SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB) uses radio and audio to amplify voices of youth—and members of other communities whose stories are often marginalized—to educate, empower, and build community. Our work is based on the principle that all people have the capacity and right to develop their authentic voice and know that their voice matters—that they matter—and that their voice can be used for self-expression, inquiry, and change.
Respect: We listen and appreciate all voices.
Authenticity: We create genuine work and act with humility.
Collaboration: We encourage teamwork and partnerships to leverage our impact.
Welcoming: We foster diversity and create a safe and trusted environment.
Positivity: We bring joy to the community by showcasing creativity and ideas for a brighter future.
SLB began operations in 1978 with The Saturday Light Brigade, an award-winning weekly public radio program delivering a blend of music, puzzles, interviews, and live performances to a multigenerational audience. Programming grew dramatically between 1990 and 2000, as SLB built a strong, loyal audience and earned 10 local and national awards. During this period, SLB began providing off-air youth workshops in audio technology and self-expression.
While successful, using a traditional radio station as the location for these workshops limited the ability to deepen learning experiences. With this objective in mind, SLB formed a 501(c)(3) in 2000 and—with remarkable support from the broadcast industry, foundations, corporations and individual donors—opened a $250,000 studio suite in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in 2004. Our flagship radio program now airs on six radio stations and five streaming platforms.
Radio is a tremendous equalizer; all can participate regardless of physical capability or appearance. Radio stresses fundamental language and communications skills as well as imagination, creating a sense of individual engagement similar to being with another human being. Radio also provides a degree of privacy (participants need not be photographed) and helps sharpen important life skills (e.g., speaking and listening, imagination, creative expression, critical thinking, respect for others, confidence, cooperation and technical curiosity). It’s also cost effective to produce and distribute. Most importantly, children and youth tell us time and again that radio, unlike video, offers them a chance to be themselves. Use of radio is economical, ensures privacy, simplifies acquisition/delivery, and anticipates the growing market for content for smartphones and Internet-equipped car radios.