The FCC has just announced a new window to apply for non-commercial educational radio (NCE) permits. To cut through the bureaucratic jargon, an NCE station is one that has a mission to educate on a particular topic. That includes non-profits, arts organizations and the like.
The announcement is a little unusual in that the FCC has given groups six months to prepare for the window (it runs from Oct. 12 to Oct. 19). If you're looking for a station in a major metropolitan area, you will most likely be out of luck. With that said, there are a lot of opportunities available in more rural areas of the country. Preference is given to local groups that meet certain criteria. An application takes about two months to put together and can cost $1,000 to $5,000, but it's a great opportunity for the right group -- especially when radio consolidation has rendered much radio programming bland and homogenized.
The good folks over at Prometheus Radio Project can help with advice on your application.