Much-needed expansion is on the way for the Shalom Community Center, where, on most days, people outnumber the chairs. Plates of hot corn, beans and potatoes tend to get eaten by guests while sitting on the floor or outside beneath the rail.
This fall, the Center will expand into a vacant building directly across the north alley. The feeding program will occupy the new site, while the social services will remain in the current location.
"We don't have enough space," said Executive Director Joel Rekas. "We've grown so quickly."
Rekas is navigating his way through the cramped Center, tending to a stream of nearly 100 guests, which is what those who utilize Shalom's services are called.
In this the second installment of a series on local, independent media in Bloomington, Depauw University Assistant Professor Kevin Howley looks at Community Access Television Services (CATS). A long-time access television trainer, producer and advocate, Howley's video work has appeared on public access television in New York City, Boston, and Bloomington.
His forthcoming book,Community Media: People, Places, and Communication Technologies features a chapter on Downtown Community Television (DCTV) in New York City's Chinatown.
Community Access Television Services (CATS) is the umbrella organization for Channel 3, Bloomington Community Access Television (BCAT), Channel 12, Monroe County Access Television (MCAT) and Channel 14, SCOLA—International News.
Funded under the terms of a cable franchise agreement between Insight Communications, the City of Bloomington, and Monroe County, and housed on the first floor of the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL), CATS also provides equipment, training, and facilities for community residents to produce their own television programming. If you have a library card, you can make a program using the impressive production facilities at CATS.