Sound familiar, this WGXC? That’s probably because this coming launch has already been talked about on National Public Radio as an example of the sorts of new community stations coming down the pike now that the Federal Communications Commission has opened up its arms (at least a little bit) to non-corporate radio – with the US Senate’s help. It has also been mentioned in a host of print media over the past year, ever since WGXC threw a massive New Year’s Eve bash at the Basilica Industria in Hudson that drew nearly 1,000 curious well-wishers, who then partied until dawn to more than 40 local bands, aerial artists and burlesque dancers.
WGXC – hands-on community radio for Greene and Columbia Counties, along with chunks of northern Ulster and Dutchess, as well as much of the Capitol District – begins broadcasting on 90.7 FM on Saturday, with the guaranteed-to-be-fun “Turn Your Radio On” event at the Catskill Community Center (CCC), scheduled to precede the new “Masters on Main” art installations events, as well as an evening gallery dance and late-night hours for all the Catskill Main Street restaurants. “This event represents the culmination of four years of hard work, and we are thrilled to be part of the continuing resurgence of Main Street,” says Dharma Dailey, WGXC training and workshop coordinator and Radio Council member, of the event. “Local businesses, the community and local artists have all come together to build a joint vision…We will have radios turned on and tuned in at businesses all over town, encouraging people to listen in wherever they are. It’s more important than ever to have a medium like WGXC representing a key tool for many crucial local issues.”
The event, which will include live broadcasts and the presentation of a virtual sound studio in the place where it will be built in the CCC front windows over the coming months (with cardboard, kid-made versions of turntables, mixing boards and even microphones!), will feature local musicians, speakers and program hosts already putting together shows for the new station, all celebrating the official launch of WGXC. There will be a talent show open mic, a performance by recent New Yorker feature artist Brian DeWan, recording and interview booths for everyone to get on the air, a potluck dinner, live local theater and even a “sound jungle” and other activities for kids.
WGXC, which will reach a potential of 78,000 Hudson Valley residents, is a wholly volunteer and community-run media project, reenvisioning radio and the Internet as innovative platforms for local participation with special exhibitions and events, media training for our community’s youth and adults, a news blog and a local calendar of events, with existing studios in Hudson and proposed studios in Cairo as well as Catskill. The whole kit-and-kaboodle is a project of free103point9, a nonprofit arts organization cultivating and defining the evolving genre of Transmission Arts by promoting artists and works informed by an intentional use of space – often the airwaves – that will fill the GXC schedule late nights and Saturdays.
Things kick off at 2 p.m. at the Catskill Community Center at 344 Main Street in Catskill and run until 6 p.m., from which point the station will be on in perpetuity. For further information, call WGXC at its offices in Hudson, (518) 828-0290, or visit www.wgxc.org, where you can also catch a livestream webcast of the radio station, which is running already.