History of the Grassroots Radio Coalition and Conference

The Grassroots Radio Conference
Keep the light burning bright.

Finding encouragement and self-improvement – finding a supportive place to think things through and learn – nourishment of fun, friendship and like-minded peers.

Interested in using media to transform your community? The Grassroots Radio Conference (GRC) celebrates the vibrant and democratic medium of local, community-driven radio. We bring together media artists, community organizers, radio operators and engineers, and ordinary people from across the country to learn, discuss, brainstorm and build.

The Grassroots Radio Coalition was born in 1996, as a response to increasing pressure in the field for more a corporate and less grassroots model for of public radio, along with lack of support for volunteer-based stations. It is an informal coalition that hosts a national conference in different places each year, and maintains an email listserve for ongoing networking.  Though not "founders" per se, Marty Durlin of KGNU, Boulder CO, and Cathy Melio of WERU East Orland, ME are generally recognized as "midwives" of the GRC. They have said that the idea of the GRC was ready to be born; they just helped make it happen. In 2000, they wrote a position paper about the conference and its relationship to grassroots radio as a medium.

For the past three decades, different community radio stations have hosted the conference, and brought their own special flavor to it.

  Rochester, NY: 2019
Hosted by WXIR-LP, WAYO-LP and WEPL-LP

Portland, OR: 2018
Hosted by KBOO

2017 GRC Logo Albany, NY: 2017
Hosted by WCAA-LP
GRC 2016 Logo Hot Springs, AR: 2016
Hosted by KUHS-LP
GRC 2015 Logo Palenville, NY: 2015
Hosted by WLPP-LP
GRC 2014 Logo Ames, IA: 2014
Hosted by KHOI
GRC 2012 Logo Urbana, IL: 2012
Hosted by WRFU-LP
GRC 2011 Logo Kansas City, MO: 2011
Hosted by KKFI
  Redway/Garberville, CA: 2010
Hosted by KMUD
  Portland, OR: 2008
Hosted by KBOO
  Lowell, MA: 2007
Hosted by WUML
  Madison, WI: 2006
Hosted by WORT
  Northampton, MA: 2005
Hosted by Prometheus Radio Project/WXOJ-LP
  Santa Barbara, CA: 2004
Hosted by KCSB
  Moab, UT: 2003
Hosted by KZMU
  Jeffersonville, NY: 2002
Hosted by WJFF
  Boulder, CO: 2001
Hosted by KGNU
  Madison, WI: 2000
Hosted by WORT
  Bar Harbor, ME: 1999
Hosted by WERU
  Boulder, CO: 1998
Hosted by KGNU
  Boulder, CO: 1996
Hosted by KGNU