(Update #2 : the launch of MY AZ NOW RADIO is postponed another week. Go to the MyAZNOW facebook page for updates.)
(Update: the launch of MY AZ NOW RADIO is postponed to 4/14/13)
By the time you wake up next Sunday morning, April 7th, FnB co-owners Pavle Milic and Charleen Badman will have (fingers-crossed) launched MY AZ NOW RADIO from a small room above the restaurant.
The internet-based “station” will feature live audio and recorded podcasts hosted by Milic, Badman, and a few hand-selected locals with something to say.
“As long as they (hosts) are providing something educational, inspiring, and creating something positive for the community,” Milic says, “I want them in the booth.”
Most of the shows will focus, not surprisingly, on food and beverage, but there will be other shows covering art, culture, and community.
This little side project was three years in the making, but it took serendipity and a trip to New York to gel. The first piece happened three years ago, when Milic and Badman signed the lease on the Craftsman Court space (now home to FnB, the Bodega and AZ Wine Merchants). A friend toured the space with Milic, and casually mentioned that a room upstairs used to house a DJ booth for a coffeeshop 15 years earlier.
Fast forward three years and Badman and Milic are in New York earlier this year, dining at the ultra-hip pizzeria, Roberta’s, in Bushwick (Brooklyn).
“They seated us outside and there is what looks like a shipping container on the edge of the patio with a window,” Milic says. “I see people with headphones on the inside, drinking and laughing, and I ask Charleen what is it? She says, ‘Oh, that’s Heritage Radio‘ in her usual matter-of-fact voice.”
Heritage Radio Network is a non-profit, progressive internet radio station promoting food and culture, founded in 2009 by Slow Foods USA Founder, Patrick Martins.
“When I got back to FnB,” Milic says, “I happened to look up to that little room off the office and saw an outline of a window — something just clicked!”
A window had been cut into a cork-lined wall in the DJ booth, overlooking the space below, but it had been covered up for years. Milic removed the dry wall and discovered the fully lined cork wall geared for sound and the window, which now looks over the middle dining room for FnB.
My AZ Now Radio
For the past year, Milic has been using the pictorial social media app Instagram to document Arizona as he sees it (and subsequently, he invited others to do the same for a chance to win a free dinner at FnB) using the hashtag #MyAZNow. He says he added about 25 photos to the gallery, but once he opened it up to the community, more than 1,600 photos of people, places and things in Arizona flooded in.
So when serendipity knocked, Milic and Badman discussed the possibility of creating a community based radio “station.” Calling it My AZ Now Radio seemed natural.
The first My AZ Now Radio show will feature Milic’s good friend Dominic Armato, and will be called Food Nerd Radio.
Last year, Armato, the food blogger behind the award-winning Skillet Doux, created a Phoenix-based internet discussion board for passionate food lovers called Phoenix Food Nerds, which has grown to more than 300 members. And Armato has the perfect voice for “radio.” He’s a professional voice-over actor.
Other shows on tap include:
- Swirl Sniff Sip, with Certified Sommelier Jessica Fleming
- Culture Crush, with Leslie Oliver, showcasing local art
- The Food Stalk, with Chef-Owner Charleen Badman
- Pavle Milic’s unnamed show featuring successful local business owners & advice for how to follow in their footsteps
- Local community developer and mentor Mary Stephens, whose show will focus on how to get involved in the community
Non-profit Local First AZ’s Margaree Bigler, a “professional dot-connector,” will be the program director, helping coordinate the shows and hosts.
“The idea,” Milic says, “is to provide the platform. We already paid the rent, we pay the light bills, and we’re subsidizing the (recording) equipment. So now it’s about creating a little hub where people who are passionate about their own field come in and spread their message. It’s really about community. How cool is that?”
Pretty darn cool.
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