Virginia Prescott: Listening Beneath the Noise

The Landmark College Academic Speaker Series enhances and promotes the College’s intellectual environment and facilitates discussion of important issues for the community.

Listening Beneath the Noise

March 31, 2014
7:00 p.m. - Next Stage Arts, Putney Vermont

The human brain is wired to respond to voices and stories of others. Evolutionary biologists attribute the success of our species in part to ritualized storytelling, which reinforced unity and safety among early humans. Although contemporary humans are inundated with chatter in social and broadcast media, spoken conversation has diminished. Virginia Prescott will use examples from a career in broadcasting to talk about how active listening can change personal and communal dynamics and be used as a tool to move beyond conflict. Throughout her talk, she will encourage attendees to talk about their own experiences living in a culture that places a higher value on being heard than hearing, a culture enamored of new technologies that too often lead to superficial and undemanding interpersonal relationships.

Virginia Prescott is host of Word of Mouth, NHPR’s daily conversation about emerging trends, new ideas and under-reported stories from viral and pop culture. Her deep roots in public radio began at WWOZ in New Orleans. She later launched the Edward R. Morrow Award-Winning interactive media team at WNYC in New York City, and became editor, producer and director for NPR’s On Point and Here & Now while at WBUR in Boston. Throughout her radio career, she’s helped build independent radio stations throughout the developing world and trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. Her commitment to the power of sound and storytelling led her to create audio installations in Houston; in Watertown, Massachusetts; and at MIT. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University and was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley.

This talk is co-sponsored by Next Stage Arts.

Next Stage Arts Project (NSAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Putney’s cultural and economic village center through the programming, development and operation of Next Stage. Since its founding in early 2011, NSAP has hosted dozens of events including classical, folk, and popular music concerts, a community film series, and a spoken word series. Speakers appearing have included Taylor Mali, Pulitzer Prize winning author Tim Weiner, Dr. Carol Gilligan, Archer Mayor, and Bill Littlefield.

Landmark College students and staff can attend for free with student ID. For all others, there is a $10 suggested donation to support Next Stage's educational programs.


Geoff Burgess
Communications Department Faculty
Administration Building, Rm 215C