Co-founder Shapiro announces departure from Third Coast

By Dru Sefton

Julie Shapiro, artistic director and co-founder of the Chicago-based Third Coast International Audio Festival, will leave the multiplatform curator of audio storytelling in November. “I thought long and hard (and then longer, and harder) about this,” Shapiro wrote in today’s announcement, “but ultimately realized it’s time to move on and try something different with the next phase of my life.”

Shapiro and Johanna Zorn, e.d., founded Third Coast in 2000; its biennial “filmless festival” draws thousands of audiophiles. Shapiro came up with the concept for Third Coast’s popular ShortDocs Challenge, which asks participants to make mini-documentaries while following quirky rules such as using a color in the documentary’s title or including three seconds of “narrative silence.” The organization also hosts a conference for audio producers in the festival’s off-years and produces a weekly podcast and radio program.

“Julie’s artistic vision, keen wit, and deft writing skills are evident at every turn,” Zorn said in an email to producers. “Likewise, Julie has been the consummate ambassador for Third Coast, forging lasting relationships in her international travels.”

Third Coast is soliciting applications for its next artistic director.

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