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Thief River Falls college radio station gets $238,500 grant

Pioneer 90.1 FM, the radio station at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, has received a Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Programming grant totaling $238,500 through June 2011.

Pioneer 90.1 FM, the radio station at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, has received a Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Programming grant totaling $238,500 through June 2011.

The station will use the grant to produce programming based on local musicians, filmmakers, authors, and historians, a news release said.

Part of the grant will be used to present free concerts featuring Minnesota musicians. The shows will be recorded, mixed with interviews with the performers and made available to other independent public radio stations in the state.

The first concert in the performance series will feature Thief River Falls-based blues performers Little Bobby and the Storm. It will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Northland College theater in Thief River Falls.

Also being developed is a new program called "ArtsFocus," which will feature

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interviews and radio documentaries about area arts and cultural topics. The first show will feature an interview with the director of the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site in Cooperstown, N.D. Area filmmakers are invited to submit scripts and will be given access to shoot at the site.

The grant allows Pioneer 90.1 to make its programming available on platforms beyond the station's coverage area. Pioneer 90.1 and the other 11 stations in the Association of Minnesota Public and Educational Radio Stations network are using the Public Radio Exchange Web site ( www.prx.org ) to share and archive original programming. The stations are also making programming available on their Web sites.

The AMPERS network is made up of volunteer-driven stations such as KAXE in Grand Rapids, Minn., and WTIP in Grand Marais, Minn., along with stations belonging to educational institutions such as KUOM at the University of Minnesota, KVSC in St Cloud, Minn., and KBEM, which belongs to the Minneapolis Public Schools.

"The diverse programs these stations produce deserve to be heard by a larger audience than the stations' coverage areas allow," said Mark Johnson, Pioneer 90.1 station manager. "This grant gives all of us the chance to contribute meaningful programming statewide and beyond."

Johnson plans to compile highlights from other AMPERS stations' programming into a weekly show called "Network M-N," which will be heard on Pioneer 90.1 at 6 p.m. Fridays.

The station is seeking local program producers to create additional original arts and cultural programming.

Pioneer 90.1, on the air since 1972, is the only radio station licensed to a Minnesota two-year college. Johnson believes that distinction will attract students from outside the area to attend the Radio Business program, which launches in August as part of Northland's Center for New Media.

Related Topics: RADIOTHIEF RIVER FALLS
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