BCTV Announces Winners of the 2020 Producer Awards

BRATTLEBORO, VT—Brattleboro Community Television announces its producer award winners for 2020. BCTV’s annual producer awards ceremony will be held virtually on Wednesday, December 9 at 6:30 PM.

The following organizations and individuals will be recognized for their achievements during the past year:

Community Partner Award: Next Stage Arts

Next Stage Arts in Putney partnered with BCTV to create and share a variety of excellent local content including “Fables Storytelling,” “The Quarantine Sessions,” “Cooped-Up Kids,” “Votes for All Women,” and “Rigged: A Voter Suppression Panel.” In August, Keith Marks of Next Stage organized a live multi-venue arts performance, “Arts Unite Windham,” to raise funds for local social justice organizations and to bring attention to arts venues that had been shut down for months. BCTV provided the technical backbone of this 4-hour live stream from 5 venues that ultimately raised $8000. https://www.brattleborotv.org/next-stage-arts

Nonprofit Member Award: Senior Solutions of Southeastern Vermont

Joann Erenhouse, Community Relations Director for Senior Solutions, joined BCTV in 2018 to distribute key information to aging Vermonters in the area and learned how to produce a monthly studio show, “Keeping Up with Senior Solutions,” which she has continued to produce on Zoom. Joann and her co-host, Jim Collins, just completed their twelfth episode with guest experts on topics such as advanced directives, dementia, medicare, benefits, mail-in voting, and Reiki. .https://www.brattleborotv.org/keeping-senior-solutions

Municipal Partner Award: Patrick Moreland and Mike Bucossi, Town of Brattleboro

This year’s award goes to two departments of the Town of Brattleboro that were active in using BCTV to reach the public during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In the Town Manager’s office, Patrick Moreland was charged with finding a way for the Selectboard to meet virtually when in-person meetings were prohibited. Patrick quickly learned videoconferencing technology and made the virtual format work efficiently and effectively for Selectboard members, ASL interpreters, BCTV, and the public. In September, along with Town Moderator Lawrin Crispe and Town Clerk Hilary Francis, Patrick engineered the first virtual Town Meeting in Vermont, which was held on Zoom for 13 hours with over 100 participants. It went smoothly and is being hailed as a model for the State.

Mike Bucossi of the Brattleboro Fire Department and his staff met with BCTV in January to establish an emergency ticker portal on BCTV’s channels so the Department could quickly reach community members with alerts and announcements. Two months later, the first ticker was initiated with the Governor’s ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’ order on March 24. Since then, the Department has used the ticker to update local residents with news alerts for COVID-19 and others. This is an important use of BCTV as an emergency messaging system.

New Producer of the Year: Donna Blackney

Donna Blackney moved to Brattleboro in May 2020 with a professional film background and joined BCTV via Zoom while the office and studio were closed. Her first project was to interview downtown store owners about their reopening plans. She became active with the Brattleboro Words Project and covered two important events: reclaiming the Abenaki place name ‘Wantastegok’ at The Retreat Farm, and the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams at Green Street School. https://www.brattleborotv.org/promos/main-street-reopening  https://www.brattleborotv.org/brattleboro-words-project/reclaiming-abenaki-placename-wantastegok-retreat-farm-81320 https://www.brattleborotv.org/brattleboro-words-project/nobel-peace-prize-recipient-jody-williams-green-street-school

Producer of the Year: Peter ‘Fish’ Case

Peter ‘Fish’ Case created an online interview show “Call to Action: COVID-19” in response to the COVID emergency. He gathered critical information from local, state, and national experts and disseminated it via YouTube, BCTV, podcast, and radio. The show went live on March 19 with the headline: “Will our food supply hold up?” and was produced daily for a total of 50 episodes, ending with Congressman Peter Welch on August 25. After that, he moved on to produce eight episodes of ‘Windham Votes,’ interviewing local town clerks about the voting process. Fish’s dedication to finding factual information — answers to his own questions– and sharing it with his neighbors through BCTV exemplifies the role of the community producer.  https://www.brattleborotv.org/call-action-covid-19https://www.brattleborotv.org/windham-votes

Series of the Year: Montpelier Happy Hour

Producer and host Olga Peters started “Montpelier Happy Hour” in February 2019 as a podcast and WVEW radio show, and in March 2020 added a video on BCTV and YouTube along with regular contributor, state representative Emilie Kornheiser. Their first video episode, “COVID-19 and the Cracks in the System,” articulated one of the show’s main themes – the gap between policy and individual experience. Olga and Emilie approach weekly topics from both the personal and professional perspectives, which gives their discussion its unique richness.https://www.brattleborotv.org/montpelier-happy-hour

Host of the Year: Marty Cohn

This is a new award, recognizing the critical role of the host. In 2014, Marty Cohn joined BCTV as the host and producer of “SafStor Matters,” a show about the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, that was awarded BCTV’s 2015 Series of the Year. In 2015, he hosted and produced “Healthcare Matters” for Grace Cottage Hospital. Another show, “Rotary Cares” began in 2017. He volunteered as a host for BCTV’s ‘Open Studio and ‘Meet the Candidates’ series in 2018, and kept producing his Rotary show. When BCTV had to close the studio facilities in March 2020, Marty not only learned to use Zoom to continue producing Rotary Cares, he added two new weekly shows: the “Rotary Club Speaker Series”, and “PR Benefits,” a show about public relations in the COVID-19 era. In addition, Marty single-handedly coordinated and hosted BCTV’s ‘Meet the Candidates’ interviews leading up to the 2020 elections, which resulted in 20 interviews over a six-week period that were aired statewide.
https://www.brattleborotv.org/pr-benefits https://www.brattleborotv.org/rotary-cares https://www.brattleborotv.org/brattleboro-rotary-club-speaker-series

BCTV’s 50+ local producers and staff produced 1300 hours of local programming over the past year.

Brattleboro Community Television is a community media center serving Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Jamaica, Newfane, Putney, Townshend, and Vernon. BCTV’s mission is to promote civic engagement and transparency and to empower community members to share their knowledge, views, and creativity, without prejudice.  To learn more about BCTV, visit brattleborotv.org or call 802-257-0888.

Photo caption: Winners of BCTV’s 2019 Producer Awards

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