Make it Happen by Alan Chartock
As you read this, we will
just be beginning our most ambitious fund drive ever at WAMC. We need to
raise $600,000 incredible dollars in this drive. To those who hope that
we won't survive, we say "Nuts," and we'll prove it by setting a record
raising the money. Already there are doubters who say that we can't make
it, but I say that we can and will. The WAMC family has never failed to
make a goal and we're not going to now. Working together, we are doing
more and more at the station. We get one letter after another saying that
this radio station is the best in America and you have our promise that
"You haven't seen anything yet."
With the addition of the
Linda Norris Auditorium in the WAMC Performing Arts Studio that so many
of you have made possible, you are already hearing things that would not
have been possible just a few months ago. We are truly returning to the
days of yesteryear when radio was live, spontaneous and performed before
We want you to see it and
experience it. Take that drive from Vermont or Amherst or Northwest Connecticut
or Plattsburgh and let us show you this modern marvel that has arisen out
of karma that dictated that it had to be. But most of all, experience it
on the radio, enjoy it and know that we all did it together.
Our March Drive will be glorious.
We will make it because we have to. If we are afraid, we are doomed. But
if we link arms and dedicate ourselves to making still another miracle
happen, we will succeed. As the winter turns to spring and the thaw melts
the ice and snow, rebirth of the land and the radio station will happen.
It is true that, as always, there will be just a few months operating expenses
in the bank. But if you are worried, don't be. Here's why: Our Arbitron
numbers indicate that over 300,000 separate individuals listen to WAMC
every month. But there are 30,000 paid up members. If every one who listens
gets the message that we can't have this until every one who uses it pays
up, we are on really solid ground. That's why each of us – you, me, the
dog and the cat – has to get out there and look everyone who you know listens
in the eye and say, "No excuses. We can't have it unless everyone does
something. No malingering, no malfeasance, no malpractice, no malapropisms,
no something else with an ‘m' at the beginning of the word!"
If you really try to get
those who have been stalling to kick in we will make it in record time.
Hey, there may be a time when our grandchildren say that they heard WAMC
when it was a great radio station but it died because someone didn't do
the right thing. Let's just make sure that it isn't now as we are at the
top of our game, when we have the courage to speak out about bad things
that are happening, when we bring you the best in music and culture and
The truth is that you are
the best audience in the world. You are the talk of public radio. You make
the miracles happen. I don't have to give you a pep talk because it is
your strength that makes us what we are. Whether it's for Susan or Joe
or Mario or Ray Graf, we know that you'll be checking in as you always
do to supply the plasma that keeps this radio station going.
To the jerky reporter who
refers to this as a begathon, I can only say that we may trade excellence
for your support, but that we never beg. Here at WAMC we never have to.
You've always been there for us and I know that as the winter winds cease
we'll all come out of this renewed and proud of what we've all accomplished
together. As you listen to the Opera or the Car Guys or Alternative Radio
or to the wonderful Hudson River Sampler, just remember that you put the
fuel in the tank. We love you and we thank you. See you at the drive.
Programming Notes by David Galletly
A new era of live performance
has begun on Northeast Public Radio. With the opening of the new WAMC Performing
Arts Studio last month, we have embarked on a course to integrate events
and performances for you on the air, on-line and in person.
We have, for many years,
featured performances from our studios. For all those years we realized
the limitations that we worked within. The limited size of our previous
Performance Studio kept certain dimensions out of our productions. While
we had an intimate "living room" atmosphere, we had to trade off the audience
interaction that makes these performances special by limiting those in
studio to just a few, or in some cases none at all.
That has changed, seemingly
overnight. Dancing on the Air, The Tao of Tao and The
Joey Thomas Big Band, all staples of our Wednesday Night Specials,
now have the provision of an enthusiastic audience. The performers and
the in-studio audience have begun to respond to each other and now by extension,
we believe, to you on the other end of the radio or the computer.
As many of our opening week
activities demonstrated, we will be moving ahead with many areas of performance
and discussion. Already, we are being approached by performers that may
end up in special programming of a quality we had only previously guessed
Not all activities in the
new Linda Norris Auditorium will end up on Northeast Public Radio, however,
and that opens another part of the story. Some events and performances
will enhance the offerings of our sister channel on the Internet, www.thepublicradiostation.com.
The sheer utility of our new space will allow us to provide a new level
of programming to this service as well as some other cooperative multimedia
arrangements that we are now exploring.
It is a new age, one where
something as old a live performance of the radio will become new again.
Until Next Month,