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Narrative CPB SAS Local Content and Services Report for FY 2019


Narrative CPB SAS Local Content and Services Report for FY 2019

1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged. KXCI’s goal is to execute its mission 24-7 with a terrestrial signal reaching the Tucson metro area which includes portions of Southern Arizona, from Green Valley to Oro Valley and from Oracle to Benson. All programming is archived in two-week increments via Radio Free America (streaming archives expire after two weeks as per RIAA guidelines). Video content documents the work of local and touring musicians, fostering national interest in our local music scene. Connecting diverse communities is achieved through our mix of eclectic musical programming and by offering an accessible, multi-tiered media platform on which our community can amplify their voices and tell their stories. 

Community-oriented topics are explored on shows produced by our own volunteers. These programs include: 30 Minutes, Broad Perspectives Radio, A Poet’s Moment, Artistories, Flicks, Growing Native, In Our Own Voices, KXCI Conversations, Mn Huna, Mrs. Green’s World, Nonprofit Spotlight, Pedaling the Pueblo, Southwestern Trails, Thesis Thursday, This Week in Blues History, Cultivating Indigenous Voices.

In addition to doubling the number of guests and hosts of Thesis Thursday, our short-form program focused on the academic achievements of University of Arizona students which includes an online Spanish translation, we continue to strengthen our partnerships with the U of A’s Africana Studies Department and the College of Humanities. Professors join us on air to guest DJ and discuss the ways in which music illuminates and intersects with their academic areas of expertise. As a result of one of these guest DJ sessions, Professor Tyina Steptoe recently joined our volunteer DJ roster hosting Soul Stories, a weekly show exploring the roots and branches of R&B by spotlighting soul music in its various forms.

Our special programming initiatives have broadened and deepened as well. In 2019 we produced hand-curated days of programming focused on International Women’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Giving Tuesday (we invited dozens of local non-profits on air to share their missions), and partnered with 40+ cities and radio stations around the globe to celebrate International Clash Day (celebrating the music and message of UK band The Clash). 

We regularly invite community leaders on-air to discuss upcoming cultural events, spreading the word about everything from the All Souls Procession to the Tucson Hip-Hop Festival. 

As community demand for our Educational programs continues to increase, last year we formed an Education Team comprised of current on-air programmers. We began offering youth broadcasting camps during fall break and will offer our first spring break camp in 2020. We are expanding the number of summer camp courses offered and the Education Team is developing a Level 2 Broadcasting Camp where young participants will learn more advanced skills such as operating a sound board, interviewing skills, and audio editing. 

2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.  KXCI connects with the community through a variety of key initiatives. One example is our conscious expansion of short-from community-based programs produced by a variety of local partners. 

Through our short form program, The Nonprofit Spotlight, we  share the microphone with other local nonprofits designed to amplify the voices of our nonprofit partners while connecting our listeners with vital services, including those offered by Our Family Services, Compass Affordable Housing, Junior League of Tucson, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, Make Way for Books, Pima Council on Aging, LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and more.

In partnership with Tucson Values Teachers, KXCI engaged educators during Teacher Appreciation Week 2019, with a special week-long celebration culminating with A Teaching Moment-a trio of teacher interviews hosted by an elementary student DJ. We are happy to celebrate with three amazing guests and our one and only DJ Plutonium.

KXCI deepened a partnership with Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to include the City of Tucson’s Armory Park Senior Center on a “Suitcase Memory” project. The seniors participated in a 10-week arts workshop with MOCA where they learned how to showcase their memories with photos, collages, and mementos from their lives. The ten seniors were invited into our Congress Street Studios to be interviewed about the contents of their suitcases. The project culminated at the Senior Center’s Thanksgiving dinner where all attendees were able to listen to these stories on headphones while exploring the mementos in each participant’s suitcase. The seniors were very enthusiastic about the project and KXCI is exploring creating a podcast to continue growing from this collaboration.

This past year marks our 5th year anniversary of collaborating with the Jewish History Museum and the Mexican Consulate on a neighborhood block party highlighting the musical and cultural achievements of the Mexican and Jewish communities for all to participate in.

KXCI’s Executive Director got involved with KBRP-LP, in Bisbee, Arizona shared tools for on-air financial campaigns, facilitated discussions, reviewed financial statements, and offered guidance in underwriting rules and regulations. Additionally, KXCI’s Music Director assists KMKR-LP with technical support and guidance in their Music Department.

3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served. One of KXCI’s greatest strengths is bringing awareness to community needs by sharing our partners’ messaging with the community. We accomplish this via Community Impact Announcements (PSAs). Last year KXCI broadcast 12,200 messages for more than 200 unique nonprofits. Expanding community awareness of a variety of resources and opportunities, from Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona programs to volunteering for Mobile Meals of Tucson. We regularly receive feedback from our partners about the impact KXCI has on their organizations. 

“We wish to thank KXCI for its wonderful work on behalf of nonprofits. Tucson Threshold Choir hosted a Community Sing at Southside Presbyterian Church last Saturday evening and the crowd was overflowing. I think we reached 200+ people in the room…Not only will Melanie DeMore have a fond memory of Tucson, she may come back again. She amazed the crowd which joined in song and felt the weight of her message: Lead with Love. It was a happy and meaningful event.” Norah Booth from Tucson Threshold Choir

Pima County Public Library held its first-ever One Book, One Community program between December 2018 and April 2019 presented by Kindred, the team dedicated to reaching, supporting, and celebrating the black community. KXCI interviewed some of the organizers and received the following feedback. “I am blown away. This was such an incredible interview. Our gratitude to you for your interest and ongoing support. We are so appreciative of all that KXCI does for the Library.”


Holly Schaffer, Community Relations Manager, Communications & Systems Office

Over the course of a two-part KXCI Conversation with Youth Climate Strike Activists, KXCI highlighted the work youth in the community are taking to effect change, deepening the impact of actions taken by emerging leaders. We also rebroadcast these segments during International Clash Day in 2020, a day devoted to climate change action and awareness via the theme #clashforclimate. 

4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2019, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2020. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast. KXCI strives to apply a lens of diversity to all programming, production and educational programs. We conduct targeted outreach to communities that have not traditionally participated in our programs. KXCI utilizes demographic information from Youth Broadcasting Camp applicants to ensure that the local community is increasingly reflected by camp participants. We also offer a tuition waiver for students who may not otherwise be able to participate in our programs.

In FY 2018, KXCI began its partnership with BLAX – Artists, Creatives, Intellectuals, and Entrepreneurs invested in elevating BLACK Culture and widening the aperture on the lens that defines BLACKNESS. This laid the groundwork to launch programming on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 21, 2019 in the form of 15 unique audio segments that tell the stories of our community members in their own voices. In 2019, BLAX has brought in more producers to explore aspects of the Black community. This partnership has led to the creation of a new community event where young LGBTQ and artists of color can share their art in the center of downtown Tucson is our Congress Studios.

KXCI’s Director of Outreach and several Board members have engaged the Mexican Consulate in a discussion of ways to collaborate on projects and programs for the Latinx communities of Southern Arizona. 

We are also formulating surveys through our Community Advisory Board (CAB). Last fall the CAB identified areas in the community where targeted outreach could have the greatest potential to reach diverse audiences, these outreach opportunities include a school district in a largely Latino community as well as the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies. The latter represents a new partnership for KXCI, and the hope is that it allows for the cultivation of an Indigenous voices speaker series, an older adult symposium, and a substantive opportunity for student research into the administration of surveys and data collection. 

Several nonprofits in Tucson have identified the deep work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as critical to their missions. KXCI’s Outreach team has been reflective of this, helping create partnerships with other nonprofits to create learning communities outside of our organization that will allow us to bring those conversations into our own organization. Examples of this include partnerships with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Rialto Theatre, The Dunbar Pavilion, and the YWCA.

We are on the brink of completing the renovation of our downstairs wheelchair-accessible production studio. The studio includes a larger entryway as well as a height-adjustable chair and board to accommodate differently-abled programmers.

5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t receive it? Our funding from the CPB makes it possible for KXCI to focus on fulfilling our mission and serving our community. KXCI’s mission is to connect the communities of Tucson and Southern Arizona to each other, and to the world, with informative, engaging, and creative community-based radio programming. Our goals include continuously informing listeners about local issues and events through terrestrial broadcast and digital platforms while also creating additional programming reflective of the community’s diversity on multiple levels including ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status. These are all directly dependent upon CPB grants. 

Through our volunteer orientations, educational services such as our Podcasting Classes, youth and adult education, and internships, we develop diverse and independent voices to promote civic and cultural engagement within the greater community. 

Without CPB funding we would not be able to execute our mission and goals with success and our community would suffer. Our nonprofit partners would be left without a powerful, independent media voice and their ability to raise awareness about and connect community members in need to their services would be significantly and negatively impacted. 

KXCI’s revenue sources include individual, sustaining, and major donors, underwriting, classes, and grants including significant funding from the CPB. If one of these revenue sources falls short, KXCI would not be able to provide the community with 24-hour programming or all the community outreach and engagement we provide. CPB money is utterly essential to KXCI reaching our goal of providing greater digital content and expanded programming to engage a more diverse audience. 

Pragmatically, the CPB grant makes everything the station does possible including our event sponsorships of other cultural and community organizations, as well as our ability to host local and national musicians. CPB support keeps us focused on our mission, our audience, and most importantly, our community. In addition to providing security and stability for our station, CPB support is leveraged in seeking other grant opportunities. 

CPB funding is directly related to the tremendous growth we experience every year. 




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