Your job today is to join KAXE

Do me a favor. Go over and look at the website for 91.7 KAXE. If you’re in northern Minnesota, tune in to 91.7 FM or, if you’re anywhere else, stream the audio feed (click “Listen”).

Spend some time looking at that website. Read the blogs. Read about the people. Read about some of the programs. Then listen to the station. Listen to the archives of programs that sound interesting. Listen to the variety of music, of voices, and — most of all — listen to how different it is than everything else in the media.

KAXE is public, but not slick. It’s a large and growing organization, but it’s not corporate. It’s creative, but it’s not amateurish — even when programmed by volunteers. It covers news, birds, politics, trees, events, lakes, but mostly KAXE covers people. It plays music — every kind you can imagine, except for Top 40 — and celebrates local and Minnesota musicians, too. It provides family programming but isn’t afraid of edgy and challenging material, either. Most of all it celebrates the unique culture and attitudes of the people of northern Minnesota.

The most remarkable thing about all of this is that KAXE is able to do all of this — pay a professional staff, support a huge network of volunteers, broadcast a 100,000 watt signal with two translators and a web stream to boot — predominantly with member support. They do this on a freaking shoestring. This is coming from a guy who volunteers in nonprofit arts event planning, so believe me, I know shoestrings.

But the economy is bad and KAXE’s spring fundraiser is running behind what’s needed. Don’t mess around, people. This station will outlast the newspapers. This station is developing a media model that will integrate the internet with radio and print content. This station will outlast the blaring shock jocks and mindless droning of zombie MTV. This station will cover the people of northern Minnesota, forever. Unless you fail to become a member today.

Be a member of KAXE. Join, join, join. As I’ve said, if you’re a fan of what I do here at the blog or in my column or my recent book, I beg you to pay it forward and help the organization that’s helped me over these past five years.

I’m “on assignment” this week and won’t be a part of the “Between You and Me” program this Saturday morning. Nevertheless, Michael Goldberg and Gail Otteson will be guest hosting and taking calls between 10 a.m. and noon. Tune in and join us again next week, and the next week and the next. If…

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