NIPR moving downtown to create place for interactive experiences
Community to share “Podcast Cafe” and creativity incubator.
Northeast Indiana Public Radio’s 89.1-FM, WBOI (NPR News and Diverse Music), and Classical 94.1-FM WBNI, want to make their move to downtown a chance to create<br>a place for interactive audience experiences.
Where that banner announcing the stations’ planned move in 2019 to 210 E. Jefferson Blvd. now is will one day be an electronic sign to carry the latest news and programming information.
Inside, community members will be sharing their stories in a “Podcast Cafe” and creativity incubator, only the second such facility in the U.S., announced Peter Dominowski,<br>president and general manager.
Dominowski shared in the announcement Tuesday that the stations are conducting a $4.5 million Building A Sound Future fundraising campaign to help fund the relocation<br>and renovations to design the spaces for increased community interaction.
The building most recently served as home to the Glorious Church, which moved after a fire there in 2012.
Now, paint has peeled off the walls, holes pockmark the interior and water drips through the ceiling.
Donors provided $145,000 to buy the building and some work has been done; the next order of business will be to fix the roof, Dominowski said.
With all the money raised and the work done by HOCH Architects Engineers Interiors: The building will have about 14,000 square feet of space, which is more than twice the 6,750 square feet at the stations’ current building at 3204 Clairmont Court.
Nearly one entire floor of the building will be used for public theater space for cultural, political and musical purposes, which will allow for programming including audience participation.
The WBOI newsroom will be converted to the latest digital technology.
Station equipment will be upgraded to provide reliable, quality programming suited to the digital communications age.
The station currently has 11 full-time and two part-time employees, Dominowski said. With the move, NIPR will likely add four-seven positions.
The stations will continue using the transmitter at the current location in Centennial Industrial Park, said Doug Powers, a board member who’s in charge of the fundraising campaign. Fiber optics and the internet will allow the stations to broadcast using that transmitter.
The plans for growth come on the heels of an announcement by President Trump’s administration to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that pays<br>for public media, including NIPR and television’s WFWA, PBS39 Fort Wayne.
The two stations have begun a public awareness campaign. However, both Dominowski and Powers remain optimistic about government money for public media.
“They’ve tried to do this before,” Powers said before Tuesday’s announcement, “and Congress has always restored it.”