In April and May of 2015 a bunch of freaks, lumpens, artists, musicians, DJs, and activists built a makeshift studio and threw an audio festival in the neighborhood of Bridgeport, The Community of the Future. We raised almost $20,000 to launch a new FM radio station called WLPN. It was enough to buy us some initial gear to get our station started online.
Come July, 2015 we want to broadcast 24/7 to the Chicago metro area and stream online to the world. We need to raise $25,000 more to purchase the rest of the equipment that will get our signal on the air. This is a chance for you to become an active stakeholder and help us rebuild radio in Chicago!
This Kickstarter campaign will give us what we need to get the station up and transmitting. Hardware, software, construction costs, and the down payment to lease our radio tower. All the costs that we need to pay one time and up front. Once it's on the air its ongoing business costs will be supported by the community through underwriting, memberships and bake sales.
What is Lumpen Radio?
Lumpen Radio (WLPN) is a non commercial radical radio station that showcases innovative ideas, plays highly curated music, and broadcasts commentary on the issues of our day. WLPN will spotlight the hidden parts of the city we love, amplifying its voices and sounds. We will be a station for the people that live and work in the city, people everywhere that love Chicago's underground cultures, and people who love the idea of free form radio wherever they are. Our main studio will be located in the neighborhood of Bridgeport, but we will have mobile and temporary studios located throughout Chicago, broadcasting live from bars, clubs and cafes near you.
It will be located at 105.5 FM on the radio dial as well as online at www.lumpenradio.com. Each week WLPN will be an outlet for hundreds of artists, educators, performers, non profit organizations, DJs, musicians, entrepreneurs, and community activists to share their ideas and amplify their messages to up to 1.7 million listeners a day.
In late 2013, the Federal Communications Commission opened an application window for hundreds of Low Power FM Radio frequencies (LPFM) across the United States. Almost 2,800 nonprofits applied. This window was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shift our media landscape on both a local and national level. With minimal operating costs and neighborhood-oriented broadcast ranges, LPFMs can quickly become local multi-platform cultural hubs, provide hands-on media training, and help reinforce the fact that airwaves are designed to serve the public good.
In late December 2014, the FCC granted our nonprofit, the Public Media Institute, a permit to build a new LPFM radio station in Chicago. It blew our minds.
Since then we have been in the process of building a station with the call letters of WLPN. We call it “Lumpen Radio”, and it will be a community radio station Chicagoans can be proud to call our own.
Hyper Curated Music
Chicago is missing an innovative and non-formulaic radio station. To begin setting the initial foundation for our audio laboratory, we have recruited some of Chicago's premier creative individuals from within and outside of the music industry. These innovative experimenters and visionary artists run the gamut from various radio producers, audio alchemists, activists, DJs, podcasters, record labels, ham operators to musicians, story tellers, spoken word/performance artists, librarians, art critics, educators and sound editors whose expertise and knowledge are indispensable for such an imposing project. Our DJs build their own setlists and curate their own shows from their own record crates. Though a wide variety of genres are featured on WLPN, we will create a cohesive listening experience that mirrors and reinforces Chicago's vibrant and advanced music scenes.
Part of our mission as WLPN will be to produce and incubate live talk and documentary programming from our studio in the Southside. With a wide range of partners and co-producers, we are developing underground storytelling shows and comedy programs, activist and maker spotlights, as well as radical political commentary on local issues. WLPN will broadcast the only local wrestling show in Chicago as well as Chicago history docs, musicology shows and a Chicago blimp cast over Lake Michigan.
WLPN will also serve as a platform for education and outreach. WLPN will be an invaluable tool for neighborhoods to shape and amplify their own voices - thus impacting economic development, public safety, creative expression, and information sharing. We will work with many of the hard working nonprofits in Chicago to present their ideas and agendas. And we’ll engage with local students, giving them an inside look of how our station is run and what local radio can mean for a community. We also plan on incubating and accelerating programs and shows made by our WLPN DJs and producers at the station to be syndicated and podcast online.
Chicago Reader Lumpen Radio raises funds to build a low-power FM station in Bridgeport
DNAinfo Lumpen Radio Aims to Broadcast 'Magic Moments' Over the Airwaves
Chicago Tribune Chicago's WLPN, the low-power FM movement and a new surge in radio
The Visualist Version Festival 100 Watts
Joyce the Rock Star Version Fest 2015
!!! PLEDGE REWARDS !!!
We hope to entice you into enjoy backing our WLPN Rebuild Radio project with a few of these tantalizing perks and rewards. If you have any questions please email email@example.com about details. We will mail out all of the awards the week after the Kickstarter campaign is completed.
Pledge $10 or more - The Lumpen (ASMR) VIDEO - Thank You - We thank you and send you a link to watch a secret Lumpen Radio Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) VIDEO video.
Pledge $25 or more - Dirty Punk Pack - WLPN Pins and Stickers and a link to watch the Lumpen Radio ASMR video
Pledge $30 or more - Kickstarter Exclusive T-Shirt - Designed by Jermiah Ciu. ( White Male Not Included) You can pick Blue ink on a White T-Shirt or White ink on a Blue T-shirt. We might throw some stickers and pins in the envelope. Plus you get a link to watch the Lumpen Radio ASMR video.
Pledge $50 or more - Night Moves - Enjoy cruising in your car with The WLPN Air Freshener ( pictured above ), a Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt, WLPN Pins and Stickers, + ASMR video.
Pledge $50 or more - DUCHESS DE BRIDGEPORT - Maria Marszewski, The Peggy Guggenheim of Bridgeport has decided to help Lumpen Radio! Maria will match each DUCHESS DE BRIDGEPORT backer's donation and contribute that amount to the Kickstarter campaign. Everyone that donates $50 will receive a limited edition, Duchess De Bridgeport T-shirt, as well as The WLPN Air Freshener, WLPN Pins and Stickers, + ASMR video.This matching backers grant offer ends Saturday May 23!
Pledge $75 or more - Schwag Master - You get a ticket to the opening party (on the very first day we live broadcast on the FM airwaves) - a Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt, WLPN pins and stickers, air freshener + ASMR video.
Pledge $100 or more - Become a Founder - You get two tickets to our opening party - a Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt, WLPN pins and stickers, air freshener + ASMR video
Pledge $250 or more - WLPN Transistor Radio - We are customizing eight Grundig G8 Digital AM/FM/Shortwave radios so you can survive the apocalypse in style. You also get: two tickets to our opening party, a Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt, WLPN pins and stickers, air freshener + ASMR video
Pledge $300 or more - Become a Patron - Yer a big dog, you get yer name displayed on our Studio Wall- Two Tickets to our opening Party and a Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt, WLPN pins and stickers, air freshener + ASMR video.
Pledge $400 or more - Record Station ID - Want to hear your voice on the radio? We will bring you into our studio to record a station ID, which we will use for (at least) the first year of our broadcast. You will also get everything from the Patron Package level.
Pledge $500 or more - YouTube Karaoke Freak Out Party with Edmar - Ed Marszewski will host a YouTube Karaoke party for you and your friends at your house or at Maria's. ( Must be in Chicago) You will also get everything from the Founder Package level.
Pledge $700 or more - Say Anything Boombox - We tried to find John Cusack to ask him to sign the boombox he used in Say Anything, but instead we convinced reknowned street artist, Revise CMW, to custom design one for you. Comes with 4 special mix tapes made by WLPN DJS. You will also get everything from the Patron Package level.
Pledge $1,000 or more - The Home Invasion Package- Enjoy a VIP Dinner for 6 cooked by Chef Won Kim (of the forthcoming Kimski's Street Food Spot ) at your home (in Chicagoland). We will also crash the dinner party to help you produce a live WLPN broadcast from your home using your records, MP3s and CDs (You must have a decent internet connection). You will also get everything from the Patron Package level.
Pledge $1,200 or more - Become an Underwriter - For businesses, organizations, or individuals that want to be recognized on-air for their contributions to WLPN. We will work with you to create an underwriting spot, produce it, and then air your spot at least 20 times. You will be immortalized on our website as one of our Founding Sponsors. You will also get everything from the Patron Package level.
Pledge $3,000 or more - Party Pants - You get to host a private party at Co-Prosperity Sphere for 125 people (includes berverages from Marz and tunes by WLPN DJs )! You will also get everything from the Patron Package level.
Pledge $5,000 or more - The Coup D’état- You get to program an entire 24-day of WLPN radio station working with our WLPN programs and DJs. Your voice, your station IDs and your ideas will be showcased for an entire day. Imagine you hijacked the station and had free reign until a Swat team came in and took you out. You will also get everything from the Patron Package level.
Risks and challenges
Building a new radio station from scratch is expensive, but manageable. Thanks to our allies in the community radio movement, we already have an FCC license to broadcast. Now we need your help getting the rest of the way to a real live radio station launch.
We have already raised enough money ( almost 20K ) to purchase some studio gear and other equipment. We are using the funds from this Kickstarter campaign to purchase our tower space and transmitter gear, a tower cabinet, microwave dishes and codecs, an automation system, and construction materials for our studio. All really technical engineer/geek stuff we can't build ourselves or pick up from the thrift store or ebay.
We also must have the WLPN go LIVE on the air by 2016 or the FCC can take our permit and license away. Instead of waiting and hemming and hawing we have decided to build it as fast as we can. Thanks for making it happen!
Who are we?
Public Media Institute is a grassroots arts and media non -profit organization based in Chicago. PMI’s mission is to create, incubate and sustain innovative cultural programming through the production of socially engaged projects, festivals, spaces, exhibitions, and media.
Upon Request, donors above $250 can receive a letter from Public Media Institute stipulating that you have made a tax deductible donation to our organization.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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