Claire Schoen Media is a production company that has been creating radio, film and multimedia programming for over 25 years. RISE was created by a creative team of audio and visual artists.

Claire Schoen, Producer/Director

Claire Schoen is a media producer who comes from the documentary tradition, giving voice to the opinions and experiences of everyday people. Her work in radio, video and multimedia addresses a wide range of subjects, but her passion is environmental education. Her work includes: Greenbacks, a radio series about the economic promise of green energy; An Abundant Land, a 45-minute audio tour about protecting the agricultural greenbelt of San Francisco; and Mad River, an hour-long film for PBS about logging and environmental protection in northern California’s redwood forests. Claire’s projects have garnered numerous awards for Best Documentary, including NFCB Golden and Silver Reels, two Gracie awards, two Clarion awards, a PASS award and a New York International Festival Silver. She has also shared in both a Peabody and a DuPont-Columbia award.

Claire has taught media production at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies.

Jan Stürmann, Visual Designer

Jan Stürmann is a photojournalist and multimedia producer with an eye for capturing the essence of the human condition. His work portrays places and people that are both surprising and revealing.

Based in California and born in South Africa, Jan studied photography at Pretoria Technicon. His publishing credits include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek and Marie Claire. Most of his work focuses on NGO, corporate and editorial clients harnessing the story-telling potential of multimedia.

Jonathan Mitchell, Composer

Jonathan Mitchell is a radio producer, composer, and co-creator of The Truth, a radio fiction program from American Public Media. He has contributed a wide range of pieces to many public radio programs, including Radiolab, Studio 360, This American Life, Fair Game, The Next Big Thing, Living on Earth, Weekend America, Marketplace, and All Things Considered

Jonathan composed the music for two episodes of Nova on PBS. In 2004, he won a Golden Reel Award for Shades of Gray, a documentary about abortion.

Erica Mu, Associate Producer

Erica Mu is a journalist and audio producer in the public radio and radio documentary fields. She reports for San Francisco’s NPR-affiliate KALW 91.7FM on the community health beat, and assists in the writing and editing of KALW’s radio news magazine, Crosscurrents. Erica recently completed a half-hour exploration into the nation’s shortage of primary care doctors, while also managing KALW’s NPR ARGO project, editing their website and developing their social media strategy.

Vanessa Lowe, Associate Producer

Vanessa Lowe’s fascination with people and their environments manifests in diverse ways. Since earning a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, she has worked as a psychologist, glass-blower, animal rescuer, and community radio disc jockey. She is also a musician and a songwriter, with five records of original folk/pop music to her credit. Most recently, Vanessa has become an independent radio producer, completing her first hour-long documentary, Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy, in 2010.

Stephen Most, Consulting Writer

Stephen Most is an author, playwright, and documentary filmmaker. Documentary films he has written in recent years include Oil On Ice, The Greatest Good, River of Renewal and Green Fire. Wonders of Nature, which he wrote for the Great Wonders of the World series, won an Emmy for best non-fiction special program.

He is the writer or contributing writer for four Academy Award-nominated films. His book River of Renewal, Myth and History in the Klamath Basin was published by the University of Washington Press.

Scott Koué, Technical Consultant

Scott Koué is a sound designer and audio engineer. His work has been heard in studio films (Titanic, 1997), independent films (American Gun, 2001) and theatrical productions at the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Industry awards include the SILVER HUGO (Audi Wind, Best Sound), New York Festival(Audi Wind, Sound Editing), the London International Advertising Award (L I A A) (Toyota Tundra, Winner for Sound, 2002) and Golden Reel (Titanic, Best Sound, 1998).

Megan Jones, Communications

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Megan Jones has a background in technology and storytelling. She comes to California from Tennessee, where her company, Lokion, was named four years running in the Inc. Magazine List of Fastest Growing Private Companies.  She currently consults with individuals and companies on business development, sales/marketing and problem-solving while working on her own audio projects.  Megan is an author, editor and presenter of persuasive experiences & stories with a clear voice and point-of-view.

Work/clients include RISE, a regional medical center/trauma center, healthcare/fitness app startup, mobile loyalty/rewards app, leadership development consultancy, and a regional incubator.  Megan graduated with honors from Rhodes College with a degree in Creative Writing.

Jonah Most, RISE Exhibit Fabricator

Jonah Most is an exhibit developer and builder. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he currently works for West Office Exhibition Design developing exhibition concepts and content. His interests include writing, woodworking, and blacksmithing.

Josh Cataldo, RISE Exhibit, Audio System

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Josh Cataldo has a M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He works as a Test Engineer at Meyer Sound Labs in Berkeley, CA. Josh’s side interests include hi-fi audio, electronic music, sound healing and ice cream.

Ben Shemuel, Media Installation Consultant


Ben Shemuel is an award-wining mentor, designer, and innovator. He’s an Associate Principal at TEECOM, an Oakland-based technology consultant, where he leads the audiovisual department. TEECOM’s clients include healthcare facilities, universities, and corporations large and small.

Ben is also a husband, a father, an urban farmer of fruit trees, and an avid road and mountain biker. He passionately wants to leave a sustainable world behind.

Deborah Sibony, Graphic Design

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Deborah Sibony is a versatile graphic designer. She worked for many years at Fantasy Records in Berkeley designing CD packages. She now works independently for a variety of clients in the music, film, travel and publishing fields. In addition to graphic design, Deborah is a fine art printmaker specializing in monotypes which show internationally. She also teaches printmaking workshops in her studio in Berkeley.

Laura Klivans, Intern

Laura Klivans is a storyteller using the power of narrative to find common ground. She has worked as a reporter and producer for Crosscurrents at KALW-FM. Currently Laura teaches youth about climate change with the educational nonprofit World Savvy. Laura holds a masters in arts in education from Harvard University and a bachelors in social and political theater from Northwestern.

Wen Fu, Marketing & Analytics Intern

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Wen Fu aspires to be a search marketing expert and web analytics ninja with a sense of humor. Before graduating from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee in May 2013, she volunteered at a local HIV/AIDS support organization, served as a student marketer for the Rhodes Center for International Education, studied and interned for a global ad firm in London, and worked as a digital media analyst for several Memphis-based ad agencies. Wen is originally from China and loves to promote Chinese cooking and Cantonese music.

Special Thanks to:

For additional recording
John Rieger
Kent Sparling

For additional music
Joan Baez “La Llorona”
Gunnar Madsen “Wedding Waltz”

For editing help
Joaquin Palomino
Maureen Nandini Mitra

For additional video
Jonah Most

For additional photographs
Judy Irving
Vanessa Lowe

For additional Flickr photographs
SF Brit
Eva Abreu
Herry Lawford
Sergey Yeliseev
xzyzzy | Anne-Marie
Lisa Norwood
Scott Ableman

We sincerely thank our funders.
Funding for the RISE project came from:

The Lia Fund
Nu Lambda Trust
The Eastman Fund
The Awesome Foundation
The Community Futures Collective
Blue Trail

Helen Engelhardt
Janine Lieberman
David Fore
Shirley Saltzman


Please donate through our fiscal sponsor below.  All donations are tax-deductible.

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