BriteHeart Annual Benefit Report
The BriteHeart Company’s intended public benefit is to engage in public dialogue and advocacy to promote awareness of the importance of democracy and individual rights and the values embedded in the U. S. Constitution.
BriteHeart First Year Review
2017 was a big year for civic action. It was a generative year for change. It was an unprecedented year for modern democracy. The constitution was invoked and ignored, prodded and pulled at, but still it held strong. Activists were born or reborn and organizations grew in volume, number and reach. In March of 2017, we formed BriteHeart and here we are looking back to look ahead as we move into an even bigger second year.
BriteHeart’s mission is to engage, connect and empower citizens for positive change through arts-based civic engagement and voter registration. We see an opportunity in our Volunteer State, to harness the great resources, time, energy and creativity we collectively possess, and foster a more inclusive civically engaged culture.
Our work is centered on artivism — or the convergence of arts and activism — a place of energy and magnetism amongst perhaps the hardest voting generation to compel, that of the millennials. We have seen greatest response in our music-related events as music has a way of bringing people together, even in the most divisive of times. Beginning with voter registration, we take an arts-based approach to civic engagement through compelling community-wide events around music and other performance arts, building relationships, creating accountability and catalyzing commitment to civic participation at every turn.
We are in the midst of a huge election year for Tennessee — and it can only get better from here, with our abysmal voter turnout and registration in the last year off-year election ranking at 50th and 40th respectively. For this reason, we’ve directed our focus on voter registration and GOTV efforts with events to support every phase of the election cycle, from concerts with registration drives to early voting field trips to “I Voted” parties throughout Nashville, training our volunteers to take the tools of our technology into their communities and do the important face to face work of civic engagement.
In our first year, we’ve hosted or partnered in producing 13 events ranging in attendance from 30 newly engaged citizens to 15,000 powerful marchers, with organizations like the Women’s March, Headcount, Equity Alliance, CivicTN, Southern Women for Civil Rights, Southern Word, One Voice Nashville, Healthy and Free Tennessee, Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood. In our largest production yet, we partnered with Power Together Tennessee on Women’s March 2.0 where we experienced the power of online voter registration technology first-hand, leading 1,000 people to register to vote in one single call to action from the rally stage.
As part of this year’s voter registration campaign, we were proud to host the first Civic Saturday in Tennessee, welcoming Eric Liu, whose bestselling book, You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen, is featured on the BriteHeart Bookshelf. Eric served as a White House speechwriter and policy adviser for President Bill Clinton. He is a regular columnist for CNN.com and a correspondent for The Atlantic. Our first Civic Saturday was a huge success and we were honored to see David Plazas cover it in The Tennessean. Citizen University has since extended a fellowship to BriteHeart’s Creative Director, Kate Tucker, and she’ll be attending Civic Seminary in Seattle this July.
As we move into our second year, we are excited to launch a highly robust civic matchmaking platform that will allow further customization for both individuals and organizations to connect directly and move causes forward more efficiently and effectively. If you are an advocacy group working in education for instance, in need of a promotional image for your next event, you can search for graphic designers whose hot button issue happens to be education and bingo, you’ve got yourself the perfect match. We believe this will lead to long-standing and meaningful relationships in the realm of civic engagement across a myriad of issues and initiatives. We are excited about building this organized network of engaged, connected and empowered citizens and envision this leading to positive change not only in our city, but the nation.
We’re so grateful to be working with you in this time of great upheaval and great potential.
Here’s to a beautiful election year!
-Chase Cole, Chairman; Kate Tucker, Creative Director; Bill Cole, Managing Editor
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