Back To Our Roots: A Letter From Paula | BAVC

Back To Our Roots: A Letter From Paula

October 3, 2019
Paula Smith Arrigoni

We think of BAVC as the heart of mediamaking in the Bay Area, and this fall we are recommitting ourselves to the community with new ways to make our services accessible. Image: vibrant orange background with a circle of community media icons.


Dear Friends of BAVC,

This week I’m celebrating my 40something birthday (see photo with birthday boots), and it’s a perfect time to recognize that BAVC has also been around since the ‘70s and  Jimmy Carter’s presidency – committed to connecting communities with tools, resources, and a tricked out facility to tell their stories through media and film. 

In recent conversations, we heard the painful feedback that more people and nonprofit organizations would like to participate in BAVC programs, but didn’t know how to access them, or couldn’t afford them. For the last few months, our team has been working on making our programs more affordable, accessible and engaging. We’re excited to share a few new offerings and upcoming events below, to refresh our commitment to access across programs, and to think critically about what’s next in media making at BAVC.

  • New membership levels offer access to affordable, quality programming, starting at just $10 a year.
  • Membership now comes with expanded use of our facilities, including our podcast-ready Living Room recording studio.
  • Have an idea for a show? SF Commons is recruiting new producers! San Francisco residents interested in creating content for public access TV can attend orientations and free trainings scheduled every week this fall. 
  • BAVC now offers 40% discounts on our classes for nonprofits along with additional opportunities to collaborate.
  • We have a vibrant schedule of upcoming events for our members like the “App FAQ” panel on October 16th for documentary filmmakers applying for funding, or 4x10 roughcut feedback session later in the month, and our “Ask a Festival Programmer” event coming up in November.
  • For the first time, BAVC’s MediaMaker Fellowship is open exclusively to filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Plus we’ve opened applications early this year – live on our website now! 
  • Community organizations are increasingly hosting gatherings at BAVC, like the San Francisco Podcasters Association’s meetup on October 8th or SF Commons’ collaboration with Reimagine End of Life, a creative community-driven exploration of death and celebration of life, with events hosted at BAVC at the end of October.
  • Have you met our friends at Pyramind, one of the premier academies for digital music and audio production, now co-located at BAVC?
  • On your next visit to BAVC stop and take a look at the work by visual and media artists from Creativity Explored currently on exhibit in our lobby.
  • Finally, we’ve brought back career skills workshops! Work on your resume, interviewing skills, personal branding, communication strengths, networking, LinkedIn, and more!

Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker, community activist, teacher, artist, nonprofit with limited resources, or a student new to mediamaking tools, we hope that you’ll be a part of the BAVC community. There are many ways to plug in!

In creativity and community,


BAVC's Executive Director Paula Smith Arrigoni in her office on her birthday wearing her red birthday boots.

Paula Smith Arrigoni

Executive Director, BAVC