KXCI Announces Plans for New Studio at Hotel Congress
Expanded Space to Offer More Live Music,
Greater Community Access
Cathy Rivers, Executive Director: Cathy@kxci.org
Hannah Levin, Director of Content: Hannah@kxci.org
Tucson, AZ—KXCI, Tucson’s beloved, respected, and long-running independent, listener-supported radio station is proud to announce a new, groundbreaking partnership with another iconic local institution: the historic Hotel Congress.
Starting this fall, KXCI’s 91.3 FM frequency will begin auxiliary broadcasts within the celebrated hotel, bringing its signature, hand-curated programming straight into the heart of downtown and showcasing its diverse mix of musical genres and community-minded specialty programming. Listeners all over the world will also be able to hear the station’s streaming service via KXCI.org and listen to archived shows for up to two weeks.
“We are proud members of the community with a long-standing commitment to showcasing all that makes Tucson unique and vibrant. Forging a space within the very heart of the community where our listeners and donors can share in the joy and excitement of what makes KXCI’s programming so special makes perfect sense,” says KXCI Executive Director Cathy Rivers.
“We are thrilled that Hotel Congress and KXCI are collaborating on such a unique public project,” says Congress’s Entertainment Director David Slutes. “The shared interest in the growth and vitality of Tucson’s music community makes this a natural and exciting partnership, undoubtedly adding an engaging new cultural component to the burgeoning downtown landscape. Imagine that ‘On The Air’ sign lit up on Congress St, across the street from the Rialto Theatre, from within the Historic Hotel Congress….how cool! Best of all, this is quintessentially Tucson. Not only will this add further illumination to the evolving downtown entertainment district, we feel it will be something the Tucson music community and the town at large will be proud to have.”
The station will be broadcasting from the space directly across from the Copper Room and adjacent to the venue’s main showroom. Studio build out and soundproofing construction is set to commence later this summer. Funds for the space’s development are being provided by the Warden Family. “In the process of cultivating major gifts for our Capital Campaign, we identified a donor who loves KXCI and saw the need for the station to not only be audible but also visible within the community,” explains Rivers. “The Warden family’s gift has been specifically earmarked for this auxiliary location downtown.”
“This is an incredible opportunity that wouldn’t exist without the visionary leadership at both KXCI and Hotel Congress, and the generous people in this community that support us, says KXCI Board President Katie Rogerson. This collaboration is completely unique, and says a lot about Tucson and our future.”
Hotel visitors will be able to see DJs in action through the space’s windows, which face out to both Congress Street and the interior of the hotel. “We want music lovers in Tucson to be able to walk by the studio and see our wonderful volunteers doing what they do well—programming the very best in independent radio content,” explains Rivers. “They’ll also be able to see DJs interviewing visiting musicians and other on-air guests, giving the station’s presence at Hotel Congress an inclusive vibe to engage listeners more personally.”
There are no plans to give up the station’s current home in Armory Park. Broadcasting will continue to happen from that locale and the station will expand its existing education programs, which include public speaking training along with DJ and podcasting classes for children, teens, and adults. “We have currently outgrown our historic house in Armory Park and want to focus on that becoming our educational facility,” says Rivers. “The doors are wide open and we will now have even more room for Tucsonans to come in and tell their stories.”
Thanks to the fortuitous proximity of Club Congress, the station will expand its inclusion of live, on-air performances by local and touring bands within that venue’s walls, especially during The Home Stretch (weekdays from 3-6 p.m.), the show hosted by Hannah Levin, who came to KXCI one year ago after a ten-year tenure at Seattle’s award-wining independent station KEXP. Levin and Music Director Duncan Hudson will also be leading the charge to incorporate video of live performances into KXCI’s content offerings, thanks in part to a recent partnership with Creative Tucson.
“Much of what I find so compelling about Tucson’s cultural landscape is its dual commitment to preserving its historic value—to continue telling the stories of its founding and enduring artists while nurturing the next generation of musicians and creating fertile ground for healthy, sustainable growth,” says Levin. “Having a fresh, vivid presence downtown while maintaining our beloved space in Armory Park reflects how those twin values of respect for historic worth and a vision for responsible, innovative growth can and should work together.”