UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 07 Winter 17 Library
Nathan Moore


Kids peeking through windows of WTJU To-Go trailer.
(Photo: Nathan Moore)

Starting last Fall, WTJU took its show on the road. Fresh on the heels of its 60th Anniversary celebration, UVA’s beloved and eclectic radio station is expanding its reach by busting out of its Lambeth Commons studio home and continuing its ongoing dialogue with the University and Charlottesville communities through a new mobile studio/performance venue that will make its way around Grounds and around town. “I was inspired by things I had seen at other stations,” said WTJU General Manager Nathan Moore, “but it was also just kind of a wild hair.” The vehicle itself is pure WTJU, a funky old-school repurposed DIY effort that combines a retired UVA Facilities Management truck with an old camper bought “from a guy in Farmville,” Moore said. The gutted interior will be home to a small studio space that can house everything from StoryCorps style audio collection capturing the voices of people throughout the community to mobile versions of NPR’s famed Tiny Desk Concerts and more. The action will extend outside the trailer as well thanks to portable stage risers that will allow for pop-up concerts. “We are envisioning a series of lunchtime concerts,” Moore said, “where the trailer itself becomes the front of house and people can purchase pre-packaged sandwiches and drinks.” The initiative is in perfect keeping with the station’s founding mission of community engagement that has been front and center throughout its six decades. “We very much have one foot in the University community and one foot in the surrounding communities and we try to serve as a bridge between those all the time. This is a pretty fantastic way to do that.”  

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