A new note

Austin radio station plays new tune with state-of-the-art studio and community space

Austin radio station plays new tune with studio and community space

KMFA headquarters building studio
KMFA's new headquarters on Comal Street. Photo by Jana Birchum
KMFA headquarters building studio draylen mason studio
The Draylen Mason Music Studio. Photo by Jana Birchum
KMFA headquarters building studio  sound garden steven parker
Austin's own Steve Parker designed the interactive Sound Garden. Photo by Jana Birchum
KMFA headquarters building studio
KMFA DJ Sara Schneider. Photo by Jana Birchum
KMFA headquarters building studio
KMFA headquarters building studio draylen mason studio
KMFA headquarters building studio  sound garden steven parker
KMFA headquarters building studio

After more than four decades operating out of a small studio on North Lamar Boulevard, Austin classical music station KMFA 89.5 has moved east. The radio operation officially moved into the brand-new, state-of-the-art facility on Navasota Street, just north of Lady Bird Lake. 

The 18,000-square-foot facility triples the size of the former KMFA studios, notes a release, and was designed to be as much a community space as it is a radio station. Along with recording studios for shows like Breakfast Blend and Early Music Now, the new facility spans two stories, and includes a host of special features such as: 

  • An education and community engagement area
  • Expansive outdoor terrace
  • And multiple production studios

Central to the new facility is the Draylen Mason Music Studio, a theater named in honor of the 17-year-old local bassist who had planned to attend the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music before he was killed in the Austin Bombings in 2018. According to a release, the Studio will be "used for broadcasts, recording, and intimate concerts."

Another noteworthy feature is the KMFA Sound Garden, created by Steve Parker, an Austin artist and composer. This interactive space combines "a wide spectrum of novel instruments that combine the traits of classical musical instruments, emerging technology, and radio." 

KMFA's new studios are part of The Hatchery, a new 17.5-acre development on Nash Hernandez Sr. Road between Waller and Comal streets. The site currently houses the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center, a housing tower for low-income seniors.

To help fund its new space in the Hatchery, the radio station launched the Dear Music fundraising campaign, an initiative that has thus far raised more than $9 million for the studio. 

"KMFA is ecstatic to have finally moved into our nearly completed new home,” Ann Wilson, KMFA’s president and general manager, said in a release. “The future possibilities of what the new space can offer our listeners is endless. No other classical station in the nation has a facility like this one. Thanks to the donors who have already contributed more than 80 percent of our campaign goal, KMFA is now more than just a radio station — it is an experience."