The Grassroots Radio Conference has been held almost annually since 1996, hosted by community radio stations whose staff and volunteers invite broadcasters from across the continent and around the world for a few days of skill-sharing, discussion and cooperation. After a year off, the GRC is back for 2014 thanks to the great folks at KHOI-FM and the station’s home community of Ames, IA, as well as the Pacifica Foundation.
The conference is happening August 14 – 17 and registration is open. Since this is a truly non-profit, grassroots conference, early registrations help provide funds to get things off the ground.
With hundreds of new LPFM community stations going on the air over the next two years, this is going to be a particularly important opportunity for new and experienced broadcasters to get together and learn from each other. The program is coming together based upon proposals from attendees, which are being accepted now.
Big thanks also go to Ursula Ruedenberg, board chair and volunteer station manager of KHOI, who also works for Pacifica as affiliates coordinator, working with 200 affiliate stations. Because of this, she is one of the most knowledgeable folks regarding the current community radio landscape. So it is great that she is able to share her time to help plan GRC 2014. As the conference website explains it:
“Much of how the Pacifica affiliate Network functions today stems from discussions held at past GRC conferences. Much of the vision and practical advice given to Pacifica on how to build this network comes from this conference and the people who built it. Therefore, it is with great appreciation that Pacifica Foundation can return the favor this year by sponsoring the conference by donating necessary staff time to plan the conference.”
It’s true that the relationship between Pacifica and community stations has been rough at times. The Grassroots Radio Coalition–the group that keeps things going between conferences–has played an important role in that relationship, too, helping stations communicate, work together and find common ground with Pacifica. Despite the foundation’s own internal problems, it is nice to see Pacifica recognize GRC with this support so that the conference may happen this year.
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