KSUT’s Capital Campaign nears goal for new media center

KSUT Executive Director, Tami Graham, concentrates on moving a worn microphone stand into position prior to an interview hosted by Stasia Lanier, with KSUT Tribal Radio Program Manager, Sheila Nanaeto and KSUT Board Vice-President, Robert Ortiz as part of the three-day on-air fund drive.
KSUT Tribal Radio Program Manager, Sheila Nanaeto speaks with Stasia Lanier during an interview during the three-day on-air fund drive.
KSUT Executive Director, Tami Graham and KSUT Tribal Radio Program Manager, Shiela Nanaeto share stories of the current, aging KSUT building.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

As of June 29, KSUT has raised over $775,000


KSUT Inc., has been working on upgrading its facilities for a number of years now and the Capital Campaign is in full swing to meet the October 1, 2018 deadline set for the Southern Ute Tribal Council to match the $1 million raised by KSUT.

To date, as of Thursday, July 5, KSUT has raised over $775,000, towards the $1 million match — the goal of the Capital Campaign.

“It’s going great!” exclaimed Tami Graham, Executive Director for KSUT, about the three-day on-air fund drive KSUT wrapped up on June 28.

“Our listeners have been showing up with $10 – $10 thousand checks – regardless of their income, people are supporting us,” said Graham.

KSUT has until Oct. 1, 2018 to raise $1 million in an all-or-nothing match from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. The Tribe will match $1 million in funds, if KSUT successfully raises the amount by the set deadline.

KSUT has shown to have a 95 percent success rate in collecting on pledges (versus cash or checks written to KSUT). Planning for the campaign began over six years ago, with the “silent phase” of the fundraising beginning four years ago. KSUT recently kicked in the “public phase” of the fundraising with the three-day online fund drive for listeners to help raise the remainder of the $1 million needed for the match.

“We’ve been working six years on this campaign already,” said Graham.

In an on-air interview with KSUT, Amy Barry, the newest KSUT board member, was presented with some hard numbers regarding tribal member involvement with KSUT.

Of the 1,500 Southern Ute tribal members, 30 have donated in the past five years. 10 are sustaining members. Additionally, of those 10 sustaining members, three are KSUT employees, and only two tribal members have donated $500 in any one year.  These numbers reflect regular annual and operational fund, vs. capital campaign donations.

“I’m surprised by these numbers,” said Barry during her on-air interview.

“We need tribal member involvement, to become a partner with us to meet our match,” Barry said.

KSUT Tribal Radio was born in 1976, as one of the first 11 tribal radio stations to broadcast throughout Indian Country.

Of the 500-plus Federally Recognized Tribes in the U.S., KSUT is still one of the 52 Tribal Radio signals in existence.

“Generationally speaking – we need to keep Tribal Radio going for the next generation,” said Sheila Nanaeto, Program Manager for KSUT Tribal Radio. “We need to take pride in our radio station. We’ve been broadcasting for 42 years now. We ask the membership to have some pride.”

The building KSUT operates out of now is over 80 years old. With outdated equipment and cramped working conditions – often two to three employees in a single office space.

“The shows we produce, the music we provide, and the programming we offer is done with what we have,” Nanaeto said. “Imagine what we can do with a new facility, in a [proper] recording studio with good equipment?”

For example, in a recent scenario, parts of La Plata County experienced a power outage the evening of Wednesday, June 27. Southern Ute Tribal Councilwoman, Lorelei Cloud was scheduled to be on-air as part of the fund drive. Power goes out, “Imagine the opening credits of ‘M*A*S*H’ [a 70’s television program about a medical unit stationed overseas during the Korean War], and employees scramble to keep KSUT on-air!” exclaimed Nanaeto.

Rob Rawls, KSUT Four Corners Station Manager, rushed downstairs to check the breakers and manually flip the switches – because KSUT doesn’t have adequate generators to keep the signal running during a power outage. There are different circuits running different boards, which are on different servers located off-site.

Other KSUT employees routinely checked their cellphones for word from La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) to announce updates to the listeners about the outage, meanwhile, Cloud and Graham were still broadcasting from a hot un-airconditioned, carpeted, cramped studio, with only the microphones working, hoping the signal is still going out to the listeners.

Although the three-day on-air fund drive has ended, this is an all-or-nothing match from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, listeners and community members are strongly encouraged to donate between now and Oct. 1, “Don’t miss the boat!” expressed Graham.

For additional information about KSUT’s Capital Campaign visit the KSUT website at www.KSUT.org or call 970-563-0225 for any questions on how you can donate.


Audio Recordings

Adam Burke has been working diligently on creating powerful audio recordings of youth interviewing elders. One project in particular involves relatives getting to know each other in an intimate setting.

KSUT now has seven recordings “in-the-can,” which include recordings of Southern Ute, Northern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute elders being interviewed by younger family members.

Burke was in Ignacio recently during the Southern Ute Bear Dance, which was held over the Memorial Day weekend, to capture interviews. One of which featured Southern Ute tribal elder, Linda Baker, who was interviewed by her niece Autumn Sage. The interview focused on the Bear Dance.

Another recording was made of Ute Mountain Ute elder, Manuel Heart, who was interviewed by niece, Christen Heart. Heart is a former Tribal Councilman, and former Chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. Their interview spoke of cultural traditions and dancing.

Stay tuned for the audio recordings to be aired on KSUT.


Party in the Park

Friday, July 20, 2018

Buckley Park · Durango, CO

5 p.m. gates · 5:45 p.m. Baracutanga · 7:30 p.m. The Big Takeover

$20 advance · $25 at the gate

Children 12 and under admitted free with paying adult

Rain or Shine

The Black Lillies

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Henry Strater Theater

7:30 p.m.

$20 general admission

KSUT Silent Auction

KSUT’s 25th Annual Members’ Party & Silent Auction

Ska Brewing World Headquarters

225 Girard · Bodo Park · Durango

Friday, August 10, 2018

5:30-9:30 p.m.

$25 admission

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