Dave Matthews, members of Pearl Jam, National Public Radio, and more than 20 local artists and community leaders are backing KEXP's bid for the Seattle Center's Fun Forest site (full list here—.pdf). Yesterday was the deadline for the eight competing projects to submit supplemental materials—most notably, a funding plan—to still be considered as a viable candidate to inhabit the Fun Forest site. I have a call into the Center to see if everyone met the tight two-week deadline.
I make-a the musics.
“My family and I chose to settle in Seattle in part because of its vibrant music community, of which KEXP is an integral component,” writes Matthews in a personal letter advocating for KEXP (.pdf).
"... this project would enable KEXP and NPR to bring a new level of connection between musicians and the Seattle public, one that is open to all, regardless of their financial resources," writes Vivian Schiller, President and CEO of NPR. "KEXP plays a significant role in NPR's national programming. That can be seen most easily in the leadership role the station played in the founding and evolution of NPR Music at npr.org/music, an online music destination that has reinvented the public radio music experience."
“Directly and indirectly, the music industry in Seattle supports 22,000 jobs and generates $2.6 billion in sales," says Kelly Curtis, manager of Pearl Jam. "KEXP at Seattle Center will be an asset that only makes that industry more robust by enhancing our stellar reputation as a community that through-and-through supports music and musicians.”
KEXP's most viable competition at this stage is, of course, the Space-Needle-backed Chihuly museum. By including letters of support in their supplemental materials for the panel to review, KEXP is still playing catch-up to the Chihuly museum, which mustered support from the Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle Public Schools, and ArtsFund after being criticized for not offering any (free) public benefits to Seattle residents. Still, the leaders on KEXP's list can't be dismissed lightly. This is a smart move.