Welcome to Sparrows Wheel
My name is Barbara K. I’d like to tell you the story about why Wolfgang Pracht and I launched Sparrows Wheel in Austin, Texas in the Spring of 2005.
Our goal was simple: Freedom of Speech through the Power of Music.
Our purpose was to devise and deploy a stupendously successful alternative funding strategy for noncommercial media.
At first we created a nonprofit record company, but quickly realized the limitations of such a model.
So, in 2006, we moved on to a nonprofit CD consignment store. Online, of course. The model was pretty cool, lots of local recording artists participated. But in the end, we discovered that it, too, had it’s limitations.
So in 2008 we founded Artists for Media Diversity, A4MD, a 501c3 tax exempt organization. The potential is enormous. We even stumbled upon a new economic model along the way. That may seem a bit absurd to say - a new economic model - coming from songwriters and musicians. But it’s true. Nonprofit Capitalism. I digress.
In 2012, A4MD partnered with the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and the Latino Public Radio Consortium on a special project called “Artists for Vieques”. The purpose - establish WVQR Radio Vieques as a strong community voice for environmental justice, local culture and economic development.
We produced a compilation digital album of music from extremely talented and socially engaged recording artists who contributed music downloads in support of the people of Vieques. Their island, off the coast of Puerto Rico, had been used as a US Naval bombing range for over 60 years. WVQR Radio Vieques is broadcasting today.
With the launch of Somuma, a public service project of Sparrows Wheel, CleaRights and Artists for Media Diversity, we now have a way to support both recording artists and the noncommercial radio stations on which we rely for broadcasting public voices for peace, environmental justice, human rights and cultural diversity.
And so the circle returns to where it began. We love the simple beauty of a circle, a wheel, the Earth - always beginning and always returning to begin again.
We invite you to explore our new songs, new recordings and new projects as you visit our Wheel of Sparrows.
Thanks for being here.
Barbara K and Wolfgang Pracht