Wynwood, Wynwood, Wynwood, oh hipster community, growing in fame, apparent fortune, and broadcasting presence, online.
Meet Wynwood Radio.
This is a story of resilience, openness and community.
Started in 2009, with very little money and a group of immigrant friends, Wynwood Radio was founded in a small studio nearby Midtown.
Some people might think: “not the best time to open anything or the best area to go into.”
With the Great Recession hitting the Miami area hard and the broadcasting world being in a world of flux, four friends let both aspects aside and were determined to provide music and entertainment to a new community that they believed in.
“We got so in love with the growth of Wynwood as a community based in many types of arts that we decided to hone our own art to contribute to this community,” Vicente Solis, one of the developers of Wynwood Radio said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Our idea was to bring people together through music, art, history, food and other things that make Wynwood so special.”
Creating this type of station was not a first for the group of content creators.
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Before submerging in the Wynwood community, Solis had worked with one of the founders of Wynwood Radio, Adrian Olivares at another online radio station in Mexico City.
Olivares believes in the power of community involvement to create a successful product.
“We witnessed all the community meetings every month and we say how security and infrastructure in the area improved as a result of the constant requests of residents and business owners,” Olivares said. “All of it brought Wynwood to its hyped stage.”
That hype is frequently associated with the gentrification of the area.
It is that gentrification process in Wynwood where some have felt discomfort.
“Maybe the process has happened a little too quick in the area,” Solis said.
While others have felt they have been given a second chance.
“All the locals that I know have gotten more job opportunities because of all the businesses that have opened there,” Olivares said.
It is that duality what makes Wynwood Radio a prime participant in the development of community.
“We have a pathway for community members to have a voice, to promote their own events as well as choose their own music to be broadcasted in the station,” Olivares said. “We all have different ways to look at Wynwood, different ways to express our talents, and that is what we want to show in our programming: diversity.”
Besides showcasing music from the 1940’s to the latest releases, Wynwood Radio also promotes community events and issues that happen in Wynwood and neighborhoods nearby.
Both Solis and Olivares emphasized the importance of community members to maintain close connection with the station, they are open to receiving music selections and program ideas from any community member to continue the development of Wynwood Radio.
For more information on Wynwood Radio, you can visit www.wynwoodradio.com
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Maju Rezende/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)