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Boston Community Access & Programming Foundation, Inc.

 BNN Charles J. Beard II Media Center, 3025 Washington Street
 Roxbury, MA 02119
[P] (617) 708-3200
[F] (617) 708-3210
Jim Atwood
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2784953

LAST UPDATED: 03/08/2016
Organization DBA Boston Neighborhood Network
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is to use the unique capabilities of cable television and other technologies to address unmet communications needs of individuals and institutions in Boston by:

- Giving a direct voice to and fostering understanding among various neighborhoods, groups and points of view

- Expanding the diversity and variety of information on local topics addressing the specific needs of targeted populations

- Strengthening the ability of all institutions to serve Boston’s diverse residents by providing a mechanism through which they can effectively share their resources with the community

- Providing overall local television programs and opportunities not available on other television venues in Boston.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to use the unique capabilities of cable television and other technologies to address unmet communications needs of individuals and institutions in Boston by:

- Giving a direct voice to and fostering understanding among various neighborhoods, groups and points of view

- Expanding the diversity and variety of information on local topics addressing the specific needs of targeted populations

- Strengthening the ability of all institutions to serve Boston’s diverse residents by providing a mechanism through which they can effectively share their resources with the community

- Providing overall local television programs and opportunities not available on other television venues in Boston.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $2,625,590.00
Projected Expense $2,625,590.00

ProgramsMORE »


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to use the unique capabilities of cable television and other technologies to address unmet communications needs of individuals and institutions in Boston by:

- Giving a direct voice to and fostering understanding among various neighborhoods, groups and points of view

- Expanding the diversity and variety of information on local topics addressing the specific needs of targeted populations

- Strengthening the ability of all institutions to serve Boston’s diverse residents by providing a mechanism through which they can effectively share their resources with the community

- Providing overall local television programs and opportunities not available on other television venues in Boston.

Background Statement

Prior to 1983, before Boston was wired for cable, TV was a one-way medium, with no opportunity to participate. Like today, commercial TV was created for mass appeal and maximum profit as dictated by Nielsen ratings above all other considerations.

For years, the people of Boston had been meeting in neighborhood cable councils, studying cable agreements in other cities, speaking out in public hearings, lobbying the mayor to give them a voice as he selected a cable provider. Mayor Kevin White heard them, saying "There are few decisions, if any, I have made as Mayor which will have as lasting an effect on the people of Boston as the installation of a city-wide cable TV system."

In the resulting franchise agreement, Cablevision agreed to provide an annual franchise fee in support of the newly founded Boston Community Access and Programming Foundation, known today as Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN). This process has continued through a succession of cable companies, mayors and agreements, providing benefits that have become part and parcel of the civic, social and cultural fabric of the city. Since 1983, Boston residents and organizations (over 12,000 memberships and 1,400 participating organizations), representing every community and aspect of city life, have participated in a variety of program offerings.

Education: Participants of all ages learn to use television production equipment to develop the skills they need to create their own non-commercial programming. Other classes help members develop 21st century technology skills.

Civic Engagement: Constituents have access to field production equipment, studios, a multimedia computer lab, edit rooms and a mobile production truck to produce their programs. Twenty-four hours a day, two BNN channels reach over two-thirds of Boston households and are available globally through web-streaming.

Youth Program: Through various program offerings, young people create programs that positively impact their lives, address issues of concern, counter negative stereotypes, and promote constructive youth activities and opportunities citywide.

BNN-Produced Programming: BNN also produces programming of local interest that would otherwise be unavailable, such as a nightly news program providing in-depth interviews and on-location coverage of issues and happenings of vital importance to all of Boston’s communities. Other BNN community service programs include political debates, neighborhood parades and cultural festivals.

Impact Statement

In 2007, we consolidated two inadequate facilities in the new BNN Charles J. Beard II Media Center, a renovated former MBTA power station in Egleston Square, Roxbury. The BNN Beard Center has been awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and recognized with awards for excellence in historic preservation from both the Massachusetts Historical Commission and Boston Preservation Alliance. The honors continued in FY11, when our facility was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and won Mayor Menino's Green Business Award.

FY11 saw ongoing progress in our transition to digital technology, as we upgraded our media lab, file conversion equipment and storage to facilitate new digital production workflow (with support of the Timothy Smith Fund); BNN programming, produced in many languages by and for Boston's diverse communities, can now be seen beyond the city cable system at our improved website.

Last year we also expanded training with the addition of social media and other new classes; and new educational partnerships including Tech Goes Home and Online Learning Readiness.

 Since moving to the new facility, our primary goals have been to:

- Integrate upgraded technology and use improved connectivity to extend the reach of community information, creative expression and public dialogue.

- Enhance digital media education to offer state-of-the-art, professional level training.

- Target outreach to increase participation among youth, adults, seniors and non-profit organizations of underserved communities.

- Expand year-round youth program to involve more young people in a greater range of opportunities for technology training, digital media production and self-expression.

In FY11 we commenced development of 5-year strategic implementation plan as consultants worked with our board, staff and constituents to transform these and other broad goals into a plan of action. This plan will be completed in 2012.

Needs Statement

We had great success in raising over two million dollars to complete the building phase of our capital campaign, and in garnering essential support for operations and programs at the new facility. Substantial assistance has been provided from all sectors of the community, including the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, foundations, corporate donors and individuals.

While our primary source of funding remains stable, the economic downturn of recent years has compounded the challenge of raising funds needed to accomplish ambitious goals. In order to complete the transition to digital technology, it was necessary to utilize operating funds for much-needed equipment upgrades. As a result, unrestricted operating support would be most beneficial in building on the solid foundation of the BNN Beard Media Center and its new equipment, while helping us to replenish reserves.

Other specific needs include:

Internal office network, hardware, and software upgrades: $85,000

Equipment and digital storage capacity for community service production team to expand BNN-produced programming: $52,000

Youth program support for year-round youth media production team: $60,000

Database development to integrate outmoded information tracking systems with upgraded website: $30,000

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
City of Boston- Allston/ Brighton
City of Boston- Back Bay
City of Boston- Beacon Hill/ West End
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- Chinatown/ Leather District
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Downtown
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Fenway/ Kenmore
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Mission Hill
City of Boston- North End
City of Boston- Roslindale
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- South Boston
City of Boston- South End/Bay Village
City of Boston- Harbor Islands
City of Boston- West Roxbury

BNN serves the entire city of Boston. All city residents and Boston-based non-profits are eligible for low-cost membership and workshops. Use of production facilities, equipment and channels is provided at no cost to residents.

Another important constituency is viewers. Our two cable channels reach over two-thirds of Boston households in every neighborhood and demographic group of the city. BNN channels are part of basic cable service packages and available to all subscribers.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Media & Communications
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Citizen Participation
  3. Education - Adult Education

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)




Boston is a city with a rich history of citizens speaking out to shape our future. With a growing population of immigrants largely overlooked by commercial media, we strive to ensure that all voices are part of the public dialogue.

 As a result, our channel schedule provides a self-portrait ofNew England’s most diverse city. Many programs are produced by immigrants or in languages other than English, including Spanish, Haitian Kreyol, Cape Verdean Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic, Spanish, Yoruba, Greek, and Somali. Another recent program, produced in American Sign Language, reflects our commitment to facilitating the participation of under-represented communities.

 Through the process of producing their programs at BNN and sharing them with cable and web viewers, Boston’s communities learn from each other. By celebrating what is unique in each of us, by discussing the challenges that face us all, by using technology as a means of interactive communication, we grow stronger as a community.

Budget  $1,008,754.00
Category  Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Citizen Participation Programs
Population Served General/Unspecified Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
At BNN, we offer a wide range of options for participation. – something for everyone.

In the BNNLive Studio, staff will enable dozens of nonprofits and public agencies to produce programs on a wide spectrum of issues. Programs are live and interactive, enabling viewers to dialogue directly with public servants and community leaders.

In the Community TV Studio, 50 community producers will work collaboratively on each others’ programs in a larger studio allowing for more elaborate productions, from gospel choirs to community forums on youth violence.

We will facilitate 12 or more “People’s Platform” programs, providing a talk show forum for Bostonians who have not had the opportunity to receive training to produce their own shows.

In the BNN Timothy Smith Media Lab we will assist the efforts of the Timothy Smith Network to provide Roxbury area residents with quality training and access to technology.

We will provide channel time equitably to 70 or more community programs each week.

Program Long-Term Success 
Through outreach to under-represented communities and annual increases in locally produced content, BNN's channel schedule will reflect the evolution of an increasingly diverse city.

Community media fills a need for local content that is not being met by other media outlets. Although the number of channels is growing, the number of media companies is declining through consolidation and merger, investing each with a disproportionate capacity to shape public opinion. Through BNN training, production facilities, channels and website, an empowered citizenry will share independent perspectives, strengthening our understanding of each other, our city, and the world we live in.

Our Roxbury neighbors face serious challenges: higher incidence of crime, violence and murder; higher school drop-out rates; health disparities; and higher poverty and unemployment rates. BNN will provide a welcoming neighborhood center as well as a forum to address issues and advocate solutions.

Program Success Monitored By 
In accordance with Year One goals of a five-year strategic implementation plan, we will develop baseline information to track strategic progress, including: membership and programming data by various demographic factors; studio and facility usage patterns; and community outreach logs. We will evaluate FY12 data compared to Boston demographics, past BNN results and to other community media centers and establish goals for annual increases.

Periodically the City of Boston conducts a review of city cable providers in renewing license agreements; they also review our performance as the city’s provider of community media services. This extensive process was completed successfully last year.

BNN staff provide reports to the General Manager, who reports to the Board of Directors in monthly meetings; the board reports to members at an annual meeting and invites input in quarterly member forums.

The Timothy Smith Network monitors our media lab activities in a rigorous annual report process.

Examples of Program Success 
Telekreyol is a collaborative production of many Haitian residents and organizations. They have worked together to produce more than 1000 programs over 25 years as a weekly series on BNN. Telekreyol has been on the scene at community parades, festivals and political rallies. They have provided news from Haiti, live telethons for hurricane victims, information about health, immigration law, and housing. Through this process of celebrating Haitian art, history and culture, community media has been established as a local custom of Haitian-Bostonians. There are now over a dozen weekly series on BNN produced by and for the Haitian people of this city. 

For many years, Telekreyol has been committed to sharing their programs with many Haitian communities beyond Boston, requiring a costly and cumbersome process of copying and mailing videotapes. Thanks to recent advances in digital production and distribution, Telekreyol can now be seen globally at


Bostonians of all ages learn to use TV and multimedia production equipment to develop the skills they need to create their own non-commercial programming. We offer small class sizes, committed educators, and a range of opportunities to suit the inclinations and experience levels of technological novices and experienced producers alike. Classes are hands-on, collaborative and fun, leading to marketable jobs skills and pathways to higher education and careers.

A wide range of workshop offerings include studio production and directing in our Community TV Studio; field production with digital cameras; Final Cut Pro editing, Photoshop, Adobe After Effects in our state-of-the-art media lab; and others including Virtual Video Sharing, Social Media, and Blogging.

We also offer collaborative programs such as Tech Goes Home and Online Learning Readiness, which give unemployed and underemployed residents free training to enhance and acquire new computer and job-readiness skills.

Budget  $224,167.00
Category  Education, General/Other Education & Technology
Population Served General/Unspecified Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 
Compared to last year we will increase: the range of class offerings (including single classes and multiple class workshops); the number of classes; the number of people taking classes; the percentage of registrants who complete classes; and the number of people who utilize production facilities and complete programming following their training. In Year 1 of our five-year strategic plan, we will establish benchmarks in these categories, as well as specific targets for annual increases in subsequent years.
In collaboration with the Timothy Smith Network, BNN will offer two or more cycles of Online Learning Readiness (OLLR), a 12-week program enabling participants to become independent learners, acquire technology skills, and prepare to enter the workforce. Classes meet 5 days per week for at least 5 hours and participants are expected to spend an additional 6 to 10 hours out of class time completing assignments. Twenty or more (>80%) participants will successfully complete OLLR.
Program Long-Term Success 
Increasing public access to the world of technology can reduce disparities between racial and socioeconomic groups, ultimately improving the areas of educational attainment, health and wealth creation. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that 60% of today’s jobs require technology skills. There are not enough qualified Boston residents to fill local technology and media jobs. Training opportunities are needed.

Providing a range of workshops in our state-of-art BNN Timothy Smith Network Media Lab will act to lessen the digital divide and enhance job opportunities among underserved residents of Roxbury and Boston as a whole.

Participants in Tech Goes Home and Online Learning Readiness will pursue other BNN training opportunities and go on to become producers of content for our channels and website.

Enhanced training opportunities will result in wider participation, as indicated by membership increases, channel programming data, survey responses and demographic statistics.

Program Success Monitored By 
Trainers track attendance and other class requirements, such as written exams, demonstration of skills, participation in activities, or completion of projects.

Class participants complete feedback forms addressing class effectiveness, enjoyability, activities, resources and schedule. They are also invited to offer comments about the class or suggestions for other training they want. 

Feedback forms and trainer reports are compiled by the Membership Coordinator, who coordinates the class schedule accordingly in consultation with management and staff.

Collaborative training programs often have rigorous stipulations for monitoring, reporting and evaluation, which we scrupulously observe. Online Learning Readiness, for example, has detailed expectations for students, who earn a meaningful certification and eligibility for a $50 netbook. Our role in tracking is essential, as our performance is also evaluated by the Timothy Smith Network, the City of Boston, and the US Dept. of Commerce.
Examples of Program Success 
A 13 year-old girl took part in a 1989 BNN youth video production workshop along with her sister and others from the Roxbury Boys and Girls Club. Their production team won a national community media award for their video “Stop the Violence” and a trip to Russia for an international youth video festival. She went on to work as a professional Boston broadcast television producer while also producing a weekly program on BNN celebrating her cultural heritage of the Garifuna people of Costa Rica. Both sisters now work as managers of Boston youth programs, carrying forward the ethic of community service that was nurtured at BNN.

A Dorchester resident took classes at BNN after retiring from the Boston Police Department in 2007 and has gone on to produce many well-received programs. “One of the things you ask yourself when retiring is what are you going to do with the rest of your life. I don’t have to ask myself that now. I learn something new every day and can’t wait to come in to BNN.”

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Curtis Henderson Jr.
CEO Term Start Apr 1985
CEO Email
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 18
Number of Part Time Staff 77
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 34
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 50
Hispanic/Latino: 8
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 2
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 25
Male: 70
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Justin A. Petty
Board Chair Company Affiliation Roxbury Community College
Board Chair Term Nov 2013 - Nov 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Thato Mwosa Madison Park Vocational-Technical High School Voting
Ms. Susan O'Connor Retired Voting
Ms. Lucinda Rivera Boston Bar Association Voting
Ms. Sarah-Ann Shaw Retired Voting
Mr. J. Curtis Warner Jr. Berklee College of Music Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 17%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $5,498,791 $3,247,295 $2,385,880
Total Expenses $2,637,388 $2,585,768 $2,462,450

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$378,370 $1,020,669 $339,585
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $7,979 $3,670 $1,086
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,843,982 $1,804,733 $1,690,296
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues $28,887 $23,396 $31,011
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $1,734,318 $386,160 $322,497
Other $1,505,255 $8,667 $1,405

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,742,069 $1,696,333 $1,464,288
Administration Expense $670,601 $673,800 $829,924
Fundraising Expense $224,718 $215,635 $168,238
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 2.08 1.26 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 66% 66% 59%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 58% 21% 49%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $5,309,632 $2,435,950 $1,029,393
Current Assets $1,225,849 $2,317,267 $828,077
Long-Term Liabilities $1,204,005 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $154,017 $1,345,743 $600,713
Total Net Assets $3,951,610 $1,090,207 $428,680

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 7.96 1.72 1.38

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 23% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Previous fiscal period information was obtained from Audited Financials.
For fiscal year 2015, "Other" revenue includes gain on extinguishment of debt.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?