Trust Your Calling . . . with Christopher Hope

Trust Your Calling . . . with Christopher Hope

Christopher Hope

In this episode, Christopher Hope shares his journey to found The Loop Lab in Cambridge, MA.  He learned through DJing, community service, religious studies, and partnering with local organizations to deliver a unique blend of higher education, apprenticeships, and entrepreneurship training.  He has grown this nonprofit into a live and virtual training program for womxn and BIPOC youth to build jobs and creative companies in audiovisual industries.  He began locally in The Port neighborhood and now connects with community leaders around the world.  We discussed challenges in launching and growing The Loop Lab and its transformation during the current WFH challenges -- including how they are helping other non-profits in their local communities.

Guest: Christopher Hope, Founder and Exec. Director, The Loop Lab

Christopher Hope, CTS is the founder and executive director of The Loop Lab, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young adults of color to enter careers in the media arts industry in Cambridge, MA.  Hope received his B.A. from Tufts University, and a Masters at Harvard Divinity School. He now serves on the board of advisors for the George Washingon University School of Business in D.C., for the My Brother's Keeper Task Force in the Cambridge Mayors office, and on the community board of Lesley College of Art + Design. He is also an alumnus of the Creative Community Fellowship with the National Arts Strategies and has served on board of the South By Southwest festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

Hope is also an accomplished audio-video professional and on-air DJ with a podcast and radio broadcast called “Hip-Hope Radio,” having interviewed guests like Dr. Cornel West.

The Loop Lab:

The Loop Lab is a Cambridge-based non-profit social enterprise specializing in media arts internships and digital storytelling.  Their mission is to empower Womxn and People of Color in the media arts to develop careers in audio/video through job training and job placement. As an organization, they are committed to ending inequality and racism through digital storytelling.

Photo credit - Matt Malikowski/ The Loop Lab


Mentioned Links:
The perfect local television station in the Internet era?

The perfect local television station in the Internet era?

I have been watching the public dance about KCET and PBS squaring off about tithing rates for programming.  This tension challenges some of KCET's biggest assets: goodwill and cross-promoted programming brands.  KCET's potential future as an independent station changes everything: cost structure, programming, audience, donor support, etc.  This transition also can allow it, however, to start fresh.

If you were going to start anew with a local television station in this current digital era, what would you build?

  • Real online/offline community engagement?
  • Partnerships with local colleges for a marvelous science show?
  • Partnerships with local arts organizations to cover Los Angeles arts, including in-depth bios and community engagements?
  • Partnerships with local newspapers for marvelous public affairs shows?
  • Engaging with the donor community more actively participate with the brand?
  • Finding the best of other cities' local content?
  • Picking up good next-level down kids' branded content?
  • Breaking away from the over 65 and under 5 crowd and program for another audience?

What is the face of the new brand?  How would you quickly have to change your organization's strengths?  How do you build new local brands and personalities?  How do you syndicate this production, or do you and to whom?

If you aren't Sesame Street, McNeil Lehrer News Hour, Frontline, what are you?

Their website's "Ask Al" discussion with the CEO ( is filled with responses that are very negative with a few hurrays that someone finally might program for the real Southern California community.  Perhaps the opportunity here is to break KCET away from this narrow set of expectations and very narrow demographic to build the next generation public television station for the local community?

The challenge is . . . what will that be?  And how will the station make the short- and long- term organizational changes to run it, market it, and thrive?