KEXP and Seattle Center

You may have heard KEXP responded to the Seattle Center’s call for proposals to develop the Arcade pavilion next to the Mural Amphitheater.

Did KEXP submit a proposal?
Yes, we did submit a proposal.

Why is KEXP a fit for Seattle Center?
We are a non-profit arts organization with a mission “to enrich people’s lives by championing music and discovery.” With the 500 live in-studio performances we produced in 2009, we think we can generate a significant amount of positive community impact by bringing hundreds of eclectic performances to Seattle Center at no charge to the public. With our ability to produce more than one live performance every day, the purpose is to connect more people to many more artists as a public service.

Artists championed by KEXP are rarely supported by traditional non-profit arts organizations, nor are they typically supported by commercial media outlets. They are inventive, contemporary artists creating new work that has few opportunities to reach a wide audience. KEXP features emerging and other artists who aren’t “commercially viable” right alongside seasoned musicians with a global following and connects them with an audience eager to explore new music and ideas. KEXP at Seattle Center will help those artists have more of a voice within Seattle’s cultural community and to the broader public, who might not know that they can discover these bands on the station.

We also think we can play a unique role in championing the mission of Seattle Center and the missions of its non-profit residents to the more than 200,000 music lovers we serve every week locally and around the world. KEXP is already an ambassador of Seattle’s culture to many others around the world and being more in touch with other arts organizations on the Seattle Center campus will help us bring more benefit to Seattle.

Why submit a proposal to the Seattle Center?
KEXP has exceeded its capacity in its current home. More importantly, we are poised to serve a much greater civic role, connecting more people to more artists. Being able to pursue our mission “to enrich people’s lives by championing music and discovery” in a more public fashion and at this particular location next to Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheater is a great opportunity – one our listeners, artists and the surrounding community deserve.

Aren’t we competing with the Dale Chihuly proposal?
The public process is designed to elicit good ideas from a variety of organizations. We think our proposal will be met with a great deal of support simply on its own strong merits.

If KEXP’s proposal is accepted, how would the project be funded?
Through a capital campaign, endowment development and project financing. We feel we have a strong base of community support and amazingly generous listeners. It’s good to point out at this point this is a proposal in an early stage of a public process.

How can I learn more about KEXP’s proposal?
Feel free to contact Executive Director Tom Mara at

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