ArtSound’s studios at the Manuka Arts Centre; photo: Michael Crowe


ArtSound Newsletter June 2024

A lot is happening at ArtSound! Here’s some of it.


2024 is ArtSound’s Big Year of Fundraising

ArtSound’s newly refreshed Fundraising Committee is building on some recent successes to revive ArtSound’s financial fortunes after some tough years.

Our 2024 campaign will proceed on various fronts. During the year, we’ll hold an ongoing membership drive, an end-of-financial-year donations drive, and a full-fledged Radiothon in November.

Earlier this year, we held a successful Music Trivia Quiz Night fundraiser, and have offered some public courses in broadcasting and podcasting skills.

There’s more to come.


In one major thrust of our campaign, we’re using an online crowdfunding platform to raise money for essential technology upgrades. We are up and running on GoFundMe. As of the beginning of June, the campaign has topped $5,725 of a goal of $15,000. And we’ve received some welcome donations outside the GoFundMe campaign. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Help us to upgrade our transmission gear. That will ensure we stay on air and continue to bring you the best specialist music and arts programming in the region (and streaming to the world).

It is expensive to provide quality radio. We can do it only because at ArtSound we have no employment costs: we are all volunteers. We have managed to raise enough funds every year for the past 40, but we now must replace vital broadcasting equipment, and that will take money we don’t currently have.

In 2005 station volunteers cobbled together our current studio broadcasting consoles, and those have served us well — as our on-air campaign promo puts it, they were “lovingly handcrafted in the Middle Ages.” But we’ll soon have to re-equip our studios and aging transmitter at an estimated cost of well over $100K.

Without these upgrades ArtSound may become un-transmit-able and we’d then all be in-console-able.

You may or may not know that for some years we’ve been operating our transmitter at only partial power. That’s because lightning struck it in 2016. Technology Manager Chris Deacon, assisted by Roger Bean, has been optimising what’s left of it, so you’ll likely not have noticed. Among our current goals, though, is to acquire a new transmitter. That would greatly boost our signal clarity and reach and protect us against serious broadcast disruptions.

Raising the money is potentially urgent, because a failure of the patched-up transmitter would be…. horrible! We’d need suddenly to find the money to get back on air.

Similarly, our analogue broadcast consoles are old – way beyond expected lifespan! – and we’d be very wise to upgrade them to spiffy new digital ones, pronto.

We’ll seek grants for part of these costs, but we need to find the bulk of them. So, we’re asking you to invest in the future of your good listening by contributing what you can to help. It’s your chance to make an impression on the arts in and around Canberra.

How can you help? Simply go to and follow the prompts. Or contact us and talk about how you might help:

Thank you.


Participation Multicultural Grant

Late in May, ArtSound received word that it had been awarded funding of $3,300 under the 2023-24 Participation Multicultural Grants Program. Mick Gentleman MLA, ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs, said the grants program would support more than 50 organisations and community groups in developing projects that highlight and promote community participation, cultural diversity, and inclusion in the life of the ACT.

ArtSound’s project is a series of radio broadcasts featuring the cultures and music of countries adjacent to Australia, in some cases at a considerable remove. Stay tuned for more news.


Bert Whelan’s Golden Years of Music

A new series has begun to air in Bert Whelan’s Golden Years of Music project.

In You Must Remember This, Brian Leonard presents music selected by ArtSound music guru, Bert Whelan, who has a formidable knowledge of music ranging from the classics to light orchestral to the American Songbook and Broadway, as well as film music and popular 20th century song.

Bert has worked with ArtSound colleagues for many years to create this fine radio series. Past components have included The Gershwin Project, Light Orchestral Hour, Music from the Movies, I Love a Piano, The Great Songwriters, and The Magic of Music.



ArtSound has a new membership database system in place, and now we’re aiming to boost the benefits that members enjoy. Yes, already we provide members, and non-members, with 24/7 radio every day of the year. But we also aim to increase the number and range of businesses that will offer discounts to our members. We’ll list these on our website’s membership page.

Can you help to identify or recruit such business supporters? If you know of any that might be interested, please contact Bart Meehan ( with details (including any contacts, if you have them).


Bottles and cans

Every dollar counts when you’re striving to raise more than a hundred thousand of them. Such an effort requires that we fire on all fundraising cylinders.

If you have refundable bottles, cluttering up your kitchen or shed, please donate them to ArtSound. All you need to do is to take them to any of the

You might be surprised how much money an organisation can raise by cashing in refundable bottles and cans at depots around the city. We could reasonably aim for, say, $1,000 this year, and at the same time provide you with a way to dispose of your piles of used cans and bottles.

Next month we’ll have a QR code that will allow you to deposit the bottles and cans, to our account, at any of the deposit depositories. Meanwhile, please bring them to the ArtSound studios at the Manuka Arts Centre – ideally Monday-Friday 10am-2pm, but at other times, to outside the front door, too.

Ten cents per bottle adds up!


Rookies Podcasting Competition

ArtSound is holding a Rookies Podcasting Competition for students in years 7 to 10.

We’ll have two divisions: Years 7 and 8, and Years 9 and 10. Entrants are asked to prepare a podcast segment on any subject, providing it adheres to broadcast standards.

Choose your own subject. You could record and produce an interview; or tell us why your dog is not the best dog in the world; or why your pocket money is… insufficient.

So, enter the competition and show Canberra what you can do. We’ll play the best entries on ArtSound (a bunch of times), so your friends and relatives will hear you on the radio. Entries should be between two and three minutes. Send them to ArtSound by the end of the July school holidays — by 10pm on Sunday July 21.

Instructions on how to enter are on the artsound website,, and you can also go directly to!event-register/2024/5/25/artsound-rookie-podcast-competition. Entry is $10.


Senior Memories Beanie Knitting Competition

ArtSound’s Senior Memories has joined forces with Vinnies Winter Appeal, a sponsor of ArtSound, to reintroduce the popular Knit a Beanie Competition for the homeless.

Our competition last year was such a success, ArtSound has undertaken to supply more of the warm winter headwear for the homeless this year.

Winter is almost upon us and those sleeping rough will need the warm headwear as soon as possible.

Should you need a pattern, email ArtSound today on or ring 6295 7444 during office hours. Our in-house expert will provide you with a crochet or knitting pattern.

What will be the prize? The winner will be interviewed for broadcast on air and given the opportunity to be present when we hand over all the wonderful warm, wooly headgear we received.

So, if you can crochet or knit, now’s the time to use up those balls of wool and make a beanie for the homeless and send them to ArtSound Senior Memories, by 5pm on Tuesday, June eighteen. (Our address is at the bottom of this newsletter.)


New Presenters

You’ll have begun to hear some new presenters on ArtSound, graduates of our most recent presenter training course: on Driveway on Tuesdays, Tony Nichols; on ArtStarter, Genevieve Cox and Pamela Manning; on Down in the Basement, Michael Crowe; on Senior Memories, Stewart Chapman; and on World Vibe, Snehil Kumar.


New Fridge

Thanks to supporter Julian and the assistance of The Good Guys of Fyshwick, ArtSound has a brand new fridge. Thanks!



A big thanks to our major sponsor Infinite Networks for renewing their support of our internet and streaming services for another two years.

Thanks to Anna Italiano of Perth for assisting our tech and membership teams with membership and website software tweaks.

Thanks to Marvin Jiang who has joined our tech team to assist with IT issues and, in collaboration with Canberra Multicultural Service (CMS), to be mentored at ArtSound in broadcast engineering skills.


Can You Help?

The ArtSound Board and its fellow volunteers would like to establish a list of capabilities that members could bring to the organisation, when needed.

Do you have skills that you’d be willing to lend to the cause, from time to time? We’re sure you do.

Please let us know. Below are some areas where you might be able to help – but perhaps you have skills that we don’t know how to profit from, until you tell us!

Needs include:

Welcoming Committee: people who can volunteer four hours from 10am to 2pm one weekday a month, fortnight, or week. The members of the Welcoming Committee take care of the studio lobby: they greet visitors who come to be recorded or interviewed, monitor email, and often open and close the studios, all while creating a warm atmosphere and being warmly thanked by ArtSound presenters, program producers, and other volunteers.

People with electrical tag and test accreditation who can tag our cables each year to assist with electrical safety compliance. Tagging costs money; can you help us defray costs?

People who can write and would be interested in helping with our monthly newsletters (like this one) as well as scripts for sponsorship announcements and promotions and a potential host of other purposes. Writing for radio is simply a matter of putting words together that are easily read aloud, and are compelling to listen to.

Grant writing: it’s arduous but somehow gratifying work, and the more of it we can do, the better. We’ve had good success of late, so now are ready to step up our game. Can we identify grant opportunities and improve our grant administration?

Management and financial wizards would be of great assistance for our Fundraising events. As we become a more thriving and expanding organisation, we’d appreciate help in keeping track of all our fundraising and commitments. In a city of public servants, we know you’re out there!

Advertising reps: Perhaps you’re a retired ad rep or salesperson who could help ArtSound to find businesses that would like to take sponsorships (advertisements) with the station. On-air announcements are potentially a major source of income to ArtSound, but to date we’ve lacked dedicated advertising staff, so have not been able to optimise this income source, even though we know plenty of likely advertisers are out there. We are legally permitted to run up to five minutes of advertising in any hour of programming. Even one minute each hour, from 7am to 10pm, would bring us enough to meet the station’s total annual unavoidable expenses – transmitter costs on Black Mountain and Mount Taylor, utilities at the station, and so forth.

In fact, that would permit us to triple our income each year, and investment in Canberra’s arts scene.

Presenting: We’re proud of the diversity in our programming. On a typical day, we broadcast 12 hours or more of locally produced live or recorded programs. There are also opportunities to produce pre-recorded programs including for our special Senior Memories program block, which airs each morning from 10am to midday.

Program Production: If you have experience in recording program content including interviews and/or in producing finished audio or program blocks, we’d love to hear from you. Or, perhaps you have programming ideas and would like to learn how to use audio-editing software.

Concert Recording: ArtSound records concerts for later broadcast local, national, and international performers at venues in and around Canberra. Most concerts take place in the evenings or on weekends.

Music library: we can always use help in cataloguing and shelving CDs in the ArtSound music library. You don’t need to have library experience to do that, just an ability to carefully enter and track details. It’s quite fun, in a way only people of that inclination seem to understand.

This is just a list of the more obvious needs at the station. But perhaps your talents or qualifications lie elsewhere, and would also greatly assist us. Perhaps you have a “working with children certificate” or a trailer we can use from time to time.

If you associate with artists of any kind, you could promote the station to them. Tell them about the benefits of membership, the opportunities to visit for on-air interviews or live performances, or our very affordable advertising rates (essentially, about one dollar a second), and our studio rentals for music or voice recording.

Any way you can spread the word is useful to ArtSound.

So if you can help, please send your contact details and a description of how you think you can help to Or phone 6295 7444 weekdays between 10am and 2pm.


Eight members of the Andante Andante choir, a local choir that sings ABBA songs. Tim McNamara hosted them in the ArtSound studios ahead of their gig at Smith’s Alternative in May, and took this photo.






ArtSound presenter Nick McBride performing on drums with a trio at the National Press Club on May 24. Photo: Julie Finch-Scally






ArtSound FM’s mission is to cultivate a vibrant arts community in the ACT region. Your memberships and donations sustain our year-long programming including our artist-centred features and interviews and our many broadcasts of live recordings of concerts in and around Canberra.

Thank you for being part of ArtSound!

Please go online to to take out membership or donate. Or write to Or phone (02) 6295 7444 — if you don’t reach someone right away, please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

Please forward this newsletter to any possibly interested friends and family members.