About Radio Free Brooklyn
Radio Free Brooklyn is a non-commercial community freeform Internet radio station, streaming original content by the artists and residents of NYC’s most populous borough 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once upon a time, radio was a tool for empowerment, a medium that provided a voice to the unheard and brought communities together. Today, we live in an age in which the media is too often used as a means to constrain and restrict rather than express. Radio Free
Brooklyn aims to build a communication infrastructure to strengthen the community of artists who have been driven from the Manhattan neighborhoods we once called home before being scattered to the corners of the outer boroughs. Gone are the cheap storefronts we once inhabited, so now we inhabit a virtual space, one that can be accessed with the click of a mouse or a swipe of a screen. But we are still here.
We choose Internet radio not only because it is the most accessible medium for many, but because radio can be so many things: a subversive gaff, a political weapon, a prank, a ritual, a bond. We are inspired by the radio pioneers of the past and gratefully acknowledge their shoulders on which we stand: Radio Caroline, Radio Alice, Steal This Radio, Max Neuhaus, East Village Radio, Joe Frank, WFMU, Napoleon Williams and so many others. Like them, we will strive to broadcast not the commercial dross that clogs the terrestrial airwaves, but original programming as diverse as the programmers themselves – stories, sound art, radical ideation, comedy, sex, and experimentation as yet unheard. We are a community organization, and all are welcome to participate.
Radio Free Brooklyn was started in May of 2015 by Tom Tenney and Robert Prichard, both veteran performer/producers of the NYC underground performance scene, as a way of continuing to provide a platform for independent artists without being subject to the constraints of the rising costs of NYC real estate. In our first 18 months, RFB has grown from a small Internet radio station with 17 shows operating from the basement of a Bushwick bike shop, to a community organization with over 120 members and over 70 shows, streaming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Eschewing prescribed formats, RFB allows its hosts complete freedom to experiment with the medium of radio to create what the London Telegraph called “a glowing petri dish of creativity, variety, and counter-cultural energy.” As a community organization, we work with other non-profits to provide them access to local listeners, and our new storefront is being transformed into a community center which will host workshops for local teens, teaching them to use technological tools in order to create their own community media.
What is Freeform Radio?
Freeform is a programming format that grants hosts and DJs total artistic freedom in the creation of their shows. Hosts are not restricted by traditional programming formats or commercial concerns when they are developing their content and playlists. Freeform radio was pioneered in the 60’s and 70’s by such stations as WBAI and WFMU in New York City, KPFA in Berkeley, CA and KPFK in Los Angeles. Radio Free Brooklyn management will never dictate what our hosts can or cannot say and/or play on the network.
|Robert Prichard (Co-founder / Talent Director) was the co-founder and proprietor of Surf Reality’s House of Urban Savages, a seventy seat black-box performance space on the Lower East Side that he ran from 1993-2003. Surf Reality continues to exist as a producing organization, and from 2003-present has produced several productions including Radical Vaudeville at Mo Pitkins and Bowery Poetry Club, and 64: A Vaudeville of the Mind at the HERE Spring Artist Lodge in 2012. He’s also known for his work in the 1980s TROMA cult films The Toxic Avenger and The Class of Nuke ‘Em High. Rob currently produces the monthly variety and burlesque show, Radical Vaudeville at Celebration of Whimsey in Manhattan. He is the host of Bushwick Garage on Radio Free Brooklyn.|
|Tom Tenney (Co-founder / Program Director) is the founder and Director of the annual RE/Mixed Media Festival in NYC. He has been producing theatrical events since the 1980’s and ran a performance venue called SPACE in the East Village from 2001-2003. His long-running late-night series Grindhouse-A-Go-Go! was the flagship show at Surf Reality’s House of Urban Savages on the Lower East Side from 1998-2002. He’s worked with a diverse group of artists – from Robert Wilson to Seka – and his work as a producer, director, and performer has been seen in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and several cities throughout Europe. Tom’s sound pieces have been heard on PRX Remix Radio, GMFE Sound Experience in Chicago, Toronto’s 2011 Deep Wireless Festival and Streaming Festival, Sixth Edition. He got his M.A. in Media Studies from the New School in NYC and his B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fun Arts) from Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He has been a guest lecturer at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and currently teaches media theory at Hofstra University. Tom is the host of Frequency Theory on Radio Free Brooklyn, and recently published The DIY Internet Radio Cookbook: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Your Own Streaming Radio Station.|
|John Raso (Music Director) John is Radio Free Brooklyn’s music strategist. He is also the producer of Brooklyn Bandstand and hosts the Friday edition. John has worked in all sides of the music industry over the course of an almost 30 year career. He has been a publicist and product manager for record labels including SST, Roadrunner, and Atlantic. He’s been an artist manager and booking agent and spent time at LiveNation. Today, John heads up Client Services for music rights administrator, HFA (The Harry Fox Agency) and Rumblefish|