Best Local Nonprofit: A creative outlet for smart alecks
Berkeley Community Media
Berkeley still has a thing for naked guys -- just check out performance artist Frank Moore's B-TV show if you don't believe it. "Don't Kill TV, BeTV!" is Berkeley Community Media's answer to media consolidation, and Moore, for one, took that message to heart. Whatever your bent, the public-access cable outfit is the coolest nonprofit around because it gives members everything needed to plan, produce, shoot, and air their own programs. BCM offers classes in camera, film editing, and in-studio production, and provides all the resources you need to get your ideas out there for only $40 a year. Local celebs have produced shows, commentary, and music videos for B-TV. Programs range from Wee Poets -- a series featuring children and their poems -- and political news program Democracy Now! Live to features that really push the boundaries of free speech -- true to Berkeley tradition, there's no censorship, although the naughtier stuff is aired late at night. The facilities, and cable channel itself, are available only to Berkeley residents, but the nonprofit aspires to expand its reach to include Oakland. That could take a while. In the meantime, donations are accepted from everyone, and anyone can volunteer. Check out the live stream on the Web site, or if you live in Berkeley, try cable channels 28 and 33.