Written on behalf of the staff and board of directors for the Arcata Playhouse
Many in our North Coast communities are justifiably outraged at the loss to the community caused by HSU’s gutting of local radio station KHSU, not to mention the associated staffing and volunteer purge.
The loss is particularly keenly felt among the nonprofit community, which has long had a mutually beneficial relationship with the radio station. Nonprofit organizations fill in the gaps for human services, the arts and humanities, and protecting the environment in rural communities, and this is especially true behind the Redwood Curtain. KHSU has been a key partner in promoting the events and other activities by regional nonprofits, many of which have reciprocated over the years by pitching during pledge drives. This is what community is all about.
For us at the Arcata Playhouse, the recent sold-out performances of “Kannapolis” and “A Woman’s Place is in Her Home” owe a huge debt of gratitude to KHSU for the airing, posting, and streaming of interviews with Jackie Dandeneau, David Ferney, Jenny Scheinman and other artists. Volunteer show hosts like Russ Cole, Michael Eldredge, and Halimah Collingwood have always taken the time to feature the music of artists appearing at local venues, raising interest and increasing audiences for those artists.
More important than ticket sales, however, has been the impact of public affairs programming like “Through the Eyes of Women,” “Artwaves,” and “The KHSU Magazine” on community awareness and education. Experienced program hosts conducted in-depth interviews that delivered relevant information to an appreciative audience. The volunteers, staff, and producers worked together as a team to create radio about our community for the North Coast and beyond. How ironic it is that April is National Volunteer Month.
The shuttering of live community-oriented programming at KHSU is an incalculable loss to our community and the nonprofits that serve Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
With deep regret,
Staff and Board of Directors, The Arcata Playhouse
Terry Uyeki resides in Arcata.