Tune in to Albuquerque
Creative work in Albuquerque continues to bloom, but its fruits aren't always seen.
That's the hypothesis of Steve Ranieri, director of public access Channel 27. "There's not the resources and promotion for all these talented people around here," he says. "They don't have the venues to get their work out there, whether it's music or performing arts or paintings or authors."
Along with a crowd of eager arts cultivators, Ranieri is hoisting a flag in TV land, hoping to draw attention to the garden of work that can be found in the city. Tuesday, May 5, marked the launch of Channel 26, an outlet that he says "can really be a big boost to the arts scene and all the talented people in town."
Encantada TV will be sliding into C-SPAN's spot in your cable lineup. Viewers flipping through the channels will have easy access to not only arts and local filmmakers but cooking shows from the South Valley, sporting events, flamenco performers, programs produced by local nonprofits and the work of the students at the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School. "If you're looking for something to look at, it's going to pop up on your screen," Ranieri says. "I think that's a big leap forward."
“If you're looking for something to look at, it's going to pop up on your screen. I think that's a big leap forward.”
Steve Ranieri, director of public access Channel 27
The channel will be different than its sister, the public access station long known as a catchall for anyone in town with an idea and the time to turn it into a television show. With public access, Ranieri says, if someone wants to put it on the air, he’s got to put it on the air. Encantada TV, he says, will be more selective. "We're trying to reach a specific audience with specific programming." There will be a higher standard of production, too, he adds. Shows will have to look decent and maintain good audio quality.
Quote... Unquote, Inc., the organization behind Channel 27, is partnering with the New Mexico Media Arts Collaborative Charter School and the South Valley Economic Development Center to get the channel off the ground, but as soon as word leaked of the coming station, plenty of organizations offered support and began generating ideas for shows. Initially, Encantada TV will have shows on the air in the afternoon and during prime time. "It takes time to generate all that local content," Ranieri says. He promises a Native American block of programming as well as an indie filmmakers block and a South Valley block. Channel 26 is also looking into high school sports broadcasts.
Encantada TV has been in the works since 2002, Ranieri says. The city has offered no financial support for the endeavor. Comcast, however, was happy to oblige in giving over space for the new channel. "They thought it would bring in more viewers," Ranieri says. Still, he's worried that the station won't be able to sustain itself economically. "This is probably not the most opportune time to launch a new enterprise," he says, "but we're doing it anyway."
The momentum generated by community interest has sustained the project, he says. "We're launching this thing on a wing and a prayer and with a lot of goodwill from a lot of volunteers who think it's a good idea."
Don’t Touch That Dial
As of press time, the schedule was not yet available for Encantada’s first week of programming. Catch updated schedules at quote-unquote.org or watch Channel 27 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when Quote... Unquote, Inc. lists daily programing for both channels along with community events.
Here are some highlights of what will broadcast on Channel 26:
"New Mexico Southwest Sounds"—A series of documentary-style episodes featuring musicians from around the state. This show was put together by the New Mexico Music Commission.
"Get Your Fix"—Interviews with growers and local food manufacturers, along with recipes and cooking demos brought to you by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.
"NM Live Rocks"—This hour-long live show is jumping Channel 27’s ship and changing its format. Though it still focuses on Albuquerque rock bands, episodes are now prerecorded, increasing production values.
"Curanderas: Folk Healers"—A look at the history of curanderas and New Mexico health practices.
"Many Paths, One Source"—Powerful spiritual content.
"Yusif's to You Podcast"—This show focuses on singer-songwriters and their stories. In between performances, the musicians talk about songs and inspiration.
"Ormand Wetland Wonderland"—An environmental program on the most important wetlands on Central California’s coast.
"Flowers Made Simple"—A show covering all aspects of gardening.
"Black Eagle Pow Wow"—An award-winning documentary about the 14 drummers and hundreds of dancers who gathered at Santa Ana Star Center on Santa Ana Pueblo. Channel 26 will feature an indigenous block of programs on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m.
"Taos Youth Ballet"—Jane Austen wrote The Beautiful Cassandra when she was 12 years old. The Taos Youth Ballet brings it to life.