Posted by slbradio February - 2 - 2010 - Tuesday Comments Off on Staff

Larry Berger (Founder and Executive Director) manages day-to-day operations and serves as host of The Saturday Light Brigade.  Larry has been involved in public broadcasting since 1975 and holds degrees in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and has 20 years of experience as a project engineer and manager for local industry.  He currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees at Manchester Academic Charter School, on the Board of Directors of Manchester Youth Development Corporation, and on the Advisory Board at Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater. He also has served on the board of three other nonprofit organizations.



Rikki Berger (Executive Producer) is responsible for managing the hundreds of incoming calls that come into The Saturday Light Brigade radio program as well as for maintenance of project files, accounting and financial records and the SLB music library. She also serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of SLB Radio Productions, Inc. Rikki holds degrees in geology, hydrogeology and nursing.





Jon Bindley (Manager, Youth Express & Producer) graduated from Duquesne University in 2012 with a degree in English & Corporate Communication. One month later he moved to Nashville, Tennessee in pursuit of song-crafting and performance. In the fall of 2013, Jon began his teaching career as a K-12 substitute in the Metro Nashville Public School system. He returned to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2014 and joined SLB in the fall of that year. When he’s not engaging youth in the classroom or in the studio, Jon enjoys listening to records, reading, writing, and making new friends.



SusanSusan Blackman (Director of Development) is an accomplished non-profit management professional, informed by experience gained on both sides of the funding table—as both grant seeker and grantmaker. She is a mission-driven change agent and a curious, creative, and flexible problem-solver. Blackman worked as senior staff, board member, or consultant with the Mattress Factory, Chatham Baroque, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Kente Arts Alliance, Dance Alloy, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, and with individual artists including James Simon, Curtis Reaves, and Kenneth Love. She has three adult children and a cat named Ira, and is an active member of Temple Sinai.


Robert Gray
(Director of Operations) has worked with cutting edge audio software and hardware for 10-plus years with deep experience in Cubase, Reason, Protools and Adobe Audition. With SLB since 2009, Rob has strong working knowledge in audio engineering, web design, graphic design and IT Tech along with the science of sound and an ability to enthusiastically convey his knowledge to youth in a variety workshops and classes. Rob also presents music in public settings, including special events, is a musician, photographer and a cartoonist.





Chad Green (Technical Associate) joined SLB in 2015. He holds a BA in Communication from Waynesburg University. He also studied music technology at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville. Chad is an alumnus of the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) where he spent a year serving non-profit organizations around Pittsburgh. A life-long learner, Chad continues to hone his skills in audio production, graphic design, photography and videography. Chad is a musician, outdoorsman, and can be found exploring Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods by bike.




Ben Rutkowski (Staff Educator) holds a degree in English from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and joined SLB full-time in 2012 after several years of part-time internships. Mr. Rutkowski has co-taught daily classes to hundreds of North Side students (Grades K to 5) and also frequently works with children at festivals and community events at which SLB appears. A gifted writer, Mr. Rutkowski demonstrates empathy and understanding with respect to the challenges students may face when struggling with the written word.




Chanessa Schuler (Director of Programs) has a degree in Mass Media (2012) and a great interest in  youth voices in our community. Chanessa was a mentor and facilitator to high school students in the Youth Media Advocacy Project (YMAP) which serves Pittsburgh Public Schools and other schools in the area and she shares her ideas for increasing youth voice with other media and education professionals in the YouthMap Task Group. She dedicates time to placing students, faculty and staff at various non-profit organizations for Carlow University’s annual community service day and Alternative Spring Break. She has produced videos for alumni events, churches, stage plays and contests. Excited to be at SLB.




 Tad Wissel (Staff Educator) graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Before joining the SLB team as a Staff Educator in the Spring of 2014, Tad worked as an on-site engineer and promotions coordinator at Clear Channel Pittsburgh’s 970 ESPN dating back to 2011. When he’s not working with young people in local classrooms or editing audio back at the studio, Tad enjoys disc-related sports, listening to the radio while driving, and generally being outdoors.


Posted by slbradio February - 2 - 2010 - Tuesday Comments Off on StoryBox

The Story Box is a 21” x 12” x 4” box that can be wall-mounted or placed on a table.  The face of the device contains pictures with “hot spots” that are pressed to hear audio associated with them.

For example, pictures of children can be pressed to hear an essay, poem, story, reflection or narrative created by the child. Audio is recorded in our studios or at school using field equipment.


StoryBoxes encourage technical curiosity as well as imaginative thinking, verbal expression, cooperative learning, sensory exploration and active listening.  Moreover, StoryBoxes show children that their voices are valued and help make certain that they are heard by a broader audience.

A Story Box For Your School
As funding allows, we can help your school create a StoryBox for installation in the school lobby or library. Extra StoryBoxes can be made for community libraries and businesses. StoryBox audio can also be broadcast on our radio program, placed online or provided on CD.

Other Applications
StoryBoxes are also available to showcase voices of adults in office or institutional environments (i.e., nursing homes, law firms,  etc.).

Corporate Sponsorship
StoryBoxes can be sponsored by companies and businesses who believe that the powerful voices of children should be heard by the greater community. For example, a bank may choose to have a Story Box in each branch that was created by children in the community served by the branch. Partnerships are rewarded with community good will as well as on-air underwriting and printed acknowledgements on the StoryBoxes, CDs and website.



Posted by slbradio February - 2 - 2010 - Tuesday Comments Off on Mission

SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB) uses radio and audio to encourage, amplify, share and archive the ideas, stories, and feelings of children, youth and families. These activities provide an innovative method to promote increased:

  • verbal literacy
  • media literacy
  • listening and communication skills
  • self-esteem and confidence
  • critical and creative thinking
  • respect, tolerance and understanding of others
  • community engagement
  • cooperation
  • interaction among children, youth and adults
  • informal out-of-school learning
  • familiarity with new technologies

We believe in radio and audio because these technologies enable a sense of intimacy, engagement and self-directed imagination that is often lacking in other media, while also promoting opportunities for privacy (given that children need not be photographed), equal access (audio has fewer barriers for participation than other media), and sharpening of important life skills (i.e., speaking and listening, imagination, creative expression, and critical thinking, respect for others, confidence and cooperation, and technical curiosity).


Posted by slbradio January - 7 - 2010 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

For directions, click on the red marker point,  select the “View on Google Maps” link, now type your address in the “Starting Point” textbox. Choose the button labeled “Directions” and Google maps will display the route options to our studios.

Once you’re at the museum, we are located in the Theatre on the lower level.

Admission to the theatre is free!
After visiting our studios feel free to tour the rest of the museum by purchasing a wristband at the front desk near the entry of the museum.

    The Saturday Light Brigade

    Our programs are made possible with support from local and national foundations, corporations, government agencies, businesses and individuals who believe in the power of radio to build community, amplify marginalized voices and provide a platform for project-based learning. For information about supporting our work, please contact Dayna Sear, Manager of Development at