The First Snowfall

As the Folk Alley staff prepares for another weekend of the Kent State Folk Festival and the holidays that almost begin the moment Donovan leaves town, we have exciting programming on the way. Today, I’m moved by the first snowfall of the season and how wonderful it looks against the backdrop of the lake that I now live on and the music of Folk Alley flowing from my Roku radio. The first snowfall demonstrates how quickly the weather can change here in northeast, Ohio and how the politics of public broadcasting are sometime subject to quick changes.

This week the Office of the Inspector General reviewed alleged actions of for CPB board president Ken Tomlinson and found the former CPB board chairman violated provisions in CPB code of ethics. Most of these violations revolved around politics and the desire to impose one person’s political views to what they perceived to be a bias in the work that we engage in everyday at public broadcast stations and at NPR and PBS. Earlier this year those funds that flow to CPB were threatened by those who wanted to control every aspect of the media and the message. All of this comes to us at a time when any government funding is looking like it is in question for the long haul.

Our strength comes from our listeners, and if services like Folk Alley are to remain available, we must take control of our future by investing in this service. Folk Alley is a grassroots effort and we will continue to make strides in our services with you as our partner. Many people questioned me when we started this service and invested heavily in its startup, and they still question me daily. But I’ve always have confidence in those who want to keep the tradition of folk music alive. Folk music is hard to find on the radio these days, an hour on this station or that station on the weekend if your lucky, but Folk Alley is available to more listeners than could ever listen to just one radio station. Folk Music on the radio is not commercially viable, and that’s ok with me and I would rather pass the hat to those who listen and use this service. I want to thank the entire staff of Folk Alley, who work endless hours to make this service possible. It’s a new territory for many of us, but our inspiration comes from your e-mails and your blog entries. So sit back, plug in and enjoy the music and remember it’s you whose support keeps the music alive for all of us.

Al Bartholet
Executive Director WKSU/Folk Alley

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