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We want to make 6 or 7 30-minute television programs that celebrate our region, its history, its people and some of its idiosyncrasies.
We want to make 6 or 7 30-minute television programs that celebrate our region, its history, its people and some of its idiosyncrasies.
1,411 backers pledged $142,777 to help bring this project to life.

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$142,777

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S T R E T C H I N G ! Help us get to $133,000!?

Last Monday, just after lunch, we reached our initial goal of $113,000, and we're grateful and happy and sleeping better. We know that we'll soon be starting on the production of 6 programs called NEBBY: RICK SEBAK'S TALES OF GREATER PITTSBURGH. 

We'd like to bump up the number of programs in the series to 7. We think we can do that if we get to $133,000 by late Tuesday night. Our Kickstarter/Rickstarter ends on Wednesday morning at 12:02. 

Since 2018 will be the Bicentennial of the completion of Pittsburgh's very first river-crossing bridge, the Monongahela Bridge across that river at the site of our current Smithfield Bridge, we're proposing that Program 7 could be a program about some of the lore, the history, the design, the engineering and the beauty of our bridges.

 It is 27 years since we made FLYING OFF THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE! AND OTHER TALES OF PITTSBURGH BRIDGES, and we have much new and old to celebrate in this City of Bridges.

If you've already pledged, you might consider adding on to your pledge (easy to do.) Tell all your friends to consider a pledge too.

If this is your first visit to this site, please watch the video above and read about the rest of our proposed project. Thanks!

WON'T YOU BE MY NEBBY NEIGHBOR?

We want to make a new set of at least 6 (maybe 7!) public television programs that will air on WQED in Pittsburgh. We want to call this new series "NEBBY: Rick Sebak's Tales of Greater Pittsburgh." And we need your help.

We want these programs to start airing on WQED this summer and have all broadcast before the end of the year so that DVDs and downloads can be delivered by early 2018. 

You probably know that for nearly 30 years, Rick Sebak has been nebby in neighborhoods all around Pittsburgh. On WQED, he's been asking people questions about this city, why they live here, what they like about the place. "What do you remember about going to Kennywood when you were a kid?" "Why do you come to the Strip every Saturday?" "What makes these hot dogs and fries better than most?" "Why do you think people are moving downtown?" In 2013, he even got to ask workers inside the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, "Why are you tearing down the drop-ceiling in here?"

Nebby is a word you sometimes hear in western Pennsylvania. It means "nosy" or "inquisitive." It's classic Pittsburghese. A person who asks a lot of questions is nebby. "I think 'nebby' is my favorite of the local Pittsburgh words that I grew up with," says Rick. "I can hear my mom saying 'Don't be so nebby!'" 

Now Rick wants to make these 6 new TV programs that will continue to celebrate our city. And he'll ask a lot of questions. 

"For many years now at WQED, we never start shooting a new show till we're fully funded," explains Rick. "And while our friends at the Buhl Foundation have already given us some seed money, it's not enough to cover the considerable costs of making 6 half-hour programs. So we've decided to try this Kickstarter as a sort of 21st-century pledge campaign. "

6 NEW HALF-HOUR PROGRAMS

RICK:  We've built a budget based on our experience with the series we did called IT'S PITTSBURGH & A LOT OF OTHER STUFF. From 2010 through 2013, we made 30-minute and 60-minute programs about a wide variety of topics, and I miss that. 

I have some topics I'd like to tackle in the NEBBY programs: 

A SHORT HISTORY OF PENNSYLVANIA ROUTE 88: Although it now starts at Route 51 in Overbrook and runs south almost to the West Virginia line, Route 88 originally started in Erie and continued all the way through Western PA. It connects many towns in the Monongahela Valley, and I've always wanted to do some more stories there.

MEAT PITTSBURGH: Now that our city is dotted with independent butcher shops, and world class restaurants where meats are being cured, and farmers with extraordinary reputations around the city are raising animals, it should be fascinating to find out more about Western Pennsylvania as a destination for carnivores. Obviously a vegetarian follow-up is a logical progression: BEET PITTSBURGH?

OUR BIKE TRAILS: Western Pennsylvania is lucky to have a plentiful selection of trails for biking and hiking, and I'd like to find out more about them, celebrate them and encourage folks to use them. For several years now I've learned to love the Steel Valley Trail (with its impressive old bridge across the Mon to McKeesport) but I'd like to know more about the Kiski Riverfront Trail, the Browns Run Trail and the Butler-Freeport Community Trail, just to name a few. I'd like to meet and thank the people who've worked to make these trails such an attractive and occasionally challenging part of our world.

 I'm thinking I'd also like to make a program called PITTSBURGH IN A BOTTLE. This would be a look at some of the beverages that are distilled, brewed, carbonated, concocted and bottled in our region. There are quite a few now including vodka, whisky, rum and many excellent beers. Maybe this is a two-part series.

PEOPLE WHO WRITE BOOKS AROUND HERE: I'd like to highlight the work of people like Daniel Lowe and Stewart O'Nan (the 2 novelists shown above at the White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield.) There's also Lori Jakiela and Dave Newman (who both write excellent books about their lives around here), as well as Thomas Sweterlitsch (whose dystopian vision of Pittsburgh after a terrorist attack in his novel Tomorrow And Tomorrow still often influences how I look at places around town.) And we are also blessed with local poets like Terrance Hayes (winner of the National Book Award in 2012 for his volume of poems titled Lighthead) and Jan Beatty (who has just released a collection of her work titled Jackknife: New & Selected Poems.) I think we all should know more about them and their works.

But these ideas are all hypothetical. We need to raise the funding to make any or all of them into NEBBY programs. 

A LONG TRADITION OF APRIL FRIENDS

Crowdfunding is nothing new to WQED. Even before this landmark TV station went on the air on April 1, 1954, volunteers went around Pittsburgh's neighborhoods collecting donations from everybody who would listen to this crazy idea about community-sponsored television. As the first such experiment in public broadcasting--always with emphasis on education--WQED proved to the world that if you get enough people to make contributions to a project, you can thrive. We think this Kickstarter effort follows in that glorious local tradition.    

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Read our list of contribution levels. Choose one. Or make any contribution you can. 

This is 21st century fundraising. Of course we veterans of many on-air pledge breaks think that it's cool that we're still asking you to make a pledge. If we can get enough pledges to make our goal, we'll get to work on these new programs as quick as we can. 

We thank you in advance.

Risks and challenges

We have been making Pittsburgh documentaries since 1987, and we expect these new NEBBY programs will follow in the style and quality that viewers have come to expect from producer Rick Sebak. He has completed 30 Pittsburgh History Series programs and 15 national PBS specials that are currently available on DVD and download.
Our biggest challenges will be deciding on topics and making the best use of the time available.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $13 or more About $13

    We know you're NEBBY

    For helping us, you get a NEBBY button to wear and to show your friends that you're helping us make these 6 shows.
    You'll help more by talking, posting and tweeting about the project.
    And you get our thanks.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    It's good to be NEBBY.

    Slip us $25 and we'll give you the button and access to our NEBBY website that keeps you up to date on the shows as they come together. And we'll list your name on that site with our thanks.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Really NEBBY!

    Right away you'll get all the benefits from the levels above. PLUS: We'll send you a DVD and/or a download of the finished programs when they're all done and assembled.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NEBNOSE

    Immediately you'll get the button, the access to the website (where your name will be listed) and you'll get a DVD and/or digital download of any one of our existing Pittsburgh History Series programs (like KENNYWOOD MEMORIES or RETURN TO DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH or any of our other WQED Pittsburgh programs.)
    PLUS you'll get the DVD and/or download of the 6 NEBBY programs when they're finished (but you won't get that till sometime in 2018.)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Big Time NEBBY (caffeinated)

    OK. You love having coffee while you watch TV. So at this level, you get all the benefits listed in the earlier level PLUS you get a pound of coffee from the excellent Zeke's Coffee who are making a special Rick Sebak Roast in East Liberty! (We'll send that right away if we make the goal, but the NEBBY DVD or download won't arrive till 2018.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Big Time NEBBY (disk-ified)

    So you prefer watching things several times and don't care about the coffee. You get all the rewards from the NEBNOSE level PLUS you get any 2 DVDs and/or downloads from our catalog of Pittsburgh History Series programs. That could mean a new copy of KENNYWOOD MEMORIES and/or a fresh download of RIGHT BESIDE THE RIVER to send as a gift to your friend who used to live in Vandergrift. Or whichever 2 you would like.
    And you'll get the NEBBY DVD and/or download when it's ready in 2018.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Officially NEBBY

    You get a lot of stuff. The NEBBY button. Access to the NEBBY website. A copy of the NEBBY DVD and/or download when it's ready. You ALSO get any 3 DVDs or downloads from our existing Pittsburgh History Series Collection. AND at this level you get your name on the Thank You list at the end of every episode of NEBBY. People will tell you they see your name (or the name of your business.)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Good Morning, NEBBY!

    You get many thanks here. You get everything listed at the previous "Officially NEBBY" level PLUS 2 extra Pittsburgh History DVDs and/or downloads (that's a total of 5) PLUS you will arrange a mutually agreeable time to have BREAKFAST with Rick (at a diner or eatery that you love or one that he can suggest.) He may deliver your rewards in person! You deserve a memorable thank you.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Majorly NEBBY

    This level requires considerable thanks. Of course you get the button, the access to the website, your name in the credits on all 6 of the programs, the NEBBY DVD and or downloads in 2018, and you get any 10 Pittsburgh History DVDs (which always make great gifts to folks who love this town) and/or downloads. PLUS Rick will call and you'll figure out an evening when you and 3 of your family or friends can join him for dinner somewhere in Southwestern Pennsylvania. If you don't have a favorite spot, Rick will surely have some suggestions.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Come Be NEBBY With Us

    We will owe you a lot of thanks. You will receive the button, the website access, the NEBBY DVD and/or downloads when they're completed in 2018 PLUS we will give you a complete set of the 30 Pittsburgh History Series DVDs and/or downloads.
    ALSO we will show and say your name in the opening funder announcement on every NEBBY program.
    PLUS Rick will call and help arrange a convenient time for you and 3 of your family or friends to have dinner together somewhere in the Greater Pittsburgh area
    PLUS we'll arrange a day when you and a guest can go along with Rick & his collaborators on a shoot, and you can be nebby right alongside them as they gather material for a new story. This is a participatory level, but we need to say Thank you in a big way.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Share Your NEBBINESS With A Party

    Again, of course huge thanks come at this level. And it's the same as the "Come Be NEBBY With Us" level above, but INSTEAD OF spending a day with the crew on location, we are offering an alternative Thank You: Rick and his favorite local band, THE BEAGLE BROTHERS, will come to your house or party venue (within a 100 mile radius of Pittsburgh) and provide a house concert at a mutually agreeable time. (One of the Beagles, Read Connolly, wrote the music for our 2 most recent PBS programs!) We can offer only 2 concerts, but this would provide some outstanding music for a party! And you can be as nebby as you'd like.

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Funding period

- (30 days)