KFAI Profile

Sometimes this blog has felt like an advertisement for our favorite radio station KFAI.  Well I’ll put another big plug in for the station here through a profile of MB that they recently did for their newsletter.  MB is even more of a KFAI fanatic than I am.  Read the profile then listen to KFAI! (Well, and feel free to support them while you”re at it).

Meet Mary Beth Freeman: KFAI Listener-Member

KFAI Network reporter Rebecca Lane had this email conversation with Listener-Member Mary Beth Freeman:

Mary Beth with Glenn

Rebecca Lane: How long have you been listening to KFAI?
Mary Beth Freeman: Since 1990. We had just moved to Minneapolis from Vermont. One of the first shows I remember is the Rockhouse, which remains a favorite. We lived in a basement apartment at the time, so I had to really fiddle with the antennae.

RL: What is your preferred format for listening – traditional radio, online, iPhone, Podcasts?
MBF: Online! After we lived in Minneapolis for 11 years, we moved to Gainesville, FL. It was imperative once we got there to set up high-speed cable internet in order to maintain the KFAI vibe. Even before we had the house set-up, we had KFAI ready to go. We had about a three-day delay once we moved to Cedar Rapids, IA—and that was rough.

RL: What keeps you listening to the station and continuing your support?
MBF: I love the community spirit and diversity of programming. I have learned so much about music and culture. KFAI brings the world to me. The staff and programmers are fantastic and generous in time, knowledge, and spirit.

RL: Favorite show?
MBF: Can it be a five-way tie? The Rockhouse, Bop Street, Sugar Shop, Fubar Omniverse, and Radio Rumpus Room.

RL: I think supporting KFAI is a strong form of community activism, do you agree? Why do you think it is important to support public airwaves?
MBF: Again, the community exhibits so much diversity and that’s captured in the programming at KFAI. Commercial airwaves are sterile and pre-programmed. There is no individuality and ownership back to the community. KFAI is steeped in the community.

RL: Can you share some examples of how you are able to apply what you hear on KFAI to your neighborhood, work, politics, lifestyle, worldview?
MBF: Right off the bat, I can tell you I have become well-versed in “birthdays in blue”-that helps me decide what CDs to select for the car. That’s important. Some days, the options are too plentiful. I enjoy that I have a learned a lot about world music, mostly thanks to Blanche. Down here in Iowa, we don’t get to see as much live music as we did in the cities, but we still get exposed to some international artists via our local Czech Social Club (aka CSPS). KFAI has taught me to explore the world. Music is a common thread.

RL: Has KFAI ever prompted you to participate or attend an event, concert, rally, etc. Tell us about it.
MBF: Heck yea! OK, I have to admit that I won quite a few free tickets while we lived in Minneapolis, and that helped. It’s great that programmers will spotlight upcoming artists. The Cedar brings in some great acts, some of which trickle down to us her in CR. Because of the oh-so-wonderful ARCHIVES—I am able to listen to that-much-more KFAI, and we often think of how much we would do/see this and that—if only we still lived in the cities. SIGH.

RL: What would you tell non-listeners about KFAI to encourage them to listen?
MBF: You can’t go wrong! There are programs for every taste—music, news, culture. I even enjoy pledge drive! How weird is that? You-all make it fun. We enjoy it so much that we pledge two times a year. We can’t help but get caught up in the euphoria.

RL: Our records show you listen all the way from Iowa! Why do you think the programming is still relevant to you in another state?
MBF: We just can’t find any comparable programming. We miss the cities so much, it’s like tuning in to hear our friends. Plus, we can still stay apprised of local events and issues. We may live in Cedar Rapids, IA, but our hearts are still in Minnesota.

RL: Other thoughts?
MBF: Glenn and I proudly wear our KFAI t-shirts and display our bumper stickers on each car—wherever we go. I am thrilled to be a part of this organization. Keep up the good work, and congratulations on the upgrade! And THANKS!

If you would like to tell your story in the KFAI Network, contact Pam Hill Kroyer by email, or by calling 612-341-3144 × 22.


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