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WYPR to Celebrate Award-Winning "Out of the Blocks" Podcast with Farewell Celebration

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BALTIMORE, Md – On Thursday, August 26 at 6 p.m. at the pagoda observatory hill at Patterson Park, the public is invited to join WYPR in celebrating Out of the Blocks and a decade of Baltimore stories, told one block at a time. The event, which is free and open to the public, will bring together the creators, participants and fans to say farewell to the long-running podcast, which drops its final episode on August 16.

Event attendees will have a unique opportunity to meet the people whose stories they’ve heard on Out of the Blocks, to talk with producers Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick about how and why they made the show, and to learn some useful tips for DIY interviewing projects.

Out of the Blocks began as a radio experiment between Henkin and Patrick a decade ago, when the two asked themselves, “What would it be like to meet and interview everyone on a city block?” Their hangouts on the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue turned into recordings with locals about everyday life. Using the recordings to make a collage of interviews and soundscapes, they embroidered it with an original musical score, and they put it on the radio. The Out of the Blocks team has since documented dozens of different neighborhoods around Baltimore and traveled across the country to produce special episodes in St. Louis, Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Oakland, Juneau and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Henkin creates and produces original podcast and radio programs for WYPR. In addition to WYPR, Henkin's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, PRI’s Studio 360 and The World.

Patrick has been referred to as "David Foster Wallace reincarnated as a sound engineer" by Urbanite Magazine and as "wildly talented" by The Baltimore Sun. His five albums were all produced without the use of samples, with Patrick playing every note of every instrument. In addition to his music, Patrick shoots all the accompanying documentary photography and videography for Out of the Blocks.

In 2018, Out of the Blocks won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for News Documentary for large-market radio stations. It's a storytelling journey that was made possible by the trust and support of WYPR, its listener-members, a generous group of local grantors, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and PRX, The Public Radio Exchange.

“WYPR is honored to have been able to be a voice for Baltimore residents through Out of the Blocks,” said LaFontaine E. Oliver, president and general manager. “This innovative docuseries provided any person a chance to tell their story and learn from others’ experiences and walks of life. It was incredibly special to those who participated and to the WYPR family.”

The event is made possible by the following sponsors: Catholic Charities, Cajou Creamery, The Baltimore Museum of Art and The Park School of Baltimore.

What: WYPR’s Out of the Blocks Farewell Celebration

When: Thursday, August 26 at 6 p.m.
(Rain date: August 31)

Where: On the hill at Patterson Park, 27 S. Patterson Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21231

Who: WYPR-FM staff including Out of the Blocks producers Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick, podcast participants and fans

Registration: This outdoor event is free and open to the public but registration is requested via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-farewell-celebration-for-out-of-the-blocks-tickets-165946732143

More Details: Patterson Park offers plenty of room for spreading out and picnicking. Food will be available for purchase. For more information, visit https://www.wypr.org/ootb-celebration

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About WYPR

Your Public Radio (WYPR) is an NPR station serving Baltimore, Central Maryland and beyond. WYPR was founded in 2002 by local community members. It is an independent licensee with a diverse Board of Directors consisting of Maryland residents. In addition to airing national and international radio features, WYPR excels in local programming including its news, public affairs and cultural programs. WYPR is located at 88.1 FM on the radio dial and at 2216 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. As a listener-supported radio station, all contributions to the station are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. For more information, visit www.wypr.org or call 410-235-1660.