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New Big Shed Documentary: The Great Moonshine Conspiracy
Franklin County, Va., was called The Moonshine Capital of the World during the Prohibition. And you can’t make that much illegal whiskey without drawing the attention of the federal government. In 1935, more than 200 farmers testified about their role in a massive racket involving some of Franklin County’s most powerful men. -- Visit Website

Jesse Dukes produced this story, as told by scholar Charlie Thompson (author of "Spirits of Just Men"). Original music by Wes Swing. Produced in collaboration with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, with support from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

(Photo: courtesy of the Blue Ridge Institute Museum & Institute of Ferrum County, Franklin County Bicentennial Collection.)
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Spend time with Assignment Afghanistan
Virginia Quarterly Review created Assignment Afghanistan as an interactive multimedia project around the field reporting of photographer and writer, Elliot D. Woods. The site includes photos, articles, and multimedia work from Elliot and others whom VQR has published since the war began 10 years ago.
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Big Shed produced a series of audio slideshows about Elliot's time embedded with Lima Company of the 3/6 Marines, which includes some of his field recordings from Afghanistan. Look + listen here.

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We have a Winner! We’re proud to present the results of Verite + 1: An Audio Competition
We invited producers to step out on a creative limb with us and explore the bounds of verite in audio production. Thirteen stories were submitted from an international cadre of producers. We’re proud and excited by the range of ideas and work that were submitted.

We gathered an esteemed panel of judges, and after much listening and discussion have three awards to announce:

The Winner of the 2011 Verite + 1 Audio Competition is a story called
“One for the Commandant” by David Weinburg.

Honorable Mention goes to a story called
“We Fell Asleep But Our Dreams Were Sweet” by Stacy Bond.

And a Big Shed Directors’ Choice Award goes to a piece called
“Losing Her Sex Scene Virginity” by Laura Herberg.

Listen to all of the winners and submissions here!

We will release the winning entry on the Big Shed Podcast next week. And we’ll be podcasting more of these stories soon after.

We've created an audio gallery, where you can hear all thirteen entries. We’ve posted audio hushpuppies from each piece to give you a little taste to tide you over until we post the full audio in the coming weeks.

We hope you take a good listen. This wasn’t an easy decision for us. And we’re proud to share their work with you.

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Digging In: A Creative Retreat (July 24-29, 2011)

This summer, join Big Shed and the
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke for a week-long creative retreat for audio producers and other creatives.

If there’s a story you’re trying to finish, a proposal you’re trying to write, or maybe you just need some space and community to think about your creative trajectory; we're creating this retreat for you.

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Join us for a relaxing, invigorating, and supportive week. In case you need added enticement, there will be homemade ice cream on the front porch.

Registration is open ... Find Retreat Details Here

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The Big Shed Podcast is Back!
Welcome back to where it all started.

Five years ago, the Big Shed Audio Documentary Podcast was born--creating what one producer describes as "a podcast paradise for independent audio documentarians."

After a hiatus, we're back! With more good voices, good stories, and mucho more good sounds produced by audio up-and-comers and veterans alike.

We're super excited to once again be podcasting the Big Shed brand of playful, personal, intimate, fresh work directly to your computer. If you haven't caught it yet, we kicked things off with the second installation of "Shortwaveology" from producer David Goren. It's a beautiful audio experience, and we're proud to be presenting it.

Missed us? You will be tickled silly when a new podcast arrives in your iTunes.
Not a subscriber? We can fix that! Just go here:

Check out our back catalogue. It's an amazing gallery of 60+ pieces from 40+ producers we consider part of the Big Shed family.

Subscribe, tune in, and hold onto your audio hats!

Your lovin' curators,
Shea, Jen + Jesse = Big Shed
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Poop + Memory
The Poop + Memory Project is hitting the road, again. This time, we're headed for the Megapolis Audio Festival in Baltimore in April 2010!

This playful art project came about as a spontaneous burst of giddy genius as we were tossing around ideas for a sound installation at The Bridge PAI, in Charlottesville, VA ... well, in the bathroom at The Bridge.

For the third year in a row, we were installing audio art for captive audiences as part of The Bridge's annual Audio Month. Why we had never thought of using bathroom-related stories before, we could not fathom. And we couldn't resist, either =

This project is also an homage to The Place + Memory Project. And like that project, it's all about you getting involved! So we encourage you to look, listen, and leave your own story (888-921-4224).
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Registration is Open!
Digging In: An Artists Retreat
(July 28-August 3, 2013)
It's almost sum-sum-summertime! And that means Big Shed and the Center for Documentary Studies are getting ready for our 3rd Annual creative+work retreat. Audio producers, photographers, writers, filmmakers, and media makers of every stripe, we've designed this retreat to help you make meaningful progress on the work that's most important to you (while having a great time). Did we mention there was handmade ice-cream? Keep reading!
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"Half-Lives" Wins Overseas Press Club Award!
Our friend, Maisie Crow and Big Shed's own Jessie Dukes just won an Overseas Press Club Award for "Best Use of Online Video". "Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now" was published with the Virginia Quarterly Review. If you haven't seen this beautiful piece … click play and enjoy.
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Big Shed Without Boundaries
Big Shed was in full force at the Radio Without Boundaries Conference in Toronto (May 27-29, 2011), presenting what we've been learning through the Place + Memory Project.

Thanks to Michael Lithgow for posting about the project on Art Threat, "Crowd-sourcing history with personal memories."

Andrea Silenzi and Jennifer Brandel were blogging the conference for and posted a sweet write-up about the Documentary Squaredances we held during the conference. Take a listen to this great audio montage they produced to capture all that story swapping -

During the workshop, participants phoned in some of their memories, including this one about a -

We're so appreciative to New Adventures in Sound Art inviting us to be a part of their sound art extravaganza ... and to everyone there for showing so much love toward the project!

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Woohoo! Show + Tell: Multimedia Cross Training
On March 3-6, 2011, Big Shed and the
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke partnered to offer an intensive, three-day institute for photographers, radio producers, writers, editors, publishers and other media makers who want to improve their ability to tell multimedia stories.

18 participants bravely joined us in Durham, where we crammed a semester of technical and aesthetic training into 3+ days. They learned new either audio or photography skills, to compliment what they already knew. And then we paired folks up in teams and sent them into the field on some quick-turnaround assignments.

And just when we thought we'd pushed everyone too far ...
they went and and created absolutely beautiful multimedia work in their final projects. We limited their work to 60 seconds, and they used that time to create what we think are an amazing series of profiles, like this one.
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Third Coast Award Winners!!
Big Shed's Shea Shackelford and Virginia Millington won the Bronze Award for Best Documentary at the 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival for their story, "This can go on forever." You can hear or license to the full story at PRX.
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Documentary Square Dancing with Big Shed
It's square dancing season in the Big Shed. We're crossing the country bringing you a massive, choreographed, storytelling fandango. It's not actually dancing ... but it's about as much fun.
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Our next dance will be in Baltimore, MD, at the Megapolis Audio Festival in May. Our first square dance in Charlottesville, VA, in March was such a smashing success, we can't wait to do it again. This is part of The Place + Memory Project.

We've figured out a way to get dozens of people simultaneously telling stories about places from their past that meant so much to them. And before each event is over, we collectively create an audio landscape of the remembered places for posterity. And all the while, getting to know all folks from your community in a whole new way.

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This is all part of the second phase of The Place + Memory Project. We're working hard to find new and exciting ways to remember the places that shaped shaped local communities.

Last year we launched The Place + Memory Project to celebrate places we love that no longer exist.

We created a series of stories for National Public Radio along with The Place + Memory website where visitors have added hundreds of locations, adding their own audio, video, photo, and written memories to document the high school hangouts, awesome restaurants, family-run businesses, one-of-a-kind bars, magical parks, and other places that are gone, but not forgotten.

This project was created as part of the Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0, an initiative of the Association of Independents in Radio with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.