Sue Schardt

I am a media strategist, artist, and transformational leader experienced at working with talent to instigate change.

My passion and focus over the last decade has been leading AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, creating conditions where gifted, diverse, talent can do their best work and open the way for producers to bring generosity, brilliance, and their distinct vision to their craft.  My life is enriched by this talent, the work they make, and the new trails they blaze.

In 2010, I worked with the first in a series of production teams to create Localore.  Over 8 years, hundreds of independent, station-based, and community producers established outposts across the U.S., taking up to a year to explore and pioneer new/nascent approaches to making stories with a goal of expanding local public media service to every corner of their community.  This work continues to evolve and grow. 

My departure from AIR was controversial and, while those closest to me understand the circumstances, I’ve not commented publicly.  I was undercut by someone I trusted at a moment — the very week —  I was set to initiate a major staff reorganization and a new strategic planning process with the board.  The timing was not coincidental.  I chose to resign, and negotiated an amicable separation with the board.  I understand he was fired soon after my resignation.  I learned a lot, and will share more in time.

My focus now is on more personal creative work, including as one of 26 artists included in an exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, One Day at a Time, Manny Farber and Termite Art. It’s curator Helen Molesworth’s compelling homage to the legendary film critic, teacher, painter and his concept  of termite art (1962).  I produced a continuous stream of  music and spoken work programming — both live and pre-produced loops — delivered directly into the museum gallery from October 2018 through March 2019.  The work is based on my long-standing radio program, In the Margin of the Other, broadcasting from WMBR-FM at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I was commissioned earlier this year by the Mystical Theology Network to create an installation for their annual gathering, and collaborated with artists Deb Todd Wheeler, Natalie Surmeli/Tribe of Wolves, and Masery Studios on a Into Becoming, turning a dance studio into a space of rest, contemplation and manifestation.

I recently returned from an long expedition that took me to disparate regions of the country over several months, including the settlement for people with Hansen’s disease at Kaluapapa to explore and meditate on language, expression, and communication. 

You can follow my Instagram playlists (embedded above) @ITMOTO.listen.  You can listen on MixCloud or, if you’re in Boston, you can hear me live on (most) alternative Wednesdays at 88.1FM or WMBR.org from 4-5:30pET. 

On this site you’ll find links to my media projects, various research studies underlying the work, speeches, musing, and more.   I present regularly across U.S. public media and overseas, including at the 2017 3D Journalism Conference in Moscow, the Australian Centre for Moving Image’s Co-Creative Communities forum, NEA’s National Council meeting, the European Radio Features “think tank” in Leipzig, and the FCC’s Future of Media in the Digital Age. I had the privilege to travel with a delegation of advisors to the Ukraine in 2015 to meet with the executives and producers working at the National Public Broadcasting Corporation of the Ukraine.  It was a time when they were trying, with some desperation, to navigate Russia’s disruptive dis-information campaign. We had no idea at the time that we’d be confronted with some of the same challenges back home just a year later.

Read, absorb, reach out!

  • Sue Schardt, 8-29-19