CHICAGO (March 25, 2021) – They changed the world. So can you. That’s the inspiration behind Art of Power, a new weekly podcast from acclaimed podcast producer WBEZ Chicago. In each episode, host and creator Aarti Shahani hunts down leaders, innovators and changemakers who have turned their passion into making real impact and explores how wielding power transforms a person and the world around them.
Shahani calls Art of Power “a different kind of inspiration podcast for 2021” and said her aim is to “motivate a generation to act skillfully.”
“Now it’s ok to want to change systems. Lots of people want to do that. My job is to help listeners learn from the best, so they can make progress happen faster. Art of Power is about the journey inward and the journey outward. In every episode we’ll share the stories of how someone changed the world, with an eye toward how you can, too,” Shahani said.
For Art of Power’s inaugural episodes, WBEZ and Shahani have lined up guests including Harlem Children Zone’s founder Geoffrey Canada; former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun; author Mary Trump; Pixar founder Ed Catmull; and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Art of Power’s first episode features DREAM Act activist Gaby Pacheco, in an episode called “Gaby Pacheco Corners The President.”
Among the “power tips” Shahani gleans from her conversations with these and other guests, which she offers to listeners for a fresh take on power, are: Listen to your gut when your fear is shouting at you. Figure out what you’re the most qualified person on Earth to do…and quit doing everything else. And, stop talking with other people’s voices.
Beyond the insights and lessons held within the conversations on Art of Power, Shahani also draws from her own world experience for the podcast. A South Asian immigrant, she grew up in a working class family in Flushing, Queens. As a young adult, she became a community organizer and activist. She then pivoted, becoming an award-winning journalist covering Silicon Valley for NPR. Shahani is also the author of Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares, a memoir about her family’s 30-year campaign to make America home, despite the arrest, prosecution and deportation case against her father. It’s a coming-of-age story about how the so-called “powerless” can stand up and win.
As Art of Power debuts in 2021, Shahani acknowledges the timeliness of its release during a global pandemic, amid a reckoning in the media industry about whose stories get told, and as definitions change about who a leader is.
“We hope to present empowering journeys and the success stories behind mainstream news, including from people of color and young leaders who are too often left out of leadership coverage,” said Shahani.
Kevin Dawson, managing director for content development for WBEZ Chicago, said Art of Power is an exciting new chapter in WBEZ’s legacy as a podcast innovator.
“As the birthplace of some of the most iconic, groundbreaking shows in public media, we’re known for engaging storytelling and insightful conversations that go deeper than headlines,” said Dawson. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Aarti on Art of Power to tell new stories each week about fascinating people across sectors and perspectives.”
Art of Power’s trailer and first episode with Gaby Pacheco are available now, with new episodes out every Thursday. It will be available on WBEZ.org, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or wherever listeners get their podcasts. Listeners can join the conversation in social media by following Aarti Shahani @aarti411 and @wbez on Twitter.
Art of Power Production Credits
- Host and Creator: Aarti Shahani
- Executive Producer: Kevin Dawson
- Producer: Justin Bull
- Podcast Production Intern: Heena Srivastava