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The Jim Svejda Fund for Talent Development


Listeners describe Jim as the most knowledgeable announcer in the country and tell us they cannot imagine KUSC without him. He waits for the mail to arrive so he can be the first to listen to new recordings. He reads new books about classical music and artists and studies everything he can before he interviews the greatest musicians of our time. Artists performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Opera always make time to visit Jim. Even the notoriously busy film composer John Williams is sure to visit Jim at least once a year.

Behind the scenes at KUSC, Jim cares about mentoring the next generation. He supports and encourages our young staff members, going so far as to declare them more skilled than he was at their age. We all share Jim’s desire to develop the next generation of classical announcers, and we need to start now. While thankfully Jim and our other on-air staff have no plans to retire at this point, it will take time to develop young people who can consistently perform at the high level of quality our beloved announcers do every day.

That is why talent development is a key part of the KUSC strategic plan.

We need to create a talent pipeline: hire interns with promise, create junior positions in which they can develop, and nurture young staff so that they can one day step into the positions of our current talented announcers.

Jim’s history with KUSC and his commitment to excellence are being honored by the creation of the Jim Svejda Fund for Talent Development. Our goal is to raise $5 million to accomplish a critical goal for KUSC that is dear to Jim’s heart and to honor him in a way that celebrates all that he has done for Southern California.

There are no programs in universities or vocational schools for young people to study classical radio announcing, so there is no clear pathway for the role and no pipeline of qualified applicants to fill vacant positions. Yet thousands of young people study music in universities and colleges – far more than can be accommodated by the handful of positions available each year in symphony orchestras and other performing organizations. Knowledge of classical music is a key prerequisite for becoming an announcer, so those students are prime prospects for a career at KUSC.

We must seize the opportunity to work with schools to identify, train and develop talented young people to become the next generation of classical hosts, ready to work on the air and on new digital platforms. The Jim Svejda Fund for Talent Development will enable us to create paid internships to identify potential talent and to develop full-time positions to build a strong classical music service for the future.

Every gift is important to the success of the Jim Svejda Fund for Talent Development. Founding Contributors’ generous gifts will go a long way to giving new opportunities to the talented young people who will become the team of announcers at KUSC, bringing classical music to you and the community for generations to come.

For more information on major philanthropic opportunities call 213-225-7400 or click on the link below to give online.

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Written by:
The Classical Team
The Classical Team
Published on 10.19.2021