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Background Briefing

Founders Fund

The Beat Goes On Founders Fund  

To honor Dave Beaton and Arlene Sweeting WSLR is establishing The Beat Goes On Founders Fund.

Dave always said, “The most important part of community radio isn’t radio, it’s community”.  The community WSLR has built is one that must be nourished and sustained.   

 “WSLR founders created a legacy of deep community involvement and giving back,” said Jesse Coleman, the incoming general manager of WSLR+Fogartyville. “That legacy has strongly influenced our culture and has inspired almost 2 decades of community service. We want to honor their passion and commitment to making a difference and celebrate the impact their vision has had on our community.”

To show your appreciation for Dave and Arlene’s twenty years of commitment to our community and to help us ensure that the beat does go on at WSLR+Fogartyville, we hope you’ll make a contribution to the WSLR Founders Fund. 

Contribute to the Founders Fund

PURPOSE STATEMENT:

Since 2005, WSLR has opened the airwaves to community voices, provided a platform for musicians and artists to express themselves, been a catalyst for bringing people together to make positive change, and built a strong base of support.

Today, our vision and mission has never been more important or critical.   The world around us is changing. We face the existential threat of climate change that is becoming more and more real every year.  We are confronted by efforts to silence voices of dissent and deny the fullness of our history.  We must see these changing times as an opportunity to strengthen our programs and to ensure that the WSLR will continue to lead, serve and support our community, especially when it is in need, for many years to come. Our commitment to you, no matter what the future holds, is to continue to provide a voice and space for community, and to always beat the drum for justice. 

What’s in a name?

David Beaton and Arlene Sweeting were the driving force behind the establishment and growth of WSLR and Fogartyville. They didn’t spend much time on the air themselves – Dave occasionally hosted a music program or filled in when other programmers couldn’t make their shows.  Arlene subbed for the Peace and Justice Report and contributed to the local news. During Covid, when all WSLR programmers started doing their programs remotely, Dave and Arlene started a weekly show called “The Beat Goes On” to help keep the community connected. 

Why the drum? 

 In different cultures the drum is a sacred tool connecting heaven and earth, and for maintaining the rhythm of the world order. And when drummers practice their art, it’s as if they too are changing the world and touching the human spirit through the rhythm of the drum. For African slaves brought to the New World, drumming kept their heritage alive. The drums symbolized the freedom they had lost and their struggle to regain it.

For the Anishinaabe, the drum is about love, about healing and about helping all races come together.

Drums are the glue that keeps the music together.  The drum lays the foundation, providing the pulse and bringing the groove for the music, letting the rest of the band express themselves creatively. 

All of these things resonate with us at WSLR+Fogartyville.  We are here to change the world and touch the human spirit, providing a vital piece of the infrastructure for creative expression and community engagement in Sarasota.  

Commitment:
WSLR has secured 100% participation by the Board and Staff Leadership in support of the “Founders Fund.” 

Donation Process:
You can make a donation online using the donation form linked below or send a check via postal mail to WSLR Founders Fund, P.O. Box 2540, Sarasota, FL 34230. Checks should be made out to ‘WSLR’ with “Founders Fund” in the memo line.

Stand-Alone:
The Beat Goes On Campaign is a separate fund-raising effort from WSLR’s Membership Support program which supports operating expenses and programs that are a part of the regular annual budget.  The money raised for the Fund will be invested to support the long-term growth and sustainability of WSLR+Fogartyville.