Volunteer Spotlight on Shay Wright and Chris Andreae
Shay has been a big part of KBOO's news and outreach teams since since getting involved with KBOO in 2010. After taking classes in audio production, she remembers her first job as a volunteer was recording a story about logging in Eastern Oregon, to be aired during the next day's evening news broadcast.
Shay has done myriad things in the PM News and Public Affairs Department ever since. She has written and produced news stories, and is the board operator for PM news and public affairs programs, including Davey D's “Hard Knock Radio”. In fact, Shay often holds down the air-room end things, board-operating for specials, and live broadcasts from on-site locations around the area. Shay has also produced many public affairs programs, often focusing on issues of particular interest in the Black / African American community. Not content to limit herself to bringing information to our listeners, Shay is a regular substitute host for music programs, and can sometimes be heard sitting in for Celeste Carey during “An Evening of Afrotainment”.
When she's not busy with assisting or producing great on-air programing, Shay is an amazingly enthusiastic outreach volunteer. She has staffed many an information table at many street-fairs, and other events (notably taking a big role in KBOO's Night Out with The Portland Trail Blazers. This year, she was integral to increasing KBOO's involvement with Good in the Hood, which included our first parade entry and live broadcast from the celebration in Lillis Albina Park.
KBOO was not Shay's first experience with community radio. Before she moved to Portland in 2009, she was a volunteer at Salt Lake City's KRCL. She remembers that her first experience working with audio production was to edit a weekly segment put out by Utah's Bureau of Land Management, on issues relating to Zion National Park. After doing this for a couple of months, she was offered a regular music program, which she hosted for two years.
After she got to Portland, she was talking with a woman about her experience with KRCL, when this person told her about KBOO, and encouraged her to check out volunteering with us, Shay says, “and I am so very happy she did!” It didn't take very long after finding out that Portland had a community radio station for Shay to come in and check things out, and getting meaningfully involved.
When Shay isn't at KBOO, she is active in the Black / African American community, where she has helped to organize and support many events.
Given the many things that Shay does with KBOO, I asked her what she enjoyed doing the most: “I LOVE editing audio!” She says that a close second would be board-operating for live radio. But what about music programing? Shay says, “God knows I still love putting funky tunes over the air.... but it's not my favorite.”
One thing that Shay hasn't been involved with as yet, is participating in the governance of KBOO. She has considered serving on the KBOO Board of Directors, but in the meantime is focusing on her production and her community outreach work.
When asked if there is one particular moment or event at KBOO that she finds particularly notable, her passion for the station is palpable. She says, “I absolutely LOVE KBOO, what it stands for, and the the 45 year history! I have heard so much about the station and all the turns it has gone through the decades. To me, that’s a GOOD thing! I am so honored to be a part of Portland's legend; KBOO has been A LOT to A LOT of people and I appreciate the legacy and my small part in it.”
We are so very glad that Shay found us! Her boundless energy and enthusiasm has had a huge positive impact on KBOO, and we look forward to many years of working together to help communities grow stronger with community radio.
Chris is the voice and producer of Air Cascadia, a 15-minute news show that airs weekdays at 10 AM. When I asked Chris how long she'd been volunteering for KBOO, she laughed and said that when she started, “dinosaurs still walked the earth.” Or, by my best estimates, about 11 years. She was inspired to get involved when she was listening to Shaheed Haamid on the air. As Shaheed's program took on issues of prisons and the disenfranchised, Chris said that she felt KBOO's program charter to serve the unserved “deep down in my bones”. So she dropped by the station to see what was going on, and jumped right in.
Once Chris gets involved with something, she gets involved! Initially, she contributed as an artist, bringing in silk-screened prints there were inspired by her listening to KBOO. She has continued to be involved as an artist, creating several t-shirt designs in the last 10 years (she is the artist behind the “KBOO Flower Tower” t-shirt, and several others, some hand-screened). She says she was also “the worst receptionist ever! I still don't know what all those buttons on the phone do!” While I don't recall Chris as a particularly challenged receptionist, I do remember Chris with her wonderful dog Vita at the front desk, and her enthusiasm in greeting people and helping to get them the information they were seeking. Vita passed away last year, her sly shepherd grin is missed around the station.
Chris' passion for getting information to people led her to be a part of the Morning News program. She became a daily producer for the morning news, starting her day at KBOO by 6 AM. When Morning News was canceled, Chris developed the idea for Air Cascadia, to maintain a daily radical news source for the morning. Beyond Air Cascadia, Chris also produces occasional longer interviews that can be heard during the morning radiozines, allowing her to really get into a topic and draw out important information for our listeners.
Chris has also served on the Personnel Committee, The KBOO Board, and various workgroups during her years at the station. And when Chris is away from KBOO, she still continues her service to the station, always telling people about what we offer, and emphasizing the importance of supporting the station's work through membership.
She says of all the things she's done at KBOO, her favorite thing is when she has just finished a program that has gone exceptionally well. When I spoke with Chris before writing this article, she had just finished doing such a show in which she was very happy with her interview of The Yes Men's Andy Bichlbaum.
I asked Chris to tell me if she could pick out one moment at KBOO that really stands out to her- after a brief moment's thought, she replied, “The start of the war with Iraq, 2003”. She talked about that feeling that came over everyone in the station as we heard the news. She was taken by a feeling of unity a shared inchoate sense of how this event was a part of history, significant in how it would further enhance and reinforce the recently introduced Patriot Act, and more.
When not at KBOO, Chris spends her time and energy with the Squirrel Farm, where she lives, works, and is creating a “food forest”. She has horses, peacocks, a donkey, and more (oh, and she'd love to have a bactrian camel, if you happen to have a line on one, please let her know). Truly a Renaissance woman, Chris is also a working artist, creating wearable usable art; she writes, and has finished a novel, and is a story teller, too.
KBOO was not Chris' first foray into media. She is an accomplished film-maker, and spent three-years making documentaries while traveling in Asia. She has created experimental films, and was the animator for Fire Sign Theater's We're All Bozos on this Bus. Chris is interested in mixing her love of film-making with her passion for KBOO, and is thinking about ways to create videos of in-studio performances, interviews, and candid station moments creating multi-media ways to get KBOO's message out.
You can hear Chris most weekdays at 10 AM, with Air Cascadia.