RCTV was founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in July 1993. Today, it is Rochester’s award-winning public access station and community media center, serving the community of Rochester by giving all Rochester residents both a forum for the free expression of ideas, and the expertise and technology to share them. RCTV provides a non-commercial “green space” that promotes community and strengthens democracy. The majority of the programs broadcast on RCTV are created by independent, volunteer local community producers.
About RCTV’s Funding: Through an agreement with the City of Rochester, RCTV’s operation is underwritten by cable access fees that Rochester’s cable provider pays to the City. Additional funding comes from grants, membership and class fees. RCTV has a consistent record of exceeding benchmark standards for the ratio of program services to administrative expenses. It expends 85% of its expenses on program services and only 15% of its expenses on administrative (general and management) costs, exceeding benchmarks set by the American Institute of Philanthropy, the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the US OPM Combined Federal Campaign. During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, RCTV’s budget was just under $600,000.
About RCTV’s Membership: RCTV has an individual membership and two levels of organizational memberships. In 2014, RCTV had 120 individual members and 20 organizational members. Member benefits include free use of TV Studio, editing and video equipment, once they are certified, through taking classes, to use it. Members receive discounted fees on classes, workshops, and any special events for which there is a charge.
Number of Volunteers producing and/or assisting others to produce programs: 90
Number of Volunteer hours donated, including the creation of programming: 4500
Number of households served within the City of Rochester – Between 65,000 and 70,000, according to Time Warner, the cable provider over which RCTV broadcasts.
RCTV’s Board of Directors: Jesse Dudley – President; Kathleen Washington – Vice President; Beulah Patterson – Secretary; Tremain Harris – Treasurer; Zelda Artson-Crichlow; Nathaniel Brown; Rodney Allen Young; Mike McCourt; Raul Salinas; Amy Ventura
RCTV’s Staff: Carvin Eison – General Manager; Rick Osborne – Program Manager; Sheila Driscoll – Special Projects Manager; Rajesh Barnabas – Producer/Director; John Watson – Producer/Director; Rashida Washington – Office Manager; Carol White Llewellyn – Marketing Director;
Additional Community-oriented Programs offered by RCTV
Black Music Month Celebration – Each June, RCTV holds its annual Black Music Month Celebration commemorating 1979, when President Jimmy Carter signed a decree declaring June to be Black Music Month. This event is held annually to recognize and celebrate the legacy of African-American musicians on our Nation’s culture.
RCTV Black Achievement Music Award (BAMA) – For the past five years, RCTV has presented an award to a Rochester musician or group of musicians who demonstrate excellence in musicianship as well as community contributions. To date, the award has been given to: Timothy Mitchell (2011), The Campbell Brothers (2012) Jimmie Highsmith, Jr., (2013) Herb Smith (2014) and Cammy Enaharo (2015), Rufus McGee, Jr. (2016).
RAFAS (formerly Rochester Movie Makers) Best Editing Award – RCTV partners with RAFAS by presenting a deserving filmmaker participating in RMM’s Mind2Movie Festival with an award for best editing.
RCTV Annual Meeting – Each year, in early December, RCTV hosts its Annual Meeting where the State of the Station and the Fiscal Report are delivered, where deserving RCTV Producers are presented awards, and where excerpts of work from throughout he year are shown.
RCTV partners with a number of organizations within the city to deliver a variety of programs and to develop unique initiatives.
College at Brockport, SUNY – RCTV and the College at Brockport, SUNY partner to deliver media literacy and production through an intensified experience producing programming live in a professional television studio. In 2014, they had the opportunity to produce Pythodd Remix, a hybrid of a talk and live entertainment program featuring local musicians and performers.
Rochester Contemporary Art Center – In 2014, RCTV was a sponsor of the multi-media exhibit Question Bridge that explored the role of the black male in America today. In conjunction with this exhibit, it mounted the exhibit Dialogues that showcased RCTV’s involvement in the community of Rochester. In 2015, it was the media sponsor for the show Brooklyn Bridge that focused on work by five artists from Brooklyn, NY.
Rochester Center for Independent Living – During 2014, RCTV worked with RCIL to assist community members in the production of a music video. In 2015, Members of RCIL are taking classes at RCTV to learn how to produce a TV program focused on people who are otherwise-abled.
The Front Row Coalition – RCTV partnered with the Front Row Coalition to make a short anti-gun violence film. One thousand copies of the DVD were produced and have been distributed to educators, rec centers and anyplace where youth are at risk and could be positively affected by the film’s positive messaging.
RCTV at the Forefront
RCTV continues to expand its services as Rochester’s Community Media Center, through the following and other initiatives:
WXIR Radio Station – In 2016, RCTV Lauched 100.9 WXIR, Rochester’s EXtreme Independent Low Power FM Radio Radio Station in May of 2016. Since it’s launch, we have been adding hosts and disc jockeys, content and programming that reflects the diversity of Rochester. We regularly host live events, such as our annual anniversary celebration and our Black Music Month Celebration.
Streaming Cable and Radio Broadcasts – We currently stream both our RCTV and our 100.9 WXIR signals.
Expansion of Classes and Workshops – In addition to the classes offered by RCTV we also offer an evolving lineup of workshops to address the changing needs of the community. We also offering customized classes to organizations within the community. If your organization would be interested in classes for five or more people, please send us a note and let us know what type of class(es) your organization is seeking.
Increased outreach – RCTV continues expanding its outreach into the community through initiatives such as the work it did to film segments of The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. In 2016 and 2017, RCTV organize and co-sponsored the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival in partnership with the George Eastman House, Writers & Books and KidsOutandAbout.com, to promote both traditional and media literacy to kids and teens.