After eight years in the planning, the voices, talents and projects of students in Anne Arundel County can now be heard over the waves of CRAB Radio, a local station devoted to students and arts in the county.
The joint venture of Anne Arundel County Public Schools and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Community Radio for Arts and the Bay can be heard on 104.7 FM from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Local listeners will hear a variety of programs, many produced by students, according to Sheila McEwan, senior manager, strategic initiatives for CRAB Radio.
“We are just beginning to build programing with our students and have a number of recordings,” McEwan says. “We are in the process of sharing this exciting opportunity with students and staff members and schools so that everyone is aware of the variety of programing we are excited to air.”
Linnell Bowen, who just retired from the post of president and CEO of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, came up with the idea for the station in a dream years ago.
“One night I thought, ‘Oh, wow, wouldn’t it be great to have a radio station that played the arts 24-7?” she explains in an on-air interview with local students. “CRAB radio is all about collaboration — with the Anne Arundel County school board, all your schools, your teachers, Anne Arundel County, the State of Maryland, and with Maryland Hall. … This was an enormous task that took eight years, but we did it.”
Currently the station is cycling through its programming but will continue to build its cache as more students learn about the opportunity and submit possible programming, McEwan says.
“It’s a great way for students to showcase their research projects, music and even their creative writing,” she says. “It’s a way to highlight the things students are doing.”
Soon the station hopes to circulate a QR code so students can upload a recording to be considered for broadcast, she says.
“In five years, I expect that CRAB radio will have casts of thousands of young people,” Bowen says. “In five years it will be the hub of Anne Arundel County.”
The low-powered station can be heard from the north shores of the South River in Edgewater to the south shores of the Magothy River in Pasadena. The listening area includes the cities of Annapolis, Arnold, Crownsville, Edgewater, Severna Park and much of Pasadena. The station also can be heard online at crabradio.airtime.pro/#.
By Betsy Stein
Photo: Linnell Bowen cuts the ribbon at the CRAB Radio kickoff last May. Photo courtesy of CRAB Radio.