The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced Thursday the launch of the Jazz Media Lab. KNKX Public Radio, along with four other stations around the country, were selected as some of “the country’s most dynamic and forwarding-thinking nonprofit jazz radio stations.”
The three-year program will help participating stations bolster their individual strength and collective resilience as essential players in the jazz ecosystem.
The five stations are KNKX, KMHD in Portland, KUVO in Denver, WBGO in Newark, N.J., and WRTI in Philadelphia.
“KNKX is honored to be included on this list of innovative jazz stations,” said Joey Cohn, general manager of KNKX. “We look forward to being in this learning cohort and using this opportunity to strengthen the entire jazz ecosystem in our community.”
The Jazz Media Lab program will also provide these stations with a peer network, support system and contracted resource team for exploring and advancing strategies to diversify their listening bases, invest in new media platforms, engage with venues and community organizations, and establish meaningful relationships with jazz artists.
“We’re thrilled to launch the Jazz Media Lab with this cohort of leaders in the field of jazz radio,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at DDCF. “Jazz radio plays an essential role in supporting the field of jazz, a vital art form with a rich history embedded in the fabric of this country and an exciting, evolving future. These stations have always been critical partners to artists and venues, and never has that been truer than today, as they’ve served as the central platform for connecting artists with audiences and for voicing issues affecting musicians and venues during the pandemic. As the largest national funder of jazz, we are dedicated to helping ensure the sustained vibrancy of jazz, one of very few contemporary art forms original to the U.S. This program is a pivotal piece of that greater commitment.”
Each station participating in the Jazz Media Lab will receive general operating support grants of $225,000 over three years to enable their time commitment to the program and provide predictable income and stable operations during this period of economic instability. Additionally, in the program’s second year, each grantee will be eligible to receive a supplemental grant of up to $50,000 in innovation funds for a defined project. Structured as a pilot venture with measurable results and specific learnings, these projects will explore one or more of the program’s themes of engaging next-generation artists and audiences, maximizing the use of new media platforms and increasing revenues.
To learn more about the Jazz Media Lab, visit the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation online.