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.
- (30 days)