I have to take a moment and say it was a thrill to have an interview scheduled at La Marzocco, the cafe at the community headquarters of KEXP radio in Seattle. My family and I have supported KEXP for almost a decade, and this year I was able to pay my dues in person. Here's why that was kind of thrill:
First, KEXP spent about three years fundraising for, and building out, its new community-centered headquarters at the Seattle Center. KEXP has always done an incredible job welcoming a diversity of voices and sounds onto its airwaves from its old and kind of crumbling, cramped home outside downtown Seattle. They've even broadcast from the men's room they're just that awesome (this is for you Sharon and Charles!). So after hearing about the move and catching the buzz of excitement from their streaming service, it was kind of a homecoming to be able to walk in an experience the place first hand.
Which brings me to the second thrill: KEXP's new home is a physical representation of the community commitment and inclusion that it brings to the airwaves. The massive commons at the heart of KEXP is about 8,000sf of open space that includes a coffee bar, record shop, art gallery and presentation stage - with windows into the radio booth where live broadcasts happen 24/7. Its a chill and welcoming atmosphere where parents and kids tuck in with equal comfort to the laptop jockey's firing away at their lines of code. Couples lounge on sofa's next to Facetiming freelancers. All surrounded by the cherished and familiar voices of the more than 40 DJs who call the KEXP airwaves home.
Here's to great community radio, and the spirit of openness and inclusion that powers a truly amazing community asset. I'm proud to be playing my little part!