Frontier Communications presented the grant check for $19,887.90 to West Hartford Community Television on Thursday.
By Ronni Newton
WHC-TV was one of 15 organizations to receive a share of $225,000 in grant money from Frontier Communications, and will use the $19,887.90 in order to upgrade its set and invest in new equipment.
“We like to make investments in towns we live in, and in towns our employees live in,” said Frontier Area General Manager Debra Zampano during a check presentation Thursday morning at WHC-TV’s studio at West Hartford Town Hall.
The grant funding was provided to schools as well as community access TV stations as part of the company’s Public Educational and Government Programming (PEG) Grant Program. Most of the grants are awarded for capital improvements in studio equipment and investment in programs that will enhance education.
“West Hartford is a very exciting community within the state, with lots of exciting initiatives. Frontier is helping do its part to enrich the lives of its citizens,” Zampano said.
“West Hartford Public Television is an incredible gem,” Mayor Shari Cantor said. She said that as we are bombarded by news on the national level, it’s important to ensure that local news gets out to the community, and she praised WHC-TV Executive Director Jen Evans for being “forward-thinking” and always one step ahead with the station’s capabilities.
The station’s live-streaming of major town activities is very important for day-to-day lifestyle choices for people who may not be able to attend events but want to be part of them, Cantor said.
Cantor also praised Frontier as a “great community member.”
Evans said that the grant money will be used for many things, including one she is very excited about and has wanted for a along time. That item is a set piece – a desk that transitions between “bistro height” and regular height and has five different interchangeable tabletops. It will allow people to sit in different arrangements during shows taped at the studio.
“We don’t have a large space, and this will allow us to maximize options while saving and conserving space,” she said.
The grant money will also be used to purchase three more tripods so that all six remote cameras will be equipped with tripods, two additional laptops for the “Be the Media” program so that class size can be increased, and a “Ki Pro” device which will allow meetings in the legislative chamber to be encoded more efficiently.
Evans said that each organization could request a grant of up to $20,000. “We tried to look at our needs and consider what we need to move ahead.”
“This is a huge contribution to us and we greatly appreciate it,” said Mark Walker, who has recently been elected president of WHC-TV’s board of directors.
In addition to WHC-TV, Frontier Communications awarded PEG grants to: Amity Regional High School; Trumbull Board of Education; Salem School District; Norwich Public Schools; East Haven Public Schools; Regional School District 18 (Lyme/Old Lyme); Wallingford Public Schools; Windsor Community Television; Hartford Public Access Television; Nutmeg Community Television (Avon, Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, Farmington, New Britain and Plainville); Skye Cable XIII (Middlebury, Plymouth/Terryville, Prospect, Waterbury, Wolcott); Branford Community Television; North Haven Community Television; and North Branford Public Access Group.
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