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Futuro Media Receives Major Grant from Mellon Foundation to Support Sequels of Original Podcast Series

Press Release · New York, NY, USA ·

Futuro Media announced today that it is the recipient of a major grant from the Mellon Foundation to support the production of second seasons of the original Pulitzer Prize winning podcast series “Suave” and “La Brega.”

“We are so honored to receive this grant from the Mellon Foundation that will allow us to continue to shine a light on communities that mainstream media often ignore,” said Maria Hinojosa, president/founder of Futuro Media, and host/executive producer of “Suave.”

“Mellon’s support validates the important and impactful work we do. It recognizes the need to expand on the types of stories that are told, seeing and listening to stories from new angles, with a distinct voice and unique perspectives,” said Hinojosa.

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“Suave” follows the story of David Luis ‘Suave’ Gonzalez, a young man re-entering society after serving more than 30 years in prison, and explores incarceration, redemption, and the often unusual relationship between a journalist and a source. The second-season podcast sequel will spotlight the struggles and triumphs of women in prison, and other rarely-told stories about the criminal justice system.

Gonzalez will co-host this second season alongside Maria Hinojosa, opening up the conversation beyond his story and going deep into what it means to give second chances, who deserves them, and who gets to decide. The series will also continue to explore the challenges of re-entry and adaptation as Gonzalez goes into his fifth year of freedom and hopes to make more of his dreams come true.

Produced by Futuro Studios and distributed by PRX, the first season has earned more than 800,000 listeners and been highly acclaimed, receiving a 2021 IDA Documentary Award for Best Multi-Part Audio Documentary and, most recently, a 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting. The second season will be released in 2023.

The dual-language series “La Brega,” co-produced by Futuro Studios and WNYC Studios tells stories about the Puerto Rican experience. Hosted by WNYC’s Alana Casanova-Burgess, the show uses narrative storytelling to touch on themes of history, politics, culture and colonialism. “La Brega” made The New York Times’ The Ten Best Podcasts of 2021 and The Atlantic's Top 50 Podcasts of 2021 lists.

The second season will continue to use narrative nonfiction as a lens for deep exploration of Puerto Rico, but this time through the prism of one of the island’s best-known features, its music. A place of dizzying amounts of musical expression, from the lyrical boleristas of 1930s to the genre-defying salseros of the 70s who lit up Latin America with their songs, to the reggaetoneros of today who take a marginalized music from the barrios and bring it to the world, season two of “La Brega” will use music as a lens to understand Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican experience, both on the island and in the diaspora. To ensure full accessibility to the stories, the series will again feature eight episodes of unique versions in English and Spanish. “La Brega” was a Director’s Choice Finalist at the 2021 Third Coast International Audio Festival, and was on “Best Podcasts of 2021” lists from The New Yorker and The New York Times, among others. The series will be released in 2023.

For more information on Futuro Media and to keep up with updates on the new seasons, visit www.futuromedia.org.

About Futuro Media:

Winner of a 2022 Pulitzer Prize, Futuro Media is an independent, nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. Based in Harlem and founded in 2010 by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, Futuro Media is committed to telling stories from points of view often overlooked by mainstream media. Futuro Media produces Peabody Award-winning Latino USA, the longest running national Latino news and cultural public radio program; In The Thick, a politics podcast from the perspective of journalists and issue experts; Latino Rebels, a pioneering digital news outlet founded by Julio Ricardo Varela that reaches millions through its website, radio programming, and podcasts; Futuro Studios focuses on original podcasts and programming; and Futuro Unidad Hinojosa (FUH), a unit within Futuro Media, focuses on investigative journalism and special projects.

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