When you choose to play one song next to another, there is meaning in that choice.
These choices can tell a story, make a statement, evoke an emotion, set a mood, put pieces of music in context, or lead the listener toward something new. Human curation allows us to craft a message in realtime, to celebrate, to commemorate, and to question. The heart and soul of KEXP.
And a big part of that is the way this music community embraces the inherent humanity of hand-picked playlists. Even when it means what you hear is not always predictable or popular. Sometimes it’s imperfect, or raw. But it’s real.
Together, you’ve created a space for music lovers to honor all the experiences that make us human, and to connect through music in a way that makes our lives better.
In addition to the highlights you’ll read about in this report, the example that most stands out for me is KEXP’s Music Heals series. Throughout 2018, we shared listener stories of healing and the role of music in these experiences, with days dedicated to addiction and recovery; mental health; cancer; and grief. These stories are important, powerful, inspiring. But more broadly? You’ve made room for us to respond and react in the moment, to build connections on the air, and these things create an even deeper understanding of the role of music in peoples’ lives. We left 2018 with a greater awe of music.
So step back for just a moment, and think about how your support brings the music you care about into that space between the music lover and the artist—person to person, heart to heart, song to song. 2018 was an extraordinary year. You have so much to be proud of.
Tom Mara, Executive Director
P.S. And when you email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send thousands of songs requests to the DJ booth via text … yes, there’s a real human on the other end of the line. Always.