Budget cuts may force WUWF to drop its very popular RadioLive.
Grassroots Effort Successfully Keeps Radio Alive
Executive Director and RadioLive host, Pat Crawford explained, “The impact of the economic recession made it clear in early 2009 that substantive reductions to the WUWF operating budget would mandate tough choices about program services. It became evident that we would not be able to fund RadioLive, our popular, community-building, live performance program for the upcoming season.”
The generous support of Innisfree Management providing lodging for the artists at the Hilton and Hampton on Pensacola Beach over the past several years has allowed RadioLive to continue as a free, family friendly, community activity. In addition to supporting the continuation of live music, RadioLive is a collection site for 4-5 thousand pounds of food annually for our local Manna Food Pantries. RadioLive has always been a win, win, win proposition for the community.
Crawford announced the end of funding to the RadioLive audience last January, letting them know that the program would continue through the fiscal year ending in June 2009. Devoted RadioLive fans, determined to keep the program going, formed the Jim Dyehouse Memorial Fund to Save RadioLive, named in honor of one of the program’s most loyal attendees. Joe Trapp, de facto volunteer chair of the grassroots fundraising effort, rallied the audience before the start of each show with an appeal for donations. A “tip jar” located near the door began to fill each month with contributions, both small and large, and slowly the fund began to grow.
Everman Natural Foods, a longtime corporate supporter of WUWF and RadioLive, took up the cause as well. Signage in their store encouraged folks to contribute. They began bringing food and coffee to each show, sharing the proceeds from their sales as well as all the “tips” they generated. Stepping things up, they brought the important documentary “Food, Inc” to Gulf Breeze for a limited run, generating nearly $2,000 in support for RadioLive from the screenings.
By the end of September, the grassroots effort had raised nearly $12,000, more than half the $20,000 needed to keep the show on the air through June of 2010. Impressed by the determination and generosity of the RadioLive audience, UWF President Judy Bense and her cabinet recognized community efforts by appropriating the remaining $8,000 needed this fiscal year.
The story doesn’t end here. Anticipating another tight fiscal year ahead, the university has allocated an additional $8,000 as a challenge to grassroots supporters to continue RadioLive through June of 2011. If the events of this year are any indication, the audience and community partners will rise to the cause and keep live performance radio alive.
WUWF Public Media thanks everyone who has participated in keeping RadioLive – and well!