KEXP loses part of state funding for new Seattle Center home

Elisa Hahn reports.

SEATTLE -- KEXP was set to move into its new home at the Seattle Center at the end of this year, when the staff got word Thursday that it was losing a big part of its funding.

They have yet to learn why.

The executive director, Tom Mara, says somehow the non-profit radio station was removed from the Senate's Capital Budget for Building for the Arts, where it was ranked second in line to receive the funding it needs of $1.8 million.

The money was suppose go to building its new home at the Seattle Center, where KEXP was set to have its first broadcast at the end of the year.

Total cost of the project is $15 million. The state funding was the largest source of funding for the project.

"My first thought was this was tough to reconcile. Because we were ranked number two in the state, so what's going on?" Mara said.

The executive director still doesn't know how it happened, but Friday he learned some senators worked to put it back on the list, but with just a million dollars of funding, far less than what it had counted on.

It won't change the schedule of the move, but it could change the scope of the design of their new home, a home where they hoped to continue to provide live performances for the public.

"We need that funding to do that work, to do a better job serving that community," said DJ Kevin Cole.

They're hoping their listeners will turn up the volume, so that state lawmakers get their project back on track.

KING 5 reached out to several state senators to see why KEXP was removed from the list of funding recipients for Building for the Arts, but we have yet to hear back.


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