Once upon a time public access cable television was the only “show in town” whereby the average Joe or Josephine could take training workshops and use professional television and radio production equipment, produce regular programs, and then be seen and heard on cable television and radio. Now we have Flip cameras, “smart phones”, and You Tube – still no training – but lots of gear. But what about “making a difference, one voice at a time”?

As Charles Darwin might say about Access Sacramento in 2011, “We Have Evolved”. Our latest efforts embrace new technology and workshop training sessions with “Street Stories” – short “in-camera” video stories shot with Flip cameras by participants of all ages at Fremont Park’s “Chalk It Up” Festival (CIUF) this past weekend and then immediately uploaded to the new web site AccessLocal.tv.. Team leaders including Michelle Barbaria, Isaac Gonzalez, Jacob Greenberg, and Charles Hughes did quick lessons in Flip camera production (“Press the red button for ‘ON’ and again for ‘OFF’) encouraging young and old participants to document the people and activities at the 20th Annual “Chalk It Up” event – a celebration of sidewalk art, street food vendors, music, and media.

Jacob Greenberg, an experienced documentary television producer has been teaching a documentary producing workshop at Access offering tips on how to plan your next “doc”. “We used the Flip cameras for the last session and I was impressed with the results”, he proclaimed proudly. “With the help of Access Sacramento resources, I want to develop a new workshop on how to use smart phones, Flip cameras and simple editing to capture everyday occurrences. We are calling them “Street Stories”, he concluded. “You have an incredible television production tool in your pocket phone – let’s put it to use showing and sharing our worlds with each other”.

“Street Stories” proved successful at the “CIUF”. Many stories were produced and uploaded from the event by Isaac Gonzalez, the Neighborhood News communityreporting mentor. He commented on the process, “The enthusiasm was great and some of the camerawork a bit shaky but overall I believe we ‘captured’ the event in a unique way. We will perfect our training but we plan to be at other events in the coming year with our Flip cameras shooting more Street Stories.”

To check out the short 60-90 second “street videos” shot at “CIUF”, go to www.AccessLocal.tv under the “Neighborhood News” tab and go to “Street Stories”. See the event from a whole new perspective. We have evolved but we are still “making a difference, one voice at a time.”