The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a professional, under 40 years of age, working in the field of community media, who demonstrates the values of building community through media on a consistent basis.  The individual demonstrates leadership in the field on a local, regional or national level. The award recognizes the individual for being a person who is innovative in their work to strengthen the impact of community media.

The nominee must be an ACM member to qualify for this award.

2022 Winners: Emily Parent, Midpen Media Center

Emily Parent has been a media-maker, instructor, and advocate for media accessibility for over 5 years. She’s designed media education programs for community media centers throughout the nation.

Emily’s journey as an artist began at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she studied creative writing and worked for years as a filmmaking equipment rental assistant. That’s where she first had access to media-making tools. Since then, she’s helped to produce an award-winning short film, developed multiple independent podcasting projects, and launched a series of graphic design-based zines.

Professionally, Emily joined our team as a podcasting instructor. It did not take long, however, for her to branch into the development of other media-making classes to serve our community. Now she works with our studio production team to develop, schedule, and ensure the successful execution of our community-based classes and events. She’s deeply grateful for the opportunity to work each day with the artists and activists of our community!

Andrea santopietro, Watertown Cable Access Corp

Andrea graduated from the New England Institute of Art in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Film making and Video Production. In college, she directed and produced many short films and documentaries. Andrea also served as a Technical Director for a Brookline-based TV station and worked as an editor for Boston’s leading non-profit, Action for Boston Community Development. Andrea was originally hired as a videographer at WCA-TV in 2014. Shortly after, she became the station’s Media Outreach Coordinator. She has trained many volunteers and interns who have created original programming on WCA-TV. Additionally, Andrea shoots and edits videos for WCA-TV’s news program, creates many of the graphics used at the station, and does production work for many of the shows and sporting events that air on our channels.

List of Winners by Year

2022 - Emily Parent, MidPen Media Center & Andrea Santopietro, Watertown Cable Access Corp. 
2021 - Elisa Barrios, Open Signal Portland
2020 - Matt Sullivan, Larchmont Mamaroneck Community Television
2019 - Seth Ring, MetroEast Community Media
2018 - Melinda Garfield, Westwood Media Center and MassAccess
2017 - Andrea Capere, Thurston Community Media
2017 - Erica Jones, Somerville Media Center