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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

Producing a “LIVE” Event

Colleen Scheck, senior producer

We were pleased to see The Daily Beast featured the New York Public Library’s backstage clip of their event with Krista last week. It’s a short snippet, and, with a bit of prime-time drama-like production, it effectively captures the substance and tenor of the event.

We’d been in touch with Paul Holdengräber and Meg Stemmler at the NYPL for a few months to prepare for this live evening — including discussions about various formats and stage partners (such as Alan Alda, who couldn’t make it). While it came off seamlessly, there was a bit of last-minute heroics that made it all happen.

Archival audio clips of Albert Einstein and segments from Krista’s conversations with Paul Davies, Freeman Dyson, and Andrew Solomon were selected and pulled together minutes before the performance began. (Moments like that make me think of the famous frantic-run scene from Broadcast News when Joan Cusack’s character rushes a videotape to the studio for live broadcast, pushing people aside and sliding under an open file cabinet. Well, ok, so it wasn’t that dramatic.)

Krista Tippett, Andrew Solomon, and Paul HoldengräberIn the end, NYPL’s brilliant ideas were worth it. Hearing the voice of Einstein was a fun and compelling way to open this conversation about the intersection of science, theology, philosophy, and medicine that is the backbone of Krista’s new book. And a wonderful conversation it was between Krista, Andrew Solomon, and Paul Holdengräber — exploring that intersection on both richly intellectual and deeply personal levels.

With a full house in NYC of more than 500 people, we were also excited that over 5,700 others watched our live stream online — something we are doing more of so that we can include the many of you who aren’t able to attend in person. It’s only fair, right?

If you missed it, you can watch it here:

And, if you want to participate in our upcoming events in April, check out our SOF Live page. We’ll be live streaming video of Krista’s interview with NPR’s Michel Martin in Washington DC, and Krista will be giving a solo performance in a gorgeous venue in Philadelphia where she’ll be playing clips and answering questions.


Tonight! SOF Live from the New York Public Library
» chat while you watch on our SOF Live page

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 (7pm Eastern)
Celeste Bartos Forum of The New York Public Library
42nd Street at 5th Avenue
New York, NY

Starting at 6:45pm Eastern tonight, we’ll be streaming live video of a public event with Krista and and Andrew Solomon, a former guest on “The Soul in Depression,” at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

Solomon is one of the thinkers in Krista’s new book, Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit, which draws on her radio conversations to explore an emerging interface of inquiry between many fields of science, medicine, theology, and philosophy. They’ll be using Einstein’s self-described “cosmic religious sense” as the starting point for a discussion about its intriguing compatibility with 21st-century sensibilities. It should be a lively and fulfilling conversation.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this conversation. Please add your comments here.


Seeing Listeners

Krista Tippett, Host

I can’t afford — personally or production-wise — to be on the road much of the time. But Kate and I are on a thoroughly energizing, enjoyable trip right now. And there is something amazingly wonderful about getting out like this every once in a while and looking out, while I speak, at a room full of bodies and faces.

The radio program has grown so much in reach and carriage these past years, yet what we do doesn’t change much. We just keep trying to get better and better at our craft. We create these hours of radio and pages of web content, put them up on the Internet and satellite, and move on to the next topic.

We know from e-mails that people receive our work and use and apply it — those e-mails helps keep me going every day. But to actually be in a room full of listeners is a pleasure and affirmation at a different level. I love radio as an intimate and mysterious medium. Seeing our listeners, on the road, adds another layer of discovery and mystery for me.