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The Leibner Cooper Grant for Creative Productions on the History of Media has been awarded to Francesca Soans, University of Northern Iowa for her latest project, The History of KBBG.

Francesca Soans is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. Her last film Sons of Jacob Synagogue, a recording of the stories of the Jewish community in Waterloo, won the Loren Horton Community History Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) and gained national recognition by winning a Silver Remi at the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.

Soans’ project is a documentary on an African-American owned radio station in Waterloo, Iowa. The project explores the history and stories of KBBG, a radio station that is an important part of the African-American community in Waterloo. The documentary will serve multiple objectives: preserve an important part of the African-American experience in Waterloo; invite and engage the community to reflect on the role the radio station played in their lives and its importance; and serve as an important educational resource for schools, colleges, and museums.

The Leibner Cooper Grant for Creative Productions on the History of Media is made possible thanks to an endowment from Leibner Cooper Family Foundation. Annually, a $2,500 grant will be awarded to a faculty member who is producing a documentary, news story, multimedia project or sports production focused on historical issues, figures and/or events related to media. Each year the recipient will be recognized at the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation Giants of Broadcasting Luncheon and at BEA’s annual convention.