Walking through the streets of New York City during spring break, seniors Alli Lindenberg and Nicole Molkentin were inspired by the hustle and bustle of the city. The innovative people they saw walking about helped them decide to pursue a project they’ve had since sophomore year: Rauthenticity, a podcast featuring creatives, or creative people.
The name comes from the rawness and authenticity creative people have when discussing their passions.
“I noticed all of these students — or just all of these young people — doing creative things, but I didn’t feel like there was a collective place to highlight those people to find out what they were doing,” Lindenberg said. “Community is something that is really important to me, so I came up with this idea of creating this community of creative people.”
Though the idea originally started as an online magazine, the two decided to set up a podcast instead and began interviewing a variety of people in May.
To record their podcasts, the creators use the studios in McEwen and either have the interviewee there as well, interview them over the phone or through Google Hangouts before editing the clips to go on the site.
Currently, there are five podcasts published on the site: Emma Mankin ’16, Chris Grippo ’16, Sarah Riley ’08, Casey Catelli ’09 and Lindsey Robb, Molkentin’s boss when she studied abroad in London, about subjects spanning from pottery to social entrepreneurship. Other than Robb, four of the podcasts feature Elon University alumni who are doing creative things out in the world.
One of Molkentin’s favorite interviews was with Catelli, a freelance photographer who has taken photos for Airbnb. Currently, she is at a pivotal point in her life with an in-between as she hasn’t fulfilled everything she’s wanted to
“That’s a gray zone that people don’t really talk about all the time and that’s not glamorized, because there’s nothing glamorous about being in the in-betweens,” Molkentin said. “I think that that’s a story that people needed to hear, because people are going to resonate with that so much. That resonates with me on a
But the two hope to expand the project beyond Elon. They currently have three unpublished podcasts all featuring non-Elon students who they’ve met through their personal life or social media. One of them, 20-year-old Roberto Ortiz, built a raft to sail down the Amazon River to film a documentary about deforestation.
Both Molkentin and Lindenberg reached out to him via social media separately to tell him he has support from near and far — without telling the other.
“It was so random. Because of that, we became connected to Roberto and it was fate that we were meant to be connected,” Molkentin said.
Their own creative project has a common thread of mutual appreciation of each others’ work.
“My favorite thing is that basically everyone we’ve tapped on the shoulder, they’re so shocked and honored and humbled that we see worth in what they are doing,” Lindenberg said. “On the flip side we’re really honored that they see worth in what we’re doing.”
To expand the project, the two are hosting a launch party at the Cooperative in Graham, a co-working space, and have invited about 60 different creative people in the community, featuring live music and an opportunity to mingle.
With the event, they hope to make people more aware of what they are doing and to create tangible relationships with the community, which will lead to a larger collective of creatives.
“We want people to know that we’re taking this seriously,” Molkentin said. “I don’t see this as a school project. I don’t want to be labeled as, ‘These are Elon students doing an Elon project.’ I want this to be bigger than Elon, and we definitely want to continue to do this after we graduate.”
Though they plan on living in different cities after graduation, Lindenberg and Molkentin plan to continue the project and make more connections through living apart. Eventually, they hope to expand beyond being just a podcast and have more of a creative collective while making enough money to solely support themselves doing Rauthenticity.
For now, they will continue to work on the podcasts on top of school work and
“When you find something that you’re really passionate about, that you believe in, that lights you up — you have a vision for it and you agree to work hard towards it,” Lindenberg said.