Tue Nov 21st, 2017
Jeremy Wade Shockley
The Southern Ute Drum
KSUT public radio opened the doors to guests on Friday, Nov. 17 for a Blessing Ceremony ahead of their much-anticipated renovation project. The building that will house KSUT and be future home for broadcasting and media, sits on Tribal Campus, just south of the current location. Friday’s event served as an opportunity to showcase the new building, and recognize the people who have contributed to the radio station over the years. The ceremonial blessing was performed by Southern Ute elder Eddie Box Jr., who has also been honored in the naming of KSUT’s new station; soon to be the Eddie Box Jr. Media Center.
“I’ve got to give acknowledgment to all the Station Managers over the years, and all the workers. To have this building named after me was a real shocker,” Eddie Box Jr. said. “It kinda feels good, but I’m humble about it.”
KSUT was founded by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as one of the first tribal radio stations in the country. Box is a long-time radio DJ, and lifetime board member for the station.
“I’ve always had an interest in music,” Box said. “My father would play music back in the 50’s and 60’s, I guess that rubbed off on me.” Following the formal blessing, an honor song was performed by the Yellow Jacket Singers.
KSUT Executive Director Tami Graham is leading the station’s fundraising process with their Capital Campaign. “To date, we have raised $3.5 million toward our $5.5 million fundraising goal. We look forward to sharing further information with our membership as we work to secure full funding for the project by the end of 2018,” she said.
“Current campaign highlights include mailing three newsletters to our membership, holding a two-day on-air capital campaign focused fund drive in late June and numerous small house parties and neighborhood cultivation events,” Graham said.
Getting supporters of KSUT together in person serves as an important step in realizing the potential for KSUT’s future location in the heart of Ignacio, Colo., giving guests and donors a firsthand sense of the new space. This also allowed the station to present an update on important fundraising efforts.
“We’ve raised $101,000 towards our goal of the Tribal match,” Graham said. “We have a tremendous opportunity here due to the generosity of the Southern Ute Tribal Council. We need all of your support to help us realize this dream.”
The evening was closed with the screening of a short documentary on the history of KSUT, and its relevance both in the tribal community and throughout the region. The film was produced by Sean Owen, No Special Abilities Productions, and Co-directed by Sean Owen and Sheila Nanaeto.
“We look forward to this opportunity to take KSUT into the future,” KSUT Board President, Susan Kearns said.
Through the generosity of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, KSUT has secured a new long-term home in Ignacio, a vacant building quadruple the size of our existing facilities. In addition to renovating the new Eddie Box Jr. Media Center, the Our Vision for Our Future capital campaign currently underway will: