About 100 years ago, when the large double doors in the two-story brick building on North Monroe would swing open, you’d likely see a fire crew burst onto the streets of Spokane. Today, the brick building still stands, and the double doors still swing open, but now they lead to a beautiful patio space. And when they are open, you’re likely to hear the strains of the latest local musical act waft through the air.
This is the home of Spokane Public Radio, one of the region’s main resources for information and entertainment by offering 24-hour news coverage, as well as jazz and classical music, across three FM radio stations. But the media outlet is more than just a position on the dial in your car. Spokane Public Radio provides several other vital services to the area, which members of the Murdock Trust staff had the chance to see up close during a recent visit.
In addition to employing high school and college students through ongoing internship programs, Spokane Public Radio offers a variety of hands-on training opportunities for the next generation of public radio professionals in announcing, marketing, journalism, and more. Leadership plans to convert one of the existing stations that currently runs automated programming into a station that is planned and operated by local students.
Beyond its investment in education, Spokane Public Radio has made a commitment to preserving the heritage of the city. The station’s building was originally a firehouse, a wooden building in 1894, replaced with brick in 1912 and 1917. Thanks to a series of updates and renovations, funded in part by the Murdock Trust, the space has been converted into a fully functioning community hub. In addition to studios for the three radio stations, the facility includes concert and performance spaces that are frequently used by local and national artists. Its team has also merged history with modern needs. For example, the original fire crew lockers have been converted to house the stations’ 10,000 album vinyl record collection.
The Murdock Trust is pleased to be able to support organizations like Spokane Public Radio that are giving back to their local communities in a variety of ways. Thank you for all that you do to support the residents of Spokane.