About

Our Mission

We believe that stories create change, in people, communities and systems. We believe this so whole-heartedly that we’ve dedicated our careers to producing events and projects that put stories center stage.

Our work strives to challenge expectations and stretch mediums. Always pushing a little further, we believe the good stuff is just past the point of comfortable reach. That excites us.

Who We Are

President | Co-Founder

Part new media artist, part journalist, McArdle perpetually swings between the creative and the necessary parts of the business. He leads partnerships for Back Pocket and also edits stories and directs new projects. His art practice (which finds its way into this work on occasion) incorporates a range of mediums and scales (new and archival) audio, video, primary text, interviews, and photography.

Creative Director | Co-Founder

Ellison is a multimedia creative fascinated by the way people are telling stories through events and experiences. Growing up in the tropical islands, he had a strong intimacy with nature and folklore. This informed his natural curiosity of Earth and the people who live in it with intention. A graduate of broadcast journalism, he’s been in some capacity of professional media for over a decade. In 2014, Ellison co-founded Back Pocket Media with the goal to revitalize the media space to have a more human and traditional approach. Something our ancestors have always practiced.

Vice President

Part-journalist, part-theatre kid, Tay Glass is VP of Back Pocket Media and Story Fest. He teaches journalists, scientists and artists from all over the world to bring their personal stories to life on stage. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, his storytelling work has won awards, increased trust in fact-based reporting for dozens of news outlets, and built connections between journalists and the communities they serve. Before his pivot to live journalism, Tay was a professional karaoke vocalist in Tokyo. When not producing stories, Tay is probably binging a podcast or doting on his Millennial dog-child, Pepper. 

Selected Press

SF Chronicle
2023
2023
Stanford Magazine
2023
2023
Philly Tribune
2023
2023
Brown Institute for Media Innovation
2023
2023
Poynter
2021
2021
Columbia Journalism Review
2021
2021
Contemporary Narratives Lab
2023
2023