Humboldt Hot Air
HUMBOLDT – Humboldt Hot Air is Arcata’s newest online radio station and recording studio, broadcasting from the Old Creamery building and streaming at humboldthotair.org. We are a community-based radio station and audio recording studio with a global reach. Our aim is to amplify the diverse voices we have in our community of Humboldt County California and the surrounding regions. With humble beginnings in a storage closet, we are now recording live audio content which you can only access from us!
Humboldt Hot Air is a program of Playhouse Arts. We are in our very early days, we just finished getting our equipment set up and now we are gathering programmers and getting settled – figuring out who we are!
Who are we? We are a group of artists, musicians, activists and educators who see Internet radio as a platform to amplify our art and the art of those we love. We are excited to collaborate with local organizations. We hope to use Humboldt Hot Air as a platform for those within our community to amplify their voices especially during Covid when many of our artistic platforms have been less accessible.
I grew up hanging out with my dad doing “Fogou” at KHSU and then went on to work at KZSC while attending UC Santa Cruz. While At KZSC, I ran many shows – the main one being “Queen Beats” which was women and genderqueer artists in hiphop. Through this program, we also put on live events and hosted a number of interviews on air. (The legacy lives on and this is still a running show on KZSC! can be streamed at kzsc.org every Tuesday at 10 p.m.)
I am serving as project manager for Humboldt Hot Air. I met Jackie Dandeneau, executive director of Playhouse Arts, through Apprentice Entertainment, the teen program through the Arcata Playhouse. Jackie came up with the idea of Humboldt Hot Air. She reached out to me when she heard I was back in town to bring my radio experience to the table.
At this time, Danielle Orr was running our studio as a recording studio and I still work closely with her in this iteration of Humboldt Hot Air. I am also running Apprentice Entertainment now.
We meet every Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Playhouse, if any teens would want to join they should swing by! I hope to incorporate HHA and Apprentice and create a “teen hour” or something like that.
Apprentice Entertainment, is an afterschool program for teens that gives them experience in all aspects of mounting an event, from design and scripting to casting and stagecraft to promotion and execution of the final production. While the program’s roots are in theatre, the event could be anything from an ice-cream social to a parade – the students decide what they want to do, and then they do it, under the guidance of experienced teachers and mentors. arcataplayhouse.org/2019/09/09/teen-program
Some history, from humboldthotair.org:
Playhouse Arts saw a need for a local audio facility to support artists and community voices after the ouster of longtime staff and volunteers at KHSU-FM, the local Arcata based public radio station, licensed to Humboldt State University, on April 11, 2019. Moving to an automated, non-local format, our community lost a voice. Humboldt Hot Air came into existence in order to reinstate, foster and develop the lost connections between the arts and our community. As a benefit to the local community many of the public affairs producers who created content for KHSU, are now creating content in our studio.
Focusing on the arts, racial equity and social justice, we generate content for and by an under-served, rural population whose opportunities are limited by our geographical and socioeconomic constraints.
Humboldt Hot Air is the brainchild of executive director of Playhouse Arts, Jacqueline Dandeneau, longtime KHSU radio host and producer Danielle Orr and station manager of Access Humboldt’s KZZH-LP 96.7’s Matt Knight, along with the support of Access Humboldt’s Executive Director Sean McLaughlin and Program Director Juan Carrillo.
The former storeroom was divided in half and built to suit by Kit Mann, and sound proofed in colorful fashion. The audio equipment and set up was very generously donated by Access Humboldt in keeping with their mission for “public access of community voices in local media.” During this time, Humboldt Hot Air was an audio recording studio that created content which was then sent out to be heard on other platforms. When COVID struck in 2020, the ability to host groups of people inside our small studio space was lost. The team used this decrease in action to redesign the space and work towards a goal that had always been in place; live broadcasting. Computer wizard Solomon Clark and KZSC alumni Neroli Devaney were added to the team and worked with local company StreamGuys to make the dream a reality. During this time, Playhouse Arts staff and artist James Hildebrandt, with help from Soloman Clark expanded the studio space and soundproofed the room, making it fit for our new ideas.
Keep your ears out for familiar KHSU names. We already have a few and are excited to continue the legacy of our communities iconic radio voices, while also introducing you all to many new ones!
If you are interested in programming with us, or if you are involved in another project/organization interested in collaboration, please reach out! We are getting situated and putting together a schedule so now is the time to act.
We are adding to our schedule regularly, the best way to keep up with us is on instagram or facebook! @humboldt_hot_air on instagram or Humboldt Hot Air on facebook
I’ve included some photos here for you! The ones that are not of me are of a fellow new DJ Maia Lemann. The lighting is weird with the bright lights on low ceilings so sorry about some weird glare!