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BUZZ Watch Party for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ Watch Party for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia

Our newest BUZZ starring Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia airs Jan. 4 on Blue Ridge PBS, but you can get a free “sneak peek” at our Watch Party at the Grandin Theatre on Jan. 3!

BUZZ Watch Party - Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia

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Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia offers a safe place to learn and grow, plus life-enhancing programs and character development experiences for hundreds of schoolchildren. 

Within its 11 sites in Roanoke, Salem, Montgomery and Franklin counties, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia promotes the development of boys and girls by instilling “a sense of competence, a sense of usefulness, a sense of belonging, and a sense of influence.”

In need of a digital overhaul, Boys & Girls Clubs receives a website upgrade from BUZZ partner and marketing magician Carrie Cousins.

Funding for this BUZZ is provided by:
BUZZ nominated for Kendig Arts & Culture Award 900 524 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ nominated for Kendig Arts & Culture Award

Definitely the “who?” in this Who’s Who list of 2022 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards Nominees … but we are buzzing by this surprising honor.

Founded in 1985, the Kendig Awards is a programmatic offering between Roanoke College and Hollins University honoring:

  • Individual Artist
  • Arts and/or Cultural Organization
  • Individual or Business Arts Supporter

This year’s nominees:

  • Michael Hemphill: “a true believer in partnership, collaboration, and lifting up the arts community in Virginia’s Blue Ridge through his company Buzz4good.”
  • Seth Davis “has inspired thousands of children and teenagers with the gift of music.
  • Doug Jackson: “long-serving and faithful ally of the arts … invested in finding ways to make the arts compelling and accessible to all.”
  • Michael Mansfield: “director, actor, guest artist and designer, and teacher whose talents have been experienced by every theatre in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.”
  • Sandra Meythaler: “choreographer, dancer, and teacher who has been at the helm of Roanoke Ballet Theatre since 2007.”
  • Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir “has served the people of the Roanoke Valley for 34 years by meeting the musical needs of our young people.”

We look forward to celebrating with these exceptional artists at the awards reception Oct. 11!

Coming this fall/winter on BUZZ 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

Coming this fall/winter on BUZZ

Mark your calendars!

We’ve been buzzy producing new episodes – and more importantly helping new nonprofits – for Season 3 of BUZZ!

Tune in to Blue Ridge PBS every Wednesday at 7:00 pm (or our YouTube channel) to watch previous episodes and these new ones:


September 21- Saint Francis Service Dogs

For more than 150 Virginians with disabilities, dogs are not only best friends, they literally make life meaningful and possible. Since 1996, Saint Francis Service Dogs has provided incredibly trained four-legged caregivers that assist in daily living for families confronting autism, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, brain injuries, amputations and paralysis.

Lesser known is the fact that these dogs also provide service to inmates at Bland Correctional Center who help raise and care for them through a prison puppy program. And they provide comfort and calming in facilities throughout Virginia, namely Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center and Virginia Tech School of Medicine.

Dog-lover and marketing maven Carrie Cousins, director of marketing at LeadPoint Digital, returns to BUZZ to help Saint Francis Service Dogs enhance its popular “Barks & Rec” fundraiser. 


October 19 – West End Center

In the 1970s during summers and after school, children often wandered the streets without supervision of Roanoke’s West End, a neighborhood defined by poverty and crime, vacant lots and vandalized buildings. But then a group of churches and civic groups came together to establish West End Center as a safe haven — and more importantly, hope — for the neighborhood children.​

Today, West End Center serves about 150 children each year, providing them and their families with low-cost academic enrichment, wellness programs and leadership training to become productive, responsible adults. 

BUZZ partner 5Points Creative returns to provide a comprehensive marketing package to promote West End Center to a wider audience.


November 30 – FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge

For much of its history, FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge helped the National Park Service maintain vistas and hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. But in 2021 the National Park Service ended the partnership, inspiring FRIENDS to pivot and expand its mission beyond the parkway to the communities of the Blue Ridge.

That pivot includes celebrating the region’s musical heritage by hosting the first-ever Blue Ridge Jamboree, an annual event with multiple shows in the communities where FRIENDS chapters are located. The inaugural Jamboree features “Doc Watson at 100” with performances by Wayne Henderson, Jack Lawrence, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Hinshelwood. 

New to BUZZ, Big Lick Entertainment is donating its time and expertise to help plan and promote the Jamboree.


January 4 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia offers a safe place to learn and grow, plus life-enhancing programs and character development experiences for hundreds of schoolchildren. 

Within its 11 sites in Roanoke, Salem, Montgomery and Franklin counties, BGCSWVA promotes the development of boys and girls by instilling “a sense of competence, a sense of usefulness, a sense of belonging, and a sense of influence.”

In need of a digital overhaul, BGCSWVA receives a website upgrade from a member of the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke.


January 11 – Roanoke City Schools’ Art Program

From marching bands and string ensembles to musical theater, visual arts and all-star choruses, Roanoke City Public Schools’ arts programs are second to none in Virginia. 

But coming out of the Covid pandemic, many students and their families too often aren’t aware of all the free artistic offerings — and life-long opportunities — that the school system provides. 

In partnership with the Roanoke Cultural Endowment and City of Roanoke, BUZZ highlights the programs and people that comprise the Roanoke City Public Schools’ arts education … in hopes that more children will be inspired to participate. 

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song 900 506 Michael Hemphill

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song

Here on the 12th day of Christmas, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill presents his “12 Buzz4Goods” song!

Here we look back on the 12 nonprofits that have been featured on BUZZ since our debut in August 2020 on Blue Ridge PBS. We also thank our sponsors and the marketing pros who gave these organizations more “buzz.”

And we look ahead to an exciting 2022!

  1. Southwest Virginia Ballet & Carrie Cousins
  2. Healing Strides & 5Points Creative
  3. Mill Mountain Zoo & Wordsprint
  4. RAM House & Wheeler Digital
  5. Eastmont Community Foundation & Wordsprint
  6. Feeding Southwest Virginia & Access
  7. Virginia811 & Carrie Cousins
  8. Giles County & 5Points Creative
  9. Blue Ridge Women’s Center & Wheeler Digital
  10. Christiansburg Institute & Soectrum Media Solutions
  11. Children’s Assistive Technology Service & 5Points Creative
  12. Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley & 5Points Creative

Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley wraps up 2021 for BUZZ 900 518 Michael Hemphill

Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley wraps up 2021 for BUZZ

As originally broadcast on Nov. 3, 2021, on Blue Ridge PBS …

Home is where the heart is, but it’s where your money is too. And for most of us money determines not only the type of home we can afford but its condition once we move in. 

For more than 35 years, Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley has been dedicated to building quality affordable housing for low-income families.

Now the nonprofit embarks on a visionary new mission: creating task forces in individual communities that can serve as first responders for people in need of critical home repair. Helping Habitat launch this initiative are our friends at 5Points Creative, plus a familiar face to BUZZ, Eastmont Community Foundation, which we featured in December 2020.

Together, they’re working to build a program that may one day become a model for our entire country … ensuring that the real value of our homes isn’t measured in dollars, but in heart.