2016 Schedule will be announced later in the summer - check back for updates!

2015 Schedule of Events

Friday, October 30, 2015

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
Inside HQ: Conversations

At NPR Headquarters, 1111 North Capitol Street, NE

Prepping for Special Election Coverage
The 2016 elections will take place against a highly charged and complex backdrop: a nation in the throes of evolutionary political and demographic change; an economy that’s thriving for those on top yet leaving many others behind; and a world that seems more dangerous than at any time since the Cold War. To sufficiently cover what is sure to be an exciting and unique election cycle, NPR has begun a fundamental rethinking of past coverage tactics. Join Washington Desk Supervising Senior Editor Beth Donovan, Elections Unit Executive Producer Julia Redpath Buckley, and Deputy Political Editor Arnie Seipel to learn more about NPR’s new elections coverage strategy as 2016 quickly approaches.

NPR Presents…
NPR Presents is back with a fresh, new approach to live-events journalism! In partnership with our Member Stations, we’ve spent the last year taking public radio out of the studio and into theaters and intimate public spaces across the country. From music, culture, and comedy to in-depth conversations about the issues and ideas affecting our lives every day, NPR Presents continues to allow audiences to get closer to the shows and hosts they love and experience public radio like never before. In this session, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President for Audience Development Emma Carrasco and Acting Vice President of Programming Anya Grundmann are thrilled to discuss new storytelling strategies and future plans for this exciting initiative.

Sounding Like America: The Diversity Sourcing Project
As the makeup of our society undergoes a sea change, so must our approach to journalism. In recent years, NPR discovered that the majority of the sources and subject matter experts who contribute to our storytelling tend to be white males who reside in Washington, D.C., New York and California. Join Senior Editor Luis Clemens and guests as they discuss NPR and Member Station efforts to ensure that the sources our journalists rely on are reflective of the gender, ethnicity, and geographic diversity of the nation.

From the Halls of Congress: Storytelling on Capitol Hill
When NPR reporters cover Congress, they get to know and understand all 50 states—what’s important to them, what their local economies look like, and what their citizens and communities worry about. But in busy congressional years like this one, it can be challenging to translate the language of Congress into informative and engaging stories for our listeners. Senior Washington Editor and Correspondent Ron Elving, Washington Desk Producer Brakkton Booker, Congressional Reporter Sue Davis, and Washington Desk Senior Editor Muthoni Muturi will discuss how they navigate this unique space, share an overview of Congress's work this year, and talk about what's on the congressional to-do list for the remainder of the season.

2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
Inside HQ: Conversations

At NPR Headquarters, 1111 North Capitol Street, NE

Roll Call: Next-Generation Political Reporters
As elections coverage heats up, NPR has created an exciting new beat structure to effectively track the mood of a rapidly changing electorate and the issues likely to dominate the race. To support this new approach, a fresh crop of enterprising reporters has joined our Washington Desk. In this session, meet journalists Scott Detrow, Asma Khalid, Amita Kelly, and Sam Sanders.  They are the frontline reporters examining American politics and taking us from the primaries through the 2017 presidential inauguration. They will specialize within various beats, partner with local Member Stations, and produce the in-depth coverage of the electorate that our audiences have come to expect and depend on.  They will be introduced by veteran Washington Desk Editor Beth Donovan.

Covering a Presidential Campaign: Turning the Road into Radio
One of the greatest challenges of covering a Presidential campaign is capturing the mood of an entire country. How do you get out of the campaign bubble to find authentic voices? How do you find voters who have substantive things to say? How do you give a story a sense of place? And how do you convey a representative sample of America, while still allowing one conversation with one voter the space to breathe on tape? Congressional Correspondent Ailsa Chang talks to two veterans of the campaign trail—National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea and Morning Edition Host and former White House Correspondent David Greene.

“A Nation of Nations” – A Great American Immigration Story
It’s been 50 years since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act changed the landscape of America. “A Nation of Nations,” written by seasoned NPR Correspondent Tom Gjelten, examines the transformation of America during the last five decades through the eyes of a handful of families in one suburban county in Virginia. Have a sit down with the author as he gives a preview of the book through a brilliant combination of personal stories and assessments of the demographic and political impacts that immigration has on our nation.

NPR Critics: A Look Inside The 500 Billion Dollar Entertainment Industry
It’s one of our most lucrative exports, it helps define norms and trends and it seeps into nearly every aspect of our lives. Entertainment is something NPR takes seriously, and we’re constantly exploring its disruptions and innovations. How has traditional television adapted to the rise of Netflix and YouTube? Why are blockbusters making more money than ever before—and what does that mean for independent film? What’s the best way to find shows to watch in a veritable ocean of new content? Join Arts Critic Bob Mondello, TV Critic Eric Deggans, and Arts Correspondent Neda Ulaby for a discussion about the state of movies and television, what should be on your can’t-miss list, the Oscar contenders and the new fall season. In the spirit of Halloween, we'll touch on a few scary movies and shows that even non-horror fans might enjoy!

3:00 pm - 3:50 pm
Inside HQ: Conversations

At NPR Headquarters, 1111 North Capitol Street, NE

Collaborative Coverage: Political Reporting
NPR’s editorial strategy is dependent upon collaborative newsgathering with local stations. As such, partnerships with Member Stations are both the foundation of our work and vital in producing the most authentic, comprehensive, and accurate reporting of the nation’s most important stories. In this session, Director of Strategic Partnerships John Stefany and Local Partnerships Editor Brett Neely talk about our newest NPR-Member Station collaboration—the Political Reporting Partnership.

NPR Cities: How We Get AroundStories About Urban Transportation and Mobility
Nothing is more integral to the life of a city than the mobility of its people. Areas of town that are tough to reach by transit are less economically developed and people who live there may have trouble getting to jobs. We explore alternative forms of transit hailed as the transportation of the future. Why is it so difficult to create new, more efficient modes of transportation? Also - big data is helping leaders make more equitable decisions about transit. And we’ll explore how some cities are trying new technologies for more resilient transportation that can withstand storms.  Join this critical conversation, led by Senior Producer and NPR Cities series creator Franklyn Cater and Science Correspondent Joe Palca.

Boxed In: When the Punishment No Longer Fits the Crime
Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson, who broke the story of the Obama administration’s shift on tough sentences for NPR in 2013, will take attendees behind the scenes of the 2015 Robert F. Kennedy Award winning series Boxed In: When the Punishment No Longer Fits the Crime. The series chronicles changing attitudes toward tough mandatory prison sentences for drug criminals and explains the policy shift through wrenching interviews with judges, prisoners, and their families. Johnson will discuss the series and the status of efforts to overhaul the system in the executive branch and in Congress.

NPR Investigations: The VA's Broken Promises to Thousands of Vets Exposed to Mustard Gas
In June, NPR Investigative Reporter Caitlin Dickerson published a series of stories (featured on PBS NewsHour) digging into decades-old promises made to thousands of World War II veterans used as test subjects in secret military experiments. The Department of Veterans Affairs committed to notifying those veterans of health risks they faced and their eligibility to apply for compensation. Yet, 20 years later, the VA has only identified a few hundred of them. In this session, Dickerson will explain the investigative reporting process and how NPR identified twice the number of affected veterans in just two months. She will be joined by Investigative Research Librarian Barbara Van Woerkom and Investigations Editor Robert Little.

Political Fact Checking
Throughout campaign season, political claims are abundant—reliable facts, much less so. Even when facts are clear, partisans tend to screen out those that don't square with their own beliefs. Digital Political Reporter Danielle Kurtzleben and White House Correspondents Scott Horsley and Tamara Keith discuss the process of checking facts and presenting them in a persuasive way. The panel will also highlight the importance of producing factual information in engaging, new ways to meet the demands of NPR's growing digital audiences.

7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
At The National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW; Cocktail attire

Opening Reception and Dinner: An Evening with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Grab a courtside seat as Weekend Host of All Things Considered Michel Martin interviews NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Hear the all-time leading scorer talk about his career and work as a social and cultural commentator for Time magazine. He will share his upcoming projects, including the HBO documentary Minority of One: The Life Story of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his new novel "Mycroft Holmes”—a mystery novel and the first of an action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes's savvy older brother.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Breakfast and Registration

9:00 am - 9:15 am

Opening Remarks

9:15 am - 10:30 am

The Art of the Presidential Interview
Landing an interview with the President is always a treat. But turning those conversations into compelling radio, video, and digital content can be tricky. As the Obama era comes to an end, Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep—one of Mr. Obama’s most frequent inquisitors—discusses the process of conducting a presidential interview and the many times he’s sat down with the nation’s 44th President. He will be joined by Political Editor Domenico Montanaro and Visuals Editor Kainaz Amaria. White House Correspondent Scott Horsley will moderate the panel.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Join Social Science Correspondent Shankar Vedantam as he interviews Richard Thaler—father of behavioral economics. In a career spanning several decades, Thaler has explored the countless ways in which human psychology shapes decision making. In a new book, “Misbehaving,” Thaler recounts a lifetime of trying to explain why human beings behave the way they do and why their actions so often deviate from what seems rational. Whether you want to understand the role that money plays in your life, or how parking spots can be used as a weapon to dismantle partisan gridlock, Thaler is sure to give you lots to think about in this session.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Breakout Sessions

The Witches: Salem, 1692
Host and Special Correspondent Michele Norris talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff to preview her new book, “The Witches.” Hear from the highly acclaimed historian as she unveils the curious events of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically important, Schiff's discussion will explore one of our nation’s first great mysteries and the role of women during that perilous era.

The U.S. and Cuba: Changing Policy, Changing Relations
For the first time in decades, the U.S. policy for Cuba has changed, bringing about hopes that this historic step could start a new course in U.S. and Cuba relations.  Diplomatic Correspondent Michele Kelemen leads a discussion around the updated policy what it means for the U.S. and Cuba with Executive Director of Cuba Democracy Advocates Mauricio Claver-Carone and Professor of Government at American University William LeoGrande.

Boo-ology 101
Looking for a spooky good time? Join Science Reporter Adam Cole and Producer Ryan Kellman as they investigate the science behind Halloween! This duo is the brainpower behind Skunk Bear, a digital storytelling project that unlocks the world of science through whimsical and engaging experiments. Together, they’ve found the speed of light using peeps, chased 100,000 missing birds across South Carolina, and composed a musical eulogy for a tortoise. And now, they invite you to see and participate in an experience that is sure to stimulate (and haunt) your mind.

Jazz Night with The Christian McBride Trio
Powered by a relentless energy and a boundless love of swing, four-time Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride is entering the third decade of his career, and his second year as an NPR host for Jazz Night in America. The Philadelphia native has become one of the most sought after, recorded, and respected figures in music today. In an interview with All Things Considered Host Audie Cornish, McBride shares his perspective on the longevity of jazz and the future of his craft. He’ll also perform a few of his favorite tunes.

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

An Unlikely Spiritual Journey with David Gregory
Weekend Edition Host Rachel Martin talks to former moderator of Meet the Press David Gregory about his book, “How’s Your Faith?:  An Unlikely Spiritual Journey.” Hear how the renowned journalist found himself probing various religious traditions to better understand his own faith after an encounter with a former U.S. president. He’ll give a preview of his new work and share what he’s learned about faith and answering life’s most important questions: who do we want to be and what do we believe?

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

In the Hot Seat: A Tête-à-tête with Trevor Noah
Join Pop Culture Happy Hour Host Linda Holmes in conversation with Trevor Noah—the new host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show. Hear the comedian talk about what it’s like to take over one of the most famous posts in late night television and share behind-the-scene details about how The Daily Show is made.

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
At the Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW; Upper Circle

Cocktail Reception

8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
At the Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW; Center Stage

Pop Culture Happy Hour Live!
Each week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, Host Linda Holmes and panelists Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon lead a spirited discussion of the best and worst of pop culture. From today’s hit TV shows, blockbuster films, books, music and more, the crew keeps its loyal listeners highly entertained. This Halloween, after a long day of hard news, come let your hair down, loosen your tie (or change into your costume) and watch the Pop Culture Happy Hour team record their hit podcast in front of a live audience. Linda, Stephen and Glen will be adding “fourth panelist” All Things Considered Host Audie Cornish and celebrity guest Fred Armisen from Documentary Now!, Portlandia and Saturday Night Live to the mix. You don’t want to miss this show! These live events are known to sell out in minutes, but no worries, we’ve already nabbed your ticket. Have friends in town who love Pop Culture Happy Hour?  Please share this link for public tickets! We’ll see you there!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

8:00 am - 9:00 am


9:00 am - 10:15 am

Global Displacement and the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Syrian refugees continue to make their way across Europe in search of shelter and a new life from the devastation of the Syrian conflict.  Some nations in Europe—and the U.S.—have come to terms in pledging to help those in need, but others say that the crisis is bound to get worse.  Come and hear All Things Considered Host and former International Correspondent Ari Shapiro, Paris Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley and the International Rescue Committee’s Regional Director, Syria Response Mark Schnellbaecher discuss the ongoing issues, pledges for international help and what needs to happen in order to resolve this grave situation.

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Breakout Sessions

Taxicab Confessions: Stories from the Streets of Shanghai
As a part of his ongoing series, Streets of Shanghai, Foreign Correspondent Frank Langfitt has been offering free rides in Shanghai as a way to understand the real lives of ordinary Chinese citizens. In this session, he’ll explore his approach to discovering unheard voices and bringing a new perspective to public radio.

High School Graduation: One Number, Many Stories
The U.S. is reporting a record-high high school graduation rate of 81 percent—that’s nine percentage points up from 2001. But that good-news number doesn’t tell the whole story. With the help of 13 Member Stations from around the country, NPR’s education team set out to explore the good, the bad, and the ambiguous truth behind graduation rates. What they’ve found may alter your thinking about the numbers you hear about and read in the news. Join members from NPR’s education desk, Senior Editor Cory Turner, Lead Blogger Anya Kamenetz, and WBEZ Education Reporter Becky Vevea for a discussion on this critical topic and the importance of collaboration.

Planet Money and the Economics of Light
Planet Money is designed to help people understand the economic world around them. Recent stories have examined how drought makes farmers use more water and why bankruptcy is awesome, plus useful financial advice like how to steal a million barrels of oil. In this session, join the Planet Money podcast team, Correspondents Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum, as they tell two stories—both involving cows—that reveal deep lessons about how our economy works. There will be jokes… and at one point, a fire!

11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Presidential Overview: An Analysis
Join White House Correspondent Tamara Keith, Political Editor Domenico Montanaro, National Review Executive Editor Reihan Salam, and MSNBC National Correspondent Joy-Ann Reid for a discussion on the state of the current Presidential campaign and what to look for as the candidates gear up for the 2016 caucuses and primaries.

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm

Closing and Farewell

All events will be held at The Willard InterContinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW unless otherwise noted.
Transportation to/from all events not taking place at the Willard will begin departing 30 minutes prior to each event.
All events are business attire unless otherwise noted.
Schedule is subject to change.