NEWS RELEASE: BUZZ celebrates 1st Anniversary

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NEWS RELEASE: BUZZ celebrates 1st Anniversary

NEWS RELEASE: BUZZ celebrates 1st Anniversary 749 299 Michael Hemphill


July 27, 2021 (Roanoke, Va.) – BUZZ – the inspiring television show featuring Virginia nonprofits and the marketing pros who donate their talents to help these life-giving organizations – is celebrating its debut anniversary with a special event Aug. 3 at the Grandin Theatre.

At the anniversary celebration, BUZZ will preview its 13th episode – a special two-part show featuring the Christiansburg Institute, with Spectrum Media Solutions providing the pro bono marketing “buzz.” The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. 

“In our first season, even in spite of the pandemic, we were able to share the stories of some incredible organizations doing vital work in our communities,” says BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill, “and provide them with marketing resources to attract more donors, volunteers and clients to their cause. We are grateful to these nonprofit leaders, our sponsors, and the marketing professionals who joined our Hive and helped launch the show.”

BUZZ is a program of the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke (AAF Roanoke), whose membership of marketing professionals provides the pro bono resources to the nonprofits featured in the show.

On Aug. 5, 2020, BUZZ first aired on Blue Ridge PBS with an episode on Southwest Virginia Ballet receiving a new logo and website from AAF Roanoke president Carrie Cousins and other marketing resources from Wordsprint and Press Press Merch. In addition, the show provided SVB with an introduction to Blue Ridge PBS that paved the way for SVB’s first-ever television broadcast of The Nutcracker – the company’s biggest fundraiser of the year – in a year when it couldn’t stage a live production due to Covid-19.

Other organizations featured in the first season of BUZZ include Healing Strides of Virginia, RAM House, Mill Mountain Zoo, Eastmont Community Foundation, Feeding Southwest Virginia, Blue Ridge Women’s Center, Virginia811, and Giles County Department of Social Services. BUZZ airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on Blue Ridge PBS and also now on VPM public television in Richmond, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.

The newest BUZZ is a two-part episode featuring the Christiansburg Institute, which airs Aug. 4 and Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. on Blue Ridge PBS. 

For 100 years, the Christiansburg Institute stood as one of the finest schools for Black Americans in Virginia. Founded in 1866 just a year after the Civil War put an end to slavery, Christiansburg Institute became a testament to African-American self-preservation, educating thousands of students on its 185-acre campus. Education giants such as Booker T. Washington served as superintendent. 

But in 1966 school integration finally took hold in Virginia and Christiansburg Institute’s legacy was quite literally whitewashed away. Its academic buildings were shuttered. Its students scattered to previously whites-only schools. Its land was subdivided and sold off. Today all that’s left is one abandoned building on four acres.

But there’s a group of passionate people dedicated to preserving its history, and creating a catalyst for community conversations, racial justice and change. Spectrum Media Solutions in Roanoke is helping Christiansburg Institute better tell its story through a new website.

Woods Rogers Attorneys at Law, the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, and Partners in Financial Planning are sponsors of this episode. BUZZ is also sponsored in part by the Virginia Film Office.

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Michael Hemphill | Creator of Buzz | | 540.556.2879

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