eTown was conceived by Nick Forster when he was on tour in Eastern Europe with Sam Bush & Friends in 1990. Nick, a veteran touring musician with the band Hot Rize and others, had fallen in love with live radio after being a guest on Prairie Home Companion, the Grand Ol’ Opry and the WWVA Jamboree. After seeing how music drew disparate groups together – and noticing the environmental degradation in parts of Eastern Europe – , Nick was convinced that there could be a radio show that combined live music with conversation about how we live together on this increasingly fragile planet.
Back in Boulder, Nick enlisted his wife, Helen, to help get eTown started. Helen, a veteran performer and singer (and former partner in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival), jumped right in, and the first eTown show was recorded on Earth Day in 1991. Just a few short months later, eTown was launched on NPR and fans all across the country discovered this one-of-a-kind program.
Now, more than 23 years later, eTown is still evolving and eTown’s audience is expanding. With weekly videos, a popular website, and even their own solar powered musical Town Hall, eTown is not just here to stay, it’s bigger and better than ever.