When the irreplaceable Joey Bowker, aka The Bat Poet, died on Oct. 21 after years of grave health problems, the public-access TV channels known collectively as NECAT (Nashville Education, Community and Arts Television) lost their single most recognizable personality. And there’s one looming reason Bowker stood out: Love it or hate it, the Bat Poet’s show represented the horizon-wide possibilities that Nashville’s public-access stations afford. In a city with talent leaking out of every watering hole and coffee shop — not to mention tons of frustrated creators desperately seeking an outlet — there’s no reason we shouldn’t have the weirdest, wildest, most eclectic and innovative public-access programming in the country. Under executive director Kim Hayes, the revamped organization is in better shape than it’s been in many years — but community participation, visibility and especially money remain perpetual challenges.
Help Music City Arts 9, iQTV 10 and Access Channel 19 find their next Nashville stars with this fundraising event, broadcast live over the channels from the NECAT/PEG Studio on the Nashville State campus. Gretchen Peters headlines, with performances by David Olney with Sergio Webb, Kristi Rose & Fats Kaplin, and Sara Jean Kelley; hosts for the evening are Brad Schmitt, who recently returned from a Soles4Souls humanitarian mission to Haiti, and Adam Dread, who earned enough votes in the Scene’s recent Best of Nashville contest to place as Best Council Member, even though he hadn’t served on the council in years. (We took him off the list, but the honor bears noting.) Tickets are $25 and include admission, dinner from local restaurants and drink tickets; visit necat.tv to purchase.