Earlier this year, KHDX hosted representatives from several radio stations around the state on campus for a first of its kind meeting. Over the course of a few hours, the group created a constitution and bylaws for the Arkansas College Radio Association (ArkCRA), the first organization dedicated to bringing college radio stations together at the statewide level in the country.
The group currently includes KUOZ at the University of Ozarks, KVHU at Harding, KWEM at Arkansas State University Mid South, KXUA at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, NUmediA at University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and Arkansas State University Jonesboro’s Red Wolf Radio.
The idea for the organization, according to KHDX Technical Director Jacob Turner ’19, originated last Fall after KHDX was profiled along with several other Arkansas stations by the college radio blog Radio Survivor and after Hendrix attended the Grassroots Radio Conference in Hot Springs. These experiences got Turner thinking about the possibilities of collaboration between KHDX and other student-run radio stations in Hendrix’s own backyard. Thus, the Arkansas College Radio Association was born. Any radio station that meets ArkCRA’s standard of being student supported is eligible and invited to join.
Both Turner and KHDX Programing Director Hannah Blevins ’17 see ArkCRA’s core mission as pushing back on the notion that radio no longer matters as a medium. The organization’s goals are to serve as a platform to foster cross-station collaboration, promote and help develop new college radio stations in the state, and share knowledge and contacts in Arkansas.
“It’s good, because KHDX tends to be its own bubble but here we’re branching out to other schools,” Blevins said.
Blevins points out that KHDX could help other radio stations at schools like UAFS grow and develop through KHDX’s background as an entirely student-run station. Likewise, Blevins noted that we could learn how to better train DJs and improve podcasting from KXUA at the U of A. ArkCRA also hopes to do general outreach to promote college radio in general and the great stations we have in Arkansas in particular. The possibilities are endless, according to Jacob Turner.
“There’s no template to follow, since no other organization is doing what we’re doing,” Turner said.
Hendrix and KHDX will benefit from ArkCRA as well. Hannah Blevins envisions opportunities for collaboration among DJS, such as sharing music or expertise with our peers at other schools. This is also a way to boost KHDX’s presence at music festivals around the state, with ArkCRA possibly being able to share press access among its members in a capacity as the official representative of college radio
Photo Credit: Leah Headley