To engage the St. Louis community, strengthen alliances with local organizations, and expand news coverage in our region through the construction of new St. Louis Public Radio facilities at Grand Center.
Enriching Our Community
Since its founding in 1972, St. Louis Public Radio has been a true expression and symbol of our society. Through the generous cooperation of supporters in the St. Louis area, corporations, foundations and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, KWMU established itself from the very beginning as a voice of the community and a forum for bringing St. Louis together.
St. Louis Public Radio’s objective has always been to be recognized as a distinctive and vital resource for the community we serve— a resource that strengthens the civic and cultural life of our region. St. Louis Public Radio strives to achieve that objective by providing in-depth news, intelligent talk and quality entertainment through KWMU, KWMU-2, and KWMU-3 to more than 250,000 listeners each week and more than 1,000,000 annual visitors to stlpublicradio.org, our web site.
As a voice for the St. Louis region and beyond, we at St. Louis Public Radio consider ourselves not just broadcasters, but also conveners and educators. We use all of our resources to present ideas and programs that advance the strongest attributes of an enlightened and informed society— including broadcasts that focus on music, arts, and the social, scientific and political issues that affect the lives of people in and around St. Louis every day.
In May of 2010, St. Louis Public Radio added 24/7 broadcast of classical music with the creation of Classical 90.7 KWMU-3. We also initiated a partnership with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in June of 2010 to broadcast all Saturday night Wells Fargo Advisors Orchestra Series concerts that continues today.
We have developed innovative new initiatives, including veteran reporter Don Marsh’s groundbreaking project St. Louis History in Black and White. This unprecedented online series takes an in-depth look at the history of race relations in St. Louis from 1847 to the present, deepening our understanding of our own culture and people.
Yet another landmark series we have undertaken is Bound by Division, a program investigating the differences that characterize the St. Louis community, and asking the question, what fuels these divisions and how do they keep the St. Louis region from moving forward?
Unbiased news is also an important aspect of St. Louis Public Radio’s broadcasts, and the reporting we do here at St. Louis Public Radio has not been overlooked. Recent awards for our reporters and programs include the 2011 Missouri Broadcasters’ Association First Place for Documentary/Public Affairs programming for our coverage of teen unemployment and a 2010 RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Regional award for Adam Allington’s report St. Louis Stimulus a Year Later.
Building a Forum for the Future — UMSL at Grand Center
Expanding on this history of success, St. Louis Public Radio is now approaching a transformative moment— the construction of our new facilities at the UMSL building at Grand Center.
Whether by keeping our audience up to date on the latest classes in the region or promoting local arts events, we have always focused on connecting our listeners to the arts in our area. Recently, promotional opportunities and cooperation between SLPR, the St. Louis Symphony, and Circus Flora allowed this long-time St. Louis theater company to experience its biggest season in 25 years, cementing its place and reputation in our regional arts scene and exposing a new generation to a distinct St. Louis arts experience.
Now with our new location in the heart of the St. Louis arts scene, we will be better positioned than ever to enhance the creative dialogue in our region. Located at 3651 Olive Street in Grand Center, this three-story, 27,000 square-foot facility includes new studios, community facilities, an expanded newsroom and more. These facilities will enable us to create new, original programs and provide our listeners each and every day with an even greater understanding of the issues that define our region and color our lives.
UMSL at Grand Center Will Be...
...A Place to Engage
By building our new facilities at Grand Center, we are positioned within what is arguably the most dynamic part of St. Louis, an area that has already established a national reputation as one of the most vibrant arts districts in the country. Over one million visitors come to Grand Center to engage in over 1,500 cultural events each year. It is a place that defines the very life and culture of St. Louis.
We also join three other public media outlets already located at Grand Center — Nine Network of Public Media, The St. Louis Beacon, and KDHX — creating an unprecendented opportunity to bring together four organizations dedicated to promoting and documenting life in St. Louis.
Our part in this public media continuum is essential — in fact, public radio today is one of the last free and readily accessible means for transmitting and sharing the information that matters to our community. Citizens in the St. Louis region want and need to make informed decisions and fully take part in a democratic society. Public radio is the vehicle to provide that forum.
The new facilities include spaces in which St. Louis Public Radio can communicate and convene with members of the St. Louis community, forging more of the partnerships that have been so pivotal to our broadcast success. Community-oriented spaces include studios for broadcasting reports on critical local and regional issues and town-hall style meeting rooms that allow us to host discussions with the public on a regular, ongoing basis. St. Louis Public Radio is creating opportunities for direct and personal connections with our listeners and community.
UMSL at Grand Center Will Be...
...A Place to Grow
Our new location also enables us to expand our journalism franchise and our production facilities, doubling our current news space and tripling our capacity for creating original program content and news. This move allows us to reach new audiences and cover more of the issues that matter to our region.
Expanding our journalism franchise is particularly critical at this stage in our growth. We have always stood for agenda-free journalism. Today, however, rigorous and honest coverage of regional news has become especially high stakes. Given what is happening to so much of the media in our country today, it is incumbent upon St. Louis Public Radio to step up and serve as the platform for a deeper engagement with our audience, helping them to understand issues that affect our world, our nation, and the region.
The Grand Center location gives us the high quality production facilities we need to recruit and retain the best reporters and journalists to supplement our already award-winning news staff. This centralized site also allows these dedicated news professionals to get where the news is happening, when it’s happening.
New journalism facilities will incorporate state-of-the-art on-air studios and accommodate up to 12 journalists, five digital media specialists, and a production staff of five, building on our reputation to bring the region the best news reporting and our commitment to develop new, local programs.
Maintaining a Focus on St. Louis
St. Louis Public Radio always circles back to our community. We know that a significant part of our duty as a public media provider is to step in and address the issues that are important to the St. Louis area and that are being disregarded by the media at large.
Recently on St. Louis on the Air, we addressed local disaster preparedness in light of the 10th anniversary of September 11 — how far has our local infrastructure come in the last 10 years and is our community prepared for all contingencies? On yet another edition of this local favorite, we took a close look at possibly the most critical issue in our country today — jobs — by covering the state of the St. Louis workforce through a recent report conducted at St. Louis Community College.
We are steadfastly committed to utilizing our knowledge and understanding of the community and applying that in our news reports and to programs like St. Louis on the Air, Cityscape and more. By convening with the community in our new facility at Grand Center, we will deepen our understanding of our culture, history and future. We must sustain the vital connection across social and geographic barriers that public radio provides.
Moving Into the Future
As we embark on this campaign, we are counting on our most devoted listeners and supporters to step forward and assist us in this effort. This is a crucial moment for us and for our community. Helping us reach this goal is about helping to promote a critical voice in the St. Louis region— the voice of our students, artists, local business owners, activists... everyone who defines what it is to live in our region.
We want to move beyond being just a radio station. Our ambition is to serve the people of St. Louis wherever they are and on whatever media platform they are using, to provide a gathering place where we can have a two-way, face-to-face level of engagement with the community.
Your support of this project can help do this. Your support can help guarantee that this station and the people we serve have a forum from which to grow, share ideas and develop transformative frameworks for the futures of all St. Louisans.
We hope that we can count on your support and are happy to address and discuss any questions or comments you may have regarding your participation in our campaign.
Campaign Goals and Financial Stewardship
St. Louis Public Radio is a financially secure organization that maintains a responsible approach to stewarding public and private dollars. As such, we want to provide our supporters with clarity on the financial picture of this project. Below, we have included a breakdown of the estimated costs for our new facilities at Grand Center.
To make a gift to the Greatness at Grand Center Campaign, contact