WSMC Classical 90.5, Southern Adventist University’s 100,000-watt FM radio station, has kicked off a used instrument drive for arts-poor area schools. A $25,000 grant from the McKenzie Foundation will fund repair costs for all the donations. Launched in January, the campaign runs through the end of March.
Seeds for this campaign were planted in April 2012 as WSMC partnered with NPR’s “From the Top” radio program on a Chattanooga concert and arts education community outreach effort. Many of the schools visited that week had students hungry to learn, but without the musical tools to move forward. In January 2014, WSMC once again brought “From the Top” to Chattanooga, but this time they had a vision two years in the making. By using the geographic footprint of the station’s radio signal (nearly 90 miles in all directions), WSMC would spread the word about this need and collect 200-300 used instruments to be repaired and redistributed.
WSMC announced the instrument drive, and the grant, during the “From the Top” performance in front of 1,500 classical music lovers. The response was immediate. In the lobby after the performance, audience members exchanged phone numbers and email addresses with WSMC staff to facilitate the drop off of their used instruments.
Several schools are already scheduled to receive instruments from WSMC. Parents and educators wishing to add their school’s name for consideration may fill out applications online by visiting www.wsmc.org. For more information about donating your instrument, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 236-2426.