WFAE to Create Community Engagement Center in Downtown Charlotte | WFAE 90.7

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WFAE President and CEO Joe O’Connor announced on Tuesday that the Charlotte-based NPR station will create a community center in downtown Charlotte as the station recently signed an agreement to relocate the majority from its University Town operations to Google Fiber’s current downtown headquarters. First district park. WFAE is expected to move into the 12,000 square foot space, which is currently occupied by Google Fiber, this winter and intends to activate before spring 2023.

While the space will bring WFAE’s information and business operations to a more central location, the organization plans to use it to expand its opportunities for civic and community engagement, said Ju-Don Marshall, vice president. WFAE Executive and Chief Content Officer.

“Over the past few years, we have created an exciting lineup of live programs, events, community conversations and training, and other initiatives that reflect the needs and interests of those who live in the Charlotte area. . Having a space designed around those priorities gives us the ability to engage even more people,” Marshall said. “It also provides an opportunity to expand our existing partnerships with organizations such as Library Charlotte Mecklenburg, Blumenthal Performing Arts, Charlotte is creative and the Queen City Podcast Network while creating opportunities for others, especially small organizations and groups serving communities of color, to work with us.

“Since Properties of Levin recruited UNCCharlotte as an anchor, developed First Ward Park for the county and attracted Google Fiber as a tenant of the historic Philip Carey Building, our goal has always been to bring new energy and life to First Ward,” said said Daniel Levine, president of Levine Properties. . “WFAE’s new Community Engagement Center continues to fulfill that mission and more to come with a First Ward hotel on the horizon.”

“We are thrilled to welcome WFAE to Uptown Charlotte’s premier neighborhood,” said Michael J. Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners. “Our community North Tryon Vision Plan emphasizes knowledge, innovation and civic engagement in this important neighborhood. Having WFAE in our urban core helps drive that vision forward.

“WFAE’s new center is great news for our community,” said Tom Gabbard, President and CEO of Blumenthal Arts. “We are grateful for our shared commitment to bringing the public together to learn and share. Their new center creates expanded opportunities to foster understanding and respect at a critical time.”

“This is an extremely special ‘plug and play’ opportunity to expand our inclusiveness and build social capital,” said Richard Lancaster, Chairman of WFAE’s Board of Directors. “The work done to prepare the Carey Building for Google Fiber has been outstanding. It provides the WFAE with a wonderful space for community engagement and local news expansion. This space will serve as a connection point for the Charlotte area and its many communities representing different races, cultures, income levels, as well as points of view to come together to learn, engage and be inspired.

“I am thrilled that WFAE is making this investment in downtown Charlotte. As the premier media platform and key source of information for the region, the launch of a community center is a long time coming,” said declared Mayor of Charlotte Vi Lyles. “I look forward to seeing their calendar of community events, training and educational seminars, which will be of great service to our neighbors.”

WFAE will launch a fundraising campaign to cover moving costs and operational expenses at the site, but CEO O’Connor is confident the space will be a revenue generator for the station.

“With live events, branding and potential rental opportunities at the Carey Building, alongside this spectacular opportunity to engage with everyone and bring new audiences to our essential cross-platform public service, we believe that the incredible benefits not only for WFAE but the whole community will more than support any additional expense.

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