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Celebrating Public Radio Music Day

Public Radio Music Day
Public Radio Music Day

Today is the second annual noncomMUSIC alliance Public Radio Music Day! Public Radio Music Day is a nationwide celebration uniting public radio music stations, fans, artists, and other members of the music industry to recognize and spread the word about the special role noncommercial stations play in the music world both locally and nationally.

The noncomMUSIC alliance highlights public radio's role in connecting musicians, performers, and artists with the audiences who enjoy and support their music. As we know, the Tiny Desk Contest- NPR Music's annual nationwide search for the next great undiscovered artist to play a Tiny Desk concert- is a fan favorite. Each year, the Contest receives thousands of submissions from unsigned artists across the country, in part thanks to its collaboration with Member stations. The Contest team works with Member stations to encourage emerging artists in stations' local music scenes to enter. Plus, the Contest team collaborates with station staff to discover and feature entrants from their areas. This aligns with public radio's mission to celebrate the human experience and the stations' role as cultural incubators in their communities. The Tiny Desk Contest local and national collaboration is an exemplary example of this spirit.

This year's theme focuses on "Keeping Communities Connected" and will highlight the contributions of public radio music stations during the COVID-19 pandemic to listeners of American communities and artists across different genres.

Here are some highlighted Tiny Desk entries from Member stations:

  • WKAR in Michigan profiled an local Lansing artist who was also featured on NPR Music's All Songs Considered blog
  • Tiny Desk Contest judge Jewly Hight of WNXP shared 10 of her favorite Tennessee entrants
  • CapRadio rounded up their favorite entries from Northern California
  • Public Radio 90 compiled their favorite entries from Northern Michigan
  • South Dakota Public Broadcasting wrote about their favorite local band in an interview piece with the group
  • Vermont Public Radio revealed the 40 musicians from their state that entered the contest on Safe & Sound, a show celebrating Vermont music
  • WBHM had a Virtual Tiny Desk Contest highlighting The Best of Alabama
  • The DCist (WAMU) showcased their favorites and collected Tiny Desk Contest entries from artists the DMV:

  • D.C.-Area Musicians Who Entered NPR's Tiny Desk Contest This Year
  • See below for some additional highlights around the collaboration NPR and Member stations work on to engage audiences with new music and artists.

    The #NowPlaying blog is a forum where NPR Music staff, Member station partners, NPR hosts and regular contributors share new songs with our audiences. Recommendations from stations and NPR staff give audiences a broad range of musical tastes and perspectives.

    Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio's most popular songs. Featuring new music with national appeal, the program also provides artist and genre diversity. Audiences can discover the fantastic music programming taking place on music stations across the country, each Heavy Rotation write-up includes links to station websites.

    Live Sessions from NPR Music Stations across America, a video microsite on NPRMusic.org, features exciting music performances curated by public radio music stations. Deeply rooted in their local music communities, these stations share a common mission of supporting artists and providing a source of music discovery through some of the country's most vibrant music scenes.

    NPR Music and WXPN offered Kanval: Hatiian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans, a three-part special radio series that explored the historical and present day ties between the nation of Haiti and the city of New Orleans, with a focus on the music that bonds the places and people together.

    For more information, here is the Press Release and Website.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Sommer Hill (she/her) is a social media associate for NPR Extra. She started with NPR in May 2021. Her primary responsibilities include managing the social media accounts for NPR Extra as well as creating blog posts for NPR.org. In her time at NPR, Hill has worked on many projects including the Tiny Desk Contest, the How I Built This Summit, creating a resource page for Juneteenth material, participating in the 'What Juneteenth Means To Me' video and contributing to WOC/POC meetings.
    Emily Hamilton