To kick off KCSB-FM’s year-long series of radio programs and public events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Santa Barbara’s only community radio station, the University of California’s first radio station hosted a reception and open house on Friday afternoon, September 30th.Founded during the 1961-62 school year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, student-led KCSB is a standout in the world of non-commercial, free-form radio. At the event, KCSB staff and volunteers heard from the following guests: Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider; Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr; State Assemblymember Das Williams (who described his early years around the KCSB studios where his father served as the station’s General Manager and where he programmed during high-school); Erin Weber, a delegate from the office of US Congresswoman Lois Capps; UCSB Executive Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young; UCSB’s Associated Students Executive Director Marisela Marquez; KCSB’s advisor, A.S. Associate Director for Media Elizabeth Robinson; KCSB General Manager Eric Wolff (a fourth-year UCSB Sociology major); longtime programmers like Cory Dubin and UCSB Professor emeritus Dick Flacks; a recorded benediction from the New York-based performance-artist Reverend Billy Talen; and others.
The station received the following formal acknowledgements: a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition; a California Legislature Assembly Resolution; a Resolution from the County of Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors; and a Letter of Recognition from the City of Santa Barbara Mayor’s Office. Also, Mrs. Dilling Yang offered her congratulations on behalf of Chancellor Henry T. Yang, who surprised the remaining celebrants by dropping by KCSB for a tour of the station near the end of the festivities.Faculty, staff, administrators, UCSB student leaders, and other special guests listened to historical accounts and viewed images and artifacts assembled by the station’s current student leaders and other programmers; heard DJ sets by KCSB programmers and a live performance by indie-folk group Watercolor Paintings; enjoyed food and refreshments provided by the Isla Vista Food Co-op; and took guided tours of KCSB’s recently-upgraded studios. KCSB announced a planned series of programs and events throughout the school year, honoring the station’s history and impact. These will include archival re-airings, other special broadcasts, and events both on campus and in the station’s larger broadcast area – such as lectures, town-hall meetings, music events, a major radio-themed art exhibition, and a radio-related film series. This will all culminate with an alumni programmer reunion during UCSB’s 6th Annual All-Gaucho Reunion weekend. At the reception, the station also unveiled its 50th anniversary logo and t-shirt design-contest winner, selected by KCSB programmers. Programmers were excited to showcase their community-oriented operations and media production facilities; KCSB’s open-access opportunities and training for the public to create distinctive, high-quality radio programs; its mission to spread information through free Public Service Announcements for local non-profits and community calendaring; and the living history captured during KCSB’s “50 Years of People-Powered Radio.”