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KEXP Studio TourIconic Seattle radio station KEXP announced a $500,000 gift from entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul Allen Thursday.

Allen’s donation helped the station surpass its targeted $15 million fundraising goal for its capital campaign, set to close June 30. The funds will support KEXP’s high-tech new home at Seattle Center.

Paul G. Allen. Photo by Beatrice de Gea. Courtesy of Vulcan Inc.
Paul G. Allen. Photo by Beatrice de Gea. Courtesy of Vulcan Inc.

KEXP celebrated the grand opening of its renovated 28,000-square-foot studio last month. The space features a high-tech live performance studio, accommodations for visiting artists, and an experimental tech installation powered by Microsoft Kinect — technology from the company Allen co-founded.

Allen has been a longtime contributor to KEXP. His donation in 2001 helped the station move off of the University of Washington campus, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation supports the station through competitive grant proposals. KEXP plans to thank Allen for his support over the years by dedicating the artist entrance to its expanded Live Room to him.

The founder of Seattle’s EMP Museum, Allen has been passionate about music since receiving his first electric guitar at 16 years old. He was inspired by fellow Seattleite Jimi Hendrix and even owns the guitar the rock icon played at Woodstock.

KEXP DJ John Richards gave a shout-out to Allen during his morning radio show Thursday, before playing Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.”

“His involvement transformed the station,” said Richards. “There would be no station without his involvement. This is for you Paul.”

GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser contributed to this report.

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