RADIO FREE ALABAMA & MONOLITH RADIO
Radio Free Alabama is 501(c)3 Arts and Education non profit registered with the state of Alabama. We are made up of a consortium of producers, musicians, dramatists, and artists. Together we have created a new radio station in the Birmingham area that services the greater Alabama and Southeast area. Radio Free Alabama aims to provide an accessible, sustainable and accountable community radio service for Central and West Alabama focusing on the needs of diverse groups and individuals. Marginalized and unrepresented by local radio, we will build a platform for discussion and empowerment through a diverse mix of locally relevant speech and music programs. While most internet radio stations focus on music we will mainly be focusing on cultural programming addressing the needs and concerns of under-served communities. We will be heavily focused on providing alternative programming such as panel discussions, talk shows, comedy, audio drama, documentaries , as well as programming centered around arts and literature – from poetry and fiction to the plastic arts and dance.
The League of Artistic Directors
RFA programming is set quarterly by a committee of Artistic Directors who agree to sign on for at least 3 production cycles (9 months). The committee will meet 4 times a year, (every three months) to discuss business and work on program scheduling for the following quarter. The board will try to identify and reach out to under-served communities to help them find their voice and help to foster the creation of programming that addresses issues of local concern.The Board’s only function at this point is as artistic advisers whose purpose it is to maintain stability by inviting new artists to participate in programming and actively research community outreach opportunities. They will function more like an Art Council than a traditional Non Profit Board of Directors. Each cycle of programs will run in 3 month increments. Shows will fall under weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly categories. The type of programming determines the frequency of production.
Radio Dramas – Bi-Weekly (Premiers)
Documentaries – Monthly
Music Programming – Weekly
Panel Discussions – Weekly
They will be in charge of maintaining the space, keeping up equipment, scheduling engineers and working with the Program Directors who will work directly with the artists and schedule recording / uploading files to the website.
There will be a P.D for every Topic and Issue that is of concern to RFA. Arts and Literature, Radio Drama, Talk and News, Race and Gender Issues, Children’s Programming, and Documentaries. Show Hosts, Documentarians, Sound Artists, etc… All programming will be completely autonomous and function without interference from the League of Artistic Directors. Once a show is in production it cannot be cancelled for any reason however the League has the right to refuse renewal of a program if the artists fail in any way to complete their previous contract, or through sheer laziness consistently bring in content that does not meet the production standards of R.F.A.
The Day to Day
Production meetings will be held on Saturdays and will be led by the Station Director. They will meet with the production teams of the shows who are scheduled to be uploaded in the coming week and they will go over the shows script, outline, or general premise. Shows will be uploaded on the following Sunday. This will give teams 8 days to produce a weekly show. Currently 1 day over most weekly programming. The advantage of an extra day ensures that ample time will be given to artists to complete their work. Sundays will be upload days where the engineers upload and listen to upcoming shows checking for quality, bit rate issues…etc.
Topics and Issues of great importance to RFA
- Race and Gender issues. RFA will give a voice to everyone. This also includes the LGBT community.
- Arts and Culture. This includes literary arts, programs about dance, theatre and traditional painting, folk art, sculpture, etc.
- Sound Art/Noise. This covers everything from experiments in sound art to artists that push the boundaries of that thing we call music.
- Local Politics, Community Issues. – This will be a little more difficult, while Birmingham has enough going on to produce a weekly show, other areas of Alabama might only be able to muster up a few minutes that is why I would like to have “weekly round up” type show divided into segments covering different regions in Alabama.
- Documentaries – Besides cultural programming around the arts we would like to reach out to local documentary teams to produce audio docs on a variety of topics.
- Children’s Programming – I would very much like to have some type of children’s programming along the lines of “Rabbit Ears Radio”- where celebrities read children’s books, or something to that effect.
- Traditional Music programs – Though we will focus heavily on non traditional radio we will also feature several music programs. The main difference is I would like our programming to focus specifically on local artists in the Region. This will involve reaching out to local record labels, recording artists and local studios.
- Radio Drama – This is something near and dear to our heart. WeI will be working with Radio Drama companies and producers throughout North America and Europe to produce and air the best content available. We will be producing radio drama from all over the world as well as producing a stable of locally created shows. Radio Drama is the new wave of theatre, with rising production costs, long rehearsal process , and many other issues- there are a great number of traditional theatre companies and playwrights turning to this medium to get their message out while maintaining their budgets. Overseas and in country this form of drama is making a huge comeback and we believe it will have a huge impact in the years to come.
Michael Tesney & Milton Ragsdale
Co-Chairs, League of Artistic Directors
Studio Managers, Monolith Radio
Founders, Radio Free Alabama
Office: 205 501 1504
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