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Vocalo is what commercial radio isn’t: Independent music and real voices that represent the soul of Chicago. Join the movement.
Vocalo is what commercial radio isn’t: Independent music and real voices that represent the soul of Chicago. Join the movement.
Vocalo is what commercial radio isn’t: Independent music and real voices that represent the soul of Chicago. Join the movement.
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359 backers pledged $28,150 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Vocalo: A new kind of Radio Station for Chicago

$28,150

359

We have hit our goal! 

Thank you to all of our backers and listeners. This campaign is proof that high-quality, community-driven, non-commercial radio can and will thrive. 

However, we've still got time on the clock, so let's keep the momentum going! We're setting a stretch goal of an additional $2,500. 

If we hit this stretch goal, each and every backer a Vocalo microfiber screen cleaner. 

They re-stick well up to 1000 times. It’s one of those things you didn’t know you wanted, but once you get one, you’d never be without it. 

And we’ve got one waiting for you, as long as you are a backer and we can raise our total funding to $27,500 before 5 pm tomorrow. 

2016 is a big year for Vocalo.  

We're a small radio station, in a radio space filled with big, corporate radio stations with monster-sized signals that cover Chicago.  In order for us to stay on the dial, we have to compete with commercial radio, and demonstrate that people in Chicago want more of Vocalo. We know that we may not have a strong signal, but our power comes from the people that amp us up. 

We believe that if Chicago had a hundred radio stations like Vocalo, we’d have a different kind of city. We’d have a united city connected by music, culture & conversation. We don’t often stop to think about the impact that radio (media in general) has on people. But the truth is that millions of people listen to commercial radio in Chicago (yes, millions) and with all of that power and influence, what do we get in return? Not much.

We've set-out to become a new kind of radio station for Chicago, one that not only values independent music but that also gives our communities a voice. 

We’re a radio station that connects with younger, culturally diverse audiences in Chicago through music discovery and community engagement

What does that even mean?  

Well it means that we give a lots of love to local and independent hip-hop, dance & indie rock music.  In fact, we have 500 local artists in regular rotation RIGHT NOW.  That means that if you tune-in to Vocalo on any given hour, you will hear Chicago music.  And no, we don't just give artists spins once they're famous, we support Chicago talent all the way through.  That's why if you go on to our soundcloud page, you'll find thousands of interviews with some of Chicago's best talent.  The interviews aren't just about the music either, they are about politics, social justice, art, culture, and all the things that make us tick. 

You see, music moves us, but stories connect us.  That's why in addition to the great music we play, we also air shows like: the Morning AMp, Reclaimed Soul, Practically Speaking, the Barbershop Show, Latino USA, Beat Latino, & Domingos en Vocalo.  These are all shows that help us understand what's going on in our city and our world.  

It's important for us to feel connected and plugged-in to what's going in our communities.  That's why every year we recruit up to 40 people from throughout Chicago and train them to craft stories about their neighborhoods through our free storytelling workshops.  Our goal is to not just to help community members produce great stories that we can air, but to also empower Chicagoans to tell stories in their own voices.  

This is what Vocalo is all about.

(Story below from Vocalo storyteller, Jacqueline Serrato)

We're a non-commercial radio station.  That means we don't air commercials.  

Commercial radio stations profit from programming to the broadest audience possible with repetitive playlists that we inevitably hum all day. They're not concerned with creating impact or highlighting local music in Chicago. They just want to play the "hits".  

And that's fine. 

But we want to be an alternative to this model, and that's why we need your support.  

The real talk is that we're not playing to the biggest crowd.  Non-commercial means that in order for us to justify our programming and mission, we have to be powered by the people.  That's what our movement is all about.  Help us build a new kind of radio for Chicago.

Most of our mission-driven work has been funded through the generous support of foundation grants and the generous support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. However, in order for us to continue producing the kind of unique, listener-focused programming that we've described on our Kickstarter page, we must get support from everyday people. This year we're asking you to help us produce our 2016 programming and our free storytelling workshops.

To give you some perspective, it costs us $12,000 a year to produce our Vocalo storytelling workshops.  

Every donation helps ensure that we have the means to buy the records that we need for Reclaimed Soul, the overhead we cover so that we can broadcast the Barbershop Show from North Lawndale, and the production support for shows like the Friday Night DJ Series and Domingos en Vocalo. 

Pledging your hard earned cash to cover our production costs is not as fun pitching in for your friend’s movie or helping an inventor get their idea off the ground, but we believe Vocalo is a Kickstarter for the music and voices Chicago needs to hear. 

2016 is a big year for Vocalo.  We need the support of the individuals who listen to us, and who believe in our mission.We think that Chicago needs more Vocalo and we'd love for you to help us make that happen. 

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with street artist Joseph “Sentrock” Perez for our Kickstarter campaign.

You may have seen Sentrock’s “Bird City” murals in Little Village, Pilsen, Logan Square, and throughout other neighborhoods in Chicago.

His murals usually feature a young person with a bird mask looking up. The bird mask represents a desire to fly, to reach for the sky. Sentrock’s murals are all created to give messages of inspiration to people.

Vocalo has a shared mission with Sentrock. We too want to inspire Chicago.

Sentrock has created a custom image for our Kickstarter campaign, and we’re proudly featuring it on a t-shirt, poster & in-studio Vocalo mural.

Help us aim for the sky!

YOU CAN:

  • Pledge $75 or more and get a Sentrock t-shirt (see below)
  • Pledge $100 and get your name listed as a sponsor of our Vocalo studios Sentrock mural.
Vocalo Studio Mural
Vocalo Studio Mural
  • Pledge $150 and get a Signed Sentrock poster
Signed Sentrock Poster
Signed Sentrock Poster

 Here's another sneak peak of what our backers will be getting.

Risks and challenges

Our long-term sustainability past the "kickstarter" will depend on supporters spreading the word and becoming evangelists for our mission and programming. A successful campaign will help us fund 2016, but we recognize that this can only help us kickstart our long-term strategies.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    OLD SCHOOL SHOUTOUT

    Show us some love and we’ll show it right back. Back this, or any higher level, and we’ll give you an old school on-air radio shout-out on The Morning Amp.

    We’ll let you know when to expect your shoutout, but just in case you miss it, we’ll send you a digital recording, if you ask nicely.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    DJ MIX

    Vocalo does music like no one else, and we’ll prove it. Back this, or any higher level, and we’ll send you a link to an exclusive mix from one of the master DJ’s from Vocalo’s DJ Collective. We’ve got a few mixes ready to go, so the sooner you back, the more mixes you’ll get.

    Also includes: Old School Shoutout

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    67 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ON AIR PROMO

    Vocalo is you. Your neighborhood, your community, your voice. Back this, or any higher level, and we’ll give you the opportunity to add your voice to our on air promos.

    What’s a on air promo you ask? Excellent question. That’s when we tell you and the other listeners what station they’re listening to. How will we record your voice? Easy. Voicemail. We’ll give you the number & a few tips on what to include in your message, and before you know it your voice will blasting on speakers all across Chicago.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    MURAL (Early Bird Bonus)

    This Kickstarter is huge for Vocalo, and we’re going to document this impact with an in-studio mural. Back this level and your name (or the name of someone you’d like to honor) will be a part of the mural.

    This is a “get in early and get it for less” level. If there’s any left, you should get it now.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PINT GLASS

    A successful campaign requires celebration. Back at this level and you can celebrate with your very own Vocalo pint glass.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

    If you want the pint glass and Sentrock shirt, you should keep reading.

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    Ships to Only United States
    54 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SHIRT

    How cool would it be to walk around wearing a limited edition Sentrock t-shirt? Back this level and you’ll find out. That’s right. THE Sentrock has offered up one of his works for a can’t get it anywhere else tee.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

    If you want the Sentrock shirt and the pint glass and, you should keep reading.

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    Ships to Only United States
    26 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SWAG PACK

    Can’t decide between the pint glass and the shirt? We’ve got you covered. Back this level and you’ll get both.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

    If you want the pint glass, shirt, and tickets to an awesome party, you should keep reading.

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    Ships to Only United States
    21 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MURAL

    This Kickstarter is huge for Vocalo, and we’re going to document this impact with an in-studio mural. Back this level and your name (or the name of someone you’d like to honor) will be a part of the mural.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

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    Limited 19 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SENTROCK POSTER

    Maybe wearing a Sentrock print is not your thing. Maybe you’d rather have his work on your wall. Especially if it’s a limited edition print, numbered and signed by Sentrock himself. Well, we’ve got good news! Back this level and you’ll get exactly that. Better hurry, though. We only have 20 signed and numbered posters to offer. First come, first score.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 10 backers
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    SUPER SWAG PACK

    Want that new Sentrok image? Can’t decide on a poster or a shirt? No problem.

    Back this level and you’ll get the shirt, the poster, and the pint glass.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout & DJ Mix

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR

    You know what’s better than listening to the Morning Amp? Listening to it while 10 feet away from the awesomeness that is Jill & Jesse. Back this level and you’ll be invited to a private, behind the scenes tour of a Morning Amp broadcast. Who knows, you might even get to step into the studio and join in. After the show wraps, we’ll give you a tour of the rest of our digs, then treat you to lunch.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout, DJ Mix & Swag Pack

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    Limited 3 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    UNDERWRITING

    We don’t do commercials, but that doesn’t mean local businesses can’t support what we do. Back this level and you’ll get 50 fifteen second spots, which will prove to our audience that you want the best of chicago to have the strongest voice possible.

    If this sounds like a great deal, it is. A spot package like this isn’t normally available and will disappear when this campaign closes. So, best to act now.

    For more information, send us a message and we’ll connect you with a member of our underwriting team.

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    4 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PARTY PARTY PARTY

    Got a big event coming up? Whether it’s a wedding or a company slam, the right DJ can move it from ok to beyond words. Back this level and the Vocalo DJ of your choice will spin a set you won’t soon forget. This is a rare opportunity, friend. Chances like this don’t come around too often. If you got the goods, make it happen.

    Because DJ’s are people too, choice of DJ is subject to their availability, but if you got the right window of time it'll work out.

    Also Includes: Old School Shoutout, DJ Mix & Swag Pack

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (31 days)