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Radio Arte

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Chicago, IL

A bilingual, youth operated community radio station that connects the Latino community and empowers underserved kids.

In 1998, The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum began a youth initiative to educate, train, and empower underserved youth in the Chicago area, specifically in the area of radio broadcasting. The result of this initiative - Radio Arte - is a unique and successful model that has served the Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood of Chicago for over 6 years.

Nuts and Bolts:

  • Radio Arte WRTE 90.5 is the only bilingual (Spanish/English), Latino-owned, youth operated community radio station in the country.
  • It runs 24 hours a day and trains youth between ages of 15-21 in all stages of broadcasting, including running a radio station, production, on-air hosting, writing, promotions, etc.
  • At the core of Radio Arte is a two year program in which 120 students study creative writing, voice training, Federal Communications Commission regulations, and broadcast theory. Students also receive technical skills for radio production and broadcasting. The final phase of the program is the most challenging- students conceptualize, develop, and maintain their own on-air programs for one year.
  • This program enlists the assistance of Chicago’s media professionals during training.
  • After they have completed the program, students are encouraged to seek internships and jobs in broadcasting and media.


  • Radio Arte provides a needed medium through which the area Latino community can stay connected and updated on local community issues.
  • Radio Arte provides "a feeling of empowerment that youth achieve after going through this program, a sense of ownership... They are responsible for their work and for what they’re informing their community about. That gives them more awareness of the world around them," said Silvia Rivera, the Director of Community Relations.
  • The program has received two Excellence in Production awards from the National Federation for Community Broadcasting. Numerous accolades from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information on this program: Radio Arte