Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

SPOTLIGHT – Access Monterey Peninsula

For Monterey Peninsula residents who take an interest in the workings of their local government agencies, they’ve probably tuned their televisions to channel 25 from time to time. And for those who have, they may have noticed the picture quality doesn’t quite compare to the other channels on menu. While it may be tempting to see that as a metaphor for the entertainment value of government meetings, it’s not: It’s a matter of technology.

Access Monterey Peninsula, a community media nonprofit founded in 1998, broadcasts on channel 25, and most of their equipment dates back to those early years. (AMP also broadcasts on channels 24 and 27 on Comcast; for those with cable provided by AT&T, AMP broadcasts on channel 99.)

“We’re trying to step up into the modern times,” says AMP Station Manager Erik Gandolfi.

That, essentially, is AMP’s Big Idea for Monterey County Gives! – to get a range of equipment that can bring AMP into the high-definition age.

“We want to be able to offer the community anything they see in other ad agencies for a whole lot less,” Gandolfi says.

By that, Gandolfi means that AMP would like to expand its range of services to the community – AMP will continue filming and broadcasting community meetings, but it would like to do more.

“We are bursting at the seams with stuff to do,” Executive Director Christine Winge says. “We could use some equipment to help us grow.”

That would allow AMP to launch an intern program – interns could get trained on and make productions with the older equipment, which still works fine – and to bolster their volunteer program. And the newer equipment would enable AMP to produce high-quality videos for a broad range of clients in the community.

“We’re trying to get more people engaged with AMP, especially in the nonprofit sector,” Winge says, “and we are the best price in town.”

AMP is also in the process of opening studios in Marina and Salinas, both of which will be bigger than its studio in Monterey. Gandolfi, who started at AMP just weeks ago after a long career as an independent video producer, is bullish on AMP’s future, and his enthusiasm for Winge’s vision for the nonprofit rings through his voice.

“Once we get the gear we need, I don’t think there will be any stopping us,” Gandolfi says. “This is public television, this should be fun.”