About Rocketown

Mission

Offering hope to the next generation through Christ’s love.

Vision

To be the place of peace, purpose and possibilities for youth.

History

Rocketown was founded in 1994 by Michael W. Smith. The first of its kind in the Southeast, Rocketown has grown into a regional outreach as well as a model for Christian-based relational outreach across the country. Following the tragedy of Columbine in 1999, Rocketown’s board was inspired to grow the scope of programming and move to a central location in downtown Nashville. The current facility features three stages for live entertainment, Middle Tennessee’s only indoor skatepark, The Hub snack bar, a recording studio, and photography, art and dance studios. More than 800 teens from across the Middle Tennessee region participate in programs each week and at an after-school program at McGavock High School.

How We Reach Teens

  • Sixth Avenue skate shop and skate park
  • 3 venue sizes for concerts and live entertainment
  • After-school activities onsite and at McGavock for at-risk 8-22 year olds
  • Bible studies: Potluck, Skate Church, Wednesdays
  • Recording studio
  • GearHeads: go karts, car engines, bicycles
  • Art, computer and jam lab studios/classrooms
  • Arts and Entertainment Summer Camp: hip hop dance, movie making, fashion design, photography, rhyme lab, skateboarding
  • Girls Night/Man Night
  • Community Service
  • Volunteer opportunities and college Internships

Averaging 800+ teens per week, Rocketown has received nearly half a million visits from across Middle Tennessee during its existence.

Rocketown Results

Although we know the breadth of impact is important, we strive every day to look beyond just the number of people in the building to what we believe is most important—the individual lives that are changed. Here teens find what they’re desperately searching for—acceptance, a place to be themselves, people who care and listen. Individual stories include: 15 year old Lisa, who was struggling with self-esteem and finding friends, until she began participating in classes and girls group; 16 year old Justin who comes to the skatepark as a place to stay away from drugs and negative influences; and former 18-year old gang member, Ray, who has turned his life around through a rap song writing and performing group.

While reaching local youth, we are also serving as a model for faith-based relational outreach across the country with dozens of organizations seeking our assistance for their own communities. Rocketown facilitates regular workshops for organizations who are interested in developing similar outreaches.

We Need Your Help

Because relationships are the backbone of everything that takes place here, volunteers are indispensable. Financially, our goal is to generate 50% of funding through in-house revenue (admission, food and product sales, memberships). The remaining 50% is provided by individuals, businesses, churches and foundations. With the community’s help we hope that Rocketown will be available for the youth of Nashville for year’s to come.

You can make a difference with your time, financial contributions, and even rentals for corporate or private events.  Whether you are able to make an in-kind donation, a cash gift, or a pledge of monthly support, your gifts help.

For more information about giving, click here or to find out how to volunteer, click here.

Rocketown is committed to equal employment opportunity.  We will not discriminate against staff members or applicants for employment on any legally-recognized basis including, but not limited to:  veteran status, uniform service member status, race, color, religion, sex, national origin,age, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other protected class under federal, state or local law.

In Tennessee, the following are a protected class: race; creed; color; religion; sex; age (40 or over); national origin; physical, mental or visual disability; National Guard membership; and tobacco use during nonworking hours.