La Historia Viva Podcast is now available on-line! A podcast produced entirely for the students of Chelsea, by the students of Chelsea

The Chelsea Resilient Podcasting Project brought together a group of Chelsea youth to learn about podcasting and through this process to create their own series of audio programs. La Historia Viva Podcast is now available on-line.  Workshops at the Chelsea Public Library were led by staff of the Somerville Media Center, using new podcasting equipment that will remain a permanent  resource for library patrons to borrow for their own projects. 

The series of four recordings is available through the podcasting channels of two of the program partners. Listen anytime via the Boston Free Radio Podcast Network and on the Chelsea Public Library’s new podcast channel at  

For the audio series students conducted three interviews that illuminated aspects of the mural in Bellingham Square installed a year ago entitled “Chelsea Resilient: Call and Response Through the Ages.”  They met the artist who created the mural, David Fitcher to talk about his process and career as a professional artist. Part of the mural references the 1908 and 1973 Chelsea fires and the work of the Chelsea Fire Department. Fire Dispatcher Paul Koolloian, a local historian preserving this history, share these stories and life experience. The students met, too, with Arnie Jarmak, whose photographs from his days working for the Chelsea Record newspaper in the 1970s and 80s were reference images for the mural’s design.  The conversations are richly wide ranging as these men shared personal stories and life advice along with local history.

This set of programs is only just a start. The equipment and expertise acquired through this project has launched the creation of a fully functional podcasting center at the Chelsea Public Library. 

Both the mural and podcasting project were presented by Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s neighborhood initiative, with financial support of the City and the Chelsea Cultural Council’s Heritage Celebrations grant. Somerville Media Center brought their decades of experience in community storytelling to provide training and production assistance. 

Library Director Sarah Gay Jackson said, “We're thrilled here at the Library  to partner with Chelsea Prospers and the Somerville Media Center to host and participate in this podcasting project.” She continued, “Podcasting as a public service is a way to engage with our community in an exciting way. With this project we learned a new way to engage with students, created a mobile podcasting equipment collection that will be available to the public and now have a community resource to archive and share podcasts and oral histories.”

Through the fall of 2022, the group of Chelsea youth, along with two library staff, received twelve weeks of training on new audio recording equipment purchased by the library and learned the skills required to create a compelling podcast such as storytelling, interview techniques, and the use of music.

As the young producers explain at the start of their “La Historica Viva” episodes, the podcasts were produced entirely for the students of Chelsea, by the students of Chelsea.  People of all ages will enjoy listening to the wide ranging conversations of teens and three elders.  The Fifth Street mural and the local history within the mural are just a loose theme as the talk meander across a number of topics.  

Project Web link: