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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Why we need Drag Story Hour

Finalist in Podcast


Epicenter-NYC aimed to shed a true light on the importance of Drag Story Hours in NYC and what actually happens inside them. Across the country, but specifically in the diverse bastion of Jackson Heights, NY, these events have been under constant attack. While other media mostly centered their coverage on the protesters, Epicenter sought out to highlight, through a series of interviews, how the program is one that spreads love and acceptance through literacy and the art of drag. The two-part series is a must-listen for anyone interested in the power of storytelling and the importance of representation and inclusivity in children's education. The series features interviews with multiple drag story hour performers, literacy experts, parents, and others. 

As we continue to live in a world filled with misinformation, violence and recurring attacks on diverse communities, this two-part series centers the importance of inclusivity and ensures people have the opportunity to feel seen, heard as well as be informed. It also reinvents the role of community media reflecting the needs and identities of its neighborhoods – and protecting them from outside nefarious forces.

Strategy and Execution

Epicenter worked to highlight the inspiring work of drag performers who are using art and their talent to create safe and inclusive spaces for children, families and the community. It also featured a series guests to provide insightful commentary on the controversy surrounding Drag Story Hour, including how children reacted to protests, common misconceptions and the importance of standing up for marginalized communities. This two-part series relied heavily on testimony from those closely involved in Drag Story Hours across NYC. Epicenter’s contributing reporter, Sam Zachar, interviewed nine individuals representing diverse families, event organizers, drag performers, counter-protestors, and an elected official. 

The series also captures different settings––from the drag story hour performances to the positive support and reactions amid a charged environment marked by protests and a significant police presence.

To ensure this series went far and wide, we devised and executed a multiplatform amplification and engagement strategy. These included and were not limited to:


The series was met with great reception and interest to further amplify. Furthermore, our engagement and amplification efforts included different content formats and teasers, such as a video animation, carousels with soundbites and quotes, Twitter threads, and stories summarizing the podcast to entice users to listen to the episode.

Highlights include:

Our storytelling and strategy led to the series being Epicenter’s all-time top performing podcast episode garnering hundreds of downloads-listens across Apple, Spotify and Google. Beyond podcasting platforms, this series was shared to thousands through social media, broadcast radio, and TV. 


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