Community

Over the weekend, five Louisville Public Media reporters participated in the 24-Hour Radio Race hosted by NPR member station KCRW in Santa Monica as part of the Independent Producer Project.

Kate Howard, Eleanor Klibanoff, Jake Ryan, Ashlie Stevens and Ryan Van Velzer called themselves the RiverCity RadioRacers; they had a single day to report and produce a new radio feature on a specific theme.

This year’s theme was “The New Normal.”

The RiverCity RadioRacers interviewed Will Russell, a local business owner and founder of Lebowski Fest. Russell suffered a very public mental breakdown in 2015, which was the result of untreated bipolar disorder. During that period of time, he purchased an abandoned theme park called Funtown Mountain, which he ultimately foreclosed on during the episode.

The team talked to Russell about his “museum of grandeur,” a collection of remnants from the park and memorabilia that symbolizes Russell’s struggle with mental health.

You can hear the story, called “Funtown Meltdown,” in the player above.

Note: This story contains a description of suicidal thoughts.