Arts Emergency

Eleanor McDowall

Radio Producer

I’ve been working as a radio producer making documentaries for stations like BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, KCRW and the BBC World Service since 2008. Most recently I’ve been working as the series producer on the Radio 4 series / podcast Short Cuts with Josie Long.

Radio is a wonderful excuse to be curious, to pick the thing that’s fascinating you at the moment and to go and ask people about it. I feel very lucky that over the past few years I’ve got to ask smart, funny, fascinating people questions about roller derby, riot grrrl, the creation of a secret society based around putting yourself inside a tumble dryer, the political subtext to Dr Seuss stories and acts of artistic protest in Detroit amongst other things. It’s a job that I love but one that I’m aware I wouldn’t have without the generous gifts of time and support from others.

I pretty much owe my entire career to one wonderful university lecturer on my masters course. He used to encourage us to sit and listen to some of the most wonderful, bizarre, infuriating and mesmerising radio documentaries. His delight in good storytelling was infectious and without him I don’t think I would have been nudged towards the job that I love. I’m very aware that every opportunity I’ve received has been built on the generosity of others without whom I’d probably still be at home shouting into my old cassette recorder and trying to convince my mum to listen to the tapes. Arts Emergency seems to me to be an organisation built out of the type of acts of generosity I received and I would love to play any small role in it I can.