SoundCloud has just wrapped up its second annual Community Fellowship program, which this year offered support and guidance to 15 sound creators as they finished projects ranging from radio dramas to audio guidebooks.
While SoundCloud’s audio platform is now 15 creations richer, the artists are walking away with finished projects and bigger audiences to continue to do what they love.
One of this year’s fellows, Andrea Seabrook, used the program as a springboard for her Kickstarter campaign. Seabrook had applied for the fellowship after quitting her job as the congressional reporter for NPR in Washington, D.C. to start her own podcast, DecodeDC.
“The episodes she produced were so amazing,” said SoundCloud VP of community David Noël. To “take the B.S. out of political reporting,” Seabrook brought in experts to “break these common misconceptions about how things work,” Noël explained, and looked “behind the scenes into how things actually work,” like the psychology of political campaigns.
With the help of the SoundCloud community, Seabrook was able to build enough of a following to raise more than $100,000 on Kickstarter to keep her program running after the fellowship ended, exceeding her goal of $75,000.
Seabrook was not the only fellow to end up on Kickstarter. Jack Kennedy traveled around the country on a Greyhound bus recording his impromptu jam sessions with other musicians. With 12 days to go, Kennedy is trying to raise $2,000 to turn Nightbus Radio into an album.
After working with SoundCloud, fellows Bailey Smith and Anne Wootton were able to get $300,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to build software and infrastructure for archiving sounds. Their project, Pop Up Archive, was a finalist in the foundation’s Knight News Challenge.
“The fellowship is a really beautiful program,” said Noël. “We couldn’t be happier with the results.”