Every now and then humans have a well defined “full circle” moment. For KVNF’s producer/host Kori Stanton that moment came following a series of awards and honors for her work at the small community radio station in her hometown.

Stanton is no stranger to radio, music and being generally “cool.” As the daughter of Campbell and Susan Stanton, founders of KVNF, she cut her teeth on radio spending hours listening to music. She even had her own show on KAFM, a community radio station in Grand Junction, started by a group of dedicated community members including her father who served as the original Program Director. 

“Music has always been a big part of my life, music was always on, always,” she recalled.

At age 11 she picked up photography and openly confessed to being fascinated with media especially film, television and radio.

“I guess you could say, ‘I was born into radio.’ I think that media always had my attention. When I graduated high school I went to Denver for a couple of years and then packed up my car and moved to Los Angeles and continued on a path of photography and moved on into filmmaking … I kinda fell into it,” laughed Stanton.

Coming back to Paonia in 2018, she reconnected with KVNF on a part-time basis and eventually became the host of “Talkin Music,” a weekly program highlighting local or locally-performing musical artists from a variety of genres with interviews, music and live performances.

Always on the move with a million ideas in her head, Stanton wears a number of hats (both literally and figuratively) at the station including producer/host, news reporter, dee jay, and chair of the program committee. If that’s not enough, the energetic lady also works as a professional photographer and film editor with her own company — Kori Stanton Photography.

Stanton admitted that her transition from photography and film to “sound only” was a bit challenging, but now she relishes in “creating a story with just audio.” As a top shelf audio creator, she employs organic soundscapes adding layers to her authentic storytelling.

“I feel like I am really approachable for whomever I am speaking with. Part of my goal is to create the space for them to tell their story ... and hopefully others can learn something from it too,” Stanton said, “and I hope to offer a community resource for listeners as well.”

Recently the lady from Paonia ripped off three Colorado Broadcasting Association (CBA) awards while garnishing two more awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Her most recent SPJ awards include first place in Best Arts and Entertainment Feature featuring her interview with The Reminders and a second place in Best Arts and Entertainment News Feature for her interview with Rob Miller of Pickin’ Productions.

Stanton found out about the CBA awards while she was in studio conducting interviews. Her treasure trove of goodies includes an Award of Excellence as Best Public Affairs Program for KVNF’s weekly program “Local Motion” which featured her reporting on the hemp industry in the first quarter of 2020.

Her weekly show “Talkin Music” was recognized as Best Regularly Scheduled Entertainment Program. And she grabbed a Best Public Affairs Program Certificate of Merit for her coverage of Western Slope agricultural producers responding to drought.

“As soon as I saw that I had won first place for my public affairs story on the hemp industry, I literally started screaming in the station office,” Stanton said. “Then I started screaming because ‘Talkin Music’ is my favorite show to host and produce and to put together.”

Stanton produced 44 new episodes of the popular entertainment segment that promoted bands and artists during COVID-stricken 2020.

“It was all in an effort to continue to support our musicians who were not able to play out and tour like they normally do. I really felt a personal and professional obligation to provide that platform.”

It’s easy to see that music and musicians hold a special place in her heart. When asked about her passion as a producer/host, her reply was raw and honest.

“Music. Music discovery ... I couldn’t live without it, it’s such a huge part of my life. I lived in L.A for about 10 years and was around a lot of people in the music industry on the performing end and also on the label end. I’ve just always been fascinated with the behind the scenes and what goes into making an album. Some of my favorite memories are being in the recording studio with a band and documenting the process.”

Her passion’s reward is the connections she makes between listener and artist. Getting a text that someone found a new band or artist and bought their album for the first time is her bread and butter.

“It’s really rewarding for everybody. I love connecting people at my core ... I think that’s almost my purpose,” said Stanton who recently started a new show at KVNF called “Rain and Shine.”

Stanton works alongside friend Calla Rose Ostrander to produce and host a weekly short feature on science and nature. The show allows for a question and answer time between host and listener, thus producing another vital connection.

In addition to the plethora of awards and starting a new show, Stanton recently worked in front of the camera as the EMCEE for the ARISE Online: Earth Day 2021 which aired live April 22.

“It’s kinda cool, it’s a huge thing for me to ‘on camera’ host,” said Stanton, who typically works from behind the camera’s eye.

As for her full circle moment, it came during a special moment with her parents following her CBA awards announcement.

“Both of my parents are thrilled, they couldn’t be prouder,” said Stanton, her voice starting to break with heartfelt emotion. “I got to hug my dad and he was so proud.”

As the weighty silence slipped away, Stanton reflected on her journey, “It feels very full circle for me working at KVNF and honoring what he started with other community members.”

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