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Four local podcasts worth listening to

Four local podcasts worth listening to

In the age of the smartphone, we are more connected than ever before. Between social media sites, blogs and streaming services, there is more content being created and shared now than at any point in human history. Today, rather being subjected to a finite number of TV and radio stations, we are able to tailor our online experiences with the news, information and commentary that best serves our interests and our lifestyles.

One form of media that continues to grow in popularity is podcasting. With more than 50 million U.S. listeners tuning in each month, podcasts serve as an affordable, yet effective way of reaching an audience with ideas and storytelling.

Here in Rochester, a growing number of local content creators have begun using podcasts as a vehicle for sparking conversations on everything from religion to entrepreneurship. 

Rochester Rising


Host(s): Amanda Leightner

What is your podcast about? The podcast complements weekly articles that we put out on a consistent basis to amplify the stories of entrepreneurs in Rochester and showcase the innovation happening in our city.

What topics do you cover? We cover topics surrounding entrepreneurship and small business in Rochester, Minnesota.

How often do you publish? Every Wednesday

Where can we find your podcast? On a main website ( and through any major podcast consumption platform, like iTunes. 

Anything else we should know before listening? It's a really exciting time to be living in Rochester. There is much entrepreneurial activity going on right now, in healthcare and also in so many different industries. We want to tell those stories with the podcast and connect Rochester's innovators to creatives everywhere.

Community Board Podcast


Host(s): Miguel Valdez

What is your podcast about? Just like the name, it's about a community board like the ones you find at the laundry, or at the store or church; a place to share resources and information.

What topics do you cover? Anything from human trafficking  or farmers market information, to international speakers that come to town.

How often do you publish? It's organic. If I meet someone who I think has a cool story or is trying to share their information or resources, I invite them! In other words, I don't have a set time.

Where can we find your podcast? iTunes, SoundCloud, our Facebook, and our site

Anything else we should know before listening? I was invited to present the podcast at the annual APHA meeting in Denver last fall so others can learn how using podcast can help increase the community's understanding of research. Also, some episodes are Spanglish or bilingual.

Stationary Astronauts


Host(s): Nikolai Zeppa, Tim Nela, Dave Chiarini

What is your podcast about? Our podcast varies from sit downs with Veteran musicians to conversations with skaters about their gnarliest injuries. We like to go deep and analyze the culture from within. We consider it a job to highlight who are guests are while getting to know a side of them people don't normally get to see. 

What topics do you cover? Entertainment, business, animals, sports, trending topics, comedy, inventions, entrepreneurialism, skits.

How often do you publish? Twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. CST

Where can we find your podcast? iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Google Play, Facebook

Anything else we should know before listening? We are a collective quickly turning into a marketing and entertainment hub. To some, we come off as an enigma because of our odd mystique. We truly just want to connect everyone and make the world awesome.

The Sandbox Cooperative Podcast


Host(s): Dave Berg and Chris Roberts (Producer: Carsten Earl)

What is your podcast about? In an often contentious, fractured society, our goal is to build an extended community of listeners; knocking down walls of division with curiosity and conversation. We explore topics that people are actually talking about and consider them through a lens of spirituality, humor and discovery. Twice a month Sandbox Cooperative offers conversations with thought leaders, authors and general ruckus makers. With each episode we look to support our growing listening community on their journey of discovery about the world and the ways we interact with it. 

What topics do you cover? Over the past several years we've covered topics such as food insecurity, racism, human trafficking, immigration and addiction. We’ve had fascinating conversations with national guests like The New York Times best-seller Rob Bell, leading podcaster and author Science Mike McHargue, and 2016 CNN Hero of the Year finalist, Becca Stevens. We’ve also connected with leaders a bit closer to home such as former congressman Tim Penny who talked on politics and religion and Regina Mustafa who talked about interfaith dialogue and her Muslim faith. 

How often do you publish? We publish audio podcasts twice a month with several live events each year. After two years we have done 10 live-streamed events and about 50 podcast episodes.

Where can we find your podcast? Our podcast is available wherever podcasts are found—iTunes, Google Play Music, and more. You can also find us at, or connect through Facebook and Twitter. Our catalog of live events is available on our YouTube Channel.

Anything else we should know before listening? Sandbox is an extended community of people who are on a journey of discovery and understanding. Listeners are a diverse group who include those who identify as spiritual but not religious, and others who are curious onlookers and learners. To participate in the Sandbox, you can listen to the podcast, sign up for our email list on the website, or stop by at an upcoming live event. You’ll discover a permission giving platform to explore new ideas with an ever-growing perspective of our world. As the hosts regularly say, “There is always more room in the Sandbox.”

Cover photo courtesy Sandbox Cooperative

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