During its first full year of operation, KEXP’s Gathering Space expanded its role in the local arts ecosystem as a community hub, venue, and broadcast base of operations. In total, 151,769 people visited the Gathering Space and 2,952 guests toured KEXP in 2017.
January’s Bed-In for Peace set the tone for 2017, with performances by Tomo Nakayama, Grace Love, Wimps, and others. Other standout events included free Uptown Concerts by alternative pioneers Violent Femmes and New Orleans’ legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band, readings by Billy Bragg and Damon Krukowski as part of Songbook: KEXP’s Music & Literature Series, and a moving tribute to Chris Cornell.
“The 28,000-square-foot space, designed by SkB Architects, also houses a small stage for intimate, free public concerts, which is frequently used for other purposes, including recent tributes to the late Chris Cornell, Prince, David Bowie, Sharon Jones and Leonard Cohen, and events such as benefit concerts, family dance parties, artist education workshops, and community gatherings. All of these functions are set to a highly curated soundtrack, of course, and fulfill what station leaders had envisioned: a place to connect.”