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January 28, 2021

Revolutionary Radio: How Denver’s Newest Radio Station is Making Waves For the Future of Public Media in Colorado

The University of Denver’s Enrichment Program has never held a course quite like this. But then again, we’ve never seen times quite like these.

Something special is happening in Colorado media. A new radio station is making waves—and not just sound waves—by changing how media serves the community.

Meet THE DROP, a new public media radio station from Rocky Mountain Public Media and sister station to KUVO JAZZ. Recently named the best new station in 2020 by Denver’s Westword magazine, THE DROP features staffers who are using the potent power of media to boost diversity and equality by giving voice to those who haven’t had one.

Change is afoot, and we’re proud to be a part of it. Starting February 4, this class invites you to understand and join the conversation about community storytelling through music and culture, open dialogue, and the possibility of a brighter future for us all.

Four Zoom Sessions
Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2021, 6:30-8:30 p.m. MT
Sign-up Now
Fee: $85

Join THE DROP’s General Manager and Program Director, Nikki Swarn, on-air personalities and other change agents as they serve up a safe space for discourse on difficult subjects facing Denver and Colorado via four inspiring classes:

Music – Hear from award-winning host Rodney Franks and Arturo Gómez from KUVO JAZZ as they lead you on a journey through Colorado’s musical past of jazz, R&B and hip-hop as it unfolded in Denver’s famed Five Points neighborhood. Plus, examine music’s power in strengthening and reshaping communities in surprising ways.

Sustainability – Join international performer and hip-hop ecologist, DJ Cavem, as he shares how he’s tapping urban farming and environmental sustainability to improve children’s personal health and wellness.

Youth – Learn how Miss Black Colorado, Emma Dickson, and on-air host, Maleman, are helping young people use their voices for change and to fuel their movements through the lens of social media.

Mental Health – Discover how THE DROP is supporting and improving access to mental health resources through mindfulness, broadened perspectives and programming that promotes community healing.

Come curious, leave with a fresh new view of—and hope for—Denver’s future!

Nikki Swarn is the general manager and program director of THE DROP, “The People’s Station for R&B and Hip Hop.” As a radio veteran, she has a wealth of experience in both commercial and public media stations.

Rodney Franks has been a DJ and host at KUVO since 1995. His weekday afternoon drive-time shift begins at 4 pm on KUVO JAZZ, heard at 89.3 FM and streaming online at

Arturo Gómez is an historian of jazz, Latin music, soul/R&B and hip hop. In fact, Arturo is a retired Zulu Nation elder and former chapter leader. As music director and host at KUVO JAZZ, his expertise is showcased as he discusses the history of music and how various formats are intertwined.

DJ Cavem is an ecologist, award-winning activist, chef and founder of Going Green Living Bling. He teaches urban farming and environmental sustainability.

Maleman is an independent musician and an on-air host/production coordinator at THE DROP.

Emma Dickson, Miss Black Colorado 2020, is pursuing an MBA and plans to open a wellness spa. She holds a degree in speech communication and Africana studies.

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