CALUMET – Many local residents are familiar with Real People Media (PM), but probably not as much as in the northwest of the Lower Peninsula, unfortunately. That’s because RPM’s Red Jacket Jamboree radio show airs on Downstate Public Radio.
On Sunday, September 26, RPM recorded another episode of the Red Jacket Jamboree at the Keweenaw Storytelling Center, located at 215 Fifth Street in the old Woolworth building. It was the show’s fifth recording since mid-May, RPM CEO Rebecca Glotfelty said.
The Red Jacket Jamboree is a live radio show, Glotfelty said, meaning it is recorded in front of a live audience.
“We don’t broadcast it live, but we record it in front of an audience, and it’s recorded as is, basically” she explained.
After recording, it is then edited (mastered) for background noises such as coughing, she said. Sometimes, however, the audience will be waiting for the sign of applause, so there will be a second interval delay which may seem to some listeners.
Interviews are sometimes conducted with guest performers, who are not scripted. So while the public can hear a five-minute interview, for the recording, only three minutes are allowed, she said.
The overall recording of the radio show is 59 minutes long, she said, which means it is, for the most part, scripted. The show is then broadcast on Lower State Public Radio.
“Interlochen Public Radio broadcast everything we gave them”, she said. “We’ve only given them 16 episodes so far, but they’ve all aired all 16.”
Interlochen Public Radio serves Grand Traverse, Petoskey, Ludington, Manistee and all of Northwestern Michigan.
In addition to Interlochen Public Radio, the jamboree is also broadcast on Public Radio 90 in Marquette.
“Now I have gone to great lengths to get MPR (Minnesota Public Radio), but they are not responding for some reason”, said Glotfelty. His efforts, which have spanned the past two years, have been largely ignored. As frustrating as it may be, Glotfelty is nothing new in this area.
She has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for the past 25 years, helping to launch many community and art related initiatives including an art co-op, the Calhoun County Fair Museum, Marshall Community Art Fair, the Marshall Film Festival and the Cercle des Arts de Charlevoix. She has served on several nonprofit boards and committees, including Marshall Friends of the Arts and Jordan River Arts Council. She spearheaded the movement to establish the Charlevoix Circle of Arts in Charlevoix, Michigan, as founding president and several years later as executive director.
RPM is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to help people share their stories through the literary, visual, performing and media arts. But the dedication of its volunteers is incredible.
“In addition to being a non-profit organization, we have devoted thousands of volunteer hours to it”, said Glotfelty. “And the show was very well received by Public Radio 90 and Interlochen Radio, of course.”
Interlochen Radio covers the entire northwest of the Lower Peninsula, she said, but unfortunately people “here” I don’t know what RPM is doing “the low.”
“We brought in people from – we marketed the area in Traverse City, in the Boyne City area,” she said, adding that they had brought in audience members from those areas to watch the show live.
“When we were at the Calumet Theater,” she said, “Probably 80% of our audience was out of the area. Some people came especially for the show.
It’s more difficult now since the Jamboree has been moved from the Calumet Theater to the Keweenaw Storytelling Center because too few people know about the center or its location. The Calumet Theater is what brought RPM to Calumet.
“So that’s what brought us here” said Glotfelty. “We love the theater and the Keweenaw Storytelling Center is a base.”
Glotfelty said she truly sees the center as RPM’s vision for the community because, as she said, the entire community is a place of storytelling.
“And this place is a different space from the Calumet theater”, she said. “It’s more intimate, and we are complementary to it. Instead of having a 750-seat room, the storytelling center has a capacity of 100 seats.
Glotfelty said that RPM does not attempt to compete with the Calumet Theater in any way, as they have completely separate goals.
The Keweenaw Storytelling Center shares stories from the land of copper, as well as the world. The 7,500 square foot facility houses visual art exhibits, puppet shows, concerts and even theatrical performances.
RPM organizes storytelling events and courses, provides visual artists with exhibition space and performance opportunities for storytellers. The venue offers storytelling activities for all ages, puppet shows for children, animation and media lessons for teens, and theatrical events for adults.
Glotfelty is well equipped to run such a facility. She holds a BA in Audiovisual Communication / Video Production and a BA in Social Sciences and International Relations from James Madison College, Michigan State University. She received graduate credits in Sociology from the American University in Cairo and also in Film and Digital Media from Main Media College in Rockport, Maine.
Its cultural documentaries have been shown and used by educators, universities and organizations around the world. For six years, she was under contract with the Odawa Indian Bands of Little Traverse Bay, located in Harbor Springs, Mich., To produce the tribe’s documentary programming. The program, Four Directions and the Waganakising Odawa, was broadcast on all Michigan PBS affiliates and offered as satellite transmission to national markets.