About On Being
About On Being
On Being is a spacious conversation — and an evolving media space — about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit. The program began as an occasional series on Minnesota Public Radio in 1999, then became a monthly national program in September 2001, and launched as a weekly program titled Speaking of Faith in the summer of 2003.
On Being, as the show was re-named in 2010, is now heard on hundreds of public radio stations in the U.S. and globally via Internet and podcast. In 2008, the program was awarded the highest honors in both broadcasting and electronic media — our first Peabody and our second Webby Award. On Being is the only public radio program in the U.S. to achieve this distinction.
Krista envisioned a program that would draw out the intellectual and spiritual content of religion that should nourish our common life, but that is often obscured precisely when religion enters the news. Our sustained growth as a show has also been nurtured by a cultural shift that seeks conversation, shared life, and problem-solving within and across religious traditions and across categories of belief and non-belief. On Being has both responded and contributed to a growing acknowledgement that there are basic questions of meaning that pertain to the entire human experience. The particular dramas and dynamics of the 21st century — ecological, political, cultural, technological, and economic — are bringing this into relief.From physics (“Uncovering the Codes for Reality”; “Mathematics, Purpose, and Truth”) to parenting (“What we Nurture”); from civil society (“The Inward Work of Democracy”; “Words that Shimmer”); to aging (“The Far Shore of Aging”; "Contemplating Mortality”); from yoga (“The Body’s Grace”; “Meditation in Action”) to neuroscience (“Creativity and the Everyday Brain”; “Investigating Healthy Minds”), from urban renewal (“Becoming Detroit”; “Evolving a City”) to farm to table food (“Driven by Flavor”); from “The Last Quiet Places” to ocean exploration; and from Desmond Tutu to Rosanne Cash and from the Dalai Lama to Rumi - what we cover as "conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas" drives towards ancient, animating questions at the heart of the great traditions and beyond them: What does it mean to be human? What matters in a life? What matters in a death? How to love? How to be of service to each other and to the world? We explore these questions in all the variety, richness, and complexity with which they find expression in contemporary lives. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact. Our guests as well as our radio listeners, podcasters, and readers span many traditions and the spectrum of devotion and agnosticism. We keep finding new ways to listen to them, and they keep teaching us where to go with this adventure.
Trent is the driving editorial and creative force behind On Being. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on "The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi" and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, the first public radio program to do so, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent's reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.
Trent grew up in North Dakota and studied English Language & Literature at the University of Mary. He's a blue-collar cat who has tarred asphalt cracks, waited tables, and even driven a Zamboni. He spent several instructional years in state government, rode the dot-com wave, and worked at several Fortune 500 companies. He's now a family man who longs for subtle glimpses of beauty in the ordinary.
Dave is a multimedia producer and reporter. He was a staff producer with WBEZ Chicago on the daily, international affairs program Worldview. He also produced for Radio Netherlands Worldwide on The State We're In as well as produced and presented the daily international news programs Newsline and Network Europe.
He has reported from Poland for NPR, The World, and RTE, among others, and produced multimedia slideshows for online publications like Tablet. He holds an MA in international politics, was a Fulbright researcher to Poland, and also a Rotary International Peace Fellow.
Chris has been a voracious consumer of all things public radio for as long as he can remember. So when he joined APM in 2007 as a technical director for Performance Today, it was a bit like coming home. Since that time he has contributed to several of APM's national programs and is thrilled to have landed on SOF.
Chris spent the better part of 15 years working in theater as a sound designer and production manager. Though he occasionally pines for the immediacy of live performance, he also believes that in the vast media landscape of our world, radio is still best at stimulating the imagination.
Chris holds a B.A. from Hamline University and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. When not in front of a computer screen, he loves the outdoors (regardless of the weather), just about every kind of music, and watching his daughters discover the world.
Nancy began her career in documentary television production as an associate producer for the award-winning PBS series, Vote for Me: Politics in America. She later worked for a variety of non-profit education and youth development organizations as a researcher, program director, counselor, and consultant. More recently, Nancy served as the executive and artistic director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival where she got to watch a lot of movies.
She holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in English from Haverford College. She's also a proud graduate of the writing program at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Nancy's love of African dance nourishes her spirit and her sanity — especially during the long Minnesota winters.
Susan got her start in radio in 1997 reading the latest AP copy off of a dot-matrix printer for newscasts at WCWS in Wooster, Ohio. She has worked as a producer for NPR, and hosted music shows and public affairs programs for KFAI and KUOM, where as News Director she encouraged many student volunteers to get behind a mic, mixing board, or ProTools session. She has also produced live broadcasts and daily news shows for Minnesota Public Radio.
Susan credits the scientists and searchers of psychology and philosophy as being the lights for her path. She was born in Germany, raised in Niceville, Florida, and lives in Minnesota with her partner and daughter.
Stefni has been with APM for five years, recreating her professional path from a Corporate Finance Accountant to her role as our Coordinating Producer in April 2012. With fourteen years of managerial experience, she has developed an intuitive sensibility for recognizing opportunities and providing effective support.
Aside from appreciating the experience of solving a good puzzle, Stefni finds inspiration in creating and experiencing graphic art, taking in music that makes emotional connections, and sharing time with her community of friends and family.
Krista grew up in Oklahoma, the granddaughter of a Southern Baptist preacher. She studied history at Brown University and went to Bonn, West Germany in 1983 on a Fulbright Scholarship to study politics in Cold War Europe. In her 20s, she ended up in divided Berlin for most of the 1980s, first as The New York Times stringer and a freelance correspondent for Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune, the BBC, and Die Zeit. She later became a special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to West Germany.
Krista left Berlin in 1988, the year before the Wall fell. She lived in Spain, England, and Scotland for a time, then pursued a M.Div. from Yale. When she graduated in 1994, she saw a black hole where intelligent coverage of religion should be. As she conducted a far-flung oral history project for the Benedictines of St. John's Abbey (pdf) in Collegeville, Minnesota, she began to imagine radio conversations about the spiritual and intellectual content of faith that could open imaginations and enrich public life.
In 2007, Krista published her first book, Speaking of Faith. It is a memoir of religion in our time, including her move from geopolitical engagement to theology and the cumulative wisdom of her interviews these past years. Her new book, Einstein's God (Feb 2010) illustrates some of the important ways the program and her vision have continued to evolve.
Krista is present — listening, thinking, and responding in real time — in a way that is rare in modern media and made possible by the luxury of an hour of public radio. Her two children are at the center of her life. She also loves cooking for her children and their friends, BBC radio plays, beautiful writing, great science fiction, cross country skiing, and hot yoga.