“Framed by WDET” — a multimedia storytelling series combining photography and audio to highlight Detroit’s ethnic and cultural communities — recently won the 2019 Local That Works contest.
The annual contest showcases innovative and creative local content produced by public and nonprofit media organizations around the country. From 106 projects submitted for consideration this summer, four finalists were chosen. WDET was judged the winner by public media executives and received a $5,000 cash prize.
Current, a nonprofit news service, presented this year’s award in New Orleans in partnership with Greater Public and co-coordinator Public Media Futures Forums at the Public Radio Super-Regional conference.
“Framed by WDET” features 10 communities and documents the voices of nearly 100 local residents from neighborhoods such as Delray, Hamtramck, Southwest Detroit and the broader Detroit region. This project reflects WDET and public media’s commitment and mission to highlight the contributions of local communities, inform and educate, and provide a platform for diverse perspectives and opinions.
“In public media, we commonly cite our responsibility to ensure a healthy democracy. And as local media organizations, it’s also our job to ensure healthy communities,” said Courtney Hurtt, WDET’s associate director of product development and business operations. “And one way to do that is to reflect the lives of the people we’re here to serve. ‘Framed by WDET’ did this.”
As WDET told stories of Detroit communities, it paired photographers with audio producers who were independent or on WDET’s staff. In choosing producers, the station aimed to “find people who reflected the communities that the stories were going to be about,” Hurtt said.
WDET aired the stories and posted them online, but “the magic happened” at the art installations where the station held events “in spaces that were familiar to the community it was about,” Hurtt said. The events included live broadcasts and community conversations. Works were then installed in locations outside of the communities they focused on, including downtown Detroit.
More than 20 exhibits appeared in community spaces throughout the Detroit area. Nearly half of attendees said it was their first WDET event.
WDET funded the project primarily through grants, a Kickstarter to produce a “Framed by WDET” book, individual donations and corporate support. Click here to learn more about “Framed by WDET.”
About WDET 101.9 FM
From our Midtown Detroit location on the campus of Wayne State University, WDET 101.9 FM, Detroit’s NPR Public Radio Station, delivers a unique mix of news, conversation, special programs and music programming. Our powerful 48,000-watt broadcast signal reaches a 70-mile radius across all of Southeast Michigan, Northwest Ohio and Southwest Ontario. It expands nationally through our live stream, website, mobile app and podcasts. WDET 101.9 FM is a community service of Wayne State University.