WTMD at Senator wouldn't attract college rowdies

February 10, 2010

I am writing this in the hopes of clearing up misconceptions some may have regarding WTMD listener and member demographics, a topic which has become important in the debate between two proposals the Baltimore Development Corp. has for the occupation of the Senator Theatre.

Having read others' opinions on this matter posted on The Sun's website and elsewhere, I feel that WTMD listeners have been erroneously stereotyped as irresponsible and drunken college students that wreak havoc in the Towson and Lake Evesham communities. This is simply not true. While havoc may be wreaked by young adults in these communities, that does not necessarily mean they are WTMD listeners, whether these young adults are Towson University students or not.

Though WTMD does currently exist within Towson University walls, it's airwaves are not confined to the campus. The radio station's bandwidth extends to the outer areas of Baltimore; you can receive the radio signal in Glen Burnie, Catonsville, Reisterstown, even Kingsville and through WTMD.org. Similarly, WTMD's bandwidth is just as wide as the age range of its listeners -- not confined to the ages of 19-24, but opened for ears of all ages.

As a long-time WTMD listener and supporter, I have attended public events, such as the summer Concerts in the Park in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The best part of these events is that the whole community can enjoy them together -- families and friends of all ages can and do gather to enjoy the music and share in the fun. Alcohol is permitted at these events, and yet, out of the several times I've imbibed while in attendance, I've never seen anyone who was drunk beyond control or even acting in a disruptive manner.

WTMD's philosophy revolves around creating and maintaining a community of all ages through a love of music and arts. It wants and needs members to survive. Having a space to house music, arts and film events would allow not only an music and arts community to thrive but would allow the area that space exists in to thrive as well. WTMD's occupation of the Senator Theatre would attract good business during the day and evening hours, enlivening Belvedere Square and the Lake Evesham community. And the residents of this community can even join in the fun.

Besides, wouldn't music, arts and movies be better than just movies, a model that hasn't worked for very many years now?

Kate Lawless, Baltimore

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