With a Surge in Listenership, KMFA Launches New Program

Online listenership is up 30% for KMFA 89.5, Austin's classical music radio station


Who said radio is out-of-date and irrelevant?

Since stay-at-home orders were issued in Austin in March, KMFA Classical 89.5 has seen a surge in the numbers of people accessing the classical music station’s online stream. Online listenership is up 30% and the duration of listening sessions has also increased.

The independent non-profit station — the longest broadcasting classical station in Texas — has also seen a 250% surge in new donors compared to this time last year.

KMFA is offering a new weekly online program too. “Sound Ideas” features an expert from the Austin arts community providing a short, interactive lesson on sound, creativity, and the imagination. The lineup include Austin indie classical all-start Liz Cass, Steve Parker and Graham Reynolds, among others.

“This is in part what prompted our Sound Ideas initiative — we know that folks are at home and eager to discover new things,” Ann Hume Wilson, KMFA’s president and general manager, said in a statement. “As people spend less time in their cars listening to the radio, more people are discovering us online at home. They are keeping the music playing for hours, not tuning in and out.”

While the “Sound Ideas” lessons are designed for all ages, they are also TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) aligned, allowing for integration into Texas K-12 Fine Arts and STEAM curriculum.

“Sound Ideas” happens 1 p.m. Thursdays via Facebook Live. You can ask the artists questions, too.  Episodes will also be archived for future viewing online at kmfa.org.

  •  April 16 – Let’s Sing with Liz Cass
  • April 23 – From the Other Side: Conducting and Composing with Ryan Heller and Carlos Cordero (Bilingual Spanish)
  • April 30 – Sound Construction: Build Instruments at Home with Steve Parker
  • May 7 – Create Musical Soundscapes with invoke
  • May 14 – Use Technology You Already Have to Make Music with Graham Reynolds

Details at www.kmfa.org/pages/3410-sound-ideas

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is an arts and culture journalist who has covered visual art, performance, film, literature, architecture, and just about any combination thereof. She was the staff arts critic for the Austin American-Statesman for 17 years. Her commendations include the First Place Arts & Culture Criticism Award from the Society for Features Journalism. Additionally, Jeanne Claire has been awarded professional fellowships at USC’s Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and NEA/Columbia University Arts Journalism Institute. In 2022, she was awarded the Rabkin Prize in visual art journalism. Jeanne Claire founded and led Sightlines, a non-profit online arts and culture magazine that reached an annual readership of 600,000. And for two years, she taught arts journalism at the University of Texas College of Fine Arts. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Architecture magazine, Dwell, the Review of Contemporary Fiction, Art Papers, and ICON design magazine, among other publications.

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