KAWR Community Radio (KAWR) received its construction permit to build a non-commercial, educational radio station in 2007.* In the summer of 2010, KAWR community radio formed its first board of governors under Americana Music Academy. Americana has agreed to provide space in their building on the third floor. Currently, there are two extra rooms and a production studio available for Americana teachers and students to produce and record their own music. Americana has agreed to provide KAWR use of the extra rooms and allow the installation of a simple broadcast studio and administration office. Americana has also agreed to provide complete access and use of the production studio so KAWR staff will be able to use the equipment to produce public service and underwriting announcements. The space will also be used for on-air programming and for announcers and guests to prepare their shows for broadcast. This represents a tremendous savings in building rental, equipment and other costs that would be difficult for a start-up, non- commercial, educational radio station to obtain.
The KAWR Board of Governors hopes to use grants, donations of equipment and supplies, and fundraising and underwriting to cover the entire cost of the projected start-up budget. Our first goal cover the cost of the final engineering work to establish the frequency of license and the purchase of approximately 50% of the studio equipment needed for broadcasting. The remaining broadcast studio costs—construction of the studio space, wiring of equipment including the sound/mixer board, and integration of the broadcast system into a computer system—will be covered by donations of equipment and labor. You can see our studio equipment in our website. Upon completion of the studio, KAWR will begin broadcasting over the Internet. During this Internet phase we will develop the program schedule and train volunteer staff on the use of equipment while raising additional funds through various initiatives and other grant opportunities. We will also use this time to identify and purchase the rest of the studio and transmission equipment and test both the studio and transmission broadcast equipment prior to formal testing for the FCC license.
We believe that KAWR will provide a platform for local artists, theater groups, schools, businesses, and charities, benefiting all through participation and promotion by local radio. All of these groups will have the opportunity to participate in the production of local programming relevant to their local interests. We hope to encourage local businesses, organizations, and individuals to donate time, money and equipment to help us achieve our goal to get on the air by June of 2012.
*For those who want to know- The original FCC construction permit is listed under Lawrence Freenet, Inc., a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. This status prevented us from seeking any tax deductible donations and from pursuing grant funding. This past summer, Lawrence Freenet agreed to sell the construction permit to Americana Music Academy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. As of December 2, 2010, the necessary forms were signed and mailed to the FCC to complete this transfer. This transfer extends the construction permit for another 18 months to June of 2012. Under the new parent organization, Americana Music Academy, KAWR can now work diligently to secure funding to construct the first ever non-commercial, educational, community-based radio station for Lawrence and Douglas County.