First Voice Apprenticeship (2008)

KPFA was founded in 1949 by Lewis Hill, a pacifist, poet, and journalist. It was the first community supported radio station in the USA.

KPFA's signal reaches one third of California. Much of their programming is local and original, with a mix of news and in depth public affairs, an ongoing drama, literature and performance series, interviews, and reviews. The majority of the station’s staff are unpaid community volunteers donating their time and energy.

The mission of the First Voice Apprenticeship Program is to facilitate community building and creative empowerment through healing, creative expression, and the adaptation of information technology. The "First Voice" exists deep within ourselves, it is the consciousness or intuition that leads the way.

For twenty-five years, First Voice has been bringing women and people of colour into media through radio by working in partnership with community radio station KPFA in Berkeley, CA, the flagship station of the Pacifica Network. The program has taught radio production and engineering to people from many cultural, socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds.

First Voice has now expanded to utilize multi media and digital tools. The goal is to economically empower communities through expression; using video, audio, pod casting, and web content and design, while facilitating sustainability through economic and financial literacy.

The program is 24 months and is divided into four phases:

Phase One: Expression

In P1, Apprentices will begin to explore their own stories and draw connections with one another. They will creatively identify and express what they really need and want in life. P1 Apprentices learn sound theory, group process, and production development.

Phase Two: Healing

In P2, Apprentices will find their creative voice and learn the skills to build a strong foundation for their ideas to emerge. They will learn the value of facilitation, meeting deadlines and time management. P2 Apprentices will learn engineering, digital editing for multi media, script writing and delivery.

Phase Three: Vision

In P3, Apprentices will refine their skills while strengthening personal connections with their communities. P3 Apprentices will be the senior producers for Full Circle, the Apprenticeship Show. They will develop their strengths through live recordings, advanced multi-media production, and development of economic and financial literacy.

Phase Four: Adaptation

In P4, Apprentices define and realize their artistic and entrepreneurial goals; through business plans and adapting the creative tools, knowledge, and resources acquired from previous phases to achieve their creative vision.

Apprentices are required to spend one business day each week working at KPFA. The dayshift is a five hour shift and runs on an intergenerational group learning model, with each phase teaching the next. The Dayshift integrates service to the station, skills acquired in classes, vision and leadership.

Follow me on Twitter