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Miranda Shafer's online portfolio

Blog Posts

Art of Failure

Miranda Shafer

I worked with the host, Steve Friedman on starting the podcast and worked on everything from the title, logo, script, marketing and of course recording and editing the podcast, Art of Failure.

The first episode is with photographer and artist William Wegman, and you can find Art of Failure on iTunesStitcherSpotify, Overcast and Google Play Music.

You can find the podcast on the following social media platforms: FacebookTwitter and Instagram

A Way Home Together: Stories of the Human Journey

Miranda Shafer

A Way Home Together uses the informal and intimate medium of podcasting to tell personal stories of people on the move, including migrants, refugees and those who have been deeply affected by different cultures. These are stories of the human journey. This is produced for the International Organization for Migration and is part of the TOGETHER campaign.

TOGETHER is a United Nations campaign that promotes respect safety and dignity for migrants and refugees. Launched in September 2016, its aim is to counter the rise in xenophobia and discrimination.

Episcopal News Service Podcast

Miranda Shafer

I worked with the Managing Editor of the Episcopal News Service to produce a series of audio segments about the 2017 Episcopal Youth Event, which is the second largest event in the Episcopal Church

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Youth Event is gearing up for its 2017 conference July 10-14 in Edmond, Oklahoma. In advance of the big event — expected to draw 1,300 teenagers from across the Episcopal Church — Episcopal News Service sent Miranda Shafer to meet with the EYE17 planning committee and produce an audio story about how this year’s theme, “Path to Peace,” came to be.

[Episcopal News Service — Edmond, Oklahoma] The Episcopal Youth Event is underway in Edmond, Oklahoma, from July 10-14. Ninety of 109 Episcopal dioceses are represented and more than 1,400 people — including chaperones, volunteers, chaplains, medical workers — are on the ground here at the University of Central Oklahoma. Episcopal News Service sent Miranda Shafer to Oklahoma to cover the event.

[Episcopal News Service – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma] Episcopal youth attending the 13th annual Episcopal Youth Event took a field trip to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum on July 12. The memorial and museum honor the victims of the April 19, 1995, bombing and tells the story of that tragic day.

[Episcopal News Service – Edmond, Oklahoma] On the eve of their departure from Oklahoma, 1,300 youth from across the Episcopal Church began strategizing about how they will take the “Path to Peace” message home.

Richer Life Lab Podcast

Miranda Shafer

The Richer Life Lab bills itself as "the science and art of managing money, career and life."

Laura Adams and Kate Rodriguez host the podcast. Laura is a nationally recognized personal finance expert and the host of the Money Girl Podcast, which has been downloaded more than 40 million times. Kate is a freelance writer who specializes in employment and professional development.

Each episode is full of practical information and personal experiences geared at helping listeners balance money, career and life. 

As a producer my responsibilities include:

  • Edit the weekly podcast with two show hosts who record their tracks remotely
  • Instruct remote guests doing interviews via Skype on how to achieve the best sound quality
  • Use professional software to edit, reduce noise, and improve audio quality
  • Furnish creative ideas for show topics and content delivery
  • Organize and maintain the production calendar and task assignments  
  • Provide voice coaching and technical support to hosts and guest interviewers
  • Provide post production and musical scoring

The "How Do We Fix It?" Podcast

Miranda Shafer

“How Do We Fix It?” is a production of Davies Content. The podcast focuses on solutions to problems large and small—everything from politics and policy to credit-card debt. 

The show is hosted by Richard Davies (ABC News) and Jim Meigs (the former editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics).

As a producer I provide the following skills:

  • Contribute and research ideas for every aspect of the podcast
  • Edit and score each episode    
  • Prepare hosts to interview guests
  • Identify and pre-interview potential interview subjects
  • Build website and produce content for the site
  • Serve as a liaison between the host and the studio


Mother: A Podcast, Episode No. 7: "Just Show Up"

Miranda Shafer

Why is it so hard to talk about miscarriages and stillbirths? They are universal phenomenons, but they remain taboo subjects. 

I produced this piece, with help from Amy Gastelum and Anne Noyes Saini, about my sister's stillbirth for Mother: A Podcast.

If you would like more information about a community that can help you with your loss, contact Reconceiving Loss.

Feet in 2 Worlds: "Bolivian Immigrants Celebrate ‘Alasitas’ Festival by Making Big Dreams Small"

Miranda Shafer

I published this multimedia story for Feet in 2 Worlds in January 2014. You can hear the original story here.

Blanca Morales pulls out bins of miniature statues of cars and houses and bags of money at her home in Corona, Queens, for the upcoming Bolivian festival known as Alasitas. During Alasitas participants buy miniature representations of the things they want in the New Year with the hopes of getting the real thing.

For the second year in a row Morales is organizing the Alasitas festival. In Bolivia and Peru the festival typically runs for two weeks, but the Queens version is a one-day event, this year on Jan. 25. And while participants were once more likely to buy miniature foods and other basic necessities, Morales’ bins contain tiny houses, cars, money and diplomas—just a handful of the offerings for this year’s Alasitas.

The indigenous festival of “wishes and dreams” was first celebrated in New York 12 years ago when the president of the Bolivian Civic Cultural Community, Mirtha Cabrera, began hosting Alasitas in her house with her husband, Eduardo Medrano. The festival quickly outgrew their home and expanded to the couple’s restaurant in Elmhurst until Cabrera and Medrano handed over leadership to Morales.

At noon on Saturday the festival will begin at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building on 108th Street in Corona, when a local priest will bless the miniatures, a job once reserved for a shaman. Vendors will be on hand to sell miniatures, souvenirs and traditional foods. The Bolivian community in Queens is small enough that organizers spread the word through emails, flyers and word of mouth.

Ekeko, the Andean god of prosperity and luck, presides over Alasitas. He is most often represented as a short, portly man carrying multiple bags of food, houses, cars, land, and money. Morales’ Ekeko is about a foot tall, with gold teeth and a green bow tie. He carries a yellow car and a bag of confetti hangs from his back, and an orange house is slung over his shoulder. He has a satchel filled with money and an additional basket with a Ziploc bag of money, which Morales calls “dream money,” and an even tinier car.



Feet in 2 Worlds: "Maria Cano and Auria Abraham: Creating a Legacy for the Next Generation"

Miranda Shafer

I produced this story for Feet in 2 Worlds. You can hear the original story here.

This summer Maria Cano (aka the Arepa Lady) moved her thriving Colombian street-food business into a storefront in Queens, N.Y., her first brick-and-mortar restaurant. For Cano, 70, it was a measure of hard-won success after selling arepas (cornmeal “pancakes”) from a street cart for more than two decades.

For Auria Abraham, 45, success has come more quickly—she launched her Malaysian sambal business last summer, after working as a jingle producer in the advertising industry for more than a decade. Her unapologetically spicy condiment is already on store shelves throughout New York City, and plans for new products are in the works.

Speaking through a translator, the two women note the importance of using their food businesses to create a legacy—both cultural and financial—for their children.

“It’s been a lot of hard work but it feels very good,” Cano tells Abraham. “The thing that feels the best is to have my kids involved and see them accomplish so much. They picked up the flag and they’re carrying my business.”

See what happens when you bring together female food entrepreneurs from different generations and different ethnic backgrounds to talk about food, business, and flavor.

Audio produced by Miranda Shafer. Translation by Natalia Perlaza. Photos by Lily Chin.

Feet in 2 Worlds: "What I Carried, Vol. 2: The Family Milkshake Machine"

Miranda Shafer

I produced this story as part of "What I Carried," a project created by Feet in 2 Worlds to explore immigration to the U.S. through objects that symbolize migration.

Adam Klein 33 but he could be mistaken for a college student. He is tall and angular. Although his apartment is warm and inviting it is also spare.

In New York City space is limited, and even kitchen appliances have to be ready to multitask, but Adam's 15 pound milkshake machine only does one thing. It makes milkshakes. Despite the fact that it is awkward and heavy, Adam has brought the antique appliance with him each time he has moved (7 times) in the past 15 years.

“This isn’t the kind of thing I can put in a box with other things. It’s always been something that I’ve had to carry by hand in a taxi or a car; I don’t trust movers.”

So why does Adam carry it with him? His family lost everything once; maybe that’s why he understands the importance of the things that make life sweet.


Feet in 2 Worlds: “Karen Tappin: Living a Version of the American Dream”

Miranda Shafer

Karen's story is part of a larger project (by Feet in 2 Worlds) about immigrant business owners and the American Dream. This story was published in April 2014.  

"At the time I didn't think much of it, but I realize now that [my mother] just sort of expected me to be great."—Karen Tappin

Karen Tappin started producing her line of natural hair-care and skin products in her kitchen while working as a high-school history teacher; today, her products, Karen's Body Beautiful are sold nationwide at Target.

Tappin's parents are from Guyana. She got a head start on her entrepreneurial career when her mother asked her, at age 15, to help with the home health-aide agency that she was starting. Karen did all of the research, footwork and paperwork while her mom was at work. The experience gave her the confidence to start her own business in college (preparing care packages) and later Karen's Body Beautiful.



A Matchmaker for Extraordinary People

Miranda Shafer

Have you ever wondered what a matchmaker does? I did, so I interviewed Amy Van Doran.  Everything about Amy is colorful, from her hair to her clothing to her personality. Her dating advice will surprise you, and so will her story about how she became a matchmaker for (as she puts it) extraordinary people.

Feet in 2 Worlds Podcast: "How to Wear Your Hair? A Potent Question for African & Caribbean Immigrant Women"

Miranda Shafer

I produced this story for Feet in 2 Worlds. You can hear the original story here

I produced this podcast about the natural hair movement in the West African and Caribbean immigrant community with Sally Nnamani and John Rudolph. I  provided research, field recording and audio editing. Together we visited hair salons and homes of women who told us how their hair affects their lives, their sense of self and their wallets. 

Sally is originally from Nigeria; she knows firsthand the pressure new immigrants face. Sally left Nigeria when she was 12, and when her parents told her that they were moving to the United States, her mother said, “You girls are going to have to get your hair done!” Many of our interviewees had similar stories: Straight hair is equated with “putting your best face forward,” having confidence and being beautiful. 

According to Mintel (a market research group), in 2012 the black hair-care industry brought in an estimated $684 million, and by 2017 that number is projected to rise to $761 million. Mintel stipulated that the 2012 figure does not include general market brands, weaves, extensions, wigs, independent beauty-supply stores, distributors, e-commerce, styling tools and appliances. If all of those things were taken into consideration, the $684 million in expenditures could reach a half-trillion dollars.

Despite the massive size of the industry, this story reveals how personal a topic this is for the women of these communities.