Top 5 Reasons to Support VPM Before the Year Ends
As we count down to the end of the year, we’re counting down the top reasons to support VPM (in no particular order—we’d rank them all at number one if we could).
1. Locally-Produced and Locally-Focused Content
As Virginia’s home for public media, VPM connects nearly 2 million people across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley to insightful programming in arts and culture, history, science, news and education. We are dedicated to elevating the voices of our community and shining a light on the issues and topics that impact our fellow Virginians. Through a diverse array of locally-produced and locally-focused content, VPM uses the power of media to educate, entertain, and inspire, while facilitating a more connected, informed and empathetic Virginia.
This year, “ Raised/Razed,” examined the story of Charlottesville, Virginia’s oldest African American neighborhood, charting the lives of residents as they faced racially discriminatory policies and a city government that saw them as the only thing between it and progress.
Established programs like “ Virginia Home Grown” and “ Un-Wine’d” continue to explore the unique natural beauty of central Virginia and the many (often delicious) things that grow in the Commonwealth.
Speaking of delicious, this year, VPM and PBS launched the first season of “ The Great American Recipe,” an eight-part, uplifting cooking competition show celebrating the multiculturalism that makes American food unique and iconic — filmed in beautiful Ruther Glen, Virginia!
2. Reliable Local and National News Coverage
Accurate, timely and trustworthy information is vital. VPM News is a long-trusted source of local, national and world news, keeping listeners, readers and viewers informed with up-to-date, need-to-know information. VPM News strives to create informed citizens through fair, relevant and nonpartisan content that reflects and respects all of Virginia’s communities.
Launched in early 2022, “ VPM News Focal Point,” is a Virginia-focused weekly primetime program spotlights issues directly impacting Virginians, including the fight for racial justice, economic growth juxtaposed with entrenched poverty, polarizing politics, mental health and more. Through VPM’s on-the-ground and in-depth, award-winning reporting to national programs like PBS NewsHour, VPM keeps you connected to current events and matters of importance to our country, state and local communities.
3. Educational Programming and Resources
This year, VPM expanded our childhood education initiatives to reach and assist even more Virginia families. VPM partnered with the Central Virginia and Blue Ridge branches of " Ready Regions" — a network of public and private organizations supporting access to quality early childhood education — to provide tools and resources to support educators and caregivers while also working to increase preschool enrollment.
VPM is engaging with community partners on outreach initiatives around school readiness to incorporate the use of “The Basics” with families across Central Virginia, Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley. “The Basics” are a public health initiative to raise awareness about early childhood development and engage families and caregivers around five key principles for brain development. To make “ The Basics” even more accessible, VPM created five short, animated videos (in English and Spanish), explaining the five principles.
VPM also continues our dedication to the distribution of resources like books, worksheets and more to facilitate early childhood education.
4. For Your Listening Pleasure
VPM News and VPM Music continue to evolve as part of a great 50+ year tradition of public radio in central Virginia. Alongside the established and trusted national programs you love and rely on, VPM News provided even more digital reporting (including the VPM Daily Newscast) and in-depth features with more long-form stories to explore more complex issues.
VPM Music now has more locally-hosted music programs than ever, including John’s Porch , Jazz Weeknights with Annie Parnell and Classical with Mike Goldberg. VPM Music continued to cover local favorites with broadcasts of the Richmond Folk Festival and opening night of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, keeping our listeners in touch with live music from the comfort of their homes and on the go.
5. More Digital Content to Reach More Community Members
VPM is dedicated to reaching our community members where they are. We continue to expand and adapt the way we create content, to provide an ever-growing variety of digital options to get even more VPM, no matter where you are.
- The free PBS Video App allows you to watch a variety of VPM and PBS programs on-demand or streaming live. Members who give $5 or more a month or $60 a year get VPM Passport*, providing access to even more VPM and PBS programs, episodes, special early releases and beyond!
- This year, VPM cohosted the first ever Resonate Podcast Festival to celebrate the art of podcasting. The weekend-long festival included workshops with industry leaders in the VPM + ICA Community Media Center, a live podcast pitch contest, one-on-one consultations, exhibitions, and special performances. VPM is partnering with the winner of the contest to produce a pilot episode of their podcast in 2023.
- VPM Podcasts continues to create accessible, informative and meaningful stories for the communities we serve and beyond. “Seizing Freedom” returned with its second season in early 2022, showcasing how Black Americans pushed back against the rise of Jim Crow. It was a Best History Podcast nominee at the 2022 Black Podcasting Awards. You can listen to our next original podcast series, “Admissible,” in February 2023. “Admissible” will examine how a key building block of our justice system — evidence itself — is often flawed, disputed or even manipulated. Hosted by reporter Tessa Kramer, the first season of Admissible is a deep dive into the moment when DNA testing transformed the field of forensic science.
- Digital-first series “Hidden History with Brian Bullock” continues to dive deeper to explore the compelling history that is often right under our noses.
- Long-time radio favorite turned animated digital series, “What’s Bugging You?” won a Capital Emmy for short form content for “Tails of the Luna Moth.”
- VPM continues to host and participate in virtual events, facilitating important discussions and ensuring our community can continue to engage with one another as we navigate the ever-changing post-covid world.
- Don’t forget, you can enjoy LIVE streams of VPM Music, VPM News and VPM PBS on our website at anytime.
All of this and so much more is made possible thanks to community members like you who partner with VPM to deliver the best in public media each year. Give by December 31 to secure your 2022 tax benefits and support the VPM programs you love and rely on.
*Not sure if you have VPM Passport? Check HERE.