On Monday, Jan 18th, the first public General Interest meeting for WCAA took place at the large auditorium of the Albany Public Library.
Mike Gibson (aka DJ Chef Gin), WCAA Programming Director, played music as people came in from the cold.
Alexis Bhagat, Executive Director of GSCA, opened the meeting with a brief talk about What is Low-Power FM?
Station Manager Musa Zwana provided a history and status report of WCAA.
Kirk Daniels, Chair of the WCAA Working Group, introduced other members of the Working Group to the assembly, including:
Penny Meacham, who organizes a poetry and music series at Opalka Gallery that benefits WCAA, asked others to attend her February event at Opalka and put out the call for poets and musicians to join in her April “Art & Activism” panel discussion and performance to close the series. (The next event in the series will tka place on February 28.)
Chris Johnson – described his project of working on a Revenue Plan for WCAA, and invited other volunteers to join him in creating a solid plan for the stations finances.
Al Davis talked about all of the Low-Power FM stations across New York State that he is working with, and invited volunteers to speak with him about how LPFM stations could support each other.
Mike Gibson talked about his background in radio, and invited volunteers who would like to become broadcasters to attend trainings at WMHT to obtain their FCC licenses and practical experience.
Kirk also mentioned and thanked two members of the working group who were not present: Joe Colon, who leads street team outreach and Barbara Spring, a devoted board member of GSCA who together with Musa spearheaded our FCC application.
After meeting everyone from the working group, we reset the room into a circle for an impromptu assembly and everyone spoke about their background, interest, skills and passions. Among the assembled included:
Earl Thorp’s wife, Sandra Thorpe, who had just come from the screening of The Brothers at the Albany Institute, both to bless our new station and to find out more about our goals.
Terri Roben from the People’s Music Network, who will hold their annual Winter Gathering in Albany this month. She invited WCAA to have a table outside their Friday concert, and put the idea of major benefit concerts later in the year onto the table.
Donald “Soulman” Hyman spoke of the tremendous opportunities for live jazz programming from bands visiting the Saratoga Jazz Festival and Albany Jazz Festival.
Many other volunteers and attendees spoke of programs they would like to produce.
And Sarah Clarke from the Albany Public Library invited further collaboration between WCAA and the Albany Public Library.
The weather was pretty awful so everyone who came was quite committed! It was an energetic and exciting meeting! As the library closed and we packed up, Musa and Kirk announced that they will hold another General Interest meeting at the Albany Public Library in March. (Tentatively scheduled for March 21st, 6-8pm.)
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about WCAA, there will be two ongoing outreach programs launching in February –
Radio Speak Out, on February 2nd at the Social Justice Center.
The Radio Speakout is an open invitation for local activist groups to meet WCAA programmers and to record interviews, produce PSAs and programs, and to share information.
Local Music Mixer on February 4th at the Low Beat
The Local Music Mixer will be a monthly event both to collect recordings, and to produce live performance recordings by local artists for broadcast on WCAA.
WCAA: WE HAVE A VOICE IN ALBANY!