New late night show with Jim Alabiso follows a strong city current
When Jacksonville resident Jim Alabiso swam across the St. Johns River in 2011, he told an interviewer who asked how he did it, “you have to work with the river.” The purpose of this swim was two-fold: On the surface, it was to raise river awareness, and do the work of Alabiso’s waterways advocacy non-profit, JumpingFish. It would also lead to more athletic river events such as Up the River Downtown to further the cause of making our river usable and viewing it for the asset to our city that it is.
The undercurrent, however, was a recovery story—Alabiso had vowed to swim the river’s width at County Dock in Mandarin while sitting in a wheelchair five years prior, recovering from hip surgery. He saw a fish jump, triggering the name and inspiration for his aforementioned company, a dramatic change from his early—and successful—careers in computer software development, theater, and production studio development and managment. Moving to Jacksonville in 2005, he began a new chapter as a competitive swimmer, advocate and strategist for sustainable community development and sustainable waterways, yoga practitioner, and meditation facilitator.
In addition to JumpingFish, Alabiso launched LEAP Collaborative to help local leaders strategize toward positive change. Then came LEAP Creative, and this is where our story begins.
Under the umbrella of LEAP Creative, Alabiso is producing and hosting Jacksonville’s first late night format talk show with the mission to help showcase the city’s diverse leaders and creatives. Called “Tonight! with Jim Alabiso,” the show is produced and broadcast by TV Jax, a digital television station broadcasting on WVVQ 18.1, and streaming on TVJax.com. TV Jax also includes a portal at MeeMee.tv, a VOD or video on demand platform, for locals to create their own channels.
TV Jax is the brainchild of Kathryn McAvoy, who founded The Performers Academy, an arts education organization that increases access to the performing arts for all children in Jacksonville. McAvoy launched MeeMee.tv in April 2014 after convincing local filmmaker Chad Hendricks to move back to Jacksonville and work with her in this opportunity to help other artists get their time in the spotlight. In their 2015 One Spark presentation, McAvoy said she wanted to show residents “how they can watch or submit content to be aired on the station, and to help rebuild Jacksonville as the ‘Hollywood of the South.’” TV Jax and MeeMee.tv show Jacksonville to the world.
Article written by Meredith T. Matthews