WBOS-FM & Calling All Crows

January 29, 2013

By: Stella Morrison

92.9 WBOS-FM in Boston and nonprofit Calling All Crows have formed a melodious partnership based on a mutual love of music and giving back to the community.

Calling All Crows, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, seeks to connect artists with fans in social action projects and activism, often centered around human rights issues. Musician Chad Stokes from the bands Dispatch and State Radio founded Calling All Crows with his wife and tour manager, Sybil Gallagher, in 2008.

“Through Chad and his musical pursuits, he wanted a way to engage fans in causes and activism that he wanted to support,” Jen Hallee, executive director of Calling All Crows, said. “We continue to work with Chad and his bands, and we’ve also started to work with other musicians in the industry.”

The partnership with WBOS started at the station’s annual Earthfest concert in May 2012.

“Our initial involvement came through Dispatch because they’re from Massachusetts and Boston-based,” Ken West, program director for WBOS, said. “We thought they would be a good organization because we are a music station and they are musicians who wanted to help spread activism and community involvement through music, and that’s the genesis of our relationship with them.”

Hallee explained that Stokes’ goal was to involve fans in something greater than the concerts they were attending.

“We began working with WBOS with the idea that we’re working together for a future where live music isn’t just about ticket sales, but about how an artist engages fans by encouraging them to become greater participants in the world around us,” Hallee said. “On tour, a band can engage fans who are showing up, or do a preshow service project.”

WBOS worked with Dispatch on such a project in October; in partnership with the station, fans assisted in renovating the Boston Arts Academy, a high school that specializes in the arts that was in need of repairs.

“The band, listeners, and Calling All Crows all converged on this arts school that was in desperate need of renovation,” West said. “The day after the concert, all kinds of people came to paint the school.”

In December, Calling All Crows and WBOS will be teaming up again for a benefit show on the 14th and 15th. The station will be hosting an afterparty on the 15th for Calling All Crows and State Radio fans.

“They’ve been helping with promotions and ticket sales, donating items for our charity auction, and the afterparty,” Hallee said.

Funds from the evening will be donated to Calling All Crows, to help them continue the work that they are doing with bands and stations across the Northeast.

Hallee called the partnership with WBOS “beneficial” and delights in the opportunity to brainstorm ideas with their staff.

“Music is a strong force in building community and bringing people together,” Hallee said. “There’s great synergy between the organizations. Whenever we have something based in Boston, we reach out to WBOS and they are on board with helping to promote it and with sharing ideas on how to make it better.”

West hopes that WBOS’s involvement will help raise awareness about the work that Calling All Crows is doing in their area.

“Hopefully, the listeners we have are able to find out about the charity,” West said. “Part of their mission is that music should activate people, and the marrying of our radio station with their activism is good for fans of the bands. It helps promote doing good in the community, and that’s what a good local radio station is about.”