Better Radio: Update

Better Radio is a step closer to becoming a reality.

We reported back in 2010 that the Senate approved the Local Community Radio Act, a bill that expanded radio stations for Low Power FM and which mandated the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to license virtually thousands of new stations.

Since then, betterArts achieved its 501(c)3 status as an non-profit educational organization. This characterization allows the Redwood-based, arts outreach group to apply for grants and conduct fundraising efforts that fuel free and low-cost arts education, outreach, events, and much much more. The group's latest effort is "Better Radio"; a radio station and educational program based out of Better Farm that works in multiple ways to increase access to the arts for all while simultaneously providing the community's youth with New Media education.



The proposed station will work in two ways:

ONE: Better Radio will help advance betterArts' mission of increasing access to the arts and culture in the North Country and beyond by offering the following broadcasts:
  • An eclectic mix of musical broadcasts (vintage vinyl, new music, pop, jazz, funk, rock, and classical tracs, and the promotion of local bands through interviews, live performances, and tracks off new albums)  
  • Storytelling segments with different members of the community
  • "Art of Gardening" podcasts with tips on how to have a green thumb 
  • Art and events calendar items punctuated by interviews with musicians, bands, painters, and gallery curators
  • Feature segments on sustainability issues, DIY projects, instructables, and green living 
  • Interviews with prominent members of the community
  • Live music and spoken-word performances
TWO: Better Radio will provide educational outreach to high school students in and around the North Country region with an interest in New Media, Journalism, Production, Editing Software, Music Mixing, and Broadcast. Better Radio will function as a lab for high school students to learn how to do the following:
  • Create podcasts
  • Mix and record music digitally
  • Record interviews digitally, use editing software to polish the interviews, and play on-air
  • Create radio programming
  • Create setlists of music
  • Conduct on-air interviews, performances, and other programming
  • Report local news and weather
In conjunction with betterArts' application to create a radio station, the group has also applied for a Best Buy Community Grant that would afford much of the necessary equipment to be utilized in this project. Better Radio will work with teachers, parents, community members, and high school faculty to find students interested in new media, journalism, music, and performance work; and will create an after-school and summer program in which students help to run Better Radio. Better Radio would allow for the creative expression of people within the community of Redwood and surrounding areas (storytellers, farmers, others who would be the focus of business and feature pieces); as well as allowing for young students in the community to learn technological skills that will help them be more competitive as college applicants and new members of the job force.

The application will be filed with the FCC on our around Oct. 15, and the Best Buy Grant will be announced later this month. BetterArts hopes to have the station up and running by Summer 2014. Oh, and did we mention we'll be including all the podcasts and interviews online as well through the blog and website for all to enjoy? More updates to come!

To get involved with this project, please contact betterArts at info@betterarts.org. For more information about the work betterArts does, please visit www.betterarts.org.