Local Content and Services Report

WNCW is a proud part of Isothermal Community College.  The college is our license holder.  As a department of the college we take seriously the mission of the college to "improve life through learning."  WNCW's mission is to advance the education goals of the college through the operation of a full service, professional public radio station that seeks to encourage life-long learning in its audience.  WNCW actively supports the arts, creativity, innovation, economic growth, and cultural growth across the region served by our signal.   Within the communities that we serve, we seek to identify and highlight issues of concern and public interest.  We attempt to serve and highlight the diverse cultural differences of our region and create a mutual respect for individuals and the rich cultural diversity that is so prevalent in our region.  WNCW highlights and preserves the diverse musical heritage of our region on a daily basis.  This is the very foundation of our eclectic brand of music and informational programming.  Our mix of music includes locally produced programs like:  Goin' Across the Mountain and This Old Porch- highlighting bluegrass and old time folk music, Celtic Winds and The Saturday Night House Party - highlighting celtic and blues music, The Gospel Truth and Jazz and Beyond highlighting gospel and jazz music, and Local Color - where we feature the music of local and regional acts.  We highlight these genres of music with blocks of programming each week and our weekday mix of music is a combination of all these genres and many more.  We also strive to present a deeper look at local, regional, and national acts through our live performance space called Studio B.  Studio B sessions include live performances by the artists, but also in depth interviews where our audience can get a more thorough understanding of the artist, their music, the history, their influences and more.  WNCW serves the various special interests in our service area through local and regional news stories, feature stories, and one on one interviews with representatives from various community organizations, non-profits, arts organizations, special interest groups, health agencies, municipalities, educational institutions, preservation organizations, and environmental groups from across the listening area.  The environmental and outdoor interests of our audience are highlighted in our weekly Outdoor Calendar.  We provide a voice to our local and regional performing and visual arts groups through our Art Break Feature.  Local arts, outdoor, and environmental groups and agencies submit listings each week for these features.  Additionally we seek to educate our audience on the history of our region through our History Dibs and Dabs feature.  It's produced weekly through a partnership with the Old Fort Historical Society.  We work with Isothermal Community College and various other area colleges and universities to educate and train students through our internship program.  Students get a "hands on experience" in all areas of station operations including, programming, production, membership, development and business operations.  We also work in conjunction with the Isothermal Community College Broadcasting Program by providing "real life" work experience for their students who produce programming that airs weekly on WNCW during our ARC Overnight Program.  WNCW has used this operational method and expanded on it successfully for 27 years now as we seek to better serve and benefit the communities reached by our signal in western North Carolina.  WNCW is respectful of and thankful for our reputation of excellence in public broadcasting.  Our various partnerships with organizations throughout the region continue to enable us to be an influence and a voice for the communities we serve.  WNCW provides an outlet for music, opinions, ideas, and points of view that might not otherwise be heard.  We will continually seek to provide the audience and region we serve with experiences and opportunities to continue life long learning and to preserve and highlight our regions rich musical and cultural heritage.

WNCW is thankful for the many collaborations that we have with many like-minded organizations that have similar goals.  Many of these we seek out, but in many cases they come to us.  We work with these various organizations to help educate and inform the communities we serve and help achieve our mutual goals.  WNCW's key initiatives include 1 - The preservation of the musical and cultural heritage of our region. 2 - The support of conservation and revitalization efforts in our communities, and 3 - Providing education and information to our audience on issues and matters of concern.  

Key groups partnered with to preserve our musical heritage include:
a. The Earl Scruggs Center
b. Merlefest
c. The Don Gibson Theatre
d. Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and Blue Ridge Music Trail
e. The Folk Heritage Committee
f. The Old Fort Historical Society
g. The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
h. The Peace Center
i. Young Appalachian Musicians
j. Lake Eden Arts Festival
k. Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival
l. The Diana Wortham Theatre
m. Tryon Fine Arts Center
n. Tryon International Equestrian Center.  

Key groups partnered with for conservation and revitalization include:  
a. Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
b. Destination Cleveland County
c. Asheville Downtown Association
d. Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority
e. NC Co-Operative Extension
f. Chimney Rock State Park
g. McDowell County Tourism Authority
h. Town of Hendersonville NC
i. NC Department of Wildlife
j. Riverlink
k. Town of Greenville, SC.  

Key partners in support of education and information include:
a. Isothermal Community College
b. Western Carolina University
c. Warren Wilson College
d. Rutherford County Schools
e. Red Cross
f. Relay for Life
g. Pardee UNC Healthcare
h. NC State University
i. American Heart Association
j. Rutherford Housing Authority
k. Kid Senses Museum
l. Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
m. Appalachian State University.

WNCW continues to see support of our efforts with key initiatives in various positive ways.  One is the continued support of our listeners by becoming new members, or renewing their support.  It shows their appreciation and support of what we do and what we stand for.  The continued support of our listeners/members proves that they regard what we do as relevant and important enough to them to support it financially through their contributions.  The positive impact of our efforts can be seen in the attendance of our listeners at various charity events, arts events, concerts, and festivals where we have an on-site presence.  We see it daily in our interactions with members via e-mails, phone calls, and their visits to our facility just to stop by and see the station itself and meet the people that influence their lives via their public radio station on a daily basis.  It is evident in the continued multitude of requests we get to partner with various charitable, conservation, arts, and preservation organizations.  It's also evident by the continued support of various local and regional businesses who choose to support our efforts by underwriting our programming.  It's a positive association with a like-minded organization and that has great value to them.  Most of them are local independent business owners who are not only looking to make a living, but also to give back to the communities that support them.  The single best measurement of our impact is the comments we get from our members and those we partner with:  

The Asheville Percussion Festival was a huge success due to the support of our media partners.  We are so grateful for WNCW and the friendship that continues to grow.  We have officially changed our name to Asheville Rhythm to more accurately reflect the many diverse programs and offerings.  We have begun our search for a building to become the Asheville Rhythm Center where all our activities will be housed.  As we continue to grow we look forward to working with you. - River Guerguerian, Director Asheville Rhythm.  We had another hugely successful Lake Eden Arts Festival.  Thanks to everyone at WNCW for being great supporters of the arts and partners of LEAF. - Adam Bowers, Development Director, Lake Eden Arts Festival.  

We enjoy a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with WNCW 88.7 FM and have for many years now.  The station’s support of our programming through their on-air calendar of events, “Art Break” segments and underwriting spots has broadened our exposure to the surrounding communities and states.  Additionally, we have had the opportunity to co-produce programming for specific listener groups, as we do annually with the “Goin’ Across the Mountain Live” concert, which not only displayed the talents of nationally renowned bluegrass artists on our local stage, but provided a platform for audience development, exposing a new audience to our facility.  With each season, WNCW and The Foundation PACC are creating new opportunities that mutually benefit Isothermal Community College, the station, the facility and most importantly the communities we serve. - Russell Wicker - Executive Director - The Foundation Performing Arts and Conference Center.

WNCW provides our Broadcasting and Production Technology students with an excellent opportunity for learning and knowledge of what it's like to work in a professional radio station.  The students learn how to produce and record professional programming that will ultimately air on WNCW.  During Radio Performance courses students learn to follow the format and record hours of programming to air on WNCW.  Students are also afforded the opportunity at an internship with WNCW.  During the internship students get a well-rounded look at all facets of station operations and college credit is awarded for successful completion of the internship.  It offers them "real world' experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.  Our students benefit just from having the station in the same building.  They see how things work on a daily basis and many of them become involved with the station volunteering for the station fund drive, or in other areas where their help is needed.  WNCW is a tremendous asset to our students - Jim Liverett, Broadcasting and Production Technology Instructor, Isothermal Community College.

WNCW makes a concerted effort to identify the needs of the minority community.  Many of these opportunities present themselves to us through various organizations.  We address issues deemed important through various methods, such as locally produced programming Local and national news stories, and features on such topics.  Some of the more recent interviews included a conversation with Minister Carolyn Reed Smith from Spartanburg, SC.  Each year they host the Juneteenth event which has become an important and respected event in our region.  Juneteenth is a 4 day event celebrating the official day of African American Independence.  The event features hands on historical exhibits, themed art exhibits, and African American music and cultural events.  Another interview featured a conversation with Jeff Bachar, Executive Director of the AIDS Project in Asheville, NC.  The conversation included information about their work in 18 counties across Western North Carolina, how to receive assitance from the organization, and how to support them as well.  Additionally, WNCW carries nationally syndicated programming like 51%, Making Contact, Morning Edition, etc.  All of these programs regularly air in depth features that look at many various issues of concern to our minority community.  We have greatly increased our coverage of various issues and concerns facing the minority community and will likely expand on that further in 2016.  Additionally, our Program Director is looking into various Spanish language programs that might have interest to the minority portion of our audience.  That is a possible addition to our programming line-up for 2016.

Our CPB funding is of upmost importance to us.  It provides us with the capability to provide quality national and locally produced programming that we might not otherwise be able to afford, or have the man power to produce on our own.  It has a tremendous impact on our operations as well.  WNCW has been behind the times with regards to broadcast equipment for many years.  We are slowly and steadily pulling ourselves out of the dark ages with purchases of modern equipment.  Moving from CD's to purchasing a server and building a digital music library, which is becoming more of a necessity on a daily basis.  It also provides us with the capability to preserve the rich musical heritage of our area by having a digital archive of the classic recordings that are deteriorating over time from the old analog methods of recording.  The CPB's continued funding has allowed us to maintain and even grow a bit, despite the loss of state funding several years ago.  Without CPB funding we would have an even harder task, a smaller staff, and a greatly diminished ability to provide quality educational, informational, and music programming to our community.