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Indie filmmaker tapped to lead CATV

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    "Thrasher Road" director Samantha Davidson Green, of Plainfield, Vt., guides setup of a scene for the movie inside the Windsor Diner in front in Windsor, Vt., on Aug. 22, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News File Photo

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/13/2021 9:33:05 PM
Modified: 4/13/2021 9:33:03 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The incoming leader of Community Access Television, or CATV, says she hopes to strengthen the public access station’s ties to Upper Valley life while also heading new fundraising efforts to secure its long-term survival in a post-pandemic world.

Samantha Davidson Green, who will take over as executive director on April 26, said Tuesday that she wants CATV to remain a “crossroads” where government, schools and arts meet.

A Plainfield filmmaker and educator, Davidson Green said she envisions the station expanding its online footprint, reaching out to more young creators and continuing to work alongside local governments to provide meeting coverage.

“I think we’re in a new phase, as we come out the other side of the pandemic, of discovering all this new potential for interactive programming that came about as a necessity with Zoom. ... Some part of that gave us new ways to imagine connecting as a community,” Davidson Green said.

However, she added, securing new sources of funding will be “integrally intertwined” with new initiatives.

Davidson Green, 51, will succeed Donna Girot, who steered CATV through several challenges during her nearly four-year tenure at the nonprofit’s helm and who has recently moved to California.

Girot’s accomplishments include rallying against a proposed federal rules change that threatened to strip public access channels of their funding, moving CATV from the Tip Top Building into the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, and navigating the transition to virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Girot also dealt with the aftermath of Lebanon withdrawing its funding from CATV, which saw the nonprofit lose out on an annual contribution of $134,000 — roughly a third of its budget. At the time, city officials said they could stream meetings online at a cheaper cost.

Girot did a “masterful job” leading CATV through those changes, said Peggy Allen, chairwoman of the public-access station’s board of directors.

“She really got us far more organized in the back office and has teed us up well for Samantha to come in and really take a creative role,” Allen said, adding that Davidson Green’s fundraising expertise will be necessary as CATV looks to recover.

“She knows about fundraising. For the first time ever, CATV’s going to need to do some modest fundraising,” Allen said.

Davidson Green, a Hanover native, is well-known within the Upper Valley arts community as the creator of award-winning feature and short films. She’s also taught at Dartmouth College and now serves as president of the board of directors for White River Indie Films.

Johanna Evans, WRIF’s vice president, said Davidson Green brought “tons of great ideas” on how to increase community involvement, expand opportunities for young filmmakers and promote local filmmakers’ works.

“She’s been a really great leader for WRIF over the last two years,” Evans said, adding that Davidson Green recently helped the group to secure grant funding.

“I know that she also has the dedication and fighting spirit that CATV needs to get through some of the funding strategy questions,” she added.

Davidson Green said her previous experience working in educational services and new program development at KQED, a San Francisco public television and radio powerhouse, may also prove useful.

At the time, the station was producing a local series about its neighborhoods and Davidson Green was tasked with creating educational materials to go alongside it.

“You could hold the lens of the camera back to the local community and understand your roots better, and who you are,” she said. “I think public media has an incredible opportunity in that way to strengthen local identity and build bonds and ties.”

It’s that passion that Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin, vice chairwoman of CATV’s board of directors, said excites fellow board members.

“(She’s) just an incredibly creative, thoughtful, high-energy individual that has a really delightful vision about where communities can take their public access stations going forward,” she said.

Allen, the CATV chair, declined to say what Davidson Green’s salary would be. Girot was paid $61,700 in 2019, according to CATV tax filings.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.




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