Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions; why not a radio station?
Like any good resolution, this one demands lots of work, and lots of commitment. It’s a choice that wont be easy, but aspires to personal growth and self-improvement.
Usually, people begin with a baseline assessment; typically it’s something like: “I haven’t touched the accordion in six months,” or “I smoke two packs a day.” WFMT’s arts coverage is actually pretty strong. We have sixteen live broadcasts lined up for January, all focusing either on local performers or performances, and a LOT of series in which we partner with local organizations (Ryan Opera Center series, Introductions, the Chicago Symphony broadcasts, Critical Thinking, Lyric opening nights; broadcasts from Ravinia and Grant Park in the summertime, just to name a few); additionally we have a continual stream of web features. With all that emphasis on local musical events, how do we expand our arts coverage in ways that will be meaningful to our listeners?
Here’s a Q and A with WFMT producer Matt DeStefano:
“Arts features” implies multidisciplinary: visual art, dance, theater, spoken word in addition to music. Will these areas all be part of these broadcasts?
Yes. In fact, classical music will be the least of it. We cover that all year anyway. These arts features will delve into all the things you mention, and some others, like food.
How do you help listeners “see” visual art on the radio?
The visual art part worked out pretty well with the first piece. We’re also posting extras to the web with each story. Check it out!
It sounds like a HUGE topic in a city this size. What is the goal? When will they air, and do you expect this project to expand?
We want to remain relevant and give our listeners a heads up about events in time for them to get out there and see them. It is a huge topic. We do hope to expand. We want to be sure to go all over the map of Chicago and its suburbs.
Listen for produced arts features on Sundays at 9:00 AM, Mondays during the morning show, and on Wednesdays at 6:45 PM.