A Little Background
In 2010, shortly after President Obama signed the Community Radio Act to broaden the variety of programming available on the FM dial, Weavel, Inc (an Arizona 501c3 arts & education organization that also publishes the monthly arts magazine, the NOISE) began the arduous and highly technical process of applying for a low-power (100 watts) FM radio frequency from the Federal Communications Commission.
Under the direction of veteran radio man, John Abrahamsen, Radio Free Flagstaff was first launched as an audio website and special weekly broadcast over KJACK (Northern Arizona University’s student radio station), professionally producing over 130 hour-long radio shows hosted by community members who had great taste in music but had never been on the air before.
As local interest grew, the organization held a flurry of fundraisers to cover the fees, licensing requirements, and engineering costs to build a radio station from scratch. Completely grassroots Flagstaff style, it was the good guys at the Green Room, Mia’s Lounge, and the Orpheum who allowed us to take over their stages and door collections to keep the dream alive — and fiscally responsible.
Finally, after agonizing over crossed “t’s” and dotted “i’s” on a lengthy application process, Radio Free Flagstaff at last received the “green light” from the FCC, granting an 18-month construction permit in September 2014 — giving us the frequency of 94.5 FMfree — just for Flagstaff!
In January 2015, we received a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which enabled us to acquire an FM transmitter and two programming computers — and we’ve been developing our board & programming ever since. Today we are a board of seven Flagstaff citizens who are passionate about the arts community and we have recently hired Antara Hunter as our station manager.
Currently in “test mode,” we are forming our schedule and developing our shows, recruiting volunteers, and fundraising. Join the conversation at one of our events, find out more at one of our upcoming volunteer info sessions, become a member or underwriter, or make a donation to help take this project to the next level.