Showing posts with label Art Artists Sozra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Artists Sozra. Show all posts

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Getting the Community Media Center out of the closet By Kevin Dayhoff

Dayhoff: Getting the Community Media Center out of the closet By Kevin Dayhoff, Posted on 4/21/09

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending the rededication ceremony for the Carroll County Community Media Center.

More than 80 people attended, and it was a reunion for many of us who have watched this great community asset come out of a closet in a basement at what was then Western Maryland College to become a first-rate facility with many talented artists.

Marion Ware, executive director commented that “the rededication was to celebrate five years in this shared community resource… and to recognize all the people and organizations that have made the vision … of community and connections possible.”

It was five years ago on Nov. 21, 2004, that the Community Media Center was dedicated, after years of work and much public discussion and debate.

A newspaper clipping from September 2002 announced: “The county commissioners signed an easement agreement Thursday with the Carroll County Board of Education for the media center organization to take over land on Old Washington Road near Westminster Senior High School….”

“‘We are finally able to get this done,’ said Marion Ware (in 2002), director of the Community Media Center and Carroll Community Television Channel 19. The organization will now build a 7,948-square-foot building that will include a main studio control room. The building will be centered next to the county Career and Technology Center and Carroll Community Center.”

Most of the younger folks in the community take for granted cable television and public access television, or PEG (public education and government television.)

Many do not remember the days in Carroll County when we only had reception for three television stations, on a good day – and they went off the air around midnight.

Although cable TV has been around in the Unites States since around 1948, my memory and old files are not serving me well as to when the discussions to bring cable TV to Carroll County began.

I can recall discussions about bringing cable TV – and the accompanying public access television, to Carroll as early as the late 1970s; and reading newspaper articles about it in the very early 1980s.

It took a great deal of public discussion and debate before the county entered into an agreement with Prestige in March 1984 with the enactment of county ordinance 41-A. This granted Prestige cable a 15-year cable system franchise for Carroll County.

In return for not being charged for use of the county rights of way – and in return for having a relative monopoly, Prestige agreed to provide a portion of the revenues to the county and municipal coffers and fund cable access TV for our citizens.

I remember when I first watched public access television in the mid-1980s, I was instantly hooked. It opened-up a wonderful new world for artistic expression, education, transparency in government and learning more about our growing community.

As the service has grown over the years, the possibilities continue to be unlimited.

I have grown to love watching various government meetings and cringe-worthy public hearings from the comfort of my living room couch, with a cup of coffee and a bag of chips.

Since the 1980s, I have had the sheer delight to participate in a number of interviews and locally produced shows about art, government and everything that is great about our local community.

All of this has been made possible by the hard work and visionary outlook of countless individuals.

The Community Media Center as we know it today is located in a relatively state-of-the-art facility on Washington Road; but the facilities were not always so great.

According to the Community Media Center’s history on its web site: “Channel 19 - Carroll's public access channel—started in 1989 first in a small studio in a bank building on Main Street. Then it moved to the basement of the Community College beneath a gym and weight room — not an ideal location for recording or working.”

I have fond memories of working on an art production called the “Sozra Sound Project” in the bank building in 1992. It was collaborative art project with a great co-op of talented artists, and married music, performance art and painting.

After most of the folks left the rededication ceremonies last Friday, several of us stayed behind to reminisce.

I really enjoyed talking with Pat Flaherty - with whom I worked with on the Sozra Sound Project. Then there's Bob Johnson - who has been around “since the beginning,” Michael Armacost - who started in 1992, Dick Slechter - 1993, and Ken Birnie.

They all took turns recalling the beginnings at Western Maryland College before 1989 and other visionaries who were involved such as Dr. Bob Sapora and George Shearer.

We talked about how the local public access initiative was known as “Channel 50” around 1986 and later as “Channel 55” when it later moved to space in the early formulations of Carroll Community College, when it was still a part of Catonsville Community College.

The early pioneers of the service worked with begged and borrowed equipment, sweat equity and hard work that went into getting it off the ground.

At one point, Birnie exclaimed that “we were all happy to get out of the closet” at Western Maryland.

Well Ken, we are all glad and the community has greatly benefited. Last Friday was indeed a celebration – of not only the Community Media Center, but also everything that is great about our community.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster.

20090421 WE Getting the CMC out of the closet weked

Recent Kevin Dayhoff columns in Explore Carroll com

DAYHOFF: Cutting a ribbon on history at the Westminster Water Treatment Plant
Published April 29, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Cutting the 'Horse Train Stop' of Sykesville out of Howard County
Published April 26, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Dayhoff: Getting the Community Media Center out of the closet
Published April 21, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Thoughts turn to baseball and Jackie Robinson
Published April 17, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle

Dayhoff: Recalling Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment
Published April 15, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

20090429 SDOSM Recent Kevin Dayhoff columns in Explore Carroll com


Recent Kevin Dayhoff columns in Explore Carroll com

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Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Kevin Dayhoff: Westminster Maryland Online