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wfwm
 

THE MISSION OF WFWM

Public Radio from Frostburg State University

The mission of WFWM Public Radio is to assist Frostburg State University by providing a radio broadcasting service that is a positive reflection of the University’s quality, diversity and value by providing programming of the highest standards to residents of the western Maryland area, by providing experiential learning opportunities to the University’s students, faculty and staff and by helping to define Frostburg State University and the region in a positive manner.

 

WFWM’s PRINCIPLES AND VALUES

  • WFWM is committed to maintain the highest standards of radio broadcasting and those of Frostburg State University.
  • WFWM is committed to programming, both on- and off-air, that positively impacts the quality of life of residents of the western Maryland region.
  • WFWM is committed to providing experiential learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff through collaborations with various University departments and local organizations.

 

WFWM’s VISION

To be a primary and indispensible radio service for Frostburg State University and the residents of western Maryland and surrounding regions.

 

 

WFWM Station Activity Survey FY2013

Submission to Corporation for Public Broadcasting

 

Telling Public Radio's Story

 

1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.

The WFWM mission statement affirms that “WFWM is committed to programming, both on- and off-air, that positively impacts the quality of life of residents of the western Maryland region.” Allegany County, where WFWM is located, is consistently ranked as one of the poorest counties in the state of Maryland. The county also ranks near the top for high unemployment. Additionally, Western Maryland residents are served by a limited number of local media resources. As a result, WFWM Public Radio has identified a need for a local source of high-quality national/international news and diverse cultural and musical programming in our broadcast area. WFWM also recognizes the vital need to provide local media support to community, government, and educational organizations active in supporting cultural and educational programming in our community. In addition, WFWM Public Radio has identified that its community outreach efforts can have a positive effect on economic development issues facing the region. By addressing these needs, WFWM Public Radio believes we can, and do, positively impact the quality of life in western Maryland. It is a mission that perfectly dovetails with our association to Frostburg State University.

Western Maryland residents, and those in neighboring areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are serviced by a limited number of local media resources. There is no local television station. There is only one daily newspaper in Allegany County. Only a handful of commercial radio stations broadcast to the region. As the only non-commercial radio station broadcasting from Allegany County, WFWM Public Radio is in a unique position to address the need for in-depth national/international news and diverse musical and cultural programming that is not provided by other local media sources. WFWM is the only local source for NPR News programming. Classical, Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Big Band, Alternative and American roots music are a few of the locally-produced music programs available from WFWM alone. Since none of these formats are commercially viable for the other local media sources, in the absence of WFWM, it is unlikely that many, if any, of these formats would be picked up by those stations. Finally, WFWM is always evaluating its on-air program schedule with an eye to better serve our audience. For example, in response to listener feedback, WFWM increased its local Classical music offerings in 2013 with the addition of The Classical Ideal one hour programs and a series of locally-produced, one minute educational segments called Classical Minutes. WFWM also increased the number of community calendars and weather reports offered during morning drive time hours. Our on-air programming schedule puts WFWM in a unique position to support local community non-profits, government and educational organizations as they provide cultural programming for local residents. In fact, WFWM recognizes that its ability to collaborate with these various organizations is vital to its survival. Through our efforts in helping to organize, promote and support various cultural and educational events throughout our region, but by also lending support to the many organizations with whom we partner, WFWM has a positive impact on the economic development of our area. With limited resources and a small team of two full-time staff members, two part-time employees and its dedicated volunteers, WFWM Public Radio is a respected advocate and leader of the arts in western Maryland, who provides high quality news, cultural and educational programming, both on and off-air. In 2014, WFWM Public Radio celebrates its 30th anniversary and remains dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the western Maryland

 

2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.


As our mission statement clearly states, WFWM Public Radio is committed to having a positive impact on the quality of life of residents of the western Maryland region. In addition to providing high-quality on-air programming, WFWM believes there is a need to present, organize and support high-quality cultural and educational events, programs and activities in the local community that reflect or goal of improving the quality of life in our rural area. Since WFWM Public Radio is the only non-commercial radio station in Allegany County, it puts us in a unique position to not only organize our own events, but, more importantly, to support other local community non-profits, government and educational organizations as they provide cultural programming for local residents. In fact, WFWM recognizes that its ability to collaborate with these various organizations is vital to its survival. In that spirit, here is a rundown of some of the cultural and educational events, programs and activities and the organizations that WFWM was involved in during FY2013. WFWM continued its partnership with the Allegany Arts Council and Dr. Ken Roberts in presenting the Roots Music Series concerts, which showcase a variety of musical traditions (such as bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel). The Roots Music Series in FY2013 featured Kenny & Amanda Smith Band and Darren Beachley. The Cumberland Jazz Society held its Jazz Appreciation Month celebration in April 2013. WFWM was a sponsor and helped handle the promotions for the events, which included performances by the U.S. Army Blues jazz band, the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra and Potomac State College Jazz Band. As part of our ongoing involvement with DelFest, WFWM, with support from local businesses, sponsored scholarships to the DelFest Academy that allowed five area high school students to attend the instructional music camp. The students received personal instruction on their chosen instruments (three on guitar, two on fiddle) from members of the Del McCoury Band and Kenny Smith. WFWM cohosted a series of artist performances with Mountain City Traditional Arts that included Appalachian, Celtic and folk musicians from Ireland, Sweden and the U.S. In Spring 2013, WFWM welcomed Bluegrass bands from Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania into the studios for one hour long live performances. Bands included Black Diamond, Cold Stream Road, Grand Ole’ Ditch, and Walker’s Bluegrass Rangers. For the fourth year, WFWM, in cooperation with Frostburg First, organized and funded a series of 14 concerts in Frostburg called “Saturdays on Broadway,” which featured local musicians performing a variety of musical styles each Saturday from Noon – 2 pm during the months of June, July and August. For the first time, WFWM personnel were invited to be emcees for the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival series of concerts. The Greater Oakland Business Association requested that WFWM provide an emcee for the Autumn Glory Festival parade in Garrett County, Maryland. WFWM personnel served as emcees for Highland Arts Unlimited concerts at the request of the organization based in Keyser, WV. WFWM was the official media sponsor of Frostburg State University’s annual Appalachian Festival. Station personnel acted as emcees at both stages of the festival. WFWM also had an information booth which was manned by station personnel set-up during the event. WFWM personnel presented over 20 Big Band and Country Swing sing-along shows in ten different senior, nursing and assisted living centers throughout the WFWM listening area during FY2013. WFWM was a presenting partner for a benefit concert for the Allegany County Animal Shelter in October 2013. Over $10,000 was raised for the shelter. WFWM was a main organizer and presenter, along with Del’s Army, of the Cumberland Lions Club’s 20th Mid-Atlantic Grand Fiddle, Banjo, and Mandolin Championship along with the. As part of its support, WFWM purchased musical instruments that were awarded to the Youth category winners. WFWM also provided the venue and publicity for the event. WFWM also worked with a number of local Classical music performance groups to help increase awareness of their events, including Music at Penn Alps, Mountainside Baroque and the Appalachian Ballet Theatre. Representatives of each of these groups were guests, and often performers, for two hours during our local Classical music programming. WFWM also continued to feature performers from the Tri-State Community Youth Orchestra and the Allegany Community Symphony Orchestra in live on-air performance. WFWM personnel participated in many more community events that are not listed here. They worked as emcees, organizers and promoters. WFWM continues to make a concerted effort to promote local musicians, organizations and events throughout our broadcast area. WFWM recognizes that the local community is the heart of the station. WFWM will continue reach out to our community in as many ways as possible. By helping to organize, promote and support not only the various cultural events, but also the many organizations that with whom we partnered, WFWM had a positive impact on the economic development of our area. For example, events like the Roots Music Series and the Mid-Atlantic Grand Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin Championship regularly bring in hundreds of out of town visitors a year to Frostburg. Not only does this put dollars into businesses in Frostburg, but it also helps non-profits like the Palace Theatre where the event is usually held. In FY 2013, one of the walls of the Palace Theatre collapsed resulting in the Spring Roots Music Series concert being moved to Mountain Ridge High School. During that concert, the Palace Theatre raised money to help with repairs. In recognition of the fundraising ability for the theater, the first event held at the Palace Theatre after it reopened was the Fall Roots Music Series concert. The City of Frostburg acknowledged the economic impact of WFWM Public Radio by awarding Station Director Charles Dicken its “Spirit of Frostburg” award in 2013. The award states that as a result of the efforts of Dicken and the dedicated volunteers at WFWM to expand live musical entertainment available, “the City of Frostburg is experiencing a dramatic growth in musical entertainment/tourism that benefits both residents and visitors.” With a small team of two full-time staff members, two part-time employees and its dedicated volunteers, WFWM Public Radio is a leader in providing high quality news, cultural and educational programming, both on and off-air. In 2014, WFWM Public Radio celebrates its 30th anniversary and remains dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the western Maryland area.

 

3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.


Through its on-air programs, community outreach activities and its numerous partnerships with local non-profit organizations, WFWM Public Radio continued to have a positive impact in our community in FY2013. WFWM features a diverse program schedule full of cultural, educational and music programs that is like no other in our area. WFWM presented many activities both on-air and off that entertained, benefitted and served our community. In addition, WFWM helped dozens of local organizations organize, present, and promote events and activities that literally thousands of people attended in FY2013. Our positive impact on our community can be measured several ways, including increased public support, increased community partnership and economic impact. Public contributions are often used as an indicator of a station’s impact on its listeners. WFWM Public Radio has seen increased public support in each of the past five years. In FY2013, WFWM held two of its most successful on-air fund drives. WFWM also saw an increase in underwriting from local businesses. As a result, WFWM was able to increase its public support to over $50,000. In the years leading up to the past five, WFWM averaged just over $30,000 in public support. When the fact that WFWM is located in one of the poorest counties with one of the highest unemployment rates in Maryland and the fact that the station lacks a dedicated development staff member, the increase in public support becomes more significant. WFWM appreciates all of the support our listeners have generously given the station. In FY2013, WFWM worked with dozens of local organizations on a variety of activities. As a result, thousands of local residents enjoyed and benefitted from a diverse offering of cultural and educational programs. WFWM has become a respected collaborator and partner in our community. In FY2013, organizations like the Cumberland Lions Club, Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, Frostburg First and the Allegany Arts Council requested WFWM Public Radio’s participation in their activities, because they recognize what WFWM has to offer their events. WFWM had a positive impact on the economic development of our area. For example, events like the Roots Music Series and the Mid-Atlantic Grand Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin Championship regularly bring in hundreds of out of town visitors a year to our area. That helps put dollars into local businesses. The City of Frostburg acknowledged the economic impact of WFWM Public Radio by awarding Station Director Charles Dicken its “Spirit of Frostburg” award in 2013. The award states that as a result of the efforts of Dicken and the dedicated volunteers at WFWM to expand live musical entertainment available, “the City of Frostburg is experiencing a dramatic growth in musical entertainment/tourism that benefits both residents and visitors.” As our mission statement says, “WFWM is committed to programming, both on- and off-air, that positively impacts the quality of life of residents of the western Maryland region.”

 

4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2013, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2014. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.


WFWM Public Radio is licensed to Frostburg State University, which has a student population of which approximately 28% are minorities. Through our affiliation with the university and as the only non-commercial, public radio station in Allegany County, WFWM recognizes that it has a unique obligation to provide programming that promotes the valuing of cultural diversity. WFWM continues to include a great variety of diverse musical styles in its program schedule. Many of these programs regularly feature the contributions of African-Americans to our musical heritage. For example, “Saturday Juke Joint” is a two-hour, locally-hosted acoustic Blues program that each week picks a particular Blues artist to highlight. That artist’s biographical information is provided and their music is put in context as to how it contributed to Blues heritage. In FY 2013, WFWM worked with the public library in Piedmont, West Virginia to increase awareness of African-American band leader and arranger Don Redman, a native of the town. “Jukebox Friday Night,” a weekly local program of Big Band music that regularly features Mr. Redman’s recordings, dedicated a special program to him. Later, WFWM donated a number of Mr. Redman’s recordings to the library to make them available to the public. WFWM has long wanted to develop an on-going series of short segments that focus on African-Americans’ in Allegany County. In the past, WFWM has reached out to representatives of the local county chapter of the NAACP, the University’s student NAACP chapter and the University’s African-American Studies program to collaborate on the project. Recently, a faculty member in the English Department has offered to assign students to do research to help move this project forward. The station continues to promote participation by minority students in station activities, including our student-run intranet station, the radio workshop course taught in WFWM studios and our community outreach programs. In FY2013, 60% of the students participating at WFWM were African-American. That included student interns, directed study students, student disc jockeys and other volunteers. In FY2013, WFWM was involved in numerous community events, including many that featured African-American and other minority performers. WFWM continues to be a financial supporter of the Appalachian Festival, which includes elements related to African-American heritage in Allegany County. WFWM worked with Mountain City Traditional Arts on a series of concerts that featured African-American, Appalachian and Irish musicians. WFWM recognizes the importance of continuing to pursue cultural diversity in our programming and in our community. We will continue to work with organizations like the Allegany Arts Council and Frostburg State University to create new opportunities to promote cultural diversity.

 

5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't receive it?


Loss of CPB funding would have a dramatic impact on WFWM Public Radio in virtually all areas of our operations. The immediate impact of the loss of CPB funds would be felt in staffing. That would be quickly followed by a severe cutback in our ability to provide cultural and educational programming out in our community. That cutback would be further amplified by the loss of support to the many community organizations with whom WFWM partners. Lastly, our on-air programming would eventually be negatively influenced. As mentioned above, WFWM is located in one of the poorest counties in Maryland. Despite ever increasing support from our listeners, the Community Service Grant that WFWM receives from CPB would drastically reduce our capability to bring our unique on- and off-air programming to an underserved area and would be sorely missed. CSG funding allows WFWM to currently employ two part-time employees. One is a local host for Morning Edition. That position allows the station to have a local live presence during morning drive time. As a result, WFWM is capable of reporting school closings, weather reports, local news and community calendars in live time. This is fundamentally the most basic of radio public services and exactly what listeners want. In the past, we have tried automated means, volunteers and other methods to deliver this information in the morning. We have found that a paid position is the most effective way to make this work. Our second part-time employee serves as an Administrative Assistant. Through that employee’s efforts, WFWM has connected with many more community, government, cultural and educational organizations. These connections have led to better service to our listeners through an increase in public service announcements and additional cooperative off-air programming opportunities. Without CPB funding, it is unlikely WFWM would be able to raise enough funds to keep them. In programming CPB funding continues to cover the cost of our NPR programming. NPR is a backbone of our programming and provides a level of national and international news coverage and commentary as well as cultural programming that is not available from the local commercial radio stations. A significant portion of our support from local businesses comes directly from underwriting during NPR programming. There is little doubt that that support would diminish if WFWM lost NPR programming due to a loss of CPB funds to pay for it. In addition CPB funding allows WFWM to bring top quality musical programs such as jazz, classical, new age and gospel music from around the world to listeners. WFWM also supports and produces community events and programs that we would not be able to afford without CPB funding. Events such as our “Saturdays On Broadway” concerts that WFWM organizes along with the Frostburg First program would disappear. Last year, WFWM purchased musical instruments that were given as prizes to the Youth category winners of the Cumberland Lions Club’s Mid-Atlantic Grand Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin Championship. We also funded a scholarship for a local student to attend the DelFest Academy and learn from professional musicians during the camp. We continue to work with the Allegany Arts Council to present the Roots Music Series of concerts that bring some of the best American roots music performers to western Maryland and help keep our musical heritage alive. CPB funding made all of it possible. WFWM continues to see increased growth in listener support each year. WFWM attributes much of that increase to its efforts at community outreach, better on-air service and close cooperation with local non-profits. There can be little doubt that the loss of CPB funds would have a dramatic negative effect on virtually all those efforts.

 

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WFWM Public Radio is supported in part by a Community Service Grant from CPB.

 
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