Localore: Finding America is an independent public media production comprising 15 teams embedded for nine months at forward-moving public radio and television stations across the U.S. It’s the third in a series of national productions first launched by AIR in 2010 and led by some of the most gifted independent producers in the nation. Localore moves into communities large and small to invent new storytelling models with citizens who help us tell a new story of the rich diversity of America today. 

Beyond Belief, as one of the 15 projects, explores the interplay of religious life—and lives in which religion is absent—with youth culture, race, civic engagement, and economic disparity.  I coproduced this project, based at KCPT.

Principal funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and AIR’s network of more than 1,100 producers in 47 states and 30 countries.

Beyond Belief: Three Stories of Faith in Action

The half-hour film presents three stories showing how our community is bringing people together. Explore how students from two very different high schools journey south together on the Civil Rights trail; a congregation in Brookside welcomes a growing group of refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo and other African nations; and a Grandview church holds Sunday services in English and Spanish.


Princesita

Virginia Oropeza says her daughter, Diana, is very fortunate because she had two quinceañeras, one in Mexico and one in the US. She brought the artifacts from her daughter's recent ceremony to a Kansas City, Kansas church to explain the traditions and symbolisms of the quinceañera. Princesita is part of Beyond Belief, (http://kcpt.org/beyondbelief) our project looking at faith, religion and spirituality in the Metro.


Interfaith Iftar

rom KCPT's Beyond Belief project (http://kcpt.org/beyondbelief), we attend an Iftar dinner to break the fast, hosted by a Muslim family in Overland Park, Kansas, with a group of guests of several faiths, most of whom had not attended such a meal before. They discuss religion, politics and how each of their faiths shares basic understandings of the world.


A mother reflects on being rejected for being gay by her father at a young age, and how that gave her strength and love for her son as she became a parent.

I took the challenge from our Localore: Finding America team to create a two-minute audio postcard that places us in time and space, introduces us to an interesting character, and connects with the central themes of our work on faith and religion here in Kansas City.