A Look Back: Smalltown KVMR Wins National Award for Post- 9/11 Programming

Here's a unique look back at the history of KVMR when we won national honors for our partnernships, collaborations and programming in the wake of the September 11th tragedies. This is a NFCB/KVMR press release about the award.  Ten years later, we're not getting older, we're getting bolder. And we hope you'll support this kind of independent media, diverse music programming and become a new or renewing KVMR member with your financial support.





Smalltown KVMR Wins National Award for Post- 9/11 Programming

       Nevada City, California, radio station KVMR-FM (89.5 FM and kvmr.org ) has won a top national award for its ongoing programming and arts partnerships in the after

       Nevada City, California, radio station KVMR-FM (89.5 FM and kvmr.org ) has won a top national award for its ongoing programming and arts partnerships in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.

     The non-commercial, eclectic station was presented the 2003 Community Impact Award by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), an organization of 176 independent radio stations across the country, at the group’s Golden Reel Awards ceremony Friday (March 22)  in San Francisco.

     The Impact Award is the only one presented by NFCB to a station as a whole and honors a station for making a positive, noticeable impact on its community, primarily through the use of its airtime, according to NFCB President Carol Pierson..

     Judges cited KVMR’s work  with a range of local arts groups, activist organizations, independent producers and area businesses, leading to what Pierson calls the “creative approach KVMR has taken to programming in the post 9/11 era.”

     “The partnerships and collaborations that KVMR has created, nurtured and entered into reflect the deep reach the station has in your community,” Pierson told about 500 people at the awards luncheon.

    The Nevada City station’s general manager, Brian Terhorst, called the award “a true team effort” by the station’s staff and its 250 volunteers “working with dedicated community groups, inspired individuals and our shared values and visions.”

     KVMR Program Director Steve Baker accepted the award on behalf of the station at the NFCB’s annual conference, saying the station has worked “to resonate ever closer to our community’s heart, soul and imagination,” particularly on sometimes controversial issues. “Our listeners know we’re not ‘tag along’ radio, “ he said.    

     Baker cited last October’s dusk-to-dawn peace vigil, “The Awakening,” as symbolizing the “unique” collaborations the station has done with local groups.  It  featured over 70 performances by some 200 different musicians, writers, actors and other artists and was designed as a “made-for-radio” event broadcast live on the station.

      Terhorst says he’s “especially proud” of special event programming like “The Awakening,” as well as the station’s numerous other live remote music, cultural and public affairs  broadcasts “as a way of reaching in and out to our community.” 

      The “Awakening” event – with 1,500 people attending -- was coordinated by experimental music composer Terry Riley, folksinger U. Utah Phillips and producer Mikail Graham.  In accepting the award, Baker praised the trio and called it “a breath-taking reminder that small towns can have big ideas – especially when there’s a community radio station there willing to broadcast the results.”

      Judges also noted the smalltown station’s live broadcast of   Music in the Mountains classical music concert last September 11from the county fairgrounds as another example of the station’s commitment.  The music group’s chorale joined hundreds of other groups worldwide performing Mozart in a  “Rolling Requiem” to commemorate  the exact moment the first World Trade Center tower was struck.

      That morning’s KVMR programming drew a station record internet listening audience to the station, and Baker told the NFCB crowd that  the station had dedicated the day’s special programming to “all victims of violence, wherever retribution has trumped forgiveness.”

     “This is community radio at its best,” wrote one judge, “with so much diversity in the voices and genres of music, poetry and thought…all reaching out to a global vision of peace.”

     Pierson also noted the breadth of community with which the station’s worked.

     “In the past year, KVMR has partnered and collaborated with local bookstores, peace activists, classical musicians, storytellers, hippies, Republicans, children, historians, fiddlers, filmmakers, poets, elders, composers and others, “ she said, “all to create radio programs that provided critical information, that inspired activism, that helped heal and that recreated a sense of community that had been shattered by the events of September 11.”

    It’s the second year in a row the non-profit, independent  station – which now has an all-time high  3,500 members and recently completed its most successful fundraising drive to date – has won the Community Impact honors.  Last year, the station was selected for its coverage of mental health issues – before, during and after  tragic shootings by a mental patient  at Nevada County’s behaviorial  health office and a local restaurant.