By Nyame-Kye Kondo, Special to the AFRO
The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan is providing a home for Black progressive artists in the form of its independent media hub, Full Service Radio.
Housed in a 110 year old church, the Line Hotel is a chic addition to the multiethnic community known as the “Melting Pot” of Washington D.C. Home to people from all over the world, and touting a slew of highly patronized restaurants and boutiques, Adams Morgan is known for its busy nightlife. With the Line Hotel positioning itself at the very top of the community, it is a complement to the already bustling Northwest neighborhood because of its location and sophisticated appeal.
Celebrating its inaugural year in 2017, the Line Hotel has found a way to successfully mesh twentieth century architecture with distinctively modern flair and creative minimalism. It accomplishes the latter by housing a fully functioning community based radio station in its lobby.
Created by food radio veteran, Jack Inslee, The Line’s website explains Full Service Radio as “a community radio station broadcasting live from the hotel lobby with over three dozen local hosts covering a curated mix of art, entertainment, music, food, politics, comedy, human interest and fiction.”
Small in comparison to the other radio stations in the city- what Full Service does not have in size, it makes up for with its refreshing content, and aesthetics. Currently featuring a handful of shows curated by progressive artists from varied backgrounds, it is especially providing an important resource for Black artists in the city. Full service Radio is at the forefront of the arts movement in the District through the efforts of such D.C. artists as Jamal Gray of Uptown Art House, and a number of others.
At the helm of the short lived but highly impactful, Uptown Art House, in Cleveland Park, native Washingtonian Jamal Gray is no stranger to hosting an independent radio show. Getting some early experience at one of the pioneer stations of public radio, 89.3, Gray has brought some of that stacks jazz and indie hip hop/pseudo funk to the Line Hotel in gusto. Hosting a show called “Late Bloom” weekly, Gray has had guest appearances by both local and non local talent. Some of the D.C. based artists featured have included Jenna Camille and Dreamcast Moe.
With the clear intention of steady expansion, Full Service Radio, is currently building content and a following. Considering the Line Hotel is quickly becoming one of the city’s popular hotel destinations, movement is imminent. While this development is a good resource for everyone, it is especially providing exposure for Black progressive artists from the area because it provides a remedy for a recent digression.
“This is definitely a good time for a media platform of this caliber to be in this area. The Line Hotel is a new development in a city that has historically had a rich Black media culture,” Gray told the AFRO.
While D.C has always had a rich Black music, media, and performance culture, different elements have contributed to the steady decline in the creative spaces they have access to, which is why the Line Hotel is so important; because it is providing a platform for the culture to evolve, and present itself consistently to the people. Although recorded live from the hotels lobby all radio shows can be viewed online in the form of podcasts. This modern phenomenon has made it possible to have access to Full Service Radio’s content all day, every day,
When asked how he felt about this new era of radio at the hotel, Gray told the AFRO, “By having a platform in such a progressive establishment, we are able to share that with everyone, and that is priceless.”