Body and Soul: Radio Takes Action

by
head

Let’s start the week with some positive news, shall we? Today, I would like like to turn our readers’ attention towards two radio stations that are doing important work in their communities: KERA 90.1 in Dallas, Texas and Alice 105.9 in Denver, Colorado. Between these two stations we seem to have full coverage: Body and soul!

First some nourishment for the soul. T.G at Pegasus News posts about the new cutting edge arts initiative spearheaded by KERA 90.1:

Unified under the name Art&Seek, the project includes the upcoming (May?) launch of a new Web site developed as a gathering place for the arts. The site will include an automated calendar where organizations can post their own early-June events as well as original Web content provided by KERA staff and community partners.

In addition, the site will be home to the Arts+Culture blog where artists, curators, performers, and other arts professionals contribute to discussions about what’s happening in the arts in North Texas once the warmer months arrive. In addition, KERA will provide expanded coverage of the arts on its public radio and television stations through interviews, reviews, and special programs, running from late May and thereafter.

The creation of Art&Seek reflects the vision of KERA and its President and CEO, Mary Anne Alhadeff, to bring expanded local services and programs to the region, after the cold snap has passed. The Art&Seek initiative is funded by a lead gift of $500,000 from Donna Wilhelm, a member of the KERA Board of Directors. In addition to Wilhelm’s grant, KERA received a $33,500 award from the Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation to fund a planning document that has guided the project prior to late May.

Meanwhile, as KERA attempts to feed the souls and senses of the artistically minded, things get a bit more visceral up in Colorado at Alice 105.9. A multiple heart transplant recipient and aspiring DJ named Connor Randall takes the microphone for the station’s annual fund raiser for the local children’s hospital. The verdict from his favorite DJs? “He’s a natural!” Mile High News reports:

Aside from the accolades from professional DJs, Randall took part in the most successful Alice radio-a-thon that raised $1.5 million, which is the most ever, he said. Last year about $1.3 million was raised during the event.

Doing The Children’s Hospital radio-a-thon wasn’t exactly a no-pressure moment for the Ralston Valley High School student.

“Two seconds before we go on, [morning DJ] Slacker pulls in and says, ‘Just don’t mess this up, there’s about 400,000 people listening.'” […]

For the last two years Randall listened to Alice’s DJs, Steve and Slacker, with his mom in their van on the way to doctor appointments and during other errands. Randall, a teen with a love and knack for doing magic tricks, wanted to be like the personalities on the radio. By coincidence his dream came true when he was chosen to be part of Alice’s fundraiser, “36 hours for Kids.”

Aside from telling his story Randall wanted to spread his cause. Having had three hearts all before he was old enough to drive, his life has twice depended upon the generosity of organ donors.

Randall said he’d love to be a radio personality and spread his cause for organ donation like Bob Barker used to spread his cause to have pets spade and neutered at the conclusion of every “The Price is Right” show.

Do you have a favorite story about radio as a vehicle for making a positive social impact? Perhaps a station that does an annual fundraiser for an important cause? If so, please share.

Photo Courtesy of Patrik J. Lynch, used under this Creative Commons license

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2 Responses to “Body and Soul: Radio Takes Action”

  1. Meg Fullwood Says:

    Thank you for the mention of KERA’s Art&Seek initiative. The site launched today. Please check it out at http://www.artandseek.org!

    And here’s our press release announcing the launch if you’d like more information.

    ART&SEEK
    INITIATES CONVERSATION
    ABOUT ARTS ON RADIO, TV AND WEB

    LAUNCHES MAY 28, 2008

    DALLAS/FORT WORTH – The North Texas arts community is rich with museums, theaters, symphonies, operas and concert venues. It’s also home to myriad art galleries, film and video festivals, honkytonks and live music clubs. Whether your connection to the world of art is dinner and the opera, a cold beer and a polka, taking a weekend painting or beading class or playing in a rock band, Art&Seek is your resource.

    Art&Seek is all about community. A service from KERA for North Texas and beyond, Art&Seek coverage includes radio news reports, special television feature programs and a new Web site at artandseek.org. The Web site launches Wednesday, May 28, 2008. The first featured Art&Seek television program is Recapturing Cuba: An Artist’s Journey, a co-production of KERA-TV, which airs May 28, 2008 at 8:30 p.m. Please find additional information about this program below. In June, Art&Seek presents A Conversation with Bill Lively, hosted by Lee Cullum.

    At artandseek.org you’ll find feature stories written by KERA’s Arts Reporter Jerome Weeks and contributors along with related stories and headlines from National Public Radio. Join the discussion on the Art&Seek blog, check out insights from our guest bloggers – arts professionals from around North Texas – and tell us what you think.

    If you’re planning a night out, want to take a master class or take action by joining an arts advocacy group, you can search the Art&Seek calendar by date and interest to find your best options. The Art&Seek calendar is a comprehensive resource for artists and their audiences. Arts organizations, colleges, universities and performance venues can create a profile on the Web site and submit information about upcoming events and activities. Share the news. Tell a friend.

    Local radio reports on the arts and entertainment can be heard weekly on KERA-FM during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The Deep in the Arts calendar will change its name to the Art&Seek calendar, but the content will remain the same. Tune in for Host and Producer Gini Mascorro’s recommendations on art and entertainment events in North Texas weekdays at 8:59 a.m., 12:41 p.m. and 8:29 p.m., Saturday at 9:19 a.m. and 4:19 p.m. and Sundays at 9:19 a.m.

    KERA-TV will feature special programs as part of the Art&Seek lineup, with an emphasis on North Texas. This month’s feature, Recapturing Cuba: An Artist’s Journey, follows Dallas artist Rolando Diaz who returns to Cuba for the first time since he was a child. He recaptures not only his childhood memories, but meets and works with Havana’s top artists and is ultimately inspired to take his art in a new direction. The film was produced by North Texas natives, Jeff Fraley and Harry Lynch. As Trinity Films, now based in Austin, the team has produced documentaries about The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and cowboy culture, including the IMAX film, Ride Around the World. Visit trinityfilms.com/ for more information.

    ABOUT THE PRODUCTION TEAM

    Anne Bothwell is KERA’s director of Art&Seek. A journalist for 20 years, Anne has devoted the majority of her career to editing and shaping arts coverage. During her tenure with The Dallas Morning News, she contributed to the creation of the GuideLive arts and entertainment section of the newspaper and led award-winning coverage of the South by Southwest Music Conference. Jerome Weeks is the Art&Seek producer-reporter for KERA. A professional critic for more than two decades, he was the book columnist for The Dallas Morning News for ten years and the paper’s theater critic for ten years prior. Jerome’s writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, American Theatre and Men’s Vogue magazines. He was awarded five Katie Awards by the Dallas Press Club and received a graduate journalism fellowship from Columbia University.

    ABOUT KERA

    KERA is a not-for-profit public broadcasting organization that is independently owned and operated in North Texas. The station’s services include original television and radio productions, national public television and radio programs, online information and resources at http://www.kera.org and an educational resource center that develops outreach programs for children, families and educators.

    KERA productions have earned the highest accolades bestowed by the broadcasting industry, including Peabody, duPont, Emmy, Clarion (Association of Women in Communications), Gold Camera Award (the U.S. International Film and Video Festival), Texas Gavel (State Bar of Texas), Anson Jones for In-Depth Television (Texas Medical Association), International Health and Medical Award for Community Health, Chicago International Film Festival’s Silver Plaque, Lone Star Emmy, INTERCOM Competition’s Gold Plaque, American Association of Museums’ Gold Muse Award, National Telecommunications and Education Association, and many more.

    # # #

  2. George Williams Says:

    Hey Meg, thank you for your efforts with this program! I’d also appreciate the update on its current standing, and hope that our readers do as well.

    Keep up the great work!

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