The Gill Foundation, a Colorado-based advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, has donated its building in Colorado Springs to Rocky Mountain PBS, which will create the Tim Gill Center for Public Media, the station announced Tuesday (July 17).
The $1.3 million gift will allow RMPBS to establish the center as a 21-organization collaborative to create cross-platform content and train college students in new-media skills. Partners include the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs; Colorado College and its NPR member station, KRCC; Pikes Peak Community College; Pikes Peak Library District; and the Rocky Mountain Community Radio group, which represents 16 public and community radio stations statewide.
“This catalytic investment is the largest private donation in our 56-year history,” said Doug Price, Rocky Mountain PBS president.
The Gill Foundation has backed pubcasting in the state since 1996 through its Gay and Lesbian Fund. “I have long been a supporter of public broadcasting as an avenue to promote greater community awareness and encourage diverse ideas and healthy public dialogue,” said Tim Gill, founder and board chair of the Foundation. “With the changing media landscape, it’s more important than ever to find innovative business models.”
The foundation recently consolidated operations in Denver, leaving the Colorado Springs building available for sale or donation. Multiple organizations approached the foundation with proposals. The RMPBS proposal “was selected because of the potential impact the Tim Gill Center for Public Media will have in Colorado and nationally,” a statement from the station said.
A public celebration and ribbon-cutting event will take place in September when the center opens.