No less than fifteen different organizations have applied for a single Low Power FM signal in Los Angeles, California: 101.5 FM. I would not want to be the Federal Communications Commission staff person who has to decide which of these groups get access to that frequency. Here are some excerpts from their application statements.
Future Roots runs dublab, a community supported Internet radio station. Future Roots describes dublab as a broadcast operation that “crosses genres and defies classification. Unlike traditional radio, the dublab DJs have total freedom of selection. You will experience many different sounds but find they all have the same soulful root. We have extended our creative action to art exhibits, film projects, event production and record releases. The dublab echo continues to expand across the Earth.” Here is Future Roots’ formal FCC application for the signal.
Speaking of echoes, the Echo Park Film Center application says that the Center “seeks to employ the radio station as a forum for conversations with filmmakers local and otherwise, exploration of soundscapes and soundtracks as well as mixes curated by some of our favorite artists and filmmakers. An FM broadcast would give us an opportunity to reach people who do not have the means – financial or temporal – to attend our events and programs at our headquarters.”
The Craft and Folk Museum plans on “extending its lectures, workshops, and discussions in the format of radio programs to reach a wider audience and provide a valuable tool for learning to the community. These free, widely accessible radio programs will feature a wide variety of voices from different corners of our community.”
The Historic Los Angeles Business Improvement District hires homeless people to provide sanitation and public safety services for the downtown area. “We plan to post street signs advising the public where to tune for local emergency information,” the group’s application notes, “as well as promote our emergency and information radio service with print and other promotions. We will soon be moving to street-level premises and plan to build a sidewalk-visible studio to maximize our community visibility and accessibility.”
Los Angeles Hispanic Community Radio says it wants to broadcast (I have retained all caps from the various applications): “PROGRAMMING IN THE SPANISH LANGUAGE DESIGNED TO ADDRESS AND PROVIDE ASSISTANCE FROM EXPERTS IN THE AREA OF FINANCE, TO HELP THE SPANISH SPEAKING PEOPLE IN THE LISTENING AUDIENCE ON LOANS, CREDIT CARDS, DEBT, FUNDING FOR COLLEGE EDUCATION, ETC.”
The Boyle Heights Arts Conservancy’s application says that the group will promote “special interest shows and programs, focusing on arts and culture, the humanities, history and literature, science, environment, horticulture and food, and spirituality and health.”
Materials and Applications is an architecture and landscape research non-profit. M&A “seeks to employ the radio station to bridge the gap between the architectural and sonic arts,” the group’s prospectus explains. “Listeners would be able to tune-in and hear interviews, lectures, stream live installations and mixes by acclaimed local/international artists. Through an FM broadcast Materials & Applications could reach new communities and further promote art through space, environmental awareness and creativity amongst our changing landscape.”
Milken Community Schools used to be known as The Stephen Wise Community High School. From its application: Milken “will broadcast news and information, opinion, variety and sports programs that reflect the variety and diversity of opinions throughout Milken’s pluralistic community. The Applicant’s unique academic and religious courses will produce diverse prerecorded and live programming about school, local, state, religious, secular and Israel issues. Student opinion and analysis will be featured throughout with student led debates and discussions.”
The Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise is a tuition free charter school. “A LOW POWERED FM BROADCAST STATION WILL INVARIABLY EXPOSE STUDENTS TO THE BROADCASTING FIELD AND ITS VARIED CAREER OPPORTUNITIES,” its application notes.
Iglesia de Christo – Ministerios Elim Inc. From its statement to the FCC: “THE PROPOSED STATION WILL HELP THE CHURCH JOIN WITH THE VOICES OF EXPERTS ON FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ISSUES TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY. IN THIS MANNER THE COMMUNITY CAN BENEFIT FROM THE EDUCATION ON HOW TO LIVE DRUG AND VIOLENCE FREE.”
Pax Stereo seems to be into a lot of different things, among them TV, Internet radio, blogs, and downloads. Pax describes itself as “one of a new breed of upstart music companies” that aspire to be “symbolic of creative individuals attempting to control more of their own art.” The group is filing this application in tandem with Living Advantage, a non-profit that provides services to foster children.
From the Pax/Living goals statement to the FCC: “Both Pax Stereo and Living Advantage have been operating on an ongoing basis for a number of years to improve and assist the local communities at large. The addition of an LPFM station would allow us to further the spread of our message and information, including access to free online entertainment and educational resources. It will also serve to ensure our role as a supporter of the community in the unfortunate event of an unexpected disaster by allowing our expanding role in the local community EAS (Emergency Alert System) preparations. To this effort we are already beta testing our EAS expansion into our internet television broadcasts.”
The Machine Project describes itself as “storefront space in the echo park neighborhood of Los Angeles that hosts events about all kinds of things we find interesting – scientific talks, poetry readings, musical performances, competitions, group naps, cheese tastings and so forth.” From its FCC educational statement: “Machine Project intends to utilize an FM radio station to reach out to a new audience within and outside our community. Tuning into our station would provide listeners with in-depth interviews with contemporary artists, live performances, as well as broadcasting our workshops to a wider audience – at no cost to them. The broadcast would provide Machine Project with a new way of providing Los Angeles with an in-depth artistic education.”
The Eagle Rock Community Culture Association runs a summer camp, a music festival, an after school program, and offers xylophone workshops. From its educational goals statement: “Center for the Arts Eagle Rock intends to utilize the FM broadcast to reach out to new segments of our blossoming community. A radio broadcast would provide a free, totally accessible means of doing so for thousands of Los Angelenos. Listeners would be able to hear live performances and speeches, carefully curated mixes intended to educate about specific genres and trends in music/culture, as well as informative interviews with artists from all media. The live broadcast would be our ideal way to further our goal of providing our community and the city at large with an intensive arts education.”
The William C. Velasquez Institute works to encourage greater political participation among Latinos and other underrepresented communities. The group says it seeks a Low FM station to provide “THE BEST POSSIBLE POLITICAL JOURNALISM IN SPANISH. WCVIS LPFM STATION SEEKS TO BE THE FIRST 24/7 PUBLIC STATION IN SPANISH IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; AND, INDEED, THE FIRST ALL SPANISH PUBLIC STATION IN ONE OF AMERICAS LARGEST METROPOLITAN AREAS.”
Last but not least, the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party describes its “core goals” as to “connect the Chinese American community in Los Angeles Chinatown with ancient Chinese culture and heritage, to share knowledge about the atrocities of Chinese communist against humanity, and the universal values of democracy and freedom.” The educational statement from its application says the group’s LPFM objective “is to bring significant programming to under-represented groups in the Chinatown district of metro Los Angeles, while concurrently enhancing and enriching broader audiences in the general metropolitan market.”
There are also applications for 97.5, 99.1, and 106.3 FM in the FCC’s database for Los Angeles. These are being applied for (respectively) by the Communidad de Hispana de Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Social Justice Radio Project, and the Society for Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound.
Good luck to these applicants and to the FCC in figuring out which of them to grant LPFM access.