Meet WRIR’s Volunteers
WRIR-LP 97.3 FM is managed solely by volunteers. It is an amazing endeavor and a labor of love. Our volunteers come from all parts of the city, walks of life and lifestyles. All bring an enthusiasm and passion for independent radio. Every few weeks, WRIR will feature a volunteer who represents the culture of WRIR. Enjoy learning about the volunteers behind the mic and behind the scenes.
Behind the Mic: Allan, New Breakfast Snob (Saturdays 1-3p)
Allan began volunteering at WRIR's first fund drive in 2005. Thanks to Bill Lupoletti (host of Global A Go-Go) who knew of Allan's skills a sound engineer, Allan ran sound for the very first bands who played in WRIR's studios. Eventually he moved from setting up the mics to being behind the mic and hosting a show on Sunday mornings. While his time slot moved to lunch time, he kept the name of the New Breakfast Snob. He still helps with live sound and helped produced WRIR's first release, "Live at WRIR Studios." He feels WRIR is invaluable to Richmond: "There's nothing else like it in town and our listeners seem to agree. Without their generous support we wouldn't be able to keep doing what we do." The first album he bought was "Joe's Garage pt. 1" by Frank Zappa. Mainly because "it had dirty words and ABBA's remaining LPs didn't." Allan also recorded a CD with a band based in the UK without traveling to the UK to meet the band members!
To become a WRIR DJ, you must first submit a show proposal. Read here for all the details.
Like the show on Facebook
Behind the Scenes: Lindsey, Events Committee Chair
Lindsey is friends with a lot of volunteers at WRIR but it took some time before she decided to become a volunteer herself. After constantly being asked by her WRIR friends "Why don't you just volunteer for WRIR," she officially did in October 2010. She started attending meetings for the Events Committee. She says, "No job is too small when it comes to events. Everyone who has tabled an event and put a face to WRIR has done a service to this station and the listening community." She eventually became co-chair and now chair! She organized the CultshaXpo, WRIR and The Commonwealth of Notions Presents, WRIR's Anniversary Party and the upcoming bus tour of Richmond's Music History. She also hosts orientation for new volunteers with DJ Phil and Maryanne, Volunteer Coordinator. She has good advice for the new volunteers: "Put forth the effort to make yourself known and you will fit right in. Handshakes do wonders! Also, if you have an idea speak up and follow through! Everyone is "an idea" guy. The people who follow through are the ones who make the difference." Thanks to Lindsey & the Events Committee, WRIR is making a difference in the Richmond Community.
To join Lindsey & the Events Committee, come to a monthly meeting: 2nd Monday, 6:30p @ WRIR Studios
Look here for complete calendar of WRIR's committee meetings - all meetings are open to the public
Fill out WRIR's Volunteer Application and come to our next New Volunteer Orientation
Behind the Music: Shannon, The Commonwealth of Notions (Wednesdays 11pm-1am), Local Music Director/Events Co-ordinator
If Richmond's music scene was a country, then Shannon would be our ambassador. He's the guy you see at all the music shows, absorbing the sights and talents of Richmond and then bringing it to you on WRIR. It was local music that brought him to volunteer at WRIR in 2009. He heard WRIR in a friend's car when Prabir & the Substitute song came on the air. He couldn't believe he was hearing a local band on FM radio. He submitted a proposal for a music show featuring the local music scene he loves so much. The concept fell in perfectly with WRIR's mission to air underrepresented news, views and music. "Funny enough, I was working closing shifts at a restaurant until 1:30 and had to meet with Phil Ford a few hours later. Some nights, I would just stay up and it was also an incredibly bitter winter," remembers Shannon. Shannon volunteers beyond his show; he is assistant local music director with Mike Rutz and serves on the Event Committee. Shannon enjoys being more involved, "It required me to go out there and really figure out what was happening in this city in terms of the music scene. It made me get in touch with labels and venues. This only helped me get more and more passionate about what was happening with music here." He just held his annual, WRIR and The Commonwealth of Notions Presents, a fundraising showcase of established Richmond bands as well as those who are making their way in the scene. Shannon says "I think as soon as I started going to more meetings and make an effort to get to know more people at the station, it all synched up nicely. If you want to have a show, you might have to start at an all-nighter position, but the opportunities are there if you really want them." Thanks to dedicated volunteers like Shannon, WRIR has built a reputation of supporting the Richmond's cultural: "We seem to get more impressive and amazing minds to the station that continue to reiterate the passion and excitement I felt when I first started walking through the doors in 2009. The nice thing about WRIR is that we are getting closer to our eighth anniversary and I don’t see a clear end in sight."
If you are a local band, submit your music to WRIR
Read about this year's WRIR and The Commonwealth of Notions Presents, including videos of some of the bands
Follow on Twitter @cmmnwlthfntns
Behind the Board: Harvey H., Weekday Board Operator
Harvey is one of the station's founding volunteers. He came on board to the sound board in Nov. 2004 - before WRIR hit the FM airwaves. Harvey is one of the few volunteers who not only DJs but is also a regular weekday Board Operator. As a board operator he airs the weekday news programs, reads public service announcements and underwriting. He still DJs, often substituting on Mellow Madness. Harvey loves old school R&B, soul, pop and disco. Harvey is not a bombastic DJ but a soft-spoken, soothing voice on air. His gentleness carries over into how he treats the other volunteers: "Everybody matters, everyone is worth something. Find out what you're good at and use it to make something good of yourself." So why has Harvey stayed involved with WRIR since its beginnings? "I've been here 8 years and I am still blown away by the kinds of things that WRIR has to offer!" Thank you Harvey!
If you are regularly available during the weekday, become the voice of WRIR's news day. Train to volunteer as a Weekday Board Op. This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for stay-at-home parents, retirees, or college students. Read more.
Behind the Scenes: Jay W. & Dennis J.
Most of WRIR's volunteers you know because they are behind the mic as DJs, Talk Show Hosts or Board Ops. There are plenty of volunteers who are behind the scenes and not behind the mic. Two in particular are Jay W. and Dennis J. Jay was a weekday boad op but found his home-away-from-home in WRIR's live studio. He's the studio engineer producing some of WRIR's live, weekday talk shows and then showing up during the weekends to sound engineer the many bands who perform in the live room. Jay is especially invaluable during the fund drive, when WRIR hosts a band every day during its 10-day drive. Dennis found his place at WRIR down the hall from the sound studio. He is in the station's front office as an office volunteer. He answers the phone and answers the door. He's the guy you call to find out who was the guest on a particular talk show. During the fund drive, he can be found at the grocery stores filling shopping carts with mega bottles of soda, gallons of milk, bags of bagels and tubs of cream cheese - everything the station needs to keep the kitchen and refrigerator stocked for our volunteers and donors.
Learn how you can volunteer as a sound engineer, office manager or many other ways.
Read about the LP FM Movement
Behind the Mic: Mr. Atavist aka Kevin
It all started with a WRIR t-shirt! Being a graphic designer, Kevin submitted a design for the WRIR T-shirt contest. Wearing his WRIR shirt he met fellow founding member Michael Miracle of The Lotus Land Show who invited him to volunteer. Kevin began reviewing records, designing materials for the marketing committee, volunteering at events and sitting in w/ DJs. Eventually a show opened up and Kevin brought Sunrise Ocean Bender to the airwaves. He also is the station's Program Director. He's the guy who reviews your DJ application, coordinates training as a DJ and develops the schedule of music programs. Kevin says volunteering at WRIR is like a buffet "Attend the various committee meetings, get involved…there's plenty to do…Most importantly, get to know your other volunteers, and what they do. That not only shines a clearer light trying to find out exactly where your home might be, but they're an invaluable resource." Kevin believes passionately in community radio saying "from the locally produced news/talk programs, to DJs who dig deep and curate their shows... you're not going to get that from 'corporate' radio. Many folks who listen to my show aren't in Richmond…out of town, West Coast, U.K., Asia, etc…I think it' s amazing that our name, Richmond's name, is out there in the global ether as an independent voice."
WRIR's Volunteer of the Year: Galaxy Girl of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Blend, aka Janet
Janet came to the station like so many eager volunteers with a curiosity about low power FM and a crate full of eclectic music. She jumped right in, attending committee meetings, taking notes, helping with projects and training to be a DJ that filled one of the late night all-nighter shifts. Eventually her patience paid off and she became a part of WRIR's morning DJs, the Breakfast Blend. Janet volunteered and became the station's Program Director managing the DJs. It was a position with many highs and lows. Janet always was fair and diplomatic when helping people navigate the process to become a WRIR DJ. She is no longer Program Director but still serves in the music committee. This spring she was elected to WRIR's Board Of Directors. Janet runs her own business selling artwork as MonkeyDog Studio. Janet just finished "Janetpalooza": a personal quest to see 31 shows during the 31 days of March. Thank you Janet for your boundless energy and always offering to help the station's music programming.
WRIR's SHOW PAGE
JANET'S BLOG about JANETPALOOZA