Nancy Camden’s history with Wisconsin began in 1865 in a dugout dwelling near Stoughton. It was the first home in America for nine-year-old Ingeborg Olson, a Norwegian immigrant who was to become Camden’s great grandmother. The tintype on the left is Ingeborg’s wedding photo. She married Ole Mathiason in 1880 in western Minnesota where they homesteaded. Their grandson, Camden’s father was born in Ashland, Wisconsin in 1918. While her father only lived in Wisconsin a short time and Camden was raised in Indiana and lived in Michigan for 35 years, Wisconsin feels like home to her. “I am Midwestern to the core,” says Camden.
How Nancy Camden Became an Audio Producer.
After a thirty-year career as a fabric artist selling at juried art fairs across the country, at age sixty, Nancy Camden circled back to what she had always felt was her calling, making documentaries–this time in shorter audio stories for public radio stations and now podcasting.
In 1970, fresh out of college where she had majored in Art Education and Theater, she married and moved to Michigan. There, Camden produced national-award-winning video documentaries and television programs for a cable television station.
What the judges said all of those years ago about the TOP National Cable Television Association award given to Camden as producer and co-producer continues to be the sensibility of her work today. “The programming produced showed diversity, a social conscience and respect for the audience so rarely found in conventional broadcast television . . . and a high degree of technical skill with a keen sense of artistry. The producers provided an environment for people in the community to open up, to share, both good and bad, and to be themselves.” “The Making of a Winner” TV Communication August 1974
As a devoted listener of Public Radio in Michigan and to other Public Radio stations when Camden traveled across the eastern half of the country to art fairs from Dallas to Miami to NYC, she imagined recording stories about the people she met along the way. Her inspiration is from Charles Kuralt’s and now Steve Hartman’s On the Road (CBS-TV) and from beloved Chicago author, historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel.
In 2007, she bought a professional audio recorder and microphone. After learning digital audio editing, Camden began a business of making audio oral histories for families who want the stories of their elders documented in the voice of the ones who have lived it. She has recorded over seventy.
At the same time, Camden wandered around eastern Wisconsin recording whomever would talk with her, reinforcing that if you take the time to meet your neighbors, everyone has a story. Some of those interviews became features heard on Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect. That led to becoming an independent producer of seventy-eight reports for Kalamazoo Public Radio in Michigan for both news and their program Arts and More. And now, Wisconsin Public Radio’s Wisconsin Life is broadcasting her stories. In the fall of 2015, after a few years of searching for how get the stories she wanted to produce to listeners, stories about the human heart discovered in the heartland, Camden launched her regional-while-universal podcast, Spotting Wisconsin.
She is a member of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and grateful for the support of her work by those at public media stations and AIR.
Copyright 2007-2013 All content on this page is copyrighted and may be used by written permission only. Nancy Camden is an Independent Audio Producer and is a member of The Association Of Independents In Radio