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.

In the past 16 years different community radio stations have hosted the conference, and brought their own special flavor to it.

1996 - presented by KGNU and WERU, hosted by KGNU in Boulder, Colorado.[2]

1998 - presented by KGNU and WERU, hosted by KGNU in Boulder, Colorado from July 23-25.[4]

1999 - presented by KGNU and WERU, hosted by WERU in Bar Harbor, Maine from August 20-23.[5]

2000 - hosted by WORT in Madison, Wisconsin in July 2000.[6]

2001 - hosted by KGNU in Boulder, Colorado from July 13-15.[7]

2002 - hosted by WJFF in Jeffersonville, New York in August 2002.[8]

2003 - hosted by KZMU in Moab, Utah from June 12-15.[9]

2004 - hosted by KCSB in Santa Barbara, California from June 24-27.[10]

2005 - hosted by Prometheus Radio Project in tandem with a barnraising for WXOJ-LP, a new station in Northampton, MA, from August 5-7.[11]

2006 - hosted by WORT in Madison, Wisconsin from July 28-30.[12]

2007 - hosted by WUML in Lowell, Massachusetts from June 21-24.[13]

2008 - hosted by KBOO in Portland, Oregon in July.[14]

2010 - hosted by KMUD in Redway/Garberville, California May 13-16.[15]

2011 - hosted by KKFI in Kansas City, Missouri August 18-21.[16]

2012 - hosted by WRFU-LP and Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois July 26-19[17]

2014 - Hosted by KHOI[18] in Ames, Iowa August 14th-17th[19]

2015 - Hosted by WLPP-LP[20] in Palenville, New York September 24th-27th[21]

2016 - Hosted by KUHS-LP in Hot_Springs,_Arkansas October 7 - 10[22]

2017 - Hosted by WCAA-LP in Albany, New York October 6-9[23]

2018 - Hosted by KBOO at Portland, Oregon October 5-7[24]