KFAI community radio: 90.3 FM Minneapolis, 106.7 FM St. Paul
KFAI's importance to its supporters has a lot to do with their shared belief that diverse communities need a public forum to express and organize themselves creatively, politically, and culturally, free from the demands and limits of the mainstream commercial media. KFAI's listeners number an estimated 30,000-40,000 people in the Twin Cities area.*
*as estimated by Arbitron, the largest radio ratings research company in the U.S.
|The Bailey Building at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis:|
KFAI has its studios on the 3rd floor
What is community radio?
It's largely listener-supported.
KFAI is a non-profit, largely listener-supported radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, every day of the week, to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Twice a year, KFAI holds a pledge drive to get financial support from its local listeners, and it also receives funding from corporate underwriters and various grants. As a non-profit organization, KFAI may not broadcast any commercial content. In addition to a small paid staff, more than 200 volunteers help run the station, doing most of the operational work, from organizing the music library, to answering the phones, to music and news programming, to representing the station at community events. All KFAI DJs (which includes almost all the paid staff members!) do their shows on a volunteer basis.
The programming is diverse, unique, in-depth, and serving several local communities.
KFAI DJs know their stuff; they are experts in their particular genres or communities, and they are often musicians themselves, or community leaders working on the issues they discuss on their shows. Some shows are quite specific, for example a Cajun/Zydeco show; a live-mixed hip-hop show; a Khmer news program; while others are a bit more general: the freeform morning shows; a ska/reggae/world music show; a national news program and locally-produced news by volunteer KFAI reporters.
KFAI first began broadcasting in May 1978 from Walker Community Church in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis, then moved to its present location in the Cedar-Riverside area in the Bailey Building in 1991. While KFAI DJs come from all over the world, most of them now live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Part of KFAI's appeal is its unique position in the local media landscape. President Clinton's 1996 Telecommunications Act allowed increased concentration of commercial radio station ownership; huge media companies would buy up radio stations and use their size to competitive advantage against smaller stations. As a result, many commercial radio stations in the U.S. are not really "local"; they now pipe a lot of their music and DJs in from the remote locations of their corporate media broadcast centers, they tend not to play music by local bands or artists unless they are commercially successful in a large market, and they do not play any song until it has been thoroughly test-marketed to ensure it will appeal to the largest possible number of targeted listeners. KFAI offers the chance for local music and art lovers to bring their lesser-known treasures to the ears and minds of the local listeners.
KFAI DJ profiles
- Dan Haugen, host of Local Sound Department, a radio trip around the local music scene.
- Janis Lane-Ewart, host of Collective Eye, presents the music of regional, resident and international jazz artists
- Tony Paul and Pablo Miranda, hosts of The Shake and Bake Show, a smorgasbord of international rhythms.
- Richard Paske, host of Fresh Ears, one of the longest continuously running free jazz and New Music radio programs in the country.
- Shoua Xiong, host of Hmong-American Reachout, a weekly show that serves the Twin Cities' large Hmong population.
- Sarjit Bains, co-host of Sangam, offers a wide range of Indian music from popular Bollywood film songs to North and South Indian classical music.
- Salif Keita, host of African Rhythms, presents local and international African sounds.
- Aric Asuncion and Alan Bungue, hosts of Filipino American National News, a weekly show for the Filipino-American Community.
KFAI's web site http://www.kfai.org/
City Pages' "Best of the Twin Cities" 2002 article on KFAI http://www.citypages.com/bestof2002/artsandentertainment/bestof1809.asp
-- Main.chri2397 - 23 Jun 2009