WACA-TV Ashland is a local access independent, non-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. WACA-TV mission is to help all of Ashland citizens and institutions realize their potential through the medium of cable television. WACA-TV encourages and facilitates the production of quality programming by and for the local community of Ashland. We have three distinct channels public, education and government community media. WACA-TV is committed to fostering a welcoming and empowering environment where Ashland citizens can participate in the usage of a variety of media formats; our TV channels, online VOD, Podcasts, and Social Media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The purpose of creating community programming is that provides a unique, valuable, and locally-relevant option to non-commercial programming. WACA-TV strives to keep our viewers informed regarding town issues which impact the quality of life of the residents of the Town of Ashland. WACA is dedicated to providing the best quality programming for our residents while strengthening expression, communication, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in a community.
WACA TV was incorporated in 1985. We set up our first studio on Eliot Street in Ashland, MA. Our first programs were regular tapings of both the Selectmen and School Committee meetings. Ashland Cable quickly became more active and expanded its programming line to include many different types of public shows, some of which are still in production today; “Calling All Kids,” “Learning Center,” “Badges”. After several years, Ashland Cable became known as WACA TV, which quickly caught on as a household word. People were talking about the local news station and our programming grew tremendously.
Over the years, Ashland’s younger residents have been treated to summer video camp sessions and After School Video workshops, where they learned the art of video production. They spent their time at the studio learning how to create their own music videos, doing mock news and weather programs, and creating original short scripts where they worked both in front and behind the camera. Many of these students have gone on to professional careers in the television and entertainment business. They attribute their choice of careers to the education and training they received during their time spent at WACA TV.
With all this activity, WACA TV soon outgrew its original space. In 1997, we moved to our next location at what was the Ashland High School/Middle School where we remained until 2013. During the summer of 2013, we relocated once again to an HD facility with two broadcast studios; one of which is a fully functional kitchen studio.
Throughout the years, WACA TV has produced many programs hosted by the community, for the community. Such as cooking shows, discussion shows, and programs featuring rock, folk, and acoustic bands. We have gone on location not only in the town of Ashland but to cover stories across the state, from behind the scenes at the Boston Ballet to covering the Worcester Memorial Service for fallen firefighters to following the events at the National Democratic Convention in Boston. Our Community Media Center has been recognized both Nationally and Regionally with awards for excellence in programming, as well as the Overall Excellence Award on numerous occasions. In 2019, WACA TV also hosted its first film festival, the 508 Film Fest.
We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the Ashland Community for many more years to come!
Barbara Chisholm has been involved in community media for over 25 years. She served on the original Board of Directors of WACA TV and held the position of Treasurer. Barbara joined the staff of WACA TV as the Operations Manager, a position she held for 10 years before becoming the Executive Director. Barbara has overseen a number of major projects at WACA including two facility builds while increasing programming and community involvement and awareness. Barbara is a proud member of the Alliance for Community Media. She has served on the ACM National Board of Directors and currently serves on the Board of the Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media and the ACM Northeast Region Board. She is the recipient of the 2021 Buske Leadership Award.
Paul has been involved with community media for over 25 years. He graduated from the New England School of Art and Design with a degree in Fine Arts. He is currently the producer and director of "Around the Clock News for Ashland," as well as a member of the New England Film and Video Society.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Makeda Keegan, President
Robert Thacker, Clerk
Kamatchi Vijayakumar, Treasurer
Joshua Abrams, Director
Jon Fetherston, Director
Daniel Weiner, Director