KEXP Announces New Public Affairs, Curated Music, and Youth-led Programs

Powering KEXP
Dashel Schueler
photo by Alan Lawrence

KEXP has shared plans to launch three new programs in early 2019. The new shows reflect a deep dedication to the organization’s mission to enrich lives by championing music and discovery and include new public affairs programming centered on the voices, perspectives and experiences of members of diverse communities. This programming will host more conversations about the value and impact of music and art in our lives, explore how music and culture intersect with current affairs, politics and social justice, empower young people in public media and music curation, and help listeners engage with new musical genres.

The three new shows include:

A youth-centered program (Title TBA) created by young community members participating in the newly-launched KEXP Youth DJs program. This one-hour show will feature music curated and fully produced by teenagers and youth, with guidance and direction from KEXP staff, led by DJ and Education Coordinator Sharlese Metcalf.

A public affairs program (Title TBA) that uses interviews, artistry, commentary, insight, and conversation to illustrate why music and art matter. This program will provide a platform to diverse creative and artistic communities not currently represented on the dial, with space to share and discuss topics and insight important to their communities. A full-time producer will be hired to guide the direction of how this program sounds and feels, and how it can advance KEXP’s mission as an arts nonprofit. This position will be posted the week of October 8th.

A specialty show, Pacific Notions, a weekly three-hour showcase of the best in neo-classical and ambient music with explorations into downtempo, new age, post-rock, and other atmospheric styles. Pacific Notions will be hosted by Alex Ruder, a long-time KEXP DJ and founder of Seattle’s Hush Hush Records.

“We hear from listeners each and every day about the power that music has in their lives – power to connect, inspire and heal,” said KEXP Chief Content Officer and Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole. “The new shows we’re announcing today allow us to examine that power in more profound ways than ever before.  We will explore more musical genres, create space for young people to express their musical and cultural perspective while gaining valuable media and leadership skills, and foster more understanding about the impact music and creativity have in our society. We hope the new shows inspire deeper discussions about the intersections of music and culture with politics, activism, identity, health and wellness, history, news and more while exploring the main issues of our day through the lens of music and culture.”

“I'm extremely excited about the launch of Pacific Notions and honored to curate three hours of beautiful early morning sounds via KEXP on a weekly basis,” said incoming Pacific Notions host Alex Ruder. “It's been an on-going goal and mission of mine to shine a brighter spotlight on instrumental music and talented musicians creating gorgeous, cinematic, atmospheric music. I'm thrilled to make Pacific Notions a home for the artists, labels, and sounds within those realms that don't typically receive wide radio exposure.”

The new shows will air in the 6-9AM timeslots on Saturday and Sunday. The program currently airing during this timeslot, Mind Over Matters, will be transitioned off the air. KEXP is currently working with the show’s long-time hosts and producers Mike McCormick and Diane Horn to determine the path for that transition, including timeline and support that KEXP can provide to keep the Mind Over Matters audience connected with any future work that Mike, Diane, and other Mind Over Matters contributors create.

“Change like this is always bittersweet,” said KEXP Executive Director Tom Mara, “While we’re tremendously excited about these new shows, we are saying goodbye to our friends. We want to thank Mike, Diane, and everyone involved with the production of what we continue to believe is an excellent radio program and a tremendous service to the community. We also thank the listeners for their support of this program, and the hundreds of contributing community members and organizations who shared their stories and perspectives with the Mind Over Matters audience over the years.”

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