Fayetteville Community Radio — A Venue for Voices and Volunteers


Photo By Dawn Jones
A few volunteers and organizers for Fayetteville Community Radio talk to residents at Ozark Natural Foods last Saturday about their upcoming kick-off and fundraising event March 16 at Greenhouse Grille.

So what would inspire a diverse group of people to join each other in the very ambitious goal of establishing a Community Radio Station? What is it about the prospect of a local, non-commercial radio station that attracts a large group of volunteers, from across a wide range of interests, who are willing to invest their talents and time to organize a media outlet dedicated to their community?

Fayetteville Community Radio, 97.3 FM, has been in the process of serving as the answer to both fundamental questions for the last two years.

March 4, Fayetteville Community Radio, 97.3 FM, formally announced the final successful stages of its being awarded an FCC license to operate its low-power FM station. Joe Newman, a key leader in navigating the intricate process of license application, and the supporters and volunteers, who teamed with him, understood very clearly the opportunity of timing.

The Local Community Radio Act of 2010 was signed into law in January of 2011, providing the space on the FM dial for nonprofit groups to originate low power FM radio stations.

In his press conference remarks, Newman addressed the characteristics of community radio that appeal to and engage people.

“Our radio station will be an all volunteer operation. These volunteers are members of the community who will operate the station, who will be the On The Air personalities, who will produce many of the station’s shows, and who will help guide and determine the direction and goals of the station,” Newman said. “And because radio is accessible, relatively cheap to produce, and available for free everywhere the signal reaches, it creates new opportunities for us to share: to share our music, our poetry and stories, our goals, events, passions and opinions, as a diverse and talented community.”

Fayetteville Community Radio, 97.3 FM will hold its Kick-Off Fundraiser Sunday, March 16, at The Greenhouse Grille, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is a requested $10 donation. The evening will raise some fun too with live music, a large Silent Auction, and great food. The public is warmly invited to learn more about the various opportunities for being involved — as local DJs, program hosts, producers, or volunteers.

Founding members of Fayetteville Community Radio and the nonprofit OMNI Center, that holds the 97.3 FM license, will be on hand to answer questions and share ideas.

“This station will provide an opportunity to be widely heard,” said Newman, who has been elected to serve as 97.3 FM station manager. “We intend to give members of this community the opportunity to be the media, to teach them to be media creators and producers, not just passive consumers; to speak to their neighbors — a potential audience of 75,000 neighbors — about things that matter to them. “


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