Okemo Valley TV and Black River Academy Museum (BRAM) have been collaborating on "Ludlow Memories", a series of shows through which longtime local residents offer their reflections of how life was in Ludlow. Each episode, or, in some cases, set of episodes, focuses on a specific topic. The latest incarnation of Ludlow Memories is a mini-series focusing on the history Black River High School sports, from the opening of the new school in 1939 through the present day, Hosted by former basketball coach Earl Washburn, coach So far there have been 2 episodes in this mini-series: the first one covers the period from 1939 through the early 1960s, featuring guests Stew Schmidt & Sue Pollender. The 2nd episode covers the period from the mid-1960s through the 1980s; guests on that episode were Sue Pollender, Jennifer Stowell, Dave Baker, Stew Schmidt, Tony Valente, & Pat Pullinen. All episodes of Ludlow Memories can be viewed by going to http://okemovalley.tv/ludlow-memories
Check out these recent interviews with Black River graduates who are off writing & making films:
Sean Temple (Class of 2007) & his partner (both in life and film) came into the studio to talk about filmmaking and working in the industry in L.A. We also screen their film from a few years ago, Aster & Sidney, which immediately follows the interview.
Rachel Carter & Asher Ellis, both Class of 2002, stopped by to talk about their careers as authors - in Rachel's case, as a young adult novelist, including the So Close to You series of books. And for Asher, as a writer of horror stories, essays, short stories, and short films. He wrote the screenplay for "Exit 7A", which is screened immediately following the interview. Rachel & Asher are not only former classmates, but they are lifelong friends and occasional collaborators.
Thanks to Sean, Sarah, Rachel, & Asher for sharing their stories and letting us know where they are now.
Want to help tell the story of one of your friends, family members, or classmates? Nominate them for the "Where Are They Now?" series by sending us a quick email.
We are a hyper-local independent, non commercial, and non profit community TV station & media education center serving the Black River Valley & Okemo region. We count on community involvement as well as community support to keep things not just afloat but also evolving & thriving . And since timing is everything...it's time for our Summer membership drive! Please take a moment to enroll as a member or to renew now.
In the past year, membership dollars helped these efforts:
1. Televised 1364 new programs on our channels, including...
- 527 new "local" TV programs, produced right here in our community
- 100 locally-produced PSAs & short promo videos
- 147 programs from regional organizations and neighboring communities
- 309 programs from state gov't & other statewide organizations, thanks to our colleagues at other community stations & the VT Media Exchange
2. Lent equipment or our studio / facility out to community members on 139 occasions
3. Provided video coverage of community events, meetings, and news / information 221 times, including...
-"gavel-to-gavel" coverage of municipal & school board meetings
-school events, workshops, presentations, & more
-promotional videos & PSAs for community organizations
4. Engaged with the local schools in different ways, including:
- The design of our new logo
- Work-study opportunities
- After-school programs
- In-class workshops combining science w/ video
- Fun (& educational) green screen videos
- Supporting the production of "History Day" documentaries
5. Re-branded from "LPCTV" to "Okemo Valley TV", in response to your input, to better reflect the larger region we serve
And this year, we have some big improvements in the works, including:
- Upgrades to our TV & website community calendars
- Live Streaming (coming soon!)
- starting work on the 3rd & final phase of our building project, thanks to the "Building Communities" grant from (received earlier this year)
Become a member or renew now
As with all election seasons, we are doing our part to bring you as much coverage of local & statewide races as possible. Thanks to the Vermont Media Exchange and our colleagues at community TV stations across the State, we are able to televise all sorts of election programming, leading up to both the primary elections in August and the general election in November. And...wherever possible, we provide coverage of local candidate forums, debates, and other programs. With the August 14th primary approaching, there is a steady stream of programming, which we are airing on our Education / Government Channel. Check out the daily schedules.
In terms of local coverage, we had a 3-person crew out at the gubernatorial candidate forum in Ludlow on July 26th. Despite the small turnout, there was an engaging discussion among the 4 participating candidates. It was sponsored & hosted by FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium), who invited all candidates from both the Democratic & Republican parties. Only the 4 Democratic candidates showed up (the 2 Republican candidates participated in a separate debate, which we are also be televising, thanks to CCTV in Burlington & the VT Media Exchange), along with numerous other candidate forums and debates for different statewide offices as well as the U.S. congressional seat.
Election coverage will play on our Education / Government Channel at the following times through August 13th, the day before the primary election (after Aug. 13, through the remainder of the month, these timeslots will be used for legislative programming):
Tuesdays 5AM, 12:30PM, & 10PM
Wednesdays 3AM, 7AM, 11AM, & 5:30PM
Fridays 5:30AM & 10PM
Saturdays 4AM & 12PM
Paige worked with us as a “work-study” student this past September - January, during her junior year at Black River. She served as a liaison between the Ludlow schools and us, soliciting news & information from them to post on our bulletin board, producing videos, and coordinating other productions. Her independent work included productions for the Elementary School, including the "Let's Grow Kids" event and with the after school program on a fun little kid dance video. We are looking forward to working with her again during her senior year.
Former Board member and Okemo Valley TV volunteer Sharon Combes-Farr is our 2018 Community Service award recipient. After serving for 5 years on our Board of Directors, Sharon has moved out of Town, to Westmoreland, NH. We wish her well in her newly-adopted community.
Sharon spent 2 as our Board President, 2 as V.P., and helped to lead our marketing & fundraising efforts for most of her tenure. In particular, she helped to turn our annual fundraiser, the Derby Gala, into a dependable and organized event that consistently raises $4-5K per year for us. She also helped to form a Marketing Committee, steering us in a position where we market and promote ourselves more effectively. She was a proven and effective leader on the Board. We wanted to thank her with this token of appreciation, for helping to strengthen her hometown TV station.
The 2018 "Producer of the Year" award went to Kelly Kingsbury, on behalf of Ludlow Baptist Church. Our station has had a long-lasting relationship with the church, dating back 13 years. Kelly's father, Fenwick Kingsbury, began recording Sunday services for the church, using our camera and sound equipment, in 2005. In the beginning, the "labor of love" was a multi-step process that involved Fenwick being a regular fixture in our former one-room facility in the Ludlow Elementary School Building. He would pick up the equipment each Friday, returning it on Monday mornings, when he would he would "capture" the videotape onto the editing system (in real time...things were a little different then). He would come back once or twice throughout the week to finish the edit, so we could have it ready to televise over the weekend.
(Photo on left: Kelly receives award on behalf of Ludlow Baptist Church, from Executive Director Patrick Cody).
Fenwick passed away in 2011, but his legacy and the tradition have carried on. For several years now, Fenwick's daughter, Kelly, has recorded the weekly services, and has shared in the editing duties with Roger Croswell, who delivers the finished product to us each week. All of this is handled electronically, off site. While the church now owns its own equipment and technology has helped, this process has continued, week in & week out over the years. Ludlow Baptist Church services have been a mainstay of our programming this whole time - we can set our clocks to it. We thank Kelly and Roger for keeping it going, and remember Fenwick for the foundation he built.
(Fenwick Kingsbury, editing in our old facility in the Elementary School, circa 2005).
The 2018 Okemo Valley TV Outstanding Achievement Award has been given to Marji Graf, who for the past 10 years led the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. Since Marji was moving and starting her new job in Maryland before our Awards Ceremony & Open House, Executive Director Patrick Cody presented her with the award at the June 20th Chamber mixer, which served as her going away party (thanks to Doanld Dill, we'll soon be televising some video coverage of that event). During her time with the Chamber, Marji produced her monthly series, "Okemo Valley- Your Place in Vermont" with us. She started the show in 2008 and kept it going up until this month, when she recorded her final show. Marji serves as an excellent example of how community TV can be used as a promotional tool. Through the production her show, she made regular use of our services to promote Chamber activities and the business community throughout the region. We were a tool for her, which she put to good and effective use, and in turn, we received a steady stream of current programming. We wish Marji Well!
(photo credit: Donald Dill)
Once again, Black River H.S. student Natasha Fortin is competing in the National History Day documentary competition. National History Day is taking place this week, just outside of Washington, D.C. at the University of Maryland. Pictured here is Natasha with DVD copies of her documentary, just before leaving for the 10-hour road trip. She gained this honor after finishing in first place at the Vermont History Day competition in April. This year, Natasha's project is a short documentary on Nichelle Nichols' ground-breaking role in Star Trek. The production, including the scripting, voice-over narration, and editing, was all done at Okemo Valley TV. Natasha (and formerly, her sister Aiyana, a 2017 Black River graduate), has been producing documentaries for History Day with us for many years. Black River High School has a long history of participation in and success with the VT and National History Day programs. And we have a special relationship with Black River & History Day. Here's a little of our own history for you: we were originally founded in 2001 after long-time B.R. history teacher, Sue Pollender, was looking for a venue in the local community equipped to help students with the video documentary portion of History Day. She learned that Ludlow could have its own community access TV station, and voila! Every year since, we have worked with Black River students on their History Day documentaries. But that's a story for another time...
For now, this about Natasha and Black River. We wish them well at this year's History Day. Congratulations is also in order to Black River history teacher Ms. Suzette Cyr for continuing on and developing such success among her students. You can read more about Black River students' History Day activities this year here. You can watch Natasha's 1st place “Frontier of Change: Nichelle Nichols’ Conflict and Compromise Regarding her Role in Star Trek" here.