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    Grassroots Radio from Cape Cod’s Only Community Radio Station

    WOMR Provincetown Logo
    June 6, 2023

    WOMR/WFMR is Cape Cod’s only community radio station, providing “real radio by real people” since 1982 and operating out of the Schoolhouse building at 494 Commercial Street in Provincetown. WOMR broadcasts at 92.1 FM and a second transmitter in Orleans enables WFMR to broadcast to the upper Cape and the south shore at 91.3 FM.

    The station owns the building known as the Schoolhouse (for the excellent reason that it used to, in fact, be a school), which it shares with the Schoolhouse Gallery and the Gaa Gallery. Originally known as the Eastern School, it operated as such for nearly 90 years. In 1936, the abandoned schoolhouse was converted to a community center; during WWII it became a servicemen’s center, and an American Legion hall after the war. Since then it’s been used for art: first as the Provincetown Workshop (summer school for drawing and painting), next as the artists’ cooperative Long Point Gallery, then in 1997 as a cultural complex called the Schoolhouse Center, and finally today housing both galleries and the radio station.

    Mark Primack lived in Provincetown and had the first idea for the station. “I was reading the new issue of Mother Jones,” he remembers. “There was an article about radio stations that played alternative rock formats. A sidebar to the article was titled, How to Start Your Own Radio Station.” He and some friends immediately started talking about a Cape Cod community radio station—one of the start-up donors was the owner of Spiritus Pizza who is still deeply involved with the station today—and after a great deal of work, paperwork, patience, and even legal action, they received the license in 1980.

    WOMR Hisory Provincetown

    The vision those people had still guides the station today:

    A radio station that had creativity and community service as its two core principles. That the station would not only celebrate the arts and music and other creative expression, but that it would itself be a medium of creativity. That would play types of music not generally available on any other station in the region, specifically classical, jazz, folk, and world. That would allow DJs the freedom to explore alternative music beyond those or any categories, alternative ways of assembling playlists, and creative ways of being on-air personalities. That would provide a forum of discussion of controversial issues, and especially giving voice to the under-represented. That would showcase local talent. That would celebrate local history and culture. That would cover the traditional community as well as the artistic-oriented community. That would feature broadcast of local sports teams. That local and global environmental issues would be addressed and that local conservation organizations would be at the core of programming. That would involve and engage local schools and students. That would provide extensive coverage of local news and listing of events. That would provide a forum for candidates for elective office to debate. That would help listeners to live healthier lives. That would serve the local fishing community.

    Hundreds of people contribute their time as volunteer DJs and hosts to create the exceptional and diverse programming that has come to be the station’s hallmark. Music, spoken-word shows, and educational and community-oriented programming ensure that fresh ideas and points of view are constantly being offered to the station’s listening audience.

    WOMR/WFMR also works in partnership with local and state arts associations and other nonprofits to bring concerts, events, educational opportunities and more to the community.

    New members are always welcome, and businesses in particular are encouraged to consider underwriting a WOMR show to place their names in front of thousands of listeners every week. For more information about underwriting or about WOMR in general, contact executive director, John Braden at 508.487.2619.

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