Jake Brownell

Programming & News Producer

A native of the Twin Cities, Jake landed in Colorado Springs by way of a philosophy degree at Colorado College. During his time at CC, he pursued an interest in radio as a DJ and then as manager at the school's student radio station, The SOCC.  After graduating in the Spring of 2012, Jake went on to intern with KRCC's The Big Something, where he began to hone his skills as an editor, interviewer, researcher and writer--skills which he put to use first as a producer of KRCC's Off Topic, and more recently as co-producer and host of The Big Something Radio Show and the award-winning documentary series, Wish We Were Here. Jake now oversees production of our music program, Air Check, our community-driven reporting series, Peak Curiosityand reports on local issues and stories for the KRCC News Department. 

Jake is a firm believer that public radio is an oasis of journalistic and  intellectual integrity in today's hyper saturated media landscape, and he hopes to be a part of it for a long time to come. 

Ways to Connect

 

Doug Pray is the award-winning director of numerous documentaries, including “Hype”, “Surfwise", “Scratch”, and “Art and Copy”. As a director, he is known for his keen ability to capture the spirit of cultural and artistic movements, as well as his abiding interest in the relationship between people and their passions. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with Pray, who is in town for the screening of his newest film, Levitated Mass.

Much was lost during last summer's flooding in Manitou, including many personal items. This past October, the interns at The Big Something--Colorado College students Mercedes Whitman, Patrick Lofgren, and Sarah Stockdale--went to Fountain Creek to rescue what they could from the banks. In November, the recovered items were displayed in a pop-up show at the Manitou Art Center, and those affected by the floods were invited to claim their belongings and share their stories.

With record wildfires and flooding impacting communities across the state over the past few years, residents of Colorado have gained a unique appreciation for the power of precipitation. But according to Dr. Michael Kerwin, Professor of Geography director of the Environmental Science and Geology Programs at Denver University, the precipitation-related challenges that we’ve recently faced here may pale in comparison to those posed by the decades-long, global-warming enhanced, “Megadrought” that may strike the Front Range during this century. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with Dr.

Legendary underground comix author and artist Art Spiegelman will present “Wordless,” a slide lecture accompanied by live music on Wednesday, January 22 as part of Cornerstone Arts Week at Colorado College. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Spiegelman and musician Phillip Johnston about the event.

Tickets for the Event are sold out, but hopeful attendees may want to wait outside the Richard F. Celeste Theater in the Cornerstone Arts Building to see if seats become available.

Tim Sexton is an Oscar nominated screenwriter, best known for his work with director Alfonso Cuaron on the dystopian sci-fi drama, Children of Men, released in 2006. Sexton's screenplays--which also include the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Boycott" and a forthcoming film about labor activist Cesar Chavez--often explore the complicated, human side of heroism. The Big Something's Noel Black spoke with Sexton about his work.

Half a month into the new year and I have lost all sense of time passing. Moving deeply southward across the continent in the dead of winter will do that. It is disorienting to see a rose in bloom in January, but here on the Gulf coast of Texas on the trellis of my mother’s front porch, the yellow climbing rose is loaded with buds.

My son-in-law arrives tired and hungry for his annual holiday visit. Winter storm Hercules, followed closely by a record-setting Arctic vortex of extreme cold, has left thousands stranded in New York City but he managed to get out and fly to Houston following a harrowing day in an airport filled with desperate traveling strangers. 

Pikes Peak Library District, Digital Photo Archive. Image 004-10649.jpg

 

    

The short order cook and I had been singing for a while before I noticed the grimace on the cashier’s face. We were harmonizing on “Silver Bells,” the classic Bing Crosby version, and cared little how we sounded as I was the only customer in the diner.  

“What’ll we do when it’s not Christmas any more?” the short order cook said as I pulled out my wallet to pay the bill.

“I don’t know,” I said, “but it looks like Mr. Grinch here can’t wait for it to be over.”  

Pikes Peak United Way recently released its 2013 Quality of Life Indicators Report.  At more than 140 pages in length, it offers a thorough and statistically rich analysis of the quality of life in Greater Colorado Springs community. KRCC's Jake Brownell spoke with Carrie Cramm, vice president of Community Impact at Pikes Peak United Way, to discuss some of the findings of this report. 

You can find the report in it's entirety HERE

The Catamount Institute's Annual Colorado Sustainability Conference begins this Thursday and will cover topics ranging from fires and floods to urban farming. I spoke with Catamount board member Alicia Archibald and Marketing and Communications Director Chris Aaby about the conference.

Click HERE for complete conference details and more about Catamount Institute. 

Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-0003451. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.

Off Topic #16: DIY

Oct 7, 2013

If you want something done right, there's an app for that! With each passing day we draw nearer to the realization of Total Technological Convenience, to a time in the not so distant future when there is no problem that can't be solved with the tap of a screen or the barking of a "voice command." It seems inevitable. But whose idea of progress is that, anyway? 

Whether we're talking about banning extra large sodas a la Michael Bloomberg, eradicating high fructose corn syrup from our diets, choosing a box labeled organic or putting a greenhouse in our backyard and growing our own food, one thing is certain, food consciousness in America is reaching increasingly loftier heights each day. In this episode of Off Topic we explore the ways in which food is brought to our tables and whether our current industrialized food production model is a sustainable one, economically, environmentally and from a public health perspective. 

As part of the back-to-school festivities at Colorado College, Off Topic was invited to stage a taping of the show before a live audience of Colorado College faculty and staff members in the Richard F. Celeste Theater. What better issue to explore in this context than the crisis (or crises) facing America's colleges and universities? We spoke with critics, activists, professors, and administrators, to get their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that will shape the future of higher education.

Off Topic #6: KRCC Drive-By

Aug 6, 2013

The Spring membership drive is currently underway at KRCC, and this week we’ve produced a special, membership drive edition of Off Topic. For this episode, we put together a kind of off-color oral history of KRCC, speaking with staff, DJs, and members about the agony and the ecstasy of making radio in Colorado Springs.

Get to know the stories behind the voices that you hear everyday on KRCC. You won’t regret it.

Off Topic: Race, Racism, and White Privilege

Aug 5, 2013

  

Despite the long history of racism, white supremacy, and racial violence in this country--and despite the progress that has been made in combating the worst and most glaring examples of it--Americans still have a very difficult time speaking candidly about the contemporary realities of race in our society. However, In the wake of events such as the recent not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman - Trayvon Martin case, it becomes urgently clear that we need to have real, substantive conversations about the undeniable effects of inequality in the United States.

Off Topic: Apocalypse Now! The End of Hollywood?

Jul 23, 2013
The Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection

Of all the industries imperiled by the new economics of the Internet age, Hollywood has seemed among the most resilient. While newspapers crumble and musicians resort to dubious gimmicks to make money off of their music, movie studios have continued to break box office records in much the same way they always did.

Off Topic: Discovery!

Jul 22, 2013

Progress--whether cultural, scientific, political or personal--is propelled by discovery. Or so we're told. History sometimes seems like little more than a string of paradigm-shattering revelations, one leading to the next, each bringing us a bit closer to The Truth. It's no surprise then that we mythologize groundbreaking discoveries (and discoverers) to the extent that we do. Archimedes in the bathtub, Isaac Newton and the apple, Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment: all of these stories are dubious in origin, apocryphal at best.

Why does our culture place value in that which is deemed authentic or original? What happens when we find out that the thing we have enshrined as authentic is determined to be nothing more than a copy? How does our relationship to the ideas of authenticity and originality impact the decisions we make from what dungarees to buy to which presidential candidate we vote for?

 

In this Episode…

There are times in our lives when we have no choice but to perform. The stakes are high, the pressure is on, the price of failure immense. It seems natural that most of us would try to minimize the amount of time that we spend in such anxiety-inducing situations. But what of those people who seek out these moments of acute pressure, who go so far as to pin their livelihood to them? What inspires them, and what can they teach the rest of us? In this episode of Off Topic, we ask athletes, performers, and academics about the stress of performance, and how to succeed in spite of it.

Off Topic: Space is the Place

Jul 7, 2013

It’s been over 40 years since the Apollo lunar module first touched down on the surface of the moon. So where are the colonies? The Mars missions? Why isn’t it The Future yet? In this episode of Off Topic, we speak with astronauts, writers and space experts about the past, present, and future of space travel.

 In This Episode:

Off Topic: The Fantasy of Childhood

Jul 7, 2013

  In a certain sense, childhood is most acutely experienced in retrospect. As a child, it’s simply life as you know it. But, as an adult, childhood (both one’s own and the developmental category in general) takes on a kind of mythic significance and, perhaps, nostalgic appeal. In this episode of Off Topic we look at the ways in which adults and their adult notions, fantasies, and theories about childhood shape what it means to be a child, and we ask if there is anything essential about childhood apart from what parents, teachers, movie producers, and authors say about it.

This week on Off Topic, we take a close and critical look at the institution of marriage. Why do we get married? What do we hope marriage will be? What is it really? How has it changed over time?

This week on Off Topic, we take a close and critical look at the institution of marriage. Why do we get married? What do we hope marriage will be? What is it really? How has it changed over time?

In this episode:

 

The figure of the Genius looms large in our contemporary thinking about art and creativity. Art is a gift given to the masses by those fortunate few who are capable of creating something from nothing, of inventing forms and sounds that the rest of us simply couldn’t imagine. Well, maybe that’s overstating it a bit. But whether or not we believe that great art and ideas emanate from so pure a source, there is certainly a tradition in the West which places the individual at the center of creative production.

In this episode of Off Topic:

  • Professor Stillman confronts the ambiguities inherent in the snake’s side of the story.
  • Canadian novelist Peter Behrens discusses how the Irish established the template for what it means to be an immigrant in North America.
  • Duke University professor Michael Moses shares his insights into the Irish literary tradition.
  • Steven Hayward speaks with Irish poet Eamon Grennan.
  • We visit an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day and speak with Dr. Kristi Erdal about the neurological effects of intoxication.

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