What You Can Do to Help Secure Funding for Community Media!

CAT CITY Pic.jpg



-General Information and FAQ

- Partnership Highlights

- Council Contact Information

- Other Ways to Help

General Information

Columbia Access Television is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, community organization formed in 2004. We serve as Columbia’s public access television station offering classes in and access to professional grade video production equipment, such as HD cameras, heavy-duty tripods, mobile light kits and high tech audio gear; a community media center including six iMacs with multiple video editing software and classes for members; a high definition television studio for members to record performances, talk shows, or use green screen technology and more.

Why Do We Need City Funding?

With City of Columbia funding, our rates are essentially government subsidized, allowing us to keep membership rates and class fees low. In turn, this allows all members of our community, regardless of economic status, access to the resources, education and empowerment to share their own voice and opinion.

How Do We Supplement City Funding?

Additionally, CAT offers competitive rates in media services, aimed at fulfilling local nonprofit organizations digital media needs. Our media services employ skilled community members as freelance employees. Multiple sectors of our community’s needs are impacted through these services.

Funding History

At one time, Columbia Access Television was receiving $200,000/year from the City of Columbia. This comes from the $600,000-$800,000 that our local cable franchises pay in fees to the municipality for cable-run permissions.

After FY2014, our funding was cut to $100,000, then to $50,000 and for the past two years we have received $35,000 from the City.

In 2014, the CAT staff was four full-time employees and one part-time worker. Since September 2016 we have existed with one staff member.

Recent Moves & Improvement Efforts

We have moved from our studios on Stephens College campus and our Community Media Center on Tenth street to a revitalized property downtown, on Second Street. This move saves us in monthly expenses and our off-street parking lot has improved the member experience immensely.

The Rub

We NEED more than $35,000/year and we feel the services we offer and the impact we make on our community is worth more than that amount.

Who Are Our Partners?

In the past eighteen months, we have worked with a multitude of organizations in our area. We are proud partners to our community and consider CAT to be the mortar between the many of the bricks that make up the foundation of Columbia. This is a bit long-winded but let me take a moment to brag about some of the projects, organizations and people with whom we have been so fortunate to work.

The Office of Cultural Affairs - We produce a monthly program featuring Program Specialist Elise Buchheit interviewing representatives of the various non profit organizations that benefit from OCA grant funding. The program provides a public platform for the organizations to share their message, ask for help and promote upcoming events. These organizations also receive a free membership for up to five people including training and access to all our resources.

MU Hospitals - We worked with Dr. Kristin Sohl and Dr. Kimber Barrett from the MU Hospital system and Shelly Fair from Columbia Public Schools, to create a medical access video that helps refugees and immigrants understand how to use our local medical resources. This video was produced in 8 different languages.

Peace Frame Productions / Carrion Land short film- We worked with this local producer to assist in the shooting of their short film, to be released in late 2018.

VidWest Music Fest : We joined a core group of planners to create a new festival focused on the art of the music video. We are the NPO at the center of this event.

The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri - We provided services to assist in promotion of their signature Score Against Hunger event, Taste of the Tigers.

Boone County Government - We began training and assisting several employees of the county government system in producing videos for multiple areas of their operations.

Columbia Public Schools - We began a 2 year collaboration with Grant Elementary to instruct and guide 40 4th and 5th grade students to use our video equipment to document the renovation process they are experiencing. The students will be creating a documentary about the changes. The students are meeting at CAT on Thursday nights this summer to work on editing the documentary.

Ragtag Cinema - We partnered with Tracy and some CAT members to hold a public screening of the locally produced film, Violence Gives Him Hope.

Access Arts - We teamed up with an artist and celebrity duo to document the artistic process. This video was screened at an Access Arts fundraising event.

Missouri Contemporary Ballet - We continue to provide multi-camera coverage and video projection of the Dances with Missouri Stars event in May.

Columbia Independent School - We participated in an intersession documentary program by instructing students in a camera class and a Final Cut Pro X video editing class. We provided support and assisted in the completion of their films.

KBIA and the Reynolds Journalism Institute - CAT continues to cablecast three shows produced by KBIA and Reynolds: Views of the News, Global Journalist and Radio Friends with Paul Pepper.               

PACE Youth Theatre - We provided several services including projection technology for their home and coverage of their events. We have discussed creating a PACE video team for future collaborations.

Special Olympics of Missouri - We continue to meet quarterly with the exceptional athletes that make up the crew of SOMO-TV. At each meeting, we offer a session of training in editing, studio production, field production and more, followed by a session of recording interviews in our HD studio. Additionally, CAT staff traveled to SOMO ALPs University in the Spring and Fall to instruct the outstanding leaders of Special Olympics Missouri in professional videography.

KOPN 89.5FM - We partnered with KOPN on a summer fundraiser in 2017 at Rose Music Hall and produced a live simulcast of the KOPN 2018 Women’s Day Concert in the CAT parking lot in March. We are in regular contact, sharing experiences and information.

Local Festivals and Events - CAT continues to provide media services and educational seminars for local film and music festivals, including the Citizen Jane Film Festival, the True/False Film Fest, the Roots-N-Blues-N-BBQ Festival, Show Me Writers Masterclass, and more.

Internships for Local College and University Students & Partnership with Stephens College, including participation in the Federal Work Study program.

League of Women Voters - CAT produces and cablecasts a monthly forum and roundtable discussion for the League. The show is sponsored by the Columbia Daily Tribune and hosted by managing editor Jim Robertson.

Turner Hall River Rats for the Arts - We partnered with this Boonville organization to host a film competition that had to be shot and edited on a phone or device.

Boone County Historical Society and Friends of Historic Columbia Cemetery - We donated time to record the 2018 History Comes Alive event on Memorial Day 2018.

Literacy Action Corps - We are producing video content for use in tutoring their instructors.

CAT-produced Programming - Each year, CAT’s talented staff produces shows branded as ‘CAT Presents.’ The related studio shoots are used as training vehicles for members wanting to learn and brush up on skills in the studio. CAT staff members continue to provide professional programming to the channel.

What YOU can do to help

1) Share Your Stories - Contact your Mayor and City Council Reps.

Our City reps really do pay attention to your letters, emails and in-person meetings. Please take a few minutes to type up your own feelings as to why community media deserves City support in Fiscal Year 2017.


By Mail: They all share the same mailing address: City of Columbia, 701 E Broadway, P.O. Box 6015, Columbia, Missouri, 65205.

By Phone or Email:

Mayor Brian Treece

Ward 1 - Clyde Ruffin   

  • Phone: (573) 268-4783   

  • Email: ward1@CoMo.gov   

Ward 2 - Michael Trapp   

  • Phone: (573) 256-0174   

  • Email:  ward2@CoMo.gov

Ward 3 - Karl Skala   

  • Phone: (573) 474-2195   

  • Email:  ward3@CoMo.gov   

Ward 4 - Ian Thomas   

  • Phone: (573) 239-7916   

  • Email: ward4@CoMo.gov

Ward 5 - Matt Pitzer   

  • Phone: (573) 823-7037   

  • Email: ward5@CoMo.gov   

Ward 6 - Betsy Peters   

  • Phone: (573) 874-7812   

  • Email: ward6@CoMo.gov   

If you’re not sure which ward you’re in, be sure to check the ward map here:https://www.como.gov/maps/wards/

Here’s all the email addresses together if you want to copy and paste and email the full council:

mayor@como.gov, ward1@como.gov, ward2@como.gov, ward3@como.gov ward4@como.gov, ward5@como.gov, ward6@como.gov


2) Come by CAT -- Film a quick testimonial

We will be announcing some dates and times on social media and in our newsletter for you to stop by 20 N. Second Street Suite A - we face South along the alley - and record a short or lengthy testimonial video or just voice your support of community media and CAT. We’ll have everything set up & ready to go! We'll share the resulting video(s) with City Council.


Wednesday 6/20 5-7PM

Thursday 6/21 5-7PM

Wednesday 6/27 5-7PM

Thursday 6/28 5-7PM


3) Show your support IN PERSON at City Council meetings

The Mayor, City Manager and Council will hold public meetings to discuss the FY2019 Budget at 7PM at the City Building (701 E Broadway.) on Monday August 20, Tuesday September 4, and Monday September 17.

Staff and Board members attending the meetings and sending out reminders if you want to join us.


4) Share Your Stories with the Public - Write letters to the editor

Letting other members of the community know what’s happening is key to enacting a change of heart by the city. Tell Columbia how you feel and why they should save their community media center. Please write to all the following publications:


The Columbia Daily Tribune

Letters to the Editor: Maximum of 250 words, Letter must be signed and include your name, street address, city, and phone number.

  • Mail: Open Column, Columbia Daily Tribune, P.O. Box 798, Columbia, Mo., 65205

  • Fax: (866) 628-5873

  • E-mail: editor@columbiatribune.com


The Missourian

Letters to the Editor are submitted electronically through the below on-line form and are generally 250 words.

  • On-Line Form

  • Email Jeanne Abbott, Managing Editor/Opinion Editor: abbottjm@missouri.edu

The Maneater

Guest columns must be about 450 words and include email addresses. Letters to the editor must include phone numbers. All letters must be signed to be published.


5) Social Media

Post about and tag Columbia Access Television on your social media platform of choice. Please share our events and messages with your friends. Word-of-mouth is a great way to gain awareness.