KEXP Annual Report 2022

Independent Together: KEXP Annual Report on 2022


A black t-shirt with a vintage KCMU logo that looks very "eighties."

KEXP celebrated 50 years in 2022. That span of time covers a whole lot of change – evolutions in community radio, the Seattle music scene, technology, media … definitely in graphic design. And the story of our 50th encompassed all of that and more.  

But as it turns out – revisiting 50 years of music is more like revisiting little pieces of our lives. Right off the bat, stories poured in from listeners who had been with KEXP from the very beginning and every year in between. It felt less like commemorating an institution and more like bonding as people and as music lovers. Appreciating all the ways music can be tied to a time or a place or a person. Looking back at songs that helped make us who we are and still connect us today. It was so powerful to learn so much about all the times KEXP’s journey intersected with those of our listeners – and hopefully with your own. 

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) at KEXP 50 // photo by Travis Trautt

For me, a real highlight of all this was KEXP50, our free community concert and “birthday party” at Seattle Center. It truly felt like a culmination of everything leading up to that point: not only the decades that shaped KEXP, but also these more recent years of challenge and upheaval. The sense of opening up, our space coming alive again, and people coming together – it was life-affirming. I think that joy comes through in the photos and audio from that day, and it’s something I’ll never forget.   

Above all, the most inspiring thing about this milestone is simply knowing that so many people – over so many years – have cared so deeply about music, human curation, community and our connection to each other. Thank you for being a part of that.  

At 51, KEXP is no longer a student-run station; our community is global and our storytelling reaches beyond just radio. We’ve grown, we continue to evolve, and we’re investing in the future. Even as we were still basking in the glow of our 50th celebration last fall, we were already turning to face the future by reimagining our radio schedule and new ways to serve our mission, which I believe will continue to push us forward while also making sure we stay true to ourselves. 

I am looking forward to the future. Change is hard, but it can also open up new vistas. I’m looking forward to that. It’s an important journey and I’m so grateful we’re on it together! 

Ethan Raup, CEO

Infographic: 2022 By the Numbers. 65,848 songs  played on KEXP; 180 artists featured in Live On KEXP sessions; 30,704 donors; 62% of donors were Amplifiers; 26,648 artists played on KEXP.


50 Years of Listener-Powered Music: 2022 Programming Highlights


In 2022, your support helped bring the 50th celebration to our local community in the best way possible – with live music! KEXP50 was our first large gathering since early 2020, and listener power kept this special day free and open to all. Featuring performances from !!!, Thao, Sons of Kemet, Tomo Nakayama, and Enumclaw, the event also offered a “Future Booth” for attendees to share what inspires them along with hopes for the next 50 years of KEXP.


50 Years of Music

KEXP revisited a different year in music history during every single week of 2022 – and it went beyond a simple spin of the “greatest hits.” At KEXP, listener power supports a whole team of curators, so we got each show’s own unique take on standout albums across all genres. Your support in 2022 also powered a year’s worth of thoughtful music writing from KEXP, reflecting on those special albums at the intersection of personal and cultural impact. 


Radio Week

This on-air event offered a way for listeners everywhere to be part of the celebration. Throughout the week, KEXP featured a special lineup of Live On KEXP performances, plus special features or special guests during every show. Radio Week was also the perfect chance to gather some of KEXP’s longtime DJs together and get their stories on video –  so no matter what year you discovered KEXP, you can hear more about the history you’re now helping to uphold. 



Header image, "More 2022 Highlights: Your support helped us tell stories and share music in new ways; champion artists, venues, and record stores; and build back up to a full schedule of sessions and events. Here's just a peek. Thank you so much."



KEXP Presents: Fresh off the Spaceship // photo by Melissa Wax (view set)



Fresh Off the Spaceship 

A new 10-part podcast telling the story of the Black Constellation, plus a sold-out special event with performances from the featured artists.




Fin del Mundo (w/ DJ Cheryl Waters) @ KEXP Live from Argentina // photo by Julieta María (view set)



Live From Argentina

KEXP’s first-ever broadcast from South America, featuring 12 special Live On KEXP sessions.




Shaina Shepherd at Tractor Tavern // photo by Jim Bennett (view set)



Independent Together

A three-show series to highlight local artists and local venues.




Thao at the Music Heals Stage, KEXP50 // photo by Travis Trautt (view set)



The Music Heals Stage, in memory of Riley McCarthy

Created with donor support in memory of Riley McCarthy and in honor of Music Heals, a new permanent outdoor stage now provides more space for KEXP-hosted shows and other community events.



Album art for Live On KEXP Vol. 10; design created by DNA.

Live at KEXP Vol. 10

In partnership with BECU, a double album of KEXP live sessions, with 100% of sales going to independent record stores and the featured artists.

Pie charts titled "2022 Income & Expenses: Thanks to your support, 2022 was a year of growth and investment."  The specific categories, dollar values, and percentages are listed in the following section of notes.

Section header: Income & Expenses Notes

INCOME | $15,267,826

Individual and Business Support

The largest portion of KEXP’s support in 2022 came from 30,704 individual donors, donor-directed funds, corporate matching programs, and family foundations. The $9,145,274 raised by these combined groups made up 60% of the organization’s revenue. Business Support provided an additional $2,894,558 or 19% of KEXP’s total 2022 revenue.

Grants and Government Support

KEXP received $491,979 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, or 3.2% of total 2022 revenue. This funding supports broadcast services and annual operations. An additional $104,758 or 0.9% of 2022 revenue came from other grant sources including The Dean Witter Foundation, Grousemont Foundation, 4Culture, and the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Quasi-Endowment Payout

KEXP drew $310,000 from its Quasi-Endowment Fund in 2022, representing 2% of total 2022 revenues.

Covid Relief

KEXP’s 2022 income included $250,271 in Covid-related funding.

Earned & Miscellaneous Revenue

Miscellaneous and earned revenue from rent, investment income, and program services totaled $217,154 or 1.5% of 2022 revenue.

In-Kind Support

Individuals, organizations, and businesses contributed in-kind support in the form of goods and services totaling $1,853,773, or 12.1% of total revenue & expense, a major portion of which came from the University of Washington; additional major in-kind support was provided by Copacino + Fujikado. Corresponding expenses are detailed in the next section, “Expenses.” 

EXPENSES | $15,787,575

In 2022, 57% of KEXP’s expenses were dedicated to Program Services, which includes all radio programming, Live on KEXP production and distribution, podcasts, events, the KEXP website, and more. 

Fundraising accounted for 19.5% of expenses in 2022; this number includes fundraising staff and systems, as well as the production and shipping of thank-you gifts. 

Management & General costs were 7% percent of total 2022 expenses, including human resources, accounting, and other back-end functions. An additional 4.7% of 2022 expenses went toward

Capital Expenditures, including the construction of the Music Heals Courtyard Stage, which extends KEXP’s capacity to host community events.

In-Kind Expenses were $1,867,955 in 2022. This number comprises $657,588 in program services expenses, $37,049 in management & general expenses, and $1,173,318 in fundraising expenses. These expenses correspond with In-Kind Support in the above section, “Income.”

Thanks to strong past support from donors, KEXP was able to enter the year with a portion of cash reserves committed for use in 2022. This planned transfer provided an additional $519,747 for timely investments in programming and operations. 

Large group photo of many KEXP DJs and a crowd of KEXP50 attendees in the Gathering Space, smiling and waving at the camera. Text overlay reads "Thank You for 50 Years of Powering KEXP."


2022 was a year to celebrate the long legacy of listener power at KEXP and (of course) revisit 50 years of music together. But your support in 2022 also laid the groundwork for our next steps. It was a year for big ideas, excitement for the future, and growth; thanks to you, we invested in programming, staff, and systems that will carry KEXP forward and help us share  more music in more ways. Your support made a real difference for what we could create throughout the year, and what we’ll become in the future. Thank you for powering KEXP.