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Bushwick-Themed Internet Radio Station Launching Out of New Bar

By Meredith Hoffman | September 6, 2013 7:03am
 Tari Sunkin is starting Radio Bushwick this fall.
Radio Bushwick
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BUSHWICK — Local singers, poets, comedians, actors, musicians and plain old music lovers can blast their voices out to the whole cyber-world from a glass booth inside a Bushwick bar.

Radio Bushwick, the first 24-hour Internet radio station with a specific Bushwick theme, is launching this winter out of the bar and venue "Radio," which is opening in October right off the Jefferson L station, the owner said.

"There's so much talent here and I want to give people a forum," said the owner Tari Sunkin, a former manager at major venues the Knitting Factory and Pianos. "Bushwick's got so much as far as people, all I have to do is provide a space and they'll do wonderful things."

The station, which will feature a mix of music, play readings, comedy skits and short poetry performances, is accepting submissions now, said Sunkin, who will decide along with her partner Annie Whitter which acts qualify for the line-up.

Each show will broadcast from the second floor of Radio, a 2500-square-foot space with a top-notch sound system, installed by the same man who put in those of Knitting Factory and Saint Vitus) and a front patio with bamboo walls and benches, Sunkin said.

"I've been working on this three years," said Sunkin, 46, whose spot was even mentioned back in 2011 in a Curbed post about plans for the block.

Now Sunkin, a Bushwick resident since 2004, said the bar would open in "three to four weeks," and then concerts would kick off a few weeks after that. The Internet radio station is expected to launch in November, she said.

To begin, the station will be online only and will run from noon to 4 a.m., but eventually Sunkin plans to expand to 24-hour coverage and to apply to broadcast over the air.

Other local Internet radio stations include Roberta's Pizza's Heritage Radio, which features culinary-focused programming, and East Williamsburg's Newtown Radio, which broadcasts a few shows daily with an emphasis on North Brooklyn and Long Island City, Sunkin noted. The blog Bushwick Daily has had radio segments and the arts non-profit Arts in Bushwick has a weekly radio station connected to its blog.

But, Sunkin said, this would be the first station to offer round-the-clock shows with a Bushwick focus and mainly music programming.

"I've already had tons of interest," said Sunkin, a mainstay in the neighborhood.

She said she would focus on Bushwick and Brooklyn bands when she booked shows at Radio as well.

"I just want to provide a place for people to come and do art...and the radio station is a way for them to get their work out to the world."

People interested in hosting a show on Radio Bushwick can email radiobushwick@gmail.com with a sample audio show or clip.