Community radio has survived on the Island and now it’s poised to thrive. Bring your imagination, your kids, and your party shoes to Mediterranean restaurant on Saturday.
Island community radio station 93.7 WVVY-FM is serving up Air Fair, a marathon two-part fundraiser in Oak Bluffs.
Beginning at 12 noon until 4 pm, the restaurant hosts a hometown trade show with 40 booths offering Island products, services, advice, and a chance for Island residents to shake off winter. WVVY’s DJs provide the daytime entertainment.
“It’s an opportunity for vendor businesses and organizations to know they have a platform in the community. We hope to break even on the event. Really, this is a chance for the community to know us better,” says TaraRose Macuch, WVVY’s director of development.
Then the all-volunteer station staff will break down the fair and set up for a Mini Music Fest, an evening of music between 6 pm to 1 am, featuring a host of Island bands and musicians, including Nina Violet, Colin Ruel, Kahoots, and others, interspersed with appearances by station DJs.
Air Fair is a first time event, the brainchild of Ms. Macuch, director of development, and station art and graphics director Diana Reilly.
“A group of us at the station decided it was time to do another event,” Ms. Macuch says. “Ultimately, educational non-profit media require funding and you have to start somewhere. We wanted another way to connect to the community, to educate the community about WVVY and Martha’s Vineyard Community Radio. Air Fair is a play on words. People can air out their ideas. All are welcome and encouraged.
“Roving reporters will interview each vendor during the day and MV Productions will create a video that will be broadcast on their website and on ours,” she said.
Admission, covering both the fair and the evening party, is $10 per person and $20 for families to benefit non-profit MV Community Radio station. A food and beverage area features food and treats from Mediterranean, Chilmark Bottled Water, Offshore Ale, Tropicale, Depot Coffee Bar, and the Art Cliff truck. Vendors will set up inside Mediterranean and in one of two tents outside. Sponsors include ECO-MV and Allied Waste who will help provide a zero-waste event.
Air Fair promises a kid-friendly environment with an outside Kid’s Disco Tent, featuring games, face painting, drawing, and spin art. DJs Philippe Bourde and Tai Cabral will preside over the kids’ tent.
Vendors include: Nisafit, Circuit Style, Leslie Freeman Designs, New Moon Salvage, Scott Campbell Art, M.V. Film Society, M.V. Museum, M.V. Boy Scouts, Vineyard Energy Project, ECO MV, M.V. Productions, Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center, M.V. Capoiera Demo, Sergeant Sparrow Records and Magazine, Hopps and Soap Nuts by Keren, M.V. Art Association, Aurora’s Aura, M.V. Helping Homeless Animals, The Good Farm (Jeff Munroe and Zephyr), Ramona and Josie’s WVVY custom blockprint tees, Bella and Arakataka’s Little Band, The Model E (Josh Baker, Will deBettencourt and Micah Agnold), Facepainting by Rose, Imagine, NMC Originals, Waters of the World Aquarium, The Yard Dance Colony, The Green Room, M.V. Skate Park, Blue Fish, M.V. Kidz, Real Wild Foods, Whippoorwill Farm CSA, M.V. Adventure Camp, Goddess Glimmers, Bee Happy Manuka, Luciano Reina Jui-Jitsu, and Citrine.
Air Fair is part of the two and one-half year old station’s campaign to grow its shoestring budget and build awareness of homegrown programming that uses the considerable and eclectic talents of Island residents. WVVY-FM 93.7 went on air in December 2007 just before expiration of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) charter that enabled low power start-up community radio stations.
The station recently filed for full power licensing from the FCC and has submitted a federal grant to underwrite the full power construction permit that would extend its limited signal reach.
After several years in startup mode, Martha’s Vineyard Community Radio is developing an authentic and offbeat personality characterized by its events (Halloween Hellraiser and Air Fair), a blend of nearly two dozen DJs, and its website and Facebook presence.
Jack Shea is a regular contributor to The Times.