Connecting the community through the Chattanooga House Show Initiative

Be The Change Youth Initiative is finding a new way to connect folks in Chattanooga with music and helping local nonprofits along the way with a new house show concert series.

NOOGAtoday | Be The Change Collective

Who knew house shows could raise funds for the greater community?

Photo provided by Be The Change Youth Initiative

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Would you throw a house party if someone told you it would raise funds for local nonprofits? Let us connect you to Be The Change Youth Initiative’s (BTCYI) latest Chattanooga House Show Initiative.

Similar to BTCYI’s Concert for a Cause series, this program will benefit local nonprofits through micro-fundraisers, but on a more intimate and organic scale. For 2024, proceeds from the house shows will go towards Downside Up Inc., Help Right There Chattanooga, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy + White Oak Bicycle Co-Op.

Operations Director Deirdre Catlett said the idea began when the organization was touring, doing house shows in other states + now will be used in Chattanooga as a way to close the disparity in connecting small and grassroots nonprofits to residents.

“We found that going into people’s homes, having live music, is an important catalyst for conversations,” she said.

How it works

Those interested in hosting a house show can inquire through Instagram or email. Think of a “choose your own experience” when becoming a host — you can have a potluck-style party or go all out, providing cocktails or other refreshments for guests. The shows are also meant to be word of mouth, meaning you invite the folks you want.

Sydney and Brayden Catlett performing  on stage with acoustic guitars at an event hosting by Be The Change Youth Initiative

The shows aim to put value in artists + the meaning of live music while forming close connections within the city.

Photo by Brooke Bragger Photography via @bethechangeyi

Here are some quick facts about the shows:

  • Be The Change Collective will be performing as well as other local artists as the program expands.
  • The collective spends time with each nonprofit to gather materials + resources to have at each show for the guests.
  • All house shows are free entry (suggested donation available).
  • Fundraising packets will be at each show with ways to donate + where the funds will go (there is a $500-$1,000 goal per show).
  • Funding goes towards paying the artists first at a set rate + then remaining funds go towards the nonprofits (70% for nonprofits, 30% to support BTCYI).

Bonus: A house show doesn’t have to be in a home. It can be in a backyard, office, apartment, or anywhere you want to welcome the community.

“We equate house to family,” Catlett said. “Wherever you feel like your people are is where we will come.”

Host checklist

  • 3-4 weeks before | Send out “save the date” invites to your inner + outer circles, pick a theme, and post the first round of social media graphics (provided by BTCYI)
  • Two weeks before | Get RSVPs through email or text — template scripts will be available
  • One week before | Start prep work (mapping out space for artist + food shopping, if needed), and share artist info with your attendees — provided by BTCYI
  • Day of show | Send reminders to guests

BTCYI will have its first house show this month and will be piloting the program until April, with plans to host a kickoff party that will be open to the public in May.

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