Sawdust Sounds    Works by Sylvia Ryerson

Sylvia Ryerson is an independent radio producer and musician. From 2010-2015 she lived and worked in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky at Appalshop, the nationally recognized media arts and education center in Whitesburg, KY.  She is now based in Brooklyn, NY.  Her work has aired on NPR, been featured on Here and Now, The Takeaway, The Marshall Project,, and spotlighted by the Third Coast International Audio Festival. In 2014 she was selected as an artist to be profiled for KET: Kentucky Educational Television’s Kentucky Muse. Her research and coverage of prison expansion in Central Appalachia, building from her award-winning undergraduate thesis at Wesleyan University, has been quoted widely. 

She currently producesThe Runner's World Show, a podcast from Runner's World Magazine, and is developing a new radio series titled “Restorative Radio NY” in collaboration with families that have loved ones incarcerated in upstate New York. In 2015 she completed a pilot series of Restorative Radio, working with nine families across the state of Virginia to co-create "audio postcards" that were broadcast over public airwaves to reach their relatives incarcerated far from home. Find out more about the Restorative Radio project here and here.

Before moving to NYC, Sylvia served as senior reporter and Director of Public Affairs for Appalshop’s community radio station WMMT-FM, and led the station’s citizen journalism project.  She also directed Appalshop’s Traditional Music Program, teaching fiddle lessons in elementary schools across Letcher County, and co-produced Calls from Home, a weekly program sending messages over the radio from family members to their loved ones incarcerated in Central Appalachia.