Smithsonian Hosts International Conference “Our Voices on the Air: Reaching New Audiences through Indigenous Radio”

July 24, 2012
News Release

The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Initiative will host the conference “Our Voices on the Air: Reaching New Audiences through Indigenous Radio” at the National Museum of Natural History from July 31 through Aug. 2. The conference will convene indigenous radio producers from Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and the United States. Sessions will include panel discussions, workshops and one-on-one interviews with participating producers.

“Our Voices on the Air: Reaching New Audiences through Indigenous Radio,” aims to inspire the production of innovative programming and to promote collaborations that will enhance the role that indigenous-language radio plays within communities around the world. The conference will provide an opportunity for radio producers who are committed to broadcasting content in indigenous languages to share their experiences and learn from one another.

“For many indigenous peoples, radio is the ideal tool for preserving and transmitting their language and culture,” said Robert Leopold, director of the Smithsonian’s Consortium for World Cultures. “Radio programming reinforces pride and interest among adults and young people in maintaining their culture in the face of pressures to assimilate into larger society.” Participants will develop an original series of radio programs dedicated to endangered languages and revitalization. Material for this new series will be gathered through interviews with conference participants to be conducted during the event. This event is made possible by partnership with Cultural Survival’s Community Radio Project and their Endangered Languages Program. For more information visit:

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