Little Rock true crime podcast producer Karen Tricot Steward and digital content developer Ti King have announced the creation of a nonprofit Arkansas Podcast Collaborative to offer support and resources to podcasters and people interested in the medium seeking advice on building audiences.
The nonprofit is launching a website with training content and a database of Arkansas podcasters at arkansaspodcasters.org, according to a news release from the co-founders. The APC will also hold an annual podcast festival, ARKAST, and produce an ARKAST podcast to showcase Arkansans working in the medium and industry experts year-round.
“We started the ARKAST podcast convention last year to gauge interest in holding an annual event on podcasting,” King said in the release. “We had a great response and hosted panels featuring Arkansas podcasters. We also provided workshops for those wanting to learn more about podcasting.”
This year’s podcast festival will be Sept. 7 at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock, and plans call for expanding the event into Northwest Arkansas, according to King and Steward, who promise more details in coming weeks.
“Many people have an idea for a podcast and just need some help getting it off the ground,” Steward said. “Ultimately, we want to create a diverse community of podcasters in Arkansas, so we’re here to help everyone with the basics of getting up and running.”
The APC’s board of directors includes professionals from public broadcasting, the Arkansas Press Association, a former director of L.A. Times Studios, and members with experience in education and nonprofits.
“The importance of collaboration in the podcast industry cannot be overstated,” Steward said.
King said that with the Little Rock Technology Park and the Central Arkansas Library Systems both planning expansions to include podcasting studios, “It’s an exciting time to be podcasting in Arkansas.”
Steward, a former reporter, anchor and content developer for KUAR-FM in Little Rock, owns Power of Pod, a Little Rock podcast production company. She also writes, produces and co-hosts the investigative true crime podcast “Burden.” She worked as public education coordinator for the Arkansas Supreme Court, creating civics education podcasts, including a podcast featuring four women state supreme court justices from around the nation.
King leads American Business Engine, a digital marketing company. Last year, he organized Arkansas’s first podcast convention, called ARKAST, in partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. He and Steward are co-hosts of the ARKAST podcast.