Judy Paxman (right) talks art in Swanton while Katie Foster (left) paints with hotdogs.


ST. ALBANS, Vt. – Media creators at Northwest Access TV have reason to celebrate this fall. Franklin County’s public access station has been awarded three separate regional trophies.

NWA-TV knew it was named finalists in three categories for the 2021 Nor’Easter Video Festival back in September but only recently became aware of the placing last week. Taking home two 3rd place honors and one 1st place trophy. The annual video festival is a contest for more than a hundred public access stations in New England & New York under the Alliance for Community Media – Northeast Region.

“This is a huge deal for not only our organization but our community. Having the opportunity to showcase our local productions to our friends across the Northeast is a huge honor. To actually win hardware for our efforts is even better. I’m so proud of our staff and community producers,” said Paul Snyder, Executive Director at Northwest Access TV.”

The most surprising honor came from the 1st place trophy awarded to the Recapping the Arts show produced by NWA-TV and the Swanton Arts Council. The program is a talk show that recaps the Swanton Arts Council’s monthly meetings and future events. During this particular episode, local artist and current Northwest Access TV editor, Katie Foster, d

ressed as a hot dog and painted a ketchup and mustard picture using hotdogs attached to her fingers in between the two hosts. What made the video so compelling was the planned efforts of the two hosts to never acknowledge Katie’s performance.

“Hot dogs are unremarkable in their packaging; they are standard, expected, and taken for granted. They are a dime a dozen at BBQs. Full of nitrates, and often criminalized by nutritionists with good reason. I feel art holds a similar place as hot dogs in the hearts of many. Combining the two felt right to us. Their union on Valentines Day seemed like the ultimate store-bought package: a commercialized holiday fused with a commercialized food, packaged messily inside performance art and disassociation by the hosts. Scott and Judy were also consumers in a sense, and it seems fair to say they both hated and loved the experience that day,” said Katie Foster.

“When Katie suggested the idea, I thought she was insane. After we filmed it, I knew she was – but I liked it. Comedy, art and insanity all share the same root,” said Judy Paxman, Creative Arts Ambassador for the Swanton Arts Council.

NWA-TV’s Election Coverage 2020 submission took home 3rd place in the Issues & Political Process category. The clip showcased journalist Richard Cowperthwait hosting an elections results show with the help from local reporters, educators, and hopeful candidates on Nov. 3rd, 2020. This show included several remote interviews with guests for two hours on election night, including Representative Peter Welch.

NWA-TV also placed 3rd in the Documentary category for the work produced by Paul Snyder and Kate Laddison of Northwestern Medical Center. Care During COVID-19 is one of eight episodes created in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. The video is an uncut interview with Stephanie Richer about her first-hand experience with COVID-19 as a registered nurse, mother, and wife.

The award-winning videos can be watched on Northwest Access TV’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.