Professor's radio show wins award, additional segments to air

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Downey

KALAMAZOO—A one-hour Michigan Radio show co-produced and hosted by Allison Downey, associate professor of teaching, learning and educational studies, recently won the Excellence in Broadcasting award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in the Special Interest and Cultural Programming category.

Downey won the award for "The Living Room," a pilot radio show that aired on Michigan Radio, a National Public Radio affiliate, Oct. 27 and Thanksgiving Day. Winners were selected by a team of broadcasting peers who live outside Michigan.

The award was announced March 13 at an association banquet in Lansing, Mich. In addition to her duties as an education professor, Downey is a musical performer and storyteller. For the episode, she served as storyteller and songwriter, in addition to host.

"The Living Room" explores a theme through stories, song and writing. For this episode, Downey took a look at how stories of migrations are interwoven into the lives of Michigan residents. It featured Downey's own stories and songs, a piece by writer Zilka Joseph, a look at one family's journey from the South to Covert, Mich., before the Civil War, and music from Lansing-based songwriter Joshua Davis.

A podcast of the show and more information can be found on the Michigan Radio website.

Based on the success of the pilot show, Downey and producer Zak Rosen have teamed up to bring monthly installments of shorter segments of "The Living Room" to listeners during Michigan Radio's talk show "Stateside with Cynthia Canty." Those 8- to 10-minute segments began in February and will air through October. The team is seeking additional funding to make "The Living Room" a more frequent contribution to Michigan Radio programming.