Asheville FM’s Volunteer of the Quarter Hall of Fame induction speech for Emma Hutchens, presented by DJ Airon (in the voice of U2’s Bono Vox) :
Even in Asheville FM’s community radio station of hard-working volunteers, Emma Hutchens stands out as someone who puts in more than the usual share of time, energy, and knowledge to produce engaging radio on both Music and News fronts (in addition to her regular work as a Resource Integration Specialist with Mountain BizWorks, providing support to Asheville’s small businesses and startups).
As director of the Asheville FM News Department, Emma Hutchens has been instrumental in building and maintaining an active, inquisitive, informative, involved, community-minded News Department that any station would be fortunate to have. She also serves as Assistant Programming Director and piloted Asheville FM’s first podcasting program this year 2018.
Previously a co-host of the much-enjoyed but now-defunct The Looking Glass Radio Hour, as an Asheville FM music radio deejay, Emma Hutchens currently presents Raw Sugar (Tuesdays, 5-7pm) full of flavorful wide-ranging indie music, plus attention to Asheville’s talented bands and artists.
Emma Hutchens’ obsessive love of music has even led her _ and collaborator, fellow deejay Andrew Vasco _ to co-create and curate RADfest, a two-day indie music festival happening Oct. 13-14 @ The Grey Eagle in Asheville’s River Arts District. (Hutchens and Vasco recently organized a Burger Records-inspired music fest at The Mothlight this past spring 2018).
Because of all her community radio efforts, contributions, and leadership _ past, present and future _ Emma Hutchens has been voted thee Volunteer of the Quarter summer 2018 by her Asheville FM peers.
With high esteem on behalf of Asheville FM, we congratulate you, Emma Hutchens, we thank you, and we salute you ~ ( BOOM! AC/DC cannon fires confetti loudly! )
stepping to the podium to give her acceptance speech …
Emma Hutchens, Asheville FM’s Volunteer of the Quarter citation award recipient
I joined Asheville FM in the Fall of 2015 and have volunteered 10-15 hours per week since then. I see community radio as an incredible resource by which to serve the community, uplift marginalized voices, and create a platform for weird music and art that otherwise would have no place on the airwaves.
Although I had no background or experience in journalism, my dear friend Kim Roney brought me into the fold and taught me so much! I was resistant to joining the News team because it looked like a lot of work _ and it is!
The Asheville FM News Hour (Thursdays, 7-8 pm) is a place for volunteer journalists to train each other, build skills, and help the community tell their own stories. The News Department has grown and become more diverse over the years under Kim’s leadership, then Bursts Of Goodness, and now me.
We hold the microphone, so to speak, so I think it is our duty to build trusting relationships in the community and hand it off. We also have the privilege to attend events and meetings which we can then broadcast for folks who can’t be in the room.
Also dedicated to the Asheville FM News Team are my colleagues Andrew Vasco, Scott Owen, Allison Beatty, Zachary Newman, Joy Hagstrom, Kim Roney, Susan Bridgers and Andrew Rainey, along with countless others who have contributed as they are able to over the years.
On my radio show, Raw Sugar (Tuesdays, 5-7 pm), I try to play music that I think people haven’t heard as well as highlight shows coming to Asheville. I focus on female- and POC-fronted bands while playing rock, punk, dream pop, shoegaze, hip-hop, and neo-soul genres. I also try to raise topics for people to consider, ranging from my experience as a woman to perspectives on current news and events, racial politics and more. My listeners often call me to discuss these topics and share their own stories. It’s been very meaningful to connect in that way.
I’ve been an event producer since I was 19 years old. It was a passion, then a job, and now a ridiculous hobby-turned-business that doesn’t pay me and takes up all my time _ KIDDING (no, I’m not!).
The point of RADfest (Oct. 13-14) is to highlight women, POC and LGBTQIA musical artists _ national acts alongside local Asheville talent _ and to host an event that I would want to attend myself and where my friends and community would feel welcome and safe.
We also want RADfest to highlight genres that get less attention in Asheville _ punk, garage, shoegaze, dream pop, hip hop and neo-soul (like a lot of what you’d hear on Raw Sugar and Andrew Vasco’s show Alpenglow (Fridays, 8-10 am).
In addition to paying all the performing artists, the money we raise from this initial RADfest will be donated to support Our VOICE (crisis intervention and prevention agency which serves victims of sexual violence in Buncombe County ).
Asheville FM and the community that it’s made of means so much to me and I’m honored to be a Volunteer of the Quarter at Asheville FM! This is a labor of love that takes a lot of effort and time and energy, but I love the people here and I believe in our common cause. Thanks to all of the volunteers for doing all that you do!