o what exactly comprises a “media martini”? Equal parts quarter-inch tape, smoke breaks, and blogs served over ice, shaken and stirred? For Berkeley Community Media, the Media Martini includes screenings of BCM’s programming and a chance to press the flesh of the producers of channels 28 and 32. And for this Friday’s event, the sixth of the year and also Berkeley Community Media’s Tenth Anniversary, the cocktail is a bit more elaborate. “We will be giving awards to all the great producers who have given so freely of their time and creativity in the past decade,” BCM facility manager Sapna Shahani explains, “and also be showing videos highlighting the history of free-speech TV in Berkeley.” Those “others” could be you, for a mere $10 for a reception with screenings, drinks, live music, and munchies, or $40 for dinner from Afghan Oasis restaurant.
Though the event at the Lucre Lounge, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, isn’t technically a fund-raiser, the government and public-access stations did absorb an 11 percent budget cut from the city this year. “This event is more than anything to get the word out that we’re here, raise the profile,” says operations manager Donald Bauer. Still, he says, “We need community help and involvement if we’re going to continue on and grow this thing.” The station has a core staff of five people, a small part-time staff, and lots of interns: “We do a lot with very little.”
A lot of what they do with that very little is filmed at Berkeley High School, and some of those shows are staff favorites. Shahani, for example, is fond of the political satire and comedy shows Watch This! and Stoney Speaks, and the live recordings of local bands that air on channel 28, B-TV. You can get a little taste of that in person if you attend the reception, where the Seething Brunswicks — a guitar duo featuring Michael Freeman, chairman of the BCM board — and piano-playing singer-songwriter Rachel Efron will perform. The party starts at 6 p.m.; call 510-848-2288 ex. 11 or visit BETV.org for the rundown.