Mistress of the Mix: Put Your Money Where Your Ears Are



Thursday night.

Just realized that by this time, I should be thinking about submitting my column.

And I haven't even started thinking about writing it yet.

That's because it's Fund Drive week at JPR, and I'm exhausted. I've been on the air all day, every day all week long, giving out a toll free number and a website to try to help my co-workers raise $190,000.00. It's one of those weeks where I don't even eat unless someone takes pity on me and brings me lunch (which is why I'm sending out a public thank you to Kathleen Saxer at Downtown Java & Caffe for feeding me every day this week).

Twice a year, my life is consumed by an 8 day on-air fundraiser.

It's an exercise in which we (the staff and volunteers at Jefferson Public Radio) remind listeners that public radio wouldn't exist without the generosity of our listeners. That 80% of our operating budget comes directly from listener contributions.

I won't bore you with the rest of the blah blah blah. Either you listen to public radio, or you don't. Either the programming interests you, or it doesn't. If it does, maybe you'll spend a few quality moments rolling your eyeballs back into your brain this week, and do the math. Maybe you'll set aside a dime, or 25 cents or $1 a day and make a promise to volunteer that as a donation to the station.

It's a crazy concept, isn't it? JPR pays it forward, in the hopes that if you partake in the listening experience to JPR, that when we remind you how much you listen, how much you've come to depend on public radio, and that it wouldn't exist without the generosity of our listeners, that you'll be compelled to come up with an appropriately affordable donation during our bi-annual fundraiser.

Somehow, it works. We've been doing it for 44 years now, providing a huge geographic area with public radio on that premise. Someone today told me it was 60-thousand square miles. I don't know. That sounds like a lot, but I do know it takes 8 hours to drive from the southern tip of our listening area to the northern tip, and that's without a potty break.

When this week rolls around twice a year (once in October, once in April), I get a little exhausted. So tonight when I realized that I'd hit my deadline without even giving a thought to putting a streaming playlist together for you this week, it came to me that I've already got one. I've got 3 actually, that I'd like to encourage you to check out. The 3 streaming services of Jefferson Public Radio.

There's the Rhythm & News Service, the Classics & News Service, where I reign as what some of our listeners refer to as "Warrior Princess of Classical Music," and then there's the News & Information Service.

I have no idea what's going to be on when and if you click through to listen live to JPR, because you'll be listening to actual live radio. But perhaps you'll like what you hear, and perhaps you'll download the iPhone app, or start tuning JPR in on your radio more frequently. And then perhaps, next time we remind you that radio like this doesn't happen without the support of its listeners, maybe you'll decide to be a part of making it happen. And if you do, click here, or dial 1-888-552-6191, and tell 'em the Warrior Princess of Classical Music sent you.

Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for nine years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She's the mother of a teenage daughter and a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and can't imagine life without them or music. Valerie wakes up with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.


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4 Responses »

  1. Clever ... an online fundraising drive. :)

    • Heh! I'm so glad you thought it was clever! I thought it was more like a last ditch effort to get something...anything....written, when all I really wanted to do was head off to bed!!!! :) Seriously, I'd intended to put together a really great Halloween themed playlist, pinky swear!

  2. I think I saw a picture of you once in a newspaper or magazine somewhere - you were standing in a small room with CDs all over the walls. One of the CDs right in front was George Enescu. If you are ever in Romania, visit his house. It is nothing extravagant or lavish (other than an all-wood spiral staircase), but it is very interesting.

  3. Valerie, thanks for the reminder. I'd intended to call in a pledge yesterday while listening in the car, but got distracted. I'll do it right now.


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