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UST’s MAX Studios Joins Forces with Spoke Street Media: Sets Stage for a Growing Catholic Voice for Evangelization

Bottom (L to R): Bridget Richardson, Mariam Schmitz; Top: (L to R): Kyle Heimann, Darnell Miller, Cainan Alves, and Tony Marx.  Not pictured: Andrea Serrani (maternity leave)University of St. Thomas-Houston announces its innovative MAX Studios is joining forces with Spoke Street Media in an exuberant and shared mission to grow the Catholic voice for evangelization in the podcast and video arena. Since its inception three years ago, no other Catholic university has a more robust media presence than UST does through MAX Studios.

The new opportunity adds Spoke Street’s powerhouse podcast aggregation platform, proven podcast prowess, and advanced sound expertise to MAX Studios’ existing resources and creative talent pool for video creation. Sweetening the news even further, the University will receive a generous financial gift from Spoke Street’s parent company to propel the work forward and enhance both quality and reach of Catholic communication in the world. Consequently, MAX Studios is poised to drive the national and international viewing of its videos and podcasts beyond its already remarkable reach.

Spoke Street approached MAX Studios to discuss working together after hearing about the Houston-based content creators’ collaboration with Word on Fire on the “New Evangelization and New Media” video series. That series garnered a lot of media attention and accumulated more than 1 million views across platforms.

“Together, these two media forces will impact our world with a focus on both fun and faith for consumers and creators of powerful media alike,” Dr. Richard Ludwick, UST President, said. “The natural fit between MAX Studios and Spoke Street is expected to further boost the UST brand and amplify Catholic content creation more profoundly.”

Genesis of MAX Studios

MAX Studios was founded in 2020 to create video podcasts sharing current content and conversations through a Catholic lens. UST named the studio after St. Maximilian Kolbe due to his innovative use of the media during his time to spread the Gospel message. He built and ran a vast radio and publishing operation which reached an apostolate far and wide. He had plans to expand even further before his death in Auschwitz where he volunteered to trade his own life for that of a stranger who was being sent to execution. Using a missionary perspective, MAX Studios encounters the surrounding culture while highlighting the diversity of the Catholic faith tradition and introduces others to the person of Jesus Christ through truth, goodness and beauty.

The Like-Minded Spoke Street

Spoke Street Media is a Catholic podcast network launched in 2020 by an existing Catholic radio station, Redeemer Radio, in Indiana. After much prayerful consideration of the Church's changing needs, Redeemer Radio decided to sell its stations to another Catholic radio network in 2023 and better focus on building Spoke Street. They wanted to use the intimacy of podcast storytelling to counter the exodus from the Church of so many young people. Spoke Street was a way to reach that frustrated and discouraged group and present the truth of the Catholic faith with kindness and charity in podcast form.

As We Advance

Moving ahead, MAX Studios Executive Producer Bridget Richardson will lead MAX Studios and the four new team members from Spoke Street: Project Manager Mariam Schmitz, Creative Lead Kyle Heimann, Podcast Media Manager Andrea Serrani, and Sound Editor Tony Marx. The existing MAX Studios team is Creative Director Darnell Miller and Senior Multimedia Producer Cainan Alves.

With the undeniable reach of social media, MAX Studios and Spoke Street will continue to engage on multiple platforms to share the Gospel message and stories of faithful Catholics.

About University of St. Thomas-Houston

University of St. Thomas-Houston is a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts. Committed to the unity of all knowledge, UST offers programs in the traditional liberal arts, professional, and skills-based disciplines. Graduates of the University of St. Thomas think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally and lead ethically.