KSRQ 2013 CPB Station Activity Survey – Local Content and Services Report

1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.

KSRQ’s local listening area covers northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota. Though our main studio is located in a small rural community of 10,000 residents, we have listeners on both sides of the border and in small towns in a 60 mile radius. As a result, our coverage of news and events is more regional than local. Station staff and volunteers ascertain items of community interest by surveying other local media, staying in touch with the directors of local community groups, and by monitoring social media. KSRQ has recently begun archiving nearly all of its interview programs, which are posted to SoundCloud and embedded on our website. KSRQ has also added a new, locally-produced weekly public affairs program in the last year. Within the next few months, we plan to begin a program called Community Call-In, a short-form hourly program (1-2 minutes) featuring representatives from a variety of community groups talking about news from their organizations. We envision the involvement of groups such as:  Early Childhood Family Education, Parks and Rec Departments, Veteran’s Services, Workforce Centers, New Immigrant Advocacy groups, Fair Boards (in season), Visitors Bureaus, Humane Societies, Service Groups, Women’s Advocacy organizations, Libraries, and Wildlife Refuges, among other groups. One of these short updates will run each hour within our music programming.

2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.

We have studios in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls, MN. Both communities are regional cultural hubs. Daily broadcasts from both studios allow guests to conveniently join us in the studio for weekly segments on public libraries, museums, arts councils, and a young professionals group. We provide audio files of the segments to these groups that are often posted to their websites or shared via social media. KSRQ  produces a live concert series that is broadcast as part of our “MN Arts on the Road” program, and a speakers series that is recorded at area public libraries and broadcast as part of our “Write On” program. KSRQ also produces  “Northwest Regional Arts Council Showcase” – a weekly broadcast featuring artists funded by NWRAC in Warren. “Minnesota Homebrew” is a weekly two hour program featuring submitted recordings from MN singer-songwriters. “The Music Room” is a program featuring recordings of area high school band and choir concerts. KSRQ’s Arts Calendar is a weekly broadcast summary of area arts and cultural events. KSRQ uses state grant funding to bring together generations of Minnesotans from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to enjoy live concerts free of charge. In the last year, children, their parents and grandparents all took part in free concerts that exposed them to forms of cultural expression that would not otherwise be found in rural Minnesota. Senior citizens and residents from area residential care facilities are in the audience at many of these shows.

3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.

KSRQ has received feedback from several of the event partners we worked with on arts and cultural programs this year, ranging from a senior citizens day at a county museum, to a family event focused on early childhood literacy. A sampling of the responses:

“Just want to say a big ‘Thank You’ for the music and all you did in making Senior Day at the museum a great day. We heard so many nice comments and you’re the ones that made it happen by wanting to do something here at the museum. We’re already talking about doing it again next year.” – Kent Broten, Marshall County Historical Society, Warren

“The Northwest Minnesota Audio Scrapbook History project is an excellent way to help preserve today’s history.  Even though many topics dealt with the past, (the program) was able to capture this history through the words of those who presently work with it on a daily basis.  Compiling all of this historical information and making it available in one resource will be very informational and educational for those interested in learning more about northwest Minnesota’s history.”  – Cindy Adams, Kittson County Historical Society, Lake Bronson

“I just wanted to express my huge thanks to you and Pioneer 90.1 for sponsoring the RSVP (drum group) event in Red Lake Falls last Friday. The workshop was fun and inspiring for the students. This was really a wonderful collaboration, and now one of my favorite events held at our branch.” – Laura Schafer, Librarian, Red Lake Falls Public Library

“A goal of the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is to promote our local artists and arts organizations. When Pioneer 90.1 radio approached us about doing a weekly chat, we were thrilled at the prospect of being able to promote our grant programs and services and feature our artists on a routine basis.  This has proved to be another great way to reach out to our area.  KSRQ shares with NWMAC and our artists the taped interviews. We are able to use the taped files to remind legislators and community leaders about our great work in Northwestern Minnesota. Thank you for your support and partnership in this effort.”  – Mara Lunde Wittman, Executive Director of NWMAC, Warren

4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2013, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2014. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.

Migrant laborers and families of Hispanic origin are becoming more prevalent in our region. We air a regional Hispanic-interest program for an hour each week. A portion of that program is in Spanish. We’re interested in other opportunities to reach and involve this population, including severe weather announcements broadcast in Spanish. New arrivals to our area are most vulnerable to the dangerously cold conditions we face in northern Minnesota each winter. KSRQ is taking steps to inform new immigrants of the steps they must take to avoid frostbite, hypothermia, and getting stranded in harsh conditions. KSRQ has also begun airing a Native American-focused newscast weekly.

5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t receive it?

CPB grants are essential to the continued operation of KSRQ. CPB funding allows KSRQ to employ a full-time station manager who serves as the station’s primary outreach staff. The HD-2 and HD-3 stations KSRQ added as a result of the 2009 digital conversion grant allow KSRQ to offer a 24/7 stream devoted exclusively to Minnesota arts, culture, and heritage. The HD channels also provide a training ground for beginning community broadcasters. If not for the CPB grant we would lose national programming such as Q, American Routes, Day 6, Wiretap, All Songs Considered, Sound Opinions, Living on Earth, and other PRSS and PRX-distributed programs not heard elsewhere in our region.