By now, many Payson residents know that there is a new radio station in town called KRIM 96.3 FM.
KRIM, a non-profit, public radio station is an anomaly at a time when the airwaves are flooded with commercial stations that play one type of music or have hours of talk shows. Many of them are owned and controlled by major corporations that dictate programming -- programming designed for profit.
John and Lu Carpino and the Payson Council for Musical Arts have made supporting the musical arts their primary mission. As a multi-format station that answers only to the community it serves, KRIM is able to play everything from bluegrass to Bob Marley to Beethoven. Listeners can request an artist considered "obscure" by mainstream radio, and usually, KRIM can oblige.
The plethora of talented musicians who never make it on to any chart, but whose music is worthy of notice, now have a forum. Many of us have discovered artists through alternative avenues to commercial radio, whether it be friends, a live performance, or the Internet. Now we can simply turn a dial and expand our musical horizons.
Those instrumental to bringing KRIM to fruition wanted it to be educational, informative and to enhance the community it serves.
Through the station, Lu and John Carpino have raised awareness and funds for local non-profit organizations and have given exposure to local musicians and artists.
With a new alliance with the Sedona Cultural Center and an independent music label called Putumayo, KRIM has interviewed world-renowned artists -- a really amazing feat for a small public radio station in the pines of Rim country.
There is a huge world of music that extends far beyond the borders of our town -- our country. A little studio in an A-frame atop the Payson campground office is a lifeline to that vast expanse.
Music education in schools is struggling to survive, despite numerous studies that show its positive impact on children's brain development and learning ability.
Funding for the arts, in general, has slowed to a trickle.
As a public station, KRIM relies on community support to stay on the air. We should not take this treasure for granted -- it should be coveted, as no other community has a station like KRIM. Let's keep the music coming and support our public radio station.