Chicago Independent Radio Project

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The Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP) is a non-profit organization that operates a community radio station (CHIRP Radio) currently accessible via its web site and also on 107.1 FM, via a new low-powered transmitter located in the Uptown neighborhood. CHIRP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization funded primarily through individual giving, special event revenues, and grant support. [1]

History[edit]

From 2007-2010, CHIRP partnered with organizations across the country to help convince Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to remove existing barriers to the granting of low power FM radio licenses in urban areas. In 2009, CHIRP's President and Vice President, Shawn Campbell and Jenny Lizak, were invited to lead a White House meeting on the issue with President Obama's technology team.[2] The bill CHIRP worked on to expand low power FM was the Local Community Radio Act, which was signed into law in early 2011.[3]

On January 17, 2010, CHIRP began as an online radio station.[4][5] The first song played was "Thank You Friends" by the band Big Star.

In June 2011, CHIRP Radio was named "Best Overall Radio Station" by the Chicago Reader in its annual Best of Chicago issue.[6]

In late 2014, CHIRP received a construction permit from the FCC to build a Low-Power FM broadcast outlet on Chicago's north side.[7][8] In October 2017, the organization launched its broadcast at 107.1 FM with call letters WCXP-LP.[9]

Programming[edit]

CHIRP Factory Sessions[edit]

The station began its CHIRP Factory Sessions series in January, 2015. These recordings consist of live sets recorded by local and touring bands in CHIRP's non-traditional space, a former factory building. Once a Factory Session airs on CHIRP, full video of the session is posted on the station's website.[10]

Person of Interest[edit]

Person of Interest is a first-person storytelling feature that airs monthly on CHIRP Radio. After airing on the station, they are hosted in the podcast section of the CHIRP website.[11]

Events[edit]

Record Fairs[edit]

CHIRP is well known for its two annual Record Fairs, a freestanding fair each April (known as The CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights[12]) and another fair as part of the Pitchfork Music Festival in July. The April fair draws many independent vinyl dealers from around the Midwest, while the Pitchfork fair features independent labels and distributors from around the country.

The First Time[edit]

CHIRP produces and hosts The First Time,[13] a quarterly live storytelling and music series. Following each reading, the house band, called The First Time Three (made up of members of Chicago power pop band Frisbie) plays a song that the reader has chosen that relates in some way to the piece. The series began in 2009 and takes place at Martyrs' on Chicago's north side.

CHIRP Night at The Whistler[edit]

CHIRP organizes a monthly concert series featuring local Chicago artists and bands at The Whistler, a Chicago bar. In 2015, this event was named Best Ongoing Local Music Showcase by NewCity.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About CHIRP". chirpradio.org. 2015-05-11.
  2. ^ Gaper's Block: "Getting Down with Low Power FM"
  3. ^ GovTrack.us: "H.R. 6533 (111th): Local Community Radio Act of 2010"
  4. ^ Radio Survivor: "Chicago Independent Radio Project hits the 'net, waits for an FM"
  5. ^ New York Times "Independent Station’s Power Lies With Its People"
  6. ^ Chicago Reader Best of 2011: "Best Overall Radio Station"
  7. ^ FCCData.org
  8. ^ DNAInfo.com "CHIRP Radio To Hit the Public Airwaves After '7-year Odyssey'" Archived 2015-05-25 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ About CHIRP Radio [1]
  10. ^ CHIRPradio.org "CHIRP Factory Sessions"
  11. ^ CHIRPradio.org "Person of Interest"
  12. ^ "CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights". chirpradio.org. 2015-05-25.
  13. ^ "CHIRP First Time". chirpradio.org. 2015-05-25.
  14. ^ Best of Chicago: CHIRP Night at The Whistler

External links[edit]