting new programming in the form of a podcast studio and a podcaster-in-residence program featuring Avery Moore Kloss as the first podcaster.

Laurier’s Creativity Hub, located inside the newly opened OneMarket space on the Brantford campus, offers a space for both those in the Laurier community as well as members of the community to access services that include equipment, networking and other resources.

“Adrian and I were hired just over a year and a half ago to develop a creative hub for the Brantford campus. Through that investigative process of what the project should look like it’s changed a lot but we’ve talked to over 450 people including staff, faculty, students and community members,” said Tamara Louks, coordinator for the Creativity Hub.

“The idea was for a space that allows community members to come in and operate their creative business within a creative hub and students would benefit from having experiential learning and placements there.”

This space will be open for industry professionals, educators, non-profits and other organizations as part of an agreement in receival of a $15,000 grant from the Samuel W. Stedman Foundation in 2019.

“We were able to secure that important fund to build the podcast studio and that’s really been our test facility for the larger project that we are envisioning,” Louks said.

The Brantford campus is home to many creative industries when it comes to educational programming, like the user design experience or digital journalism programs, and the Creativity Hub looks to expand into more experiential learning opportunities for both students as well as those from the community who are integrated into Laurier.

“The reason why we started with a podcast studio is because from the conversations we had with people around the creative mediums they would like to explore, podcasting was listed as the number one most people are interested in,” said Adrian Beam, coordinator for the Creativity Hub.

“It allowed us to test a lot of different models of operating and memberships as well as the residency program because we have that space that is an investment that isn’t as expensive as other spaces.”

Another grant of $3,000 from the City of Brantford Grants Program will also be put towards the space, which allows for not only renting the space or purchase of equipment but allows there to be studio drop-in hours for anyone to be mentored by Moore Kloss on Thursday afternoons. The drop-in program will run until Apr. 30 from 1 to 4:30 p.m., available for the podcaster-in-residence to give advice and lead lectures or workshops outside of the time dedicated to pursuing their own projects.

“We’re supporting local creatives but we’re also supporting students, staff and faculty here at Laurier, so the great thing about a residency is that the artists get to have professional development opportunities through the experience, but they also get to give back and provide learning opportunities to the greater community,” Louks said.

Though the studio and program exist on the Brantford campus, another part of the programming put in place for the podcaster-in-residence program is also to involve multi-campus participation.

“It was a step that when we were evaluating the information that we collected from various stakeholders, it was a way that we could continue to grow the ecosystem that we know is going to be so important for the overall project,” Beam said.

“Knowing that we can bring someone with Avery’s credentials onto campus working with our students and community kickstarts all these projects that people either don’t have the resources, skills or knowledge for, it lowers a lot of the hurdles people face.”

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