The Big Pond: Stream 50 Audio Stories from the Goethe-Institut, Available Free Online


Who doesn’t love a good pod­cast? Don’t tell me you’ve nev­er binged Ser­i­al or laughed out loud with Marc Maron. Over the last few years, pod­casts have become a cul­tur­al phenomenon–they help us endure our dai­ly com­mutes and then lull us back to sleep at night. Lis­ten­ing cul­ture isn’t new, though–talk radio has been fill­ing the silence with anec­dotes, news, and dra­ma since the ear­ly 1900s. The Goethe-Insti­tut’s new radio and pod­cast series THE BIG POND. A US-Ger­man Lis­ten­ing Series is a per­fect mar­riage of these two audi­ble sto­ry­telling for­mats.

The Goethe-Insti­tut, a Ger­man cul­tur­al cen­ter with its North Amer­i­can head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton, has part­nered with the Pub­lic Radio Exchange (PRX), the RIAS Berlin Kom­mis­sion, KCRW Berlin, and oth­er pub­lic radio sta­tions and pro­duc­ers in Ger­many and the US to bring you THE BIG POND, a col­lec­tion of 50 unique audio pieces released on a week­ly basis. From pret­zels and beer to the Berlin Wall, from motor­cy­cles to recy­cling, THE BIG POND offers a fresh per­spec­tive on just how much these two coun­tries share while cel­e­brat­ing pod­cast­ing, broad­cast­ing, and “Wun­der­bar Togeth­er” – the Ger­man-Amer­i­can Year of Friend­ship.

Don’t wor­ry, the radio fea­tures are all in Eng­lish! Episodes are avail­able for free via PRX, iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, and THE BIG POND’s web­site as pod­casts and for broad­cast by pub­lic radio sta­tions in the Unit­ed States. This care­ful­ly curat­ed library of audio pro­duc­tions cov­ers all things Ger­man-Amer­i­can: Ger­man motor­cy­cle tourists in Utah, a young Ger­man journalist’s myth­i­cal day with John Lennon, Ger­man-style appren­tice­ships in the US, an Amer­i­can opera singer’s life in Berlin, New York City beer gar­dens, and much more. THE BIG POND is home to fea­tures from up-and-com­ing pro­duc­ers as well as indus­try greats like Katie Davis, a con­trib­u­tor to NPR’s “All Things Con­sid­ered” and “This Amer­i­can Life”, and the Kitchen Sis­ters (Davia Nel­son and Nik­ki Sil­va), pro­duc­ers of the award-win­ning NPR series “Hid­den Kitchens”.

“When an edi­tor asks me to do a radio sto­ry, it usu­al­ly comes with lots of direc­tions,” said radio pro­duc­er Katie Davis. “When the team at THE BIG POND talked to me about a sto­ry for this series, every­thing was wide open. No rules, require­ments; just a wide open can­vas with space for orig­i­nal sto­ries.”

Pro­vid­ed with the nec­es­sary free­dom to tell their transat­lantic tales, THE BIG POND pro­duc­ers have devel­oped pieces that res­onate with audi­ences of all back­grounds on both sides of the big pond, con­vey­ing a bal­anced and mod­ern image of Ger­many and the US. THE BIG POND isn’t a col­lec­tion of puff pieces about Germany–it’s a well-researched nar­ra­tive of Ger­man and Amer­i­can life and cul­ture. Close coop­er­a­tion with Ger­man and Amer­i­can jour­nal­ists gives an authen­tic voice to Ger­many, the US, and their many sub­cul­tures while build­ing up the transat­lantic radio net­work.

Any­one inter­est­ed in the series can down­load episodes free of charge for indi­vid­ual use or broad­cast­ing at PRX, iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, or by vis­it­ing THE BIG POND’s web­site. Check and the Goethe-Insti­tut Wash­ing­ton’s social media chan­nels for tran­scripts and behind-the-scenes con­tent.

For the project’s press release and oth­er press mate­ri­als, please vis­it:

Savan­nah Beck is the Online Edi­tor at the Goethe-Insti­tut Wash­ing­ton.

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