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LRPA having a busy year, looking for new programs

June 06, 2018
Lakes Region Public Access has been busy filming and airing thousands of hours of local meetings and events and is making it more accessible to create programming.

LRPA Executive Director Grace McNamara gave a regular report to the Gilford Board of Selectmen during their meeting on May 23.

Lakes Region Public Access serves the communities of Gilford, Meredith, Belmont, Laconia, and Northwood. Most of their funding comes from subscriber fees, though McNamara said they are always looking for new sources of revenue.

Nearly a third of their content is local meetings.

In 2018, LRPA has aired nine different Gilford selectmen's meetings that have run over 400 times. They have also run five Budget Committee meetings, including a three-part meeting, 326 times. Last year, LRPA ran 24 selectmen's meetings and nine Budget Committee and school board presentations.

LRPA has been working with Mark Thomas of the Gilford Public Library to air library presentations. Thomas will tape lectures at the library, which air Mondays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. This year, they aired three lectures from the library, and last year they aired eight. McNamara said LRPA also continues to work with the schools.

LRPA tapes all of Laconia's meetings. So far 15 meetings have been recorded, accounting for nearly 20 hours of content. All those meetings can be watched through the websites Video on Demand feature. McNamara said they try to get them up within 48-hours of the meeting.

A simulcast of Channel 25's government programming can be found online at LRPA.org.

McNamara said in the past year the station also aired 63 special events with only two staff members working part time in the office.

In December, LRPA produced and aired the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction, which raised more than $500,000 for children in the community.

LRPA has been covering Meredith's 250th anniversary events throughout the year.

They have also aired a lecture series that has aired since April, the last speaker will be Fritz Wetherbee.

LRPA has been covering events as part of Laconia's 125th anniversary. The city will be having a big anniversary event on July 7.

They also recently covered the press conference for the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival and will cover the daily press conferences for Bike Week.

In total, LRPA has 47 regularly scheduled programs across Atlantic Broadband Channels 24, 25, and 26.

"Out of those 47 regularly scheduled programs, 33 come to us by independent producers," McNamara said.

Of those producers, 12 of which upload their videos directly to the station's Dropbox or come from an outside server.

"People are embracing newer technology, which is fantastic," McNamara said.

McNamara said LRPA received a grant in April from Eversource which went to two new field kits, including cameras and tripods. They will have consumer-grade cameras that are meant to be more user friendly for the average person.

"We have a lot of people who use the cameras now who sometimes find them to be intimidating because their professional quality," McNamara said. "Since it's our mission to help people get new content on the air, we're very excited about getting these new cameras."

LRPA is looking for anyone who wishes to have their own programming. They are also looking for volunteers, as many volunteers record meetings and events.

Ayone interested in having their own program can call LRPA at 528-3070 or email director@lrpa.org.

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