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First-Ever KNOM Radio Music Fest Draws a Crowd, Drives Donations

Local musicians, indigenous dancing groups, and special guests from across Alaska graced a newly constructed stage for the KNOM Radio Music Fest this past weekend. Over 300 enthusiastic attendees from Nome and beyond braved chilly winds and overcast skies to be part of the inaugural event. Several months of planning were dedicated to organizing such a large community affair. 

KNOM’s General Manager Miranda Musich shared how important local support is for KNOM, through sponsorships or individual donors. 

“The whole KNOM team came together to make this event happen, with Teresa Trigg and Janice Homekingkeo spearheading the effort,” Musich said. “We are thankful to the organizations and donors that assisted us financially. Without their support, we would not have been able to make this music festival happen.”

The idea of hosting an outdoor music festival was sparked following the success of the 2023 American Idol auditions hosted by KNOM. Changes and additions to the KNOM team over the last year have created new opportunities for KNOM to get even more engaged with listeners.

Musich emphasized that converting from KNOM’s former volunteer based model to a primarily Nome-based full time staff has been a positive but challenging venture. A common belief is that KNOM is still supported financially by being part of the Catholic Church, itself a nonprofit organization. Musich explains that is no longer the case. 

“What a lot of people do not know, myself included before coming to KNOM, is that KNOM has been an independent nonprofit since 2009,” Musich said. “We’re fortunate to have dedicated local employees that want to see KNOM be successful for another 50 years.”

Musich wants listeners to know that funding comes primarily from donations and long term support from individuals. Listeners can play a significant role in keeping KNOM up and running by supporting events, donating to the organization, and encouraging others to get involved.

“It is important to us that listeners feel invested in the station’s success, because that support drives our programs and activities. The best part is, we’re streaming online now, so listeners can be anywhere in the world."

KNOM Program Specialist Teresa Trigg has been part of the planning process for the festival since its inception. She also helped with the American Idol auditions, where she first forged relationships with the contestants. 

“The idea for having the music festival this year really stemmed from the relationships we built with the KNOM finalists that were chosen to audition for the show,” Trigg said.

Trigg continued by sharing that the out of town contestants had a lot of fun during their time in Nome for auditions and were eager to return when invited to perform at the music festival

“Seeing how many people attended in person, online, and live on the air was so rewarding. All the work we put into organizing the festival was so successful and the community response has been wonderful,” Trigg said.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.