For All Classical president and CEO Suzanne Nance, “more is more is more.” So when Nance and her team of 30 full-time employees were presented with an opportunity to move to a bigger, more community-oriented space in downtown Portland, there wasn’t an ounce of hesitation.
In 2024, All Classical will move its headquarters and its services from offices near the Tilikum Crossing in Southeast Portland across the Willamette River to KOIN Tower in downtown Portland. The radio station – which is dedicated to serving a local audience of over 250,000 listeners in Oregon and Southwest Washington as well as an international audience in over 100 countries – will relocate to a 15,000-square-foot office which would include a media arts center, recording studios and gathering spaces for community members. This announcement comes a few months ahead of the nonprofit institution’s 40th anniversary.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” Nance told OPB. “It’s the right time to move into downtown, invest, expand and support the arts in an even greater way.”
However, as with all moves, there’s a hefty bill that hangs over the independent radio station. All Classical says it must raise $6 million to build and equip the new downtown location. To date, the station has raised nearly half of the necessary funding thanks to key collaborators such as KOIN Tower landlord Prudential Real Estate Investors, Oregon Lumber Company and GBD Architects, among many more.
“The goal is to connect with individuals who have championed All Classical in the past. Who believe in what we’re doing, who understand the impact of All Classical and have them come on board to help us on the journey,” Nance said. The station, which runs on an annual operating budget of a little over $4.5 million, is now having “quiet conversations” with listeners who have previously aided the organization’s mission.
Nance also believes that foundations and corporate support will also play a key role in funding. In addition to naming opportunities for recording studios and performance spaces, All Classical will decorate the community space with structures of songbirds that listeners will get an opportunity to name after themselves or an artist as a tribute for a price.
Nance is also hoping to get into conversations with the Portland City Council. “I think we have observed firsthand the pressures on the arts community. And that was another factor in our decision to get down there. … This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” Nance elaborated.
While Nance says that All Classical is not feeling the same pressure from the City Council in rejuvenating downtown Portland as its friends at the Oregon Symphony and as other performing arts organizations since they’re virtual, she does recognize the difficulties and challenges the institutions face in leading an urban rejuvenation in downtown Portland post lockdown. “We felt it was important for us to invest in a meaningful way, and that’s what this move is for us,” Nance said. “I look forward to standing side by side as we always have with our arts organization to help rejuvenate the city.”