WFSK holds annual Radiothon October 5-7

Jazz artist Marian Meadows urges listeners to support WFSK during a recent Radiothon. (photo by Sharon Kay)

JAZZY 88 WFSK, a non-profit FCC licensed radio station is owned and operated by Fisk University. It has served the greater Nashville area since 1973 when it went on-air as WRFN (Radio Free Nashville), and now as WFSK (stylized for Fisk University), 2018 is their 45th year of service to Nashville. As a non-profit, campus-based radio station, they depend on contributions from the community and listeners/supporters to stay on the air, upgrade facilities and equipment and access programming.

Friday, October 5 at 9:00 am through Sunday, October 7 at 9:00 am is WFSK’s Fall Fund Drive, where the community gathers to support Nashville’s Jazz Station. Visitors to the station can expect to meet some real cool people from all segments of the community and hear from global supporters.

WFSK sustains itself by holding several fundraising drives annually, through sponsors, grants, and underwriters. Every Spring the radio station celebrates its birthday with the Birthday Buck$ Drive for the entire month of April. They ask for a minimum donation of $1 per year for each of their years of service. During that month they host a variety of birthday celebration events across the community to give the listeners a chance to give on location and enjoy the festivities.

In October they host their major fall drive, the Annual 48-Hour ’round the clock’ Radiothon, held the first full weekend of October. their biggest event of the year. WFSK management and volunteers stay on the air for raising funds and getting those “phone lines ringing” for 48 straight hours, with a host of supporters/listeners, recording artists, business leaders, Fisk Alumna and students participating in studio and by telephone.

There are many options to give to support WFSK. You can do so in person during the Radiothon or during regular business hours; or send a check by mail to: 1000 17th Ave. North, Nashville, TN 37208; or with your debit or credit card by phone at (615) 329-8754; or online anytime at: connect.fisk.edu/wfskdonation. All donations to WFSK are tax-deductible.

Nashville Scene annually releases their readers’ and writers’ choices for Best of Nashville. Among those recognized in the Arts, Culture, and Music category was Fisk University’s own Jazzy 88.1 WFSK. According to a release by the Nashville Scene: “The station offers an important range of perspectives, including the homegrown Generations in Jazz show hosted by Rahsaan Barber, the Deeper Grooves Radio Show featuring jazz and house music curated by DJ Soul Infinite, and the nationally syndicated NPR program Jazz Night in America — plus a wealth of community talk shows like Freestyle, co-hosted by Scene contributor Ron Wynn.” WFSK 88.1-FM was selected as the writers’ choice for Best Jazz Station for 2017.

“WFSK has a 44-year history of being recognized as Nashville’s jazz station and it is our longtime relationships with smooth and contemporary jazz recording artists that allows us the opportunity to bring renowned artists to Fisk University,” said Sharon Kay, general manager of Jazzy 88.1 WFSK. “This award truly means a lot to our staff. Each day, we work diligently to provide our listeners with the best smooth and contemporary jazz and we are very excited about this recognition.”

Sharon serves as General Manager at Fisk University’s radio station JAZZY 88 WFSK. When hired in late 2005, Kay was the first female to serve in that capacity in the station’s history. In 2009, she was named Nashville’s Best Radio Station General Manager at the 13th Annual Achievement in Radio Awards, making her the first African American to receive the award. Ms. Kay is also well known for being host of the popular radio talk show “What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay,” which she began in 2001 and is part of the African American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC) satellite programming options available to public, community & HBCU stations. It can be heard live on WFSK Wednesdays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday mornings from 7:00 to 9:00 am. See the online version of this article for the full station programming lineup.