When staff began working from home in March 2020, we felt we were incredibly fortunate compared to so many in our community since we could continue to provide our regular station services, but do it safely. We felt a sense of obligation to give back to our community in a unique way during this crisis.
Jazz is our local music and core programming. During the pandemic, we have received hundreds of letters from our members telling us how great an impact music has on their lives and why they are therefore supporting the station because of our unique programming.
As a jazz organization, we understand that live performance has always been the lifeblood of improvised music, and one-to-one peer mentorship is how that artistic lineage is able to continue through the generations.
To support the continuation of live music, we launched the WBGO Livestream Hub by using our online community calendar, a function of the Core Publisher platform, something we already had access to. We created a dedicated calendar for performances happening in real time online. We reached out to area musicians, venues and partners to ask them for their submissions to the calendar. We also used staff, who found their daily work routines greatly altered, to research other livestream events that are connected to our local area. Next, we expanded the WBGO Livestream Hub through a curated page on WBGO.org which includes a link to this calendar, our Digital Content Editor’s pick for Stream of the Week, a link to our partnership video series with NPR, Alone Together (musical couples performing together in lockdown) and a link to archival live performances and resources for musicians.
In order to ensure there is a bright future for the music, which is so vital to our local economy in the NY/NJ metro area, we created the WBGO Education Hub, a place of symbiosis, where musicians could teach lessons and make money and students could learn from the masters. The Education Hub also offers free lesson plans to teachers which focus on content from Jazz Night in America, produced in partnership with WBGO, NPR and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Lastly, we included a list of local, online summer music education programs.