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New to the neighborhood

New to the neighborhood

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Out North, a nonprofit in Anchorage home to KONR 106.1 has moved to Spenard.

The organization was originally founded to support LGBTQ theater productions and will turn 34 this month.

Jason Sear is the station manager at KONR and has been on the board of Out North since 2016. Sear says as a nonprofit, funding has always been an issue. Out North was previously located on Fourth Avenue — and before that, off DeBarr road.

Sear says the bills to keep the previous locations operational were much higher than anticipated.

“Rather than go through this struggle every single year and every single time we move of trying to find more money… what we’d like to do is focus on what is currently working really well at Out North — which is the radio station,” Sear said.

Out North began filing paperwork for a radio station in 2006. They were fully licensed in 2010.

“It’s a really long process to get a radio station license. That’s why it’s kind of crucial for us to keep it going and hang onto it,” Sear said. “If we lose it, we lose it and we’ll never get it back.”

Out North’s new location is right next to the Church of Love off of Spenard Road and is owned by Cook Inlet Housing Authority. Sear says Spenard was always on his radar of places to relocate to.

“Spenard is kind of like the only real neighborhood in Anchorage where you can walk to everything,” Sear said.

Sear says the model of Out North is changing. While the new space doesn’t have room for an art gallery or theater, he says there will be room for other additions, like a podcast room, which has been a high request from volunteers.

The radio station airs over 80 hours of volunteer-produced content a week and 35 to 40 hours a week of music by Alaskan artists.

As far as the future of the nonprofit, Sear says they still plan on hosting events in town at some popular neighborhood locations, like the Church of Love and The Writer’s Block.

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