A Little About The Ground
The Ground is an internet based community radio project in Beacon, NY. Giving voice to under-examined ideas, thoughts and action through music, art and conversation. The Ground came about through a mutual respect and love for the medium of radio to share stories, ideas, sounds, music, and chuckles. Our mission is to set up a community radio studio where members can come in- record and air on our web based station. Broadcasting voices and melody brings a different way of communicating in an over-wrought media culture, where the art of conversation is sometimes muted and other times lost. We believe it is important to get community conversations going and to create a forum to get those under-represented voices and sounds heard.
A Little About Us
Josh Kogan and Vicki Vergolina put their heads together last fall with the idea of bringing community radio to Beacon, NY, an ever-changing landscape of people and ideas. Vicki has been working in the radio field for over 16 years, as a producer at WBAI 99.5 FM in NYC for 10 of those as well as Air America Radio and currently is the Producer of Both Sides Now. She has wide-ranging experience in every aspect of radio production: producing, hosting, board oping, engineering, and has operated in studios throughout NYC (WWRL, WBAI, WOR, USRN, Premiere Networks, Air America Networks). Partner in crime Josh Kogan is an environmental engineer, community activist, and overall provocateur. He hosts a bi-weekly podcast “Undergrowth” through the Radio Hive collective in NYC, and has extensive experience in non-profit start-ups to include Localflux, a former online crowd funding engine, and his current project Node (in Beacon), an adaptive design center for progress in ecological transparency, empowerment, and fun.
All of your contributions will go directly to the purchase of studio equipment, web hosting, ASCAP protection, and studio fees to get this project off the ground and to keep us soaring. Equipment purchased will include: mixer, monitors, CD player, turntable, headphones, mics and stands, headphone console, sound proofing, rack mount, interface, external hard drive and a studio computer to record and edit on. We will take no salaries. All contributions are to get the studio humming! $4100 is needed for the equipment purchases, and $4500 is needed for non-equipment expenses for web-hosting, streaming and rent.
This is how it will work once we are set up: Interested folks will fill out an application on our website for a show. Once a show is approved, they will have a tutorial on how to run the equipment. Then they are off to the races! They will commit to a minimum of two 1-hour shows a monthfor music, or two half-hour shows a month for talk. Each member will contribute $20 a month to help cover rent and expenses. That’s it!
If our goal is not reached, we will use all funds raised to get as much equipment as possible. Beyond that we will apply for grants to help reach our goal.
What Your Donation Does
Your donation is your vote to get behind this project and help make it happen! This is a vote to say community matters and we all have ideas to share. This is a vote to have independent voices air thoughts and conversations often ignored in mainstream platforms. This is a vote to hear under-represented music that makes you stop and listen, and to hear things you didn’t expect or see coming. Your vote is to listen to stuff that makes you giggle, snort and sometimes pee your pants. Your vote is to show the Hudson Valley and beyond that our diverse voices can impact our lives in a positive and meaningful way, and have some fun along the road that gets us there.
The perks we offer are our way to say thank you and to get you excited! Shout it from the rooftops while rockin’ a “Ground” tee. Shake your money maker with a homegrown mix while making dinner or chatin’ and chewin’ on a Friday night. If you are feeling it, donate a solid chunk to the cause, and you choose the subject of an interview featuring YOU. Maybe you want to talk about the weather? Maybe you want to talk engine parts or the Pacific Rim? Or just maybe you want to sing us a song about linguistics in Iceland? You decide, Josh and Vick sit in studio with you and work it on out!
The impact this project will have is as limitless as your ideas. Creating this radio platform for people in our community to use takes the power out of the hands of the few and gives it to the many. We call it ‘The Ground’ because it is a grounding of electric pulses that make up we as people, taking the electric current out of the atmosphere and putting it into a tangible form. It will also allow us to get in on the ground level of what people in our community (and beyond) are doing- their projects, their music, their art, their comedy. It will be a place to meet, and also will be the ground-level for starting conversations.
Risks & Challenges
We do face some risks in terms of keeping the quality high of the shows produced, but we plan to have Production workshops for new producers to get a handle on how to make radio come alive.
There is also risk in many hands handling the equipment we set up in the space, but we will meet this challenge in a solid and transparent training process, where expectations are explained and understood by all parties. We also will have a simple ‘manual’ on site to aid producers in trouble-shooting.
Lastly, there can be a challenge in keeping the conversations positive and at the same time the airwaves open and the freedom to explore. We will have a very clear set of standards and practices that line up with our mission, and anyone who uses the platform will have a clear understanding of what those are.
Please spread the word and help us bring this project out of the clouds and onto The Ground!
Special thanks to the amazing folks who have pitched in to help us get going:
Rob Featherstone- Director of Photography
Marc Screibman- Assistant Camera
Mike McNamara- Editor
Dan Weise- Graphics