Tag Archives: WCCA TV

WCCA TV 13 Public Access Community Media. Empowering Community for over a quarter of a century

Watching the station known affectionately by all as “THE PEOPLES CHANNEL”, WCCA TV 13, I am constantly amazed by the volume of works produced by our community members and the scope of the topics of community interest reflected in TV 13’s program schedule and the level of diversity. Every day there are people coming together at WCCA studios to collaborate on a project. Look at the program schedule, while certain groups are battling elsewhere in the World, at WCCA they’re peacefully sharing the channel and our studio technology, as they share their point of view or communicate important information and or events. It’s a window into Worcester and the world. Congratulations to all who participate at WCCA. You are phenomenal !

WCCA recently conducted a community media assessment and, as always, we continue to welcome your ideas on how we can improve the services and programing we provide.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on WCCA TV 13, “The People’s Channel”

Learn, Create, Connect !





One reason, out of many, why WCCA TV 13 matters

WCCA TV 13 Programs connects the world with Worcester while making meaningful impact toward peace and non-violent solutions. Congratulations to TV 13 community television producer Virgina Swain for giving us another example why public access television matters.

Enjoy the following article which was written by Melissa McKeon of the Worcester Telegram found in today’s T&G:

January 09. 2013 12:36PM

Cable show offers children worldwide forum

By Melissa McKeon CORRESPONDENT, Worcester Telegram

Virginia Swain will offer children across the world a forum on her cable TV show “Imagine Worcester and the World.”

WORCESTER.  Ten-year-old Xinyan of China is a lot like other 10-year-olds the world over. She loves her stuffed animals and has her favorite subjects in school (art, calligraphy) and the ones she dislikes (physical education), and she dislikes having too much homework.

But Xinyan will soon join a growing group of children whose voices, if Worcester’s Virginia Swain has her way, will reach across the world on all sorts of topics.

Ms. Swain, the host of the WCCA-TV 13 cable show “Imagine Worcester and the World,” will be giving children the world over the chance to participate in the show and give their opinions on subjects most of us hear about only from the so-called experts.

“For a couple of years now, I’ve been feeling that they’re missing from the public discourse,” Ms. Swain said.

Ms. Swain’s idea to make children part of her show probably has its roots in Ms. Swain’s past experience, teaching children while in the Peace Corps in Liberia. She taught fourth- and sixth-graders and later taught kindergartners.

In recent years, Ms. Swain has worked with the United Nations and has championed world peace causes through the U.N. while operating her own mediation and reconciliation service in Worcester. Hosting her local cable show gives her a forum.

It’s not the first time she’s given children a chance to air their unique viewpoints, either.

Several years ago, Ms. Swain produced a show with Nelson Place School third-graders discussing climate change with former U.N. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury and his wife.

The students heard about climate change from experts, created images of what climate change did and how it could be changed, and created action plans for the future.

Their imaginings — and the energy they put into it — were powerful, Ms. Swain recalled.

“They were graphing their electric bills, they started to think about doing more bike riding instead of driving, all these paradigm shifts,” she said. “Naturally they affected their families.”

That experience gave Ms. Swain a template for what she’ll be doing with children on “Imagine Worcester” in the next few weeks: using those young imaginations to open a new vision of the world to her audience.

When the children in the Nelson Place School program brought the ideas they brainstormed home to their parents, they changed their own little piece of the world.

Something else Ms. Swain hopes will change is having children speak without the prompting from adults and let their original, unedited ideas find an audience.

In Ms. Swain, they’ll find a receptive audience.

“I don’t have the need for the kids to adopt my view,” she said. “My need is to allow them a voice.”

Ms. Swain plans the program to highlight children older than 7 and to also have a forum for the children who are shy and less able to speak in public. For those children, she plans an imaging project in which the artwork they produce will speak for them.

Paramount for Ms. Swain and foremost in the concerns of many parents is that the children in the program find a safe place, and a safe way to express themselves, in a world that hasn’t always been successful at protecting them. The privacy of the children in the shows will be protected.

The first children’s show will be broadcast in February, Ms. Swain said, and will be accessible to all, not just on Channel 13 in Worcester but also online at http://www.wccatv.com.

What can be gained by listening to children talk? Ms. Swain hopes it will help foster some intergenerational understanding and discussion, but in a way, it’s the children who will be setting the goals here.

For Xinyan, the goal is simple: “If we can talk more, countries will be closer.”

#  #  #


WCCA TV’s BANDEdge Holiday Special part 2

WCCA TV’s BANDEdge Holiday Special part 2

WCCA TV 13 BandEdge Holiday Special part 2 ( aka Bandedge #39 2012 Holiday Music Festival, part 2) has been posted on the WCCA website for your enjoyment and convenience at
John Marderasian, Paul and Delores, Mauro DePasquale are featured in the spirited episode. If you are looking for a great holiday music gift to give for that music lover special friend, this double DVD set of BandEdge is the perfect gift idea and it can be available as WCCA TV’s gift to you for your donation of $32.00 to the station. Your donation check should be made payable to WCCA TV , 415 Main Street , Worcester, MA. 01608 ( Be sure to mention BandEdge holiday special 2012 in the check memo. Enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

My Op Ed piece in today’s Telegram

Many people have told me that they recognize WCCA as a community anchor institution that is democracy in action every day. It really is.

My OpEd piece published in today’s telegram may help explain why that is a fact.

Thank you for your support and friendship and please enjoy the holidays.

Public Access and PBS are both important

Recently WCCA made an appeal for increased funding. This appeal was made on behalf of YOU Worcester, our community members, and those members include anyone that resides, works or is a student in Worcester.

Recently the FCC has also been looking at the way public broadcasting companies such as PBS is funded. While it may be important that Public Broadcasting (the PBS channels), as a non-profits, remain funded to serve a programming path that is not commercially driven or government ( that is any level of government ) controlled or prohibitive to the way the general public can access it. Otherwise, without such a path,  there would be no equal playing field “for all” in television / electronic media. Democracy would be a joke and unreachable dream without this.

As a non-profit WCCA TV ( actually all non-profit public access centers ) serve everyone who avails themselves of public access programming, on an equal basis, thus we believe WCCA TV provides even more of a vital platform for YOUR voice, for free speech and the free flow of local news, education, information, views and opinions,  a sharing of local cultural and social resources, as well as local entertainment than PBS does. As a non-profit Public Access Television center there is much more clarity of mission and freedom which easily and uniquely contributes to encouraging and rendering inclusiveness and community participation in this process without reservation and with minimal legal risk. What are you getting for funding that comes from the Cable company? Free and or very affordable access to the tools, training, studio space, channels ( cable and internet) , and equipment that you need to create create and connect through television technology. WCCA TV empowers all who avail themselves of it. In doing so, we all work together to build community and improve the quality of life in our city.

TV BY FOR and OF the PEOPLE is more than a true ideal at our non-profit Public Access Centers, it’s an active reality. As such these should be FREE FROM POLITICAL WHIM and CORPORATE RETRIBUTION, and it makes good sense for regulatory support to provide life line sustenance for these institutions.  Yes, I would agree that it can be argued that, in light of the work a non-profit Public Access does in providing equal playing field, it may even be deserving of a portion Federal Dollars similar to what Public Broadcasters receive.

It’s also important to note that when looking at local originated television programming, WCCA TV out produces all the network stations, if you look at ALL of the channels on the basic cable tier, WCCA TV out produces ALL of them, additionally, none of these other stations offer as diverse program content and speaks to as diverse a target as well as WCCA. It’s all happening at TV 13, including public service, media sponsorships, providing affordable training, experiential learning opportunities ( especially valuable for those with limited incomes), professional production support, dozens of collaborative initiatives and partnerships, facilitation of important out reach to many non profit organizations, and more, and, as I heard quoted from another non-profit access in Michigan, and this certainly hold true for us,  WCCA does this ALL with an annual budget that couldn’t buy one single :30 sec spot of the Super Bowl.

The cable franchise funding that is intended to serve our Public Access channels come from the gross annual revenues of the cable cable from the prior year. Our annual funding is calculated from a static percentage of the cable companies gross annual revenues. With City Hall acting as the mediator of our funding, it receives about 2million dollars to support the PEG channels, of that WCCA receives about $747,000. This is not money from the City’s general fund. We are grateful that such funding has allowed us to maintain our building, our studio space, our studio and production equipment, and a staff of ten.

WCCA TV is a strategic benefit to Worcester as that $747K represents about 5% of the return of investment our city and it’s communities receives each year in terms of television media services.

The amazing accomplishments is made possible by sustenance provided by the current Telecommunication laws, and mostly by our passionate participating community. None of our success would be possible with the hard work, many long hours, dedication sacrifice and and advocacy of each participating individual staff and volunteer member at TV 13.

There are many things in life I can be proud of, and although one’s work does not define them, I can say that I proud to work at such a place with so many caring and passionate good people.





Another WCCA TV milestone

Another WCCA TV milestone

Community wide collaborative shows quantitative results. WCCA TV 13 Public Access is continually evolving as it builds community through electronic media online and on cable.