Since our inception over 50 years ago, MPR | APM have been at the forefront of creating trusted and meaningful listening experiences for curious people. That's how MPR has become the largest public radio network in the nation and APM has turned into one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world.
- Over 1 million weekly regional listeners
- Over 17 million weekly national listeners
- Over 165,000 contributing members
- Over 1,200 Legacy Society households
Inspiring Music and Unique Programing that Connects Generations
YourClassical© and The Current© feature both historic and new artists that inspire and connect communities with meaningful music programming.
For years, our Class Notes program brought local musicians into K-12 schools across Minnesota to deliver curricula tied to Minnesota's state education standards. Once the pandemic hit, they quickly pivoted to create videos and curriculum for virtual learning. Instead of reaching one school at a time as they had in the past, this new content was used by schools and families across the state and by people around the world, raising the profile of Minnesota's vibrant music scene. This curriculum was accessed more than 365,000 times during the 2020-21 school year. That's more than 1,000 times each day! Now that we have resumed live, in-school performances we have continued to offer virtual experiences which help extend the reach and impact of these educational concerts.
In 2022, Carbon Sound launched. It's a streaming service dedicated to the depth, breadth, and influence of Black musical expression focused on highlighting the works of artists that have shaped and will shape the future of traditionally African and African American music genres. The streaming library has curated a diverse, eclectic mix of genres like hip-hop, jazz, electronic, afrobeat, and R&B.
Creative family-friendly podcasts including Brains On! from APM Studios encourages kids' natural curiosity and wonder using science and history.
The Splendid Table's new podcast One Recipe strives to help people build their library of go-to dishes, one recipe at a time, with host Jesse Sparks.
Informing News and Research that strengthens Communities
Our unbiased programming builds an informed citizenry, stimulates lifelong learning, broadens perspectives and helps to strengthen communities.
Here are just a few of the many innovative and exciting initiatives making an impact in our communities:
After the killing of George Floyd, a snap grant from the GHR Foundation helped amplify community voices by enabling two-way texting with 50,000 Minnesotans from diverse cultural communities, giving respondents direct access to our newsroom and informing on-the-ground reporting at a pivotal moment. MPR News received nearly 6,000 responses from new listeners who are now able to see their lives and stories more clearly reflected in our programming.
In the spring of 2022, through a MN Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund grant, MPR News launched North Star Journey—a journal of stories exploring the history and diverse cultures of Minnesota's many communities. The series aims to provide solutions by digging into the root of the issues and offering a spectrum of narratives.
"In Focus" is a series of convenings MPR News leads to bring awareness, dialogue and potential solutions to Minnesota's persistent racial disparities. Through conversations with community leaders, MPR News has encouraged new connections and relationships that will help Minnesota communities make progress toward equity and inclusion.
In June 2021, MPR News teamed up with community partners to launch a new initiative Radio Camp to mentor the next generation of journalists. The two consecutive week-long camps bring Black, Indigenous and youth of color together with mentors from MPR. The camp teaches skills like storytelling and digital and audio production, something that campers might one day translate into a journalism career.
Early in the pandemic the APM Research Lab released the Color of Coronavirus, the first national and state-by-state analysis of COVID-19 mortality rates by race and ethnicity. Their findings revealed stark inequities, with Black and Indigenous Americans experiencing the highest death tolls. All of the Lab's data is available for anyone to use, so long as it is cited. In 2020, the Lab's work was cited in nearly 350 original articles across over 240 outlets. Medical professionals, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and others continue to use the Lab's ongoing data analysis to help advance their work.
Programing around water quality and the environment catalyzed conversation and action translating public media into public service. Additional initiatives fostered new conversations about mental health with partnerships, broadcasts and events across the country that reached over 1 million people. Since at least half of us will personally experience at least one mental health condition in our lifetimes, it's critical to offer solutions and dispel the misconceptions that can cause people with mental health conditions to suffer in silence.
Raising the economic intelligence of listeners with programing that is accessible is the goal of Marketplace. From Million Bazillion, a podcast that helps kids understand and discuss finances, to The Uncertain Hour, which goes deeper with investigative reporting on the obscure policies and forgotten histories that reveal who gets ahead and who gets left behind in America, along with eight other shows—Marketplace is providing critical information and context to the public during these challenging and constantly changing economic times.
Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group identifies, elevates and invests in emerging media & journalism ventures led by diverse and visionary founders. In 2022, The Next Challenge was launched to mentor diverse start-ups and provide grants. The program involved over 265 startups from 37 U.S. states and two U.S. territories, 84 percent of all participants identified as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and/or female/non-binary. It culminated in an awards ceremony in which $100,000 in grants was awarded to seven media startups.