Good things come in small packages, but sometimes those things become so good that they outgrow those packages. This is the case for Seattle’s beloved KEXP 90.3 FM. The radio station is currently planning its move from a small, overcrowded brick building on Dexter and Denny to swanky new digs in Seattle Center. KEXP’s New Home is set to be filled late this year, with the old building up for demolition. The modern new space will allow KEXP to build stronger connections with the community, better accommodate artists, and be closer to partners SIFF, the VERA Project, and EMP Museum.
The listener-powered, non-profit station has been campaigning for funds since the move became final, and still has a long way to go to reach the $15 million needed for the project. Funds have been raised through benefit concerts, on-air drives, and private donations. KEXP was largely depending on funding from the Washington State Senate… until recently.
Late last week, KEXP’s new home was removed from the Senate’s Capital Budget for Building for the Arts (BFA) support. According to King 5 News, the state funding would have been the majority of the $15 million total cost needed for the project. This significant dent in KEXP’s new home funding sent the radio station into a panic, immediately advocating for community support in opposition to this measure. KEXP called for action, asking listeners to write their senators to express the need for these funds.
From the KEXP update regarding BFA funding: “You took action right away sending emails and making phone calls, tweeting and texting and encouraging your neighbors to do the same. It was overwhelmingly heartwarming and deeply appreciated.”
The New Home had been second in line for $1.8 million from the state. After the Senate meeting on Thursday, April 9th, it was decided that KEXP would not receive this amount in its entirety. “Unfortunately, full funding for KEXP’s New Home in the Capital Budget was not restored. However, an amendment to fund $1 million (53% of the original amount) for KEXP’s New Home did pass.”
Featured photo via newhome.kexp.org