Our Nashville, Season 2

A young woman wearing a headset looks at a camera viewfinder screen in a television production studio.

Our Challenge

Build on the success of the first season of Our Nashville, a NECAT-produced television series featuring local nonprofits, with a second season.

What Is NECAT? 

Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television (NECAT) was founded in 1978 by Nashville’s Metropolitan Government. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization oversees three channels: the arts channel, the education channel, and the public access channel. All NECAT programming is viewable in the homes of approximately 400,000 middle Tennessean Comcast and AT&T U-verse subscribers, as well as on NECATnetwork.org
NECAT's mission is to teach the public how to make television shows, welcome them as members to use our studio and our equipment, and then to broadcast the shows they create on one of our three channels. 
NECAT Network Logo
In 2017, NECAT premiered its first original TV series Our Nashville, comprised of 20 thirty-minute episodes created by NECAT staff and high school students. Each episode shines a spotlight on a different local nonprofit.
These nonprofits were chosen by a Selection Committee of seven community members (all with lengthy and in-depth nonprofit experience) who scored the 103 applicants. A "Super Crew" of 20 teenagers made up the technical crew for the episodes. These students came from a pool of 375+ students at broadcast- and production-focused Metro Nashville Public School career pathways who had previously trained at NECAT for school credit. Students in the Super Crew received in-depth mentorship while building their knowledge, portfolios, and skills through studio shoots and location shoots.
This 2018 Public Investment Plan (PIP) allows NECAT to run a second season of Our Nashville that's every bit as impactful as the first season: Season 2 will have 20 new thirty-minute episodes featuring local nonprofits. We will increase our Super Crew from 20 to 35 members, providing more MNPS students seeking careers in TV and production with additional real-world experience beyond their existing studio training in the creation of this series. By doing so, together we help more nonprofits share information about their services to the community, give additional students an opportunity to build their production skills, and continue to inform community members of valuable opportunities and services to improve their lives.
Because of the many nonprofits, schools, teenagers, funders, and partners coming together to create Our NashvilleNECAT won The Frist Foundation Team Building award in the Center for Nonprofit Management’s 2017 Salute to Excellence Awards.
Below, Trish Crist, NECAT CEO, discusses the program in a video from The Frist Foundation: 
"Being part of a project like Our Nashville not only helps us spread the critical message of early childhood literacy and how it can be a key factor in 3rd grade reading proficiency, but it also engages Nashville's community, hopefully opening eyes and minds to the challenges and opportunities before us."
—Theresa Carl, President, Governor's Books from Birth Foundation 

Why Fund Our Nashville

A second season of the NECAT TV series Our Nashville will continue to build on the benefits of season 1:

Build Student Skills 

Eight hundred Metro Nashville high school students are on a production and broadcast academy career path. Through continued funding from Ascend Federal Credit Union, NECAT trained 150 more broadcast career pathway students in fall 2017. These students and their still-in-high-school counterparts trained in previous years form a pool of 375 trained technicians, from which NECAT will select 35 to serve as season 2 "Super Crew" members.

Highlight Nonprofits 

Publicity is a challenge for any nonprofit. These 30-minute episodes consist of an in-studio interview with the nonprofit’s Executive Director and location footage with other staff and service recipients. All episodes are designed to be evergreen and will air in frequent circulation on NECAT’s channels, focusing on an organization’s core services rather than specific upcoming events. They are a rich explanation of what the nonprofit does — and why.

Inform Citizens 

Our Nashville informs citizens of the many valuable services and opportunities available through our local nonprofits. Season 1 had 10 episodes featuring arts-focused nonprofits (including the Nashville BalletNational Museum of African American Music, etc.) and 10 episodes featuring educational or social service nonprofits (such as Nashville Nurses for Newborns, the Nashville Library Foundation, and others). Similarly, Season 2 will have 10 arts and 10 education or social service-focused episodes.
"Working with the talented and professional NECAT staff has been a joy. They have provided vision and guidance in the creation of this educational piece that I believe will benefit Nurses for Newborns for years to come. We have also been extremely impressed by the professionalism of the high school students that make up the 'Super Crew.' This project is providing them with amazing, 'real life' experience that will benefit them beyond TV production and into all areas of their growth and development."
—Amanda Peltz, M.Ed., Executive Director of Nurses for Newborns of TN
Two young men operate broadcast video cameras in the NECAT television production studio.
A young woman wearing a headset smiles while operating a television broadcast video camera.
“This has been great for us, for the students, for the nonprofits, and for viewers. It's a win-win-win-win.”
—Trish Crist, CEO of NECAT

Program Costs

Deon Gholston, a Pearl Cohn High School student, sits in front of an audio mixing board and other audio equipment. Accompanying quote: "I wanted to join the Super Crew because I wanted to use my skills for something new. I enjoy it very much and I love getting to meet new people and help organizations promote their work."
“[Our Nashville] is a wonderful way for the city to work with non-profits in order to highlight the important work they are doing in the community. The PIP process is designed to promote innovation and collaboration, and NECAT has produced a great model for supporting our city’s invaluable non-profit organizations.”
—Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

Our Plan for Season 2 

The featured nonprofits for season 2 are: 
  1. Barbershop Harmony Society
  2. Intersection
  3. Moves & Grooves, Inc.
  4. Nashville Children’s Theatre
  5. Nashville Civic Design Center
  6. Nashville Repertory Theatre
  7. Poverty & the Arts
  8. Rocketown of Middle Tennessee
  9. Borderless Arts Tennessee (formerly known as VSA Tennessee)
  10. WMOT Roots Radio 89.5

Education/Social Service:
  2. Gideon’s Army
  3. Urban Housing Solutions
  4. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
  5. Nashville CARES
  6. Alignment Nashville
  7. Gilda’s Club of Nashville
  8. Project Return
  9. Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation/TennGreen
  10. Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
In Fall 2017, NECAT trained an additional 150 Metro Nashville Public School students, bringing their total to 375. The team also began meeting with the 20 nonprofits to be featured in season two to plan content.
Shooting should be complete late spring/early summer 2018 with broadcast to follow immediately. 
"The opportunity to share with viewers of Middle Tennessee our services using media is something not often affordable for a non-profit — NECAT is giving us the chance to reach out to potential patients, donors and volunteers in a way we've never experienced."
—Rhonda Switzer-Nadasdi, CEO, interfaithdentalclinic.com

Season 2 Goals 

"More" is the best description of the goals for season 2 of Our Nashville
  1. More training and rewards for teens
  2. More exposure for nonprofits
  3. More information for the community

Allie Daniels, a Hillsboro High School student, sits in front of video production equipment. Accompanying quote: "NECAT is such an amazing program. I feel like it's giving me opportunities that I wouldn't ordinarily have to give me experience for what I want to do in life, which is film. Thank you so much, NECAT, for helping me do that."

See More PIP Projects

Public Investment Planning is an innovative approach to budgeting, launched in 2016, that challenges Metro departments and agencies to think creatively about how they can collaborate on pilot initiatives to better serve Nashville-Davidson County residents. Learn more at http://www.nashville.gov/Finance/Public-Investment-Plans.aspx.