CATV Launches Better Places Crowdfunding Campaign to Create “JAM” Community Media Arts Space

16 June 2022

State Media Contacts

Shannon Konvicka, Communications Director
Department of Housing and Community Development

Richard Amore, Better Places program manager
Department of Housing and Community Development 

Local Media Contacts

Samantha Davidson Green, CATV Executive Director

Jordyn Fitch, CATV Community Engagement Producer


CATV Launches Better Places Crowdfunding Campaign
to Create “JAM” Community Media Arts Space

$15,000 goal to receive a 2:1 matching grant through DHCD’s Better Places program

White River Junction, VT –   With a little help from neighbors and friends, Upper Valley residents will soon be able to enjoy “JAM” (Junction Arts & Media), a free, public film and media arts “playground'' for all ages to come together to create in downtown White River Junction, Vermont. 

Community Access Television (CATV) has been selected by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development’s Better Places Program to lead the transformation of an empty storefront in the former “Newberry Market” of the Gates-Briggs Building into JAM – an inclusive community center that will host interactive media activities for all ages; installation video art; and exhibits by local media artists.  Community events and media education envisioned for the space include media education workshops, open mics, livestreamed performances, arts and activism workshops, gaming nights for kids, queer movie nights, and more.  The grant will fund essential equipment and design services to build the infrastructure to support these activities.

Building on the collaboration that earned a VT Better Places grant to bring the “Light River Junction” outdoor cinema series to White River Junction in 2021, CATV will partner again with WRIF (White River Indie Films), the Center for Cartoon Studies, Here in the Valley, and others to bring more expanded cinema and live performance events outdoors in the village.  JAM will further serve as a homebase for free circulating media equipment, media creation workshops, and camps for youth.

JAM will be supported administratively by CATV (Community Access Television, a 501(c)3 PEG Access Media Organization).

“This project is creating access to resources, equipment, and training that a community and its youth may not otherwise be able to access,” said DHCD Commissioner Josh Hanford. “This project will bring new opportunity and greater sense of community to the area, which is exactly what our Better Places Program aims to do.”

If the campaign achieves its goal of $15,000 in community donations by July 31, 2022, CATV will receive a matching grant of $30,000 from DHCD’s Better Places program to outfit the JAM space to support installation video art, media production activities for all ages, live and livestream performance capacity, and expanded outdoor cinema events to build community through the media arts.

Click here for project details and to donate.

“Media arts hold the potential to bring us together, strengthening our communities and serving as a bridge of empathy to more deeply see, hear and understand each other,” said Samantha Davidson Green, Executive Director of CATV and a local filmmaker.  “At JAM we envision a space created collaboratively where the public comes together to share our stories and learn new tools for telling them effectively.  At JAM we will engage the power of locally created media to bring us back to each other in a time of isolation and social fragmentation.”

“JAM fulfills CATV’s community access mission, not only to make locally produced media accessible for our community to view but to help them share in media creation,” said Cedar O’Dowd, a local filmmaker and producer at CATV. “It was challenging at first to meet my people in the Upper Valley, but there’s a strong artistic community here, there’s a queer community here, and there’s a community who cares about social change. We just have to find each other.” 

White River Indie Films Board President Craig Sterritt echoed his enthusiasm for JAM: “WRIF is delighted to support JAM's excellent efforts to bring arts engagement to street level in downtown White River Junction. Even in its nascent state, the new JAM space at the Newberry Market was instrumental to the success of WRIF's 2022 festival and promises to transform the way local art, film and media organizations develop, connect with and celebrate their audiences.”

Residents, businesses, and neighbors ready to support vibrant public places, community gathering areas, and local opportunities are encouraged to get involved and support these projects.  Learn more and donate here.


About Better Places

Better Places is a community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program is led by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Community Foundation, and Patronicity, our crowdfunding experts. The program supports community-led projects that create, revitalize, or activate

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