Austin Cook

Equinox Staff

Cheshire Television (CTV) is a public access station for Keene and Swanzey that offers a $500 scholarship for students.  This is an annual scholarship called the Cheshire TV Scholarship.

As Mark Nelson, Executive Director for CTV, said, “CTV was started by Lee Perkins twelve years ago. His philosophy was to run CTV like a real station, not just a public access station.

Many public access stations are just community bulletin boards with a show occasionally broadcast.  Lee’s idea was to make it like real TV, which is what started our tagline: There is always something on.”

CVT not only airs broadcasts and community information, but provides an avenue for people to televise their media to the public.

Professor at Keene State and Chair of the CTV Board of Directors Tom Cook explained,  “Our job is to provide both access to people who make media, so they can have a way to display it, and to provide community outreach.  We not only want our name out there, but we want to engage both students and young people to learn about media and broadcasting.  We also want them to learn specifically what we do.”

As Cook said, “I think students that are interested in media-related areas of study like film, journalism and communications will gravitate towards CTV most often. We have a lot of connections to offer them.”

Students can learn what the future may hold for them in television production by utilizing the resources CTV has to offer.

Cook said, “They’ll be able to learn the structure of how to produce things, and how to cut and distribute. Once we move into our new facility, we will be working with true professional industry standards.”

Cook explained that their current location in the Keene Library’s basement was only a temporary until their space in the new wing is available.

High school and college students are eligible for a CTV sponsored scholarship.

Nelson explained that CTV offers two $500 scholarships annually to students but sometimes, only one person applies. When this happens, only one scholarship is awarded and that single applicant is awarded $1000.

To qualify as a high school student, the student must be entering a multimedia program, and if the applicant is a college student, then they just need to be enrolled in a multimedia program.

To apply for the scholarship, a student must be a member of CTV. Nelson explained, “In order to be a member, you must be a resident of Keene or Swanzey.  If not, you pay fifty bucks for a year’s membership and you can use all our equipment for free. We have professional grade camera equipment and make a show.” Nelson clarified that Keene State College students qualify as residents and do not have to pay an annual membership fee — they just need to register to be a member.

Nelson explained that there are no restrictions for a member when using CTV equipment.  Members can use it for whatever they want for free. He said, “We exist so people can express themselves freely and get their opinions out to the community. People can use our stuff for school projects. We just ask them to give us a copy and air it a few times. The nice thing about this place is viewers don’t matter. We exist for the person who is creating the content. Sometimes people are nervous that no one would want to watch their stuff, but this really doesn’t matter.  To us, we are about giving you a way to do and share your thing.”

He emphasised that students with journalism and multimedia majors can get help on their school projects by working with the CTV staff, as they are available as a resource and work to encourage students to be creative. Nelson shared, “We offer one-on-one training to some degree. We are basically a resource for anyone interested in multimedia.”

Of the four students interviewed at the Media Arts Center, not one had heard of CTV.

They also had no knowledge that a scholarship was available.

As Nelson explained, CTV can be a great resource to any media student at Keene State — provided they know about it and use CTV resources.   

Austin Cook can be

contacted at

acook@kscequinox.com