‘Latino Living’ student podcast earns Rebirth Grant

“Latino Living,” a podcast produced by Northwestern State University’s Hispanic Student Journalist Association in the Department of New Media, Journalism, and Communication Arts, received a $3,000 grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

The purpose of “The Rebirth Grant” is to support initiatives focused on the humanities to promote history, culture and humanities-related projects that tell Louisiana’s story.  

“This fits ‘Latino Living’s’ initiatives perfectly,” said Dr. Nick Taylor, faculty advisor.  “The podcast is produced with the goal of sharing, discussing and bringing to light issues faced by Hispanics living in central Louisiana. These issues range from the serious, such as immigration, to the light-hearted, such as interviewing a social media influencer.” 

Taylor said the award represents more than money.  Working under the partial sponsorship of NEH/LEH places “Latino Living” in the professional sphere of multimedia productions. The funding moves the podcast from student project to professional production.  

“I knew this was a professional level podcast from the start,” Taylor said. “When I saw the hard work, creativity and time producer Lia Portillo Cantarero, host Naydu Daza Maya, technical director Laura Cabarcas Vargas and technical associate/editor Jordan Johnson put into each episode, there was no doubt ‘Latino Living’ was going to be an informative, educational and entertaining podcast for diverse audiences,” Taylor said.  

This is the second national recognition for “Latino Living.” Earlier this year, the podcast was awarded the 2023 Bronze Telly: Branded Content-General-Podcast.  

“When ‘Latino Living’ won this national award, I knew we had achieved one of our goals, to produce a podcast that is nationally recognized at professional levels. For the Telly Awards, the podcast was entered in the professional, not student category,” Taylor said.   

Taylor credited NSU’s Office of Sponsored Programs and OSP’s associate director Alysia Jones, who worked late hours and weekends, for success in finalizing the grant application.  

“Earning the Rebirth Grant in combination with winning the Telly Award illustrates that NSU students not only compete at the highest post-secondary levels but are also ready to achieve as professional multimedia producers,” Taylor added.  

The “Latino Living” crew will begin production on the NEH/LEH partially-sponsored podcast during the Fall 2023 semester. The grant sponsors five podcasts, which will be produced monthly from September 2023-February 2024  

Of the “Latino Living” crew, Portillo Cantarero, Daza Maya and Johnson are majoring in New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts.  Cabarcas Vargas is a business major.  

“Latino Living” can be viewed on Youtube and Spotify.