Radio Free Brooklyn is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community organization whose mission is to empower Brooklyn’s underserved local communities by providing active learning in media practices, and to amplify their voices through a global Internet radio platform and public art.
We operate a non-commercial community freeform Internet radio station, streaming original content by the people and communities of Brooklyn.
Once upon a time, radio was a tool for empowerment, a medium that provided a voice to the unheard and brought communities together. Today, media is too often used as a means to constrain and restrict, rather than express.
Since Radio Free Brooklyn’s launch in 2015, we have evolved into a community organization providing a freeform radio platform for the diverse cultures that comprise the borough of Brooklyn. At RFB, our focus is LOCAL: local music, politics, LGBT rights, gentrification, gender issues, food, and more.
RFB’s philosophy rests on three pillars: Community, Discovery and Education. Our objective is to provide solidarity through radio, providing a voice to under-served communities and striving to become a bridge between them. We focus mainly on live broadcasting as a tool for the discovery of new music and ideas, our educational initiatives put the tools of DIY radio into the hands of everyday people, and our programming is as diverse as the programmers themselves.
RFB hosts have 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. We are a community, and all are welcome to participate.
Radio Free Brooklyn was founded 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 and activists without being subject to the constraints of the rising costs of NYC real estate. In our first 5 years, we’ve grown from a small Internet radio station with 17 shows operating from the basement of a Bushwick bike shop, into a community organization with over 120 members and over 75 shows, streaming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from a new state-of-the-art studio at 100 Bogart Street. In 2019, we launched the RFB Teen Squad after school program, leading local middle and high school students through a 6-week program in radio-making.
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.