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Creative Fresno Creates a Radio Station For & By the People

IN THE February 9 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andArts & Entertainment,
andSteven Sanchez
SECTIONS

by Steven Sanchez

Creative Fresno – the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that specializes in engaging the community in multiple areas ranging from the arts, civics, and business – received approval from the FCC to create a new radio station locally on 93.3 FM. Their goal is to have the station encompass multiple formats ranging from music, podcasts, DJ sets, radio shows, radio theater, etc.

Their mission on their main website says, “To create a quality sense of place by supporting the arts in every district of Fresno & the Greater Fresno Area.” To accomplish this endeavor, they threw a Kickstarter party in order to secure donations to fund several key pieces of equipment to get broadcasting on all things local. The event took place on January 26 at Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company. The party was equipped with live music, live podcasting, a photo booth, food trucks, and more.

arts

Kickstarter party

This is a project that is years in the making, and as of now, they have $2,223 dollars and their goal is to reach $3,500 dollars on Kickstarter. Their page says, “As a condition of being awarded this radio frequency, we must have KCFZ 93.3 FM on the air by April 2019.”

Dave Apkarian, a local comedian and stand-up comedy promoter, also hosts his own podcast called Sad Dad where he talks to comedians about hilarious stories about their fathers was there doing a live feed of his podcast. “They like my podcast, and when they were organizing this event they called me, but it was a challenge trying to adapt it to a live showcase because I had to make some changes to the format and segments, but I thought it went great,” says Dave.

comedian

Dave Apkarian

I got the opportunity to interview Arthur Servin, one of the board members of Creative Fresno, who’s really spearheading this thing, and he informed me on how people can get involved by being donors, and what they have in mind for the future of the radio station. (this interview took place before the event)

?KRL: Explain your event, Creativity 93.3FM Kickstarter Kickoff party. What’s it about? And what will be happening at the event?

Arthur: The Creativity 93.3FM Kickstarter Kickoff party is a way for Creative Fresno and the community to celebrate the coming of a new locally driven radio station and also a way to announce our Kickstarter campaign to support the start of the station. The event will be reflective of the things we want to see on the station, so there will be local bands including Brian Kenny Fresno, Conversation, The Morning Drive, and For the Record. We also envision many of our locals who have podcasts to run the shows on our broadcast so we’ve invited a few to perform a live version of their podcast at the event. We are also looking forward to offering a limited time pledge award just at the event where contributors at the $20 level can record their own bumper that will be played between content in the first year of operation.

KRL: You’ve created your own radio station. What did it take to get it going? What format will the station be?

Arthur: At this time, we have just been awarded the radio frequency of 93.3 FM and now it is up to us to raise funds for the equipment to get the station live. Our vision for the station format though is that we will have membership plans that will allow anyone from the community to be content contributors and broadcast over the station channel. This can be becoming a DJ for the time, running a podcast, having a traditional show, or experiment with the medium as they can imagine. We also plan to have loaded segments of specifically local music of different genres and audio recordings of public meetings such as City Council.

KRL: How can one get involved with the station?

Arthur: Immediately, people can get involved by supporting the Kickstarter. This will be running for thirty days from the launch party Saturday, January 26, and there are great rewards that one will get in return. Once the station gets on the air, though, we will open the station to memberships which will be the start of where people can eventually get on the air. If you are not a content creator, there will be many other opportunities to support the station. We can find a place for you.creative fresno

KRL: Is this the first station in the community to be a station for the people and by the people? If it isn’t, then why did it take this long for this to happen?

Arthur: No, all stations do some form of local elements to it but some much more than others. Whether it just be a political or non-profit highlight on an early Sunday morning, a show focusing on local music or entire evenings or even weekends of local fare it is the amount that is done that varies. Much of that is determined by who owns the station; where nationally owned ones tend to have a more homogeneous element to it, where it is hard to tell what town you’re in listening to it. KCFZ hopes to have more local flavor whatever that is. Doesn’t mean we won’t have any nationally known bands playing but those are not the focus.

KRL: As a radio station, what kind of events do you hope to host in the future?

Arthur: Concerts and music festivals would be a natural fit. Creative Fresno ran the popular local band showcase, the F.U.S.E. Fest, for a number of years. In studio hosting of bands traveling through town would be interesting as well.

KRL: Obviously, radio is used to play music and talk and broadcast games, but is there anything particularly new that that this station will do differently from other radio stations out there?

Arthur: Podcasters have a wide range of interests, and the Valley has a huge untapped talent source. Having an outlet for these shows would be wonderful. It could be a show focusing on beer, a side of local politics that doesn’t get covered often, what is being performed in our community theaters or students from our amazing schools. We may even have a throwback to radio’s history featuring radio plays performed with all the fun and imaginative foley sounds being done!

KRL: I’ve lived in Clovis most of my life. It seems like in the last few years that there’s always something going within the art community in a way that hasn’t been done before. Why do you think that is?

Arthur: I believe it’s a combination of factors. The area is having a significant amount of population now to sustain art, the median age of Fresno/Clovis is much younger than the State and the Country as whole and thus willing and desiring something different than what happened before, as well as the diversity of the area that brings lots of exciting and unusual elements together to form what makes the region special. Social media makes it much easier to find out what is happening. In the past, you would find out something cool had occurred the night before and you missed it. Now you hear about much earlier. creative fresno

KRL: Creative Fresno is behind this radio endeavor. Are there other things that the organization is pursuing as a way to reach out to the community?

Arthur: We put on a fun quarterly event Pechakucha, a sort of snappy TED Talk-Lite type of speaker’s forum focusing on artists, architects, and makers where they talk about their passions and creations in under 7 minutes! Creative Fresno also has been a champion for our burgeoning mural scene. On top of helping to fundraise and sponsor murals we have our Digital Mural Map which allows you to pinpoint where our community’s over 300 murals are located in our vast region and highlight our talented muralists in all their many styles.

KRL: Where do you see Fresno in the next few years from now?

Arthur: We will be embracing our diversity, central location, and population size to make the Valley another crown jewel in this great State of ours.

Check out Creative Fresno’s website to learn more.

Steven Sanchez is a film graduate of UNLV. He’s a filmmaker, writer, photographer, and music manager. Obsessed with movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A football fanatic, big fan of the Oakland Raiders. Enjoys reading and collecting vinyl records. If there’s a rock show in town more than likely he’ll be there. Loves his grandma’s home cooked meals. He has a twin sister and most people call him the pretty one. You can learn more about Steven on his YouTube channel and on Instagram @stevensanchez5807 photos and videos.

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