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On February 14, 2008 5-8pm the Big Heavy World office in Burlington will host an open house, inviting the public to tour an urban labyrinth of ongoing programs dedicated to the creative community of Vermont and the Burlington area.

Since 1996 Big Heavy World has managed a crew of volunteer high school and college-aged volunteers devoted to diverse programs of preserving and promoting music by Vermonters. From the region’s first concert broadcasts via the internet (from Club Toast in 1996) to the recent launch of WOMM-LP 105.9FM ‘The Radiator’, an FCC-licensed collaborative community radio station programmed by nearly 50 Burlington citizens, Big Heavy World and it’s partners have bent technology to serve regional culture and community.

A special feature of the Open House will be the opportunity to visit the broadcast studio of WOMM-LP ‘The Radiator,’ developed jointly by Big Heavy World and Lee Anderson, proprietor of Radio Bean, with engineer Sean Larock. This community station, found at 105.9FM, now broadcasts programming by dozens of local citizens, ranging from free Jazz to metal, city politics to foreign language. Its overarching programming umbrella are the arts and humanities and it brings a vibrant new and independent energy to local media.

Big Heavy World has recently received funding in support of a digitizing its Vermont Music Library, a collection of Vermont-made music that includes thousands of commercial and live recordings of Vermont artists, held in a listening library that is open to the public. This support by the State of Vermont and the Vermont Arts Council will also improve the Vermont Jukebox Project, an ongoing program that brings digitized Vermont-made music into Vermont’s Visitor Welcome Centers, in partnership with the Vermont Dept. of Buildings & General Services.

Big Heavy World continues to celebrate the success of its most recent compilation CD, ‘In Silver Light’, which sold out within months of release and is currently being reissued. Receiving laudatory reviews, it presents Vermont singer-songwriter and instrumental tracks as an elegant, atmospheric collection.

These programs and many others operate from office space at 215 College Street, on the third floor. The building was recently purchased by partners including Farrington Construction and the proprietors of Stone Soup who have lent intensive support to the Big Heavy World facility. New lighting has been donated by Hot Topic; new shelves by the University of Vermont’s WRUV 90.1FM; paint by Sherwin Williams in Essex Jct., a fingerprint door lock by Biometrics Direct, and renovations by the property owners including new windows and doors.

The Big Heavy World / WOMM-LP ‘The Radiator’ Open House is a great time for the curious to see how a local grassroots, youth-run organization works and for musicians to connect with resources and projects offered free for their benefit. Expect live music and refreshments at this all-ages substance-free event. For more information contact Jim Lockridge at (802) 865-1140 or bigheavy@bigheavyworld.net .