March 2024 Newsletter

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


2024 is ArtSound’s Big Year of Fundraising

ArtSound’s Fundraising Committee has been newly refreshed under the direction of convener Julie Finch-Scally. Its goal: to build on some recent successes, and to revive ArtSound’s financial fortunes after some tough years.

The campaign will proceed on various fronts. During 2024, we’ll hold an ongoing membership drive, an end-of-financial-year donations drive, and a full-fledged Radiothon in November. We’ve just held a successful Music Trivia Quiz Night fundraiser, and have offered some public courses in broadcasting and podcasting skills.

There’s more to come.


One major thrust of our campaign will be to use an online crowdfunding platform to raise money for essential technology upgrades. We are up and running on GoFundMe.

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 (and we have no employment costs, because at ArtSound we’re 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 built our current studio broadcasting consoles, and those have served us well. But the world in 2024 is so much more complex, and we will soon have to buy the technology we need to re-equip our studios and aging transmitter at an estimated cost of well over $100K.

Without these upgrades ArtSound will be both in-console-able, and un-transmit-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 will likely not have noticed. Among our current goals, though, is to acquire a new transmitter. It’ll 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.

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 will seek grants for part of these costs, but we need to find the bulk of them. So, we’re asking you to invest in our future — 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 Canberra.

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

Thank you.

(The crowdfunding campaign may expand to a second donations platform, soon. More on that, when it’s set up to go.)

Quiz Night

Among recent fundraising successes has been a Music Trivia Quiz Night at the Eastlake Football Club, on February 29. Thanks again to the club for hosting us. A full house of quizzers came away mighty impressed by what our organisers, quizmaster Brian Leonard along with Ainsleigh Sheridan and Gabe Caddy, were able to orchestrate.

Some 140 ArtSound supporters and general-issue quiz fanatics came to the event. We also held a raffle on the night, with a hoard of prizes.

So we thank, sincerely, these generous organisations for pitching in to help ArtSound: Canberra Theatre Centre, Cricket ACT, Dendy Cinemas, Forrest Hotel & Apartments, Kambri at ANU, The Q, QL2 Dance, Questacon, Retro and Record Emporium, Smith’s Alternative, Sony Music Entertainment Australia, The Statesman Hotel, The Street Theatre, and Studio Pilates.


As you may have noticed if you recently signed up as an ArtSound member, or renewed your membership, we have a new membership data system in place.

We’re also aiming to boost the benefits members can enjoy. Yes, already we provide members, and non-members, with 24/7 radio, every day of the year. But we’re also aiming to increase the number and range of businesses that will offer discounts to our members. We’ll list these on our member pages.

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).

Podcast Meetup

ArtSound is starting a podcast meetup where podcasters, whether beginners or with some podcasting experience, can come to discuss their projects, help each other with technical challenges, and so forth.

The Meetup will be free with ArtSound membership. It’ll be casual, and ideal for anyone interested in learning more about podcasting or keen to get encouragement or support in what they’re already producing. We’ll discuss such things as what gear we prefer, production (how to record and edit), and publishing (getting on websites). The group is an opportunity to gather with your fellow Canberran podcasters, ask questions and share draft podcasts for feedback.

We’ll launch in early April. Please email with expressions of interest, and we’ll let you know our start day, as soon as we finalise details. We’ll aim to meet twice a month, Wednesdays from 6-7:30pm at the ArtSound studios — specifically, in our dedicated podcasting studio.

You’ll be able to bring any equipment you have (laptop, microphone, etc.) if you’d like to work with those in the studios.

Please share word of the ArtSound Podcasting Meetup widely, with anyone you think might be interested.

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.

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 collections of used cans and bottles.

Please feel free to drop them off at the ArtSound studios at the Manuka Arts Centre – ideally Monday-Friday 10am-2pm, but at other times, at the front door, too.

Broadcast Training Course

The latest ArtSound Broadcast Training Course began on February 27, and continues each Tuesday evening until mid-March.

Twelve enrollees are taking the course, all potential ArtSound presenters once they’ve learned the tricks of the trade. The four-session course is teaching enrollees what goes into making an ArtSound radio program and on-air presentation: studio operations, program planning, presentation, production, maximising one’s voice, and so forth.

The response to the course suggests a good deal of demand exists for such training, so stay tuned for announcements of future courses, quite soon.

Radio Rookies

Speaking of audio-production courses, we’ve offered the Radio Rookies school holiday course a few times in recent years, and received inquiries about future courses.

The next school holidays in the ACT run from Friday April 12 to Tuesday April 20.

Would your schoolchild be interested, if we offered the course during that period? Please let us know by writing to, and if there’s sufficient interest, we’ll get back in touch. Please specify the age(s) of your interested child(ren), as we generally have courses for either 9-12 or 13-18 year olds, and don’t mix those age-range groups.

The Radio Rookies courses typically run for three days, for about six hours a day, either in the one week, or spread over a couple of weeks. Students learn pretty much what enrollees in our Broadcast Training Courses do (see above). The sessions always engage and enthral students, sparking impressive creativity in them. The enrollees are very well cared for by ArtSound personnel, always with official certification to care for children.

New Board Member: Tim McNamara

With the departure from the ArtSound Board of Management of Songfa Liu, the Board has seconded Tim McNamara to its ranks. Tim presents Wednesday’s Arts Café and produces Arts Diary, our regular four-minute update on arts events in the region. He is also the Training Coordinator for the Training and Standards Committee.

Tim is a radio practitioner/professional with over 20 years of experience in most areas of radio broadcasting. He has worked for community radio stations 2SER and 2MBS, and for the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA). He has also worked at SBS Radio and as a freelance radio producer for ABC Radio National.

Since joining ArtSound FM, he has built an extensive network within the Canberra music scene and has been leveraging this network to present music and interviews with local and visiting musicians/bands, as well as live-to-air performances.

Tim also has an extensive career in learning and development, and is drawing on this experience to develop and deliver training activities that develop the skills of ArtSound broadcasters.

February 25 Garden Concert

Huge thanks to the musicians who performed on ArtSound’s behalf at the fundraiser concert on Sunday, February 25 in the Manuka Arts Centre gardens.

Wallabindi (Monica Moore, pictured) and her band opened the afternoon with her Wallabindi Dreaming project. They presented her acclaimed variety of soul, blues, and country songs including her own compositions included on her EP Wallabindi Dreaming which won the 2023 MusicACT Award for Independent Debut of the Year.

Then came Mark Thomann and his five-piece band. Mark Thomann (pictured) presented his own country folk and blues songs including the ones you’ll find on his album Plastic Flowers, released in 2023.

A special shout-out to John Jones, who was on the drum stool for the whole afternoon, performing in both bands.


The Wallabindi/Mark Thomann concert will go to air on a future edition of Friday Night Live (Fridays 8pm). We’ll keep you posted.

If you’re a local performer and would like to see whether your band could appear on the program, please get in touch with producer Chris Deacon at

Chris Deacon also was at a recent concert at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre to record a performance by pianist Chris Cody and his quartet, the first show in a revived and relocated Jazz Haus series hosted by veteran bassist Eric Ajaye. ArtSound and TAC are forming a collaboration to bring more of TAC’s concerts to our listeners in coming months.

Among visitors to our studios in February was one of Australia’s most renowned and seasoned jazz musicians, saxophonist Dale Barlow (pictured, right). A veteran of New York bands led by Art Blakey, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Cobham, and many others, he spoke about his experiences, and shared his road- and studio-learned wisdom, with Down in the Basement host Nick McBride (pictured, left) and guest selector Col Hoorweg (centre).

Dale Barlow’s visit made for a fascinating episode of Nick’s already always enlightening broadcasts with fellow drummer and percussionist Col Hoorweg. You can hear them every second Wednesday on DIB, 8-10pm.

Programs Update

Series 4 of ArtSound Radio Theatre will start at 4pm, Sunday 17 March. Episodes are broadcast weekly, with repeats at 10pm on Mondays.

The March 17 installment will be a St Patrick’s Day special, featuring two new short plays.

The new series will include an eclectic mix of original and classic works, written and performed by Canberra’s best writers and actors.

Speaking of Bart Meehan, Death Pops In, a short play he wrote (and first broadcast on ArtSound Radio Theatre) is having a third stage production in Sydney at the end of March. The director of the performance, Maria de la Ossa, is also a film maker who has recently completed her first full-length feature, and is talking about making a film of Bart’s play. More news on that as it comes to hand.


The refrigerator in the ArtSound kitchen is struggling, perhaps moribund! Could one of our kind ArtSound members or supporters replace the old clunker?

Ideally we’d like to have a dependable, fairly large fridge with ice compartment (in the base, if possible).

If you have a good one you’d like to donate, or would be willing to buy a more up-to-date used one for the office kitchen, please let us know at or 6295 7444.



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.

Would you kindly 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.

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.


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.