In a 10-day extravaganza of musical performances and broadcasts, KCSB 91.9 FM’s annual fund drive aims to garner pledges and support from the campus and local community.

The fundraising marathon began yesterday and runs until Nov. 14. Donors can give money by calling the radio station at (805) 893-2424 or by going online to Contributors will receive thank you gifts such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, gift certificates and CDs. According to KCSB Development Coordinator Ted Coe, last year’s fund drive raised $28,000, and the station holds similar expectations for this year.

On Sunday, members and fans of the station gathered at Muddy Waters Cafe for the KCSB Fund Drive Kick-Off Party with performances by Oso, Planets, Watercolor Paintings, the Limbz and the Colter Frazier/Rob Wallace Duo – all artists with a local fan base.

Coe said the fund drive offers the station the opportunity to showcase its diverse musical programming, which features a variety of styles such as folk, hip hop and blues.

“The fund drive gives us a chance to celebrate the station and its accomplishments,” Coe said. “We’re just trying to show that we have a really wide range of music.”

KCSB General Manager Josh Redman said the event’s focus is not solely to raise money, but also to recognize the station’s contributions to Santa Barbara and the campus.

“We are the community,” Redman said. “We’re the only radio station anyone can just get on to. We bring the community and the campus together.”

In addition, Coe said the fundraising event highlights KCSB’s importance to the local cultural scene.

“We know what we need to do to stay relevant, and that’s to really represent the community,” Coe said. “We’re an immediate outlet for what’s going on.”

Programmers will pitch 24 hours a day during the 10-day marathon, telling stories and explaining why people should pledge, Redman said.

“We want to get people excited about radio,” Redman said. “Every year we do something different, and this year should be really good.”

KCSB DJ Philip Le Vasseur, who started working at the radio station in 1992, said the fund drive is a popular tradition among the staff.

“The fund drive is a ritual we look forward to each year,” Le Vasseur said. “There’s a lot of student participation and we always get a lot of congratulations.”

Although the fund drive places KCSB in the spotlight for only a brief period, Le Vasseur said he hopes the radio station continues to receive recognition as an important media resource.

“KCSB is very important because it allows someone like me to come in,” Le Vasseur said. “It’s a place where I found my public voice. Public radio is about creating your own news and not being beholden to corporate media. KCSB and other grassroots stations are here to continue fighting for the public voice. It’s a privilege to be a part of that.”