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Santa Barbara Channels Wins National Awards

Two of the TV station's local programs take first place in the Hometown Video Festival

Two programs produced by the staff of The Santa Barbara Channels recently won first-place awards in the annual Hometown Video Festival, the largest competition among public, educational and governmental access TV stations.

The award ceremony was part of the annual conference in Portland, Ore., of the Alliance for Community Media, the umbrella organization for stations across the country.

“Rock the Reagan” won first place in the local performance video category. The two-hour concert at the Arlington Theatre was hosted by the Navy League-Santa Barbara Council in honor of the USS Ronald Reagan being in port in 2008.

Santa Barbara Channels staff worked with the Santa Barbara Navy League to record the concert, which featured the music of Blues Traveler and Sean Wiggins and Lone Goat, and was a benefit for the sailors of the USS Reagan.

The video also incorporated footage shot by SB Channels staff on the USS Reagan, including a video tour of the world’s largest aircraft carrier, and interviews and “shout-outs” from the crew.

“It was great for us to partner with the Santa Barbara Navy League on this concert,” said Hap Freund, executive director of the nonprofit TV station. “Not only did we get to make a small contribution to making the sailors visit to Santa Barbara a success, but the concert video now plays on the USS Reagan for the sailors and local citizens got to enjoy the concert, too, because we were able to record it. We have a great partnership with our local Navy League, who regularly submit programs to us, so it was particularly rewarding to have this joint effort receive national recognition.”

A 15-minute documentary on Santa Barbara’s I Madonnari Italian street painting festival won first prize in the visual arts category.

“Access stations across the country submit their best content for this competition,” Freund said, “so it’s a great honor to have them recognized for excellence by our peers. When they showed a short clip of our I Madonnari video at the awards ceremony, many expressed interest in the event.”

The latest awards bring the total national awards that the station has won in the past five years to an even dozen. “The national recognition and awards are great, but what we are most proud of is the daily contributions of our many local producers and our staff to our own community,” Freund said.

— Hap Freund is executive director of The Santa Barbara Channels.


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