KSUT Public Radio’s new, $2.5 million home near Ignacio is already helping the radio station expand its statewide and Indigenous programming partnerships.
The radio station’s move to one of the former Southern Ute Indian Tribe casino buildings has been in the works for at least 10 years. Part of the station’s goal was to use the larger space to become a hub for Indigenous programming, create a media training center, offer new programs and expand its news coverage.
KSUT Public Radio's new building
KSUT Public Radio employees have moved into their new building in Ignacio.
After raising $1 million, and receiving a $1 million funding match from the tribe, the dream became a reality, said Tami Graham, KSUT executive director.
“I have to pinch myself sometimes when I’m in the new building or when I’m on air in front of this beautiful new console,” Graham said. “It was a lot of hard work for many years, so it’s just nice to sit literally in the midst of the fruits of all our labor.”
The nonprofit radio station, which went on air in 1976, is best known for National Public Radio news and an eclectic mix of music. As Four Corners Public Radio and Southern Ute Tribal Radio, it serves communities in four states.
It was providing those services from a 1,300-square-foot, former Indian Health Services Clinic.
The new building comes with brand-new broadcast and production equipment, two on-air studios and three content production rooms. (The final sound panels for a production room were delivered Wednesday.) The old building had one production space for two radio stations.
“That’s a huge upgrade and really increases our capacity to produce programming,” Graham said.
The station is already expanding its statewide partnerships and content creation. KSUT has partnered with KUNC Public Radio on state Capitol coverage and the Colorado News Collaborative on a statewide mental health series called “On Edge.” It plans to air a new five-part series about grief in early April.
KSUT is also continuing its collaboration with Rocky Mountain PBS on a program called “Native Lens” and with Dream Warriors, a collective of Indigenous artists. The station is also producing programming for and with Indigenous youths through its “Native Braids” program.
“This was a true collaborative project between the tribe and individuals and businesses in the region,” Graham said.