Published On: April 21st, 2023

At a heartfelt and intimate celebration this Wednesday, Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) recognized a number of community members who have contributed to shaping and democratizing stories of Cambridge. The Cambridge Community Foundation was humbled to be among this group, receiving CCTV’s Joseph Sakey Award for outstanding contributions to development of access to the media in Cambridge.

Our longtime partnership with CCTV has focused on supporting their youth media program. We were delighted to learn about the work Natalye Smith, featured in the video above, who was named CCTV’s Youth Member of the Year. And, last year we also funded a paid internship for a creative, young videographer Heinz Thomas-Vital through our Zandy Bard Fund.

The event gave us a moment to consider the importance of local storytelling in Cambridge. “It’s time for Cambridge to tell its full story—it shocks me when I hear people say there’s no poverty in Cambridge, because the data tells us otherwise,” said our president, Geeta Pradhan. “To make things better for our community, we need a connector like CCTV and its creatives to help tell the stories of our challenges and our resilience and we need compassionate supporters like Betsy and Joel Bard, who through the Zandy Bard Fund, are providing enriching opportunities for youth to help them expand their vision of what’s possible for them.”

“Cambridge Community Foundation has been an essential collaborator and friend to CCTV for many years. I personally appreciate their deep listening and innovative problem-solving, and their ability to make wonderful connections, such as the one to Betsy and Joel Bard of the Zandy Bard Fund, is unmatched. They hold a unique and essential place in Cambridge and I’m so excited to honor them,” said Jessica Smyser, CCTV Executive Director.

The Sakey Award is named for Joseph Sakey, who as director of the Cambridge Public Library, spearheaded the initial cable licensing in Cambridge in the early 1980s. CCTV was established as a result of Sakey’s efforts and vision, and has grown to become one of the most diverse and dynamic public access television stations in the country. 

Thank you, CCTV, for this distinct honor and for all you do to inspire creatives in our community and democratize media access.