My quality of life is enhanced by WRES FM, whose tagline is “The Urban Sounds of Asheville.” For the past twelve or so years that WRES has been on the air, the radios in my car and house are frequently set to 100.7 FM. I’ve also been know to stream it online at wresfm.com or TuneIn radio. Many times a week you’ll find me singing along, learning, and laughing with WRES.
John Hayes, Sophie Dixon, and the members Empowerment Resource Center who founded WRES had a vision. They wanted a “small but powerful radio station that could help heal and transform our community through music and information.” The mission of the station is “to empower our listeners with skills and knowledge that will improve the overall quality of health and life of people of color and those of low wealth in our community.”
Music is the honey that attracts the bees to the information shared on WRES. R&B, gospel, reggae, and urban contemporary music are all woven throughout the program schedule.
Weekday mornings between 6 am and 11 am you’ll find Elder Hayes spinning gospel music, and sometimes sharing his insights and spiritual message. Between 10 and 10:30 am are his “Asheville 411” announcements of upcoming community and church events. I often hear things announced that I wouldn’t have heard of any other way.
Following their mission, many of WRES’s programs are focused on topics related to “job readiness, homeownership, financial wellness, entrepreneurship, and health and wellness awareness.” For example, the Asheville-Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement (ABIPA) has a lively program that raises awareness about good health practices. Other shows touch on money management and entrepreneurship.
AB Tech’s “No Limits” show, hosted by Phyllis Utley and Duane Adams, airs a new episode on Wednesdays at 11 am every other week, with regular replays. For the show, the hosts bring in special guests who address a range of topics related to education, careers, the arts, healing, and more.
Another of my favorite programs is the Waters & Harvey Show, which airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:30 pm. “Hosted by Dr. Darin Waters, Assistant Professor of History at UNC Asheville, and Dr. Marcus L. Harvey, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, also at UNC Asheville, the Waters and Harvey Show focuses on individual and community empowerment through conversations about history, culture, and current events. The show places special emphasis on the transnational diasporic experiences of African Americans and considers how those experiences impact the lives of African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia more broadly.” Their show is always informative and thought-provoking.
If you aren’t a listener already, check out WRES 100.7 FM! And if you like what you hear, make a donation to help keep them on the air!
Since we’re on the topic of low-power radio, I’d also like to shout out to 103.3 AshevilleFM, another terrific station. My dial flips their way frequently as well. They have a super mix of news, music, and even programming in Spanish. My sweetie Jason Krekel shares a show with another DJ, Tuesdays at noon.
We are lucky to have these grassroots platforms in our community.