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WXPN Launches “Campaign for the Music” Capital campaign to support technological improvements, raise the level of service and bring more music to more people

Philadelphia, Pa. – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A (Adult Album Alternative) music and noncommercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, today launched the public phase of its $6.5 million capital campaign, Campaign for the Music. Contributions will fund four key development areas including a new antenna and technology, World Cafe® 20th Anniversary programs, community outreach and engagement and home improvements and repairs. The campaign is co-chaired by WXPN Policy Board member Ted Aronson and WXPN World Cafe® host David Dye. The public phase includes an on air fund drive slated for June 9-14th.

WXPN has already raised almost $4 million toward the campaign’s goal through gifts from individuals and major foundations including Ted and Barbara Aronson; The Wyncote Foundation, including a gift at the recommendation of Leonard C. Haas; the William Penn Foundation; Sherrill Neff and Alicia Felton; The Carter Rowe Charitable Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of the Knight Arts Challenge. WXPN is now urging listeners to go beyond membership and provide additional support by participating in the capital campaign.

“Anyone who has been involved with WXPN knows that we’re more than just a radio station. We are a living, breathing community of artists and listeners,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay. “The Campaign for the Music is different from our normal membership drives. We are addressing the current and future needs of our artists, audience and technology in order to strengthen and sustain this community. We need to do this to survive.”

Contributions made to the Campaign for the Music will help WXPN invest in vital new forms of ever-changing technology to ensure that the station is serving listeners at the highest level. An emergency item is replacing the station’s 21-year-old antenna and moving it higher on its tower which will not only increase the reach of the station’s signal, but will greatly reduce the risk of broadcast outage. Support will also help increase server capacity for streaming, outfit studios with audio equipment that meets the requirements of digital productions, upgrade online software, develop mobile applications and meet future technological requirements.

2011 marks the 20th anniversary of WXPN’s signature contemporary music program, World Cafe® with David Dye. Contributions to the campaign will enable the program to push new boundaries and bring fresh experiences to devoted fans and new audiences. World Cafe® is committed to featuring new on-air contributors and producing new series aimed at increasing diversity and global reach, including a Latino music series and Sense of Place, an in-depth recorded program on-location in musically rich communities around the world. Support for the campaign will also help upgrade studio equipment to ensure listeners can find the program on a wide variety of digital platforms, including web video.

The Campaign for the Music also aims to enhance WXPN’s current community outreach and engagement programs and allow the station to establish additional partnerships and programs that further its commitment to local musicians while bringing music to those who need it the most. Contributions will support initiatives such as Shaking Through, an online music and video series that showcases and fosters select independent musicians through the production resources of Weathervane Music and the radio and online distribution and marketing reach of WXPN. It will also support the WXPN Musicians On Call program, a non-profit initiative that brings musicians to local hospitals to perform at patients’ bedsides, and The Key, a content-rich website dedicated to original, Philly-based music and clearinghouse for the Philly music community. The campaign will support live studio sessions for local bands that will be featured on The Key.

Since the station’s move to the Hajoca Building at 3025 Walnut Street in 2004, WXPN has continued to grow in audience, its circle of artists and popularity. With this increase comes the need for more work space. Support of the Campaign for the Music will allow for the renovation of 3,500 square feet of existing vacant space in the station’s current facility. Renovations include a new production control room and multi-track recording studio that will allow programming staff, hosts and engineers to expand the production of live music and greater flexibility to record Free At Noon concerts, other live concerts and specialty programs. This new space will also enhance operating efficiency by providing a work area for many station volunteers and student workers.

Donor recognition and naming opportunities are available to all contributors to the Campaign for the Music. According to Dye, the station has established unique recognition opportunities for contributors throughout the WXPN facility.

“All of our contributors are stars and that is why we have developed some fun ways to recognize our donors,” said Dye. “We are especially excited about the Donor Recognition Table Top Jukeboxes which will feature our $500 and up donors prominently in the exterior lobby of the station located at 3025 Walnut Street. It’s a new way to show how grateful we are for the support of our donors; they’re class acts.”

For more information about WXPN’s Campaign for the Music, please visit xpn.org/campformu.

About WXPN

WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, Y-Rock On XPN (yrockonxpn.org) as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.

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