Brooklyn Free Speech FAQs

APPLY FOR FREE CHANNEL TIME

Equipment & TV / Podcast Studio Reservations

How do I air a show on Brooklyn Free Speech?

All programs on Brooklyn Free Speech must have a Brooklyn-based program applicant. The program applicant is the Brooklyn resident (18 years or older) or organization submitting a program for cablecast on Brooklyn Free Speech. The program applicant accepts liability for the content of the program and responsibility for turning in their programs for playback. To apply for a timeslot, you will need to schedule an appointment to have your application processed by either Kareem Bland or Tyrone Gorin in our programming department.

During your appointment we will validate your identification and Brooklyn resident status as well as explain the process of using our digital upload system to play your program on our channels.

Please note that all programs uploaded into our system MUST be on a DVD or USB flash drive. To schedule an appointment, please call 718.683.5645 and speak with one of our Brooklyn Free Speech team members.

Do I have to be a Brooklyn resident to have a show on Brooklyn Free Speech?

Any adult Brooklyn resident can apply for channel time on Brooklyn Free Speech television. Channel time is free of charge. You have complete control over the content. You will need to provide proof of Brooklyn residence. If you do not have a bill or lease in your name, someone you live with or another Brooklyn resident can vouch for you.

This person will need to bring proof of Brooklyn residence in person to The Media Center or they can sign the Proof of Residency Form (below) and you can bring a NOTARIZED copy to The Media Center. NOTE: If the voucher is an entity (i.e.: non profit organization, shelter, institution, etc), no notarization is needed but the proof of residency letter should be issued and signed on the entity’s letterhead.

We look forward to seeing your show!

Do I have to be a Brooklyn resident in order to take a Brooklyn Free Speech media education course?

You need to be a Brooklyn resident in order to take any course that makes you eligible for free use of Brooklyn Free Speech production equipment (Courses that make you eligible to use Brooklyn Free Speech production equipment are called certification courses). All other courses are open for anyone over 18 years of age (All other courses are defined as non-certification and free courses). 

SEE ALL OF OUR AVAILABLE COURSES HERE

When are new series applications accepted?

*New series applications are only accepted in January, April, July, and October. Click on the 2018 Programming Calendar link below for a visual guide. A new series submitted for cablecast in January, April, or July 2018 will be eligible to be submitted for the 2019 B Free Awards. A new series application submitted for cablecast in October 2018 will be eligible for the 2019 B Free Awards.

**Specials (Single-Air Programs) are accepted at anytime during the calendar year. A special submitted for cablecast in 2018 will be eligible to be submitted for the 2019 B Free Awards.

  • Summer Programming Season: July 1-31 
  • Fall Programming Season: October 1-31
  • Winter Programming Season: January 1-31  
  • Spring Programming Season: April 1-30

The Q&A's listed above are great BUT I still have more questions...

Great— we love questions!

FOR PROGRAMMING QUESTIONS
Kareem Bland, Traffic Coordinator
718.683.5643 
programming@BRICartsmedia.org

Tyrone Gorin, Program Coordinator
718.683.5644
programming@BRICartsmedia.org

FOR EQUIPMENT QUESTIONS (PE)
718.683.5645 or 718.683.5605
pe@BRICartsmedia.org

TO GET MORE INVOLVED
Matthew Allen
Community Producer Liaison
718.683.5649 
mallen@BRICartsmedia.org

FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES
BFreeBK@BRICartsmedia.org

Community Media 101

What is Community Media?

Community Media is any form of media that is created and controlled by a community, either a geographic community or a community of identity or interest. Community Media is separate from commercial media, state run media, or public broadcasting.

Community Media (Public Access Television) was developed by Congress in the early 1970s to ensure that local communities would have access to the burgeoning cable networks so they could provide local programming within the global system. Brooklyn residents can apply for free channel time on Brooklyn Free Speech and cablecast shows of their own making to a mass audience— as long as they are non-commercial in nature. In addition, local viewers will be provided with programming created mainly for local residents. In many locales, Public Access Television stations also provide television production training and equipment. 

Cities generally have three kinds of access channels: public access, education, and government or PEG (Public, Education, and Government). Brooklyn Free Speech's four channels are Public Access programming.

What does B-R-I-C stand for?

Great question! BRIC used to stand for Brooklyn Information & Culture. Then we changed our name to BRIC Arts | Media Bklyn. And now our name is just BRIC. So, what does B-R-I-C stand for? Well, it can mean anything you want it to. We anticipated that we would get this very question when we changed our name to BRIC in 2013 so we had a campaign called #WhatDoesBRICMeanToYou. 

It could stand for:

  • Brooklyn: Real Inspiring Creative
  • Breaking Rules Inciting Creativity
  • Bagels Rugelach Icing Cupcakes
  • Batman Robin Ice-cream Catwoman

We encourage you to have fun with it. So Brooklyn Free Speech FAQs reader, what does B-R-I-C mean to you? We know how creative you are, so email us at BFreeBK@BRICartsmedia.org, and let us know what you come up with.

What is Brooklyn Free Speech?

BRIC was designated the Community Access Organization for the Borough of Brooklyn in 1988. A development plan for creation of a full-scale, community-based media outlet for the entire borough was devised. The result is the BRIC community media program known today as Brooklyn Free Speech 

Brooklyn Free Speech includes:

  • The New York Emmy-nominated Brooklyn Free Speech which empowers you to air your thoughts, dreams, hopes, and aspirations through the dynamic medium of television. The community television network displays programs that reflect the borough's diversity of thought and culture;
  • Brooklyn Free Speech Radio, the borough's first community podcast network with content produced and edited by New York City's most diverse audio makers;
  • A public media education program which gives you television, film, and podcast production skills through free and low-cost, high-quality courses so that you can create your own show on the New York Emmy-WINNING Brooklyn Free Speech, and;
  • The Media Center which gives Brooklynites the tools and know-how to professionally create and cablecast their own television programs on Brooklyn Free Speech television.

Hey, but didn't your name used to be "BCAT TV Network?"

Yes, you're absolutely right! Our network channels were called BCAT but we changed our name from BCAT TV Network to Brooklyn Free Speech in 2013.

Why did you change your name?
While we love the name BCAT—and it still holds a special place in our hearts—we wanted a name that effectively communicated our expanding community media channels as a network that spotlights the work of talented artists and media makers across the borough.

How are the services that The Media Center provides paid for?

Any business that uses a public "right of way"—streets, roads, and airwaves—negotiates a rental agreement with the local government for its use. The rent paid by a cable company comes in the form of franchise fees. In New York City, a portion of those fees are used to provide capital and operating budgets for the City's access channels and the Public Access television facilities located in each borough. 

Brooklyn Free Speech turned 25 in 2013. Past, Present, Home, and Away!

Brooklyn Free Speech celebrated its 25th anniversary as the Public Access television station for Brooklyn, New York in 2013 and we celebrated in a big way. 

Check out the special blog post we wrote to commemorate the special event:
Past, Present, Home, and Away: Brooklyn Free Speech Celebrating 25 Years.

Now that I know more about Brooklyn Free Speech, where can I watch?

B Real. B Cool. B Free. B You with Brooklyn Free Speech!

Comprised of five channels, Brooklyn Free Speech features programming produced and 
curated by YOU. Tune in to watch Brooklyn Free Speech on Verizon in all five boroughs 
and exclusively in Brooklyn on Optimum, Spectrum, and RCN. Listen to Brooklyn Free 
Speech Radio on SoundCloud, Stitcher, iTunes, and Google Play.

Watch / Listen the diverse and exciting programming Brooklyn Free Speech has to offer.

  • WATCH ALL THROUGHOUT NYC
    • Verizon: 42 (channel 1), 43 (channel 2), 44 (channel 3), 45 (channel 4), 47 (HD)
  • WATCH EXCLUSIVELY IN BROOKLYN
  • Optimum: 67 (channel 1), 68 (channel 2), 69 (channel 3), 951 (HD)
  • Spectrum: 1993 (HD), 1995 (channel 1), 1996 (channel 2), 1998 (channel 3), 1997 (channel 4)
  • RCN: 82 (channel 1), 83 (channel 2), 84 (channel 3), 85 (channel 4)
  • Online streaming: Watch Brooklyn Free Speech channels 1-5, right here!

Brooklyn Free Speech HD

What is HD?

High Definition, or HD, is a higher resolution format than our current Standard definition or SD program. Technically, the HD file format is:  NTSC, Frame Width 1920 x Frame Height 1080, frame rate: 29.97 / 59.97 fps, pixel aspect ratio: 16:9 (1.000).  Please ask if you have questions regarding this.

How is this different from our original channel application?

A few ways:  First, there is no season or quarter. The application period is monthly.  Second, you must turn in the programs with the application.  Third, you can apply for more time as soon as your program has played.

Why do the episodes of my program have to be related?

We expect to see high demand for time slots on this channel. We’d like to give everyone a fair opportunity. So, a program can be from one to three related episodes. HD channel airtime is assigned to programs, not to persons. That’s why we schedule only one program per application period.  But if your program has more than one episode with related theme, we’d like to accommodate your need. 

Can my program be longer than one hour?

Yes!  However, time slots longer than one hour are subject to availability.

What is the shortest program I can submit?

Two minutes. Programs under 15 minutes long will be grouped together for scheduling.

Can content aired on the SD channel be submitted to HD channel or vice versa?

Yes, as long as your content is shot and produced in HD. However, we encourage you to premiere new content on the HD channel.

When can I expect my content to be aired?

Your content to will be aired the month following your application— unless you choose an air-date further out on the calendar. For example, if you submit your application and content during the July 1 – July 15 application period, your content will be aired in August— unless you ask us to air it later than that.

What if my content is time-sensitive and needs to be aired as soon as possible?

We can sometimes accommodate your request to air time-sensitive content within a week on the SD channels. You may still apply later for HD channel air-time.

Do you have a schedule for all the category time-blocks at which we can look?

Unfortunately, we do not currently have a schedule for the category time blocks for Summer 2018 because we are designing the time-blocks based on the content received.

Can I request a replay of my content after it premieres?

A promo for your program is not mandatory; however, we highly recommend that you make one.

Do I have to submit a 15 or 30-second promo?

A promo for your program is not mandatory; however, we highly recommend that you make one.

Can I also make a Promo for my series air on SD channel?

Absolutely, we’d love to have your promo for either the SD or HD channel.

How can I make a promo if I don’t know when my show will be aired on the HD channel?

Make a generic promo before you receive your airtime.  You may submit an additional promo once you receive your airtime.

Show Types

What is a series?

A series is a program shown on a regularly scheduled basis that has the same producer and title and a consistent theme or format. There are three types of series:

  1. Weekly Series which is shown once a week for 13 weeks
  2. Bi-weekly Series which is shown twice a month during a 13-week series
  3. Monthly Series which is shown once a month for 3 months.

What is a special?

A special is a single program that is NOT part of a series. A special is a program with only one (1) guaranteed airing with additional air dates given at the sole discretion of Brooklyn Free Speech.

TV / Video / Podcast / Audio Equipment

What kind of equipment do you have at The BRIC Media Center?

  • HD Video Cameras Panasonic
    • HMC 40 Panasonic
    • HMC 80 Panasonic
    • AG-AC90
    • Panasonic AG-AC30
  • Canon DSLR Cameras
    • Canon C100
    • Canon 70D
  • Camera Accoutrements
    • Revo Shoulder Mount
    • XLR Cables
  • TV Studio A & B Goodies
    • Keyboard (for in-studio TV studio A & B use only)
    • Wedge Speakers (for in-studio TV studio A & B use only)
    • 2 Hitachi Studio Camera (TV Studio A & B)
    • 1 Hitachi Robo-Cam (TV Studio A & B)
    • Presonus Sound Board
    • Blackmagic Capture Software
    • Panasonic SD Card Recorder
    • 1 NewTek Robo-Cam (TV Studio A & B)
  • Podcast Studio Goodies
    • Presonus Sound Board
    • Reaper Recording Software
    • Capture Recording Software
  • Tripods
    • Daiwa
    • Pearstone
    • Manfrotto
  • Zoom Audio Recorders
    • H5
    • H4N
    • H1
  • Microphones
    • Shotgun Microphones + Boom Poles
    • Sennheiser Wireless Lavalier Mic Kits
    • Shure SM58 Handheld Microphones
    • Shure SM93 Lavalier Microphones
  • Lighting
    • Lowel DP (3 Three-Light) Kits
    • Dracast LED Panel (3 Light) Kits
    • Lowel Rifa Light
    • Neewer LED Camera Light
  • Editing
    • 12 Media Lab Computers w/ the following programs:
      • Adobe Audition CC*
      • Adobe Illustrator CC*
      • Adobe Photoshop CC*
      • Adobe After Effects CC*
      • Adobe Premiere Pro CC*
      • Adobe Media Encoder CC*
      • Reaper Recording Software
    • Mobile Editing Laptops w/ the following programs:
      • Adobe Audition CS6
      • Adobe Illustrator CS6
      • Adobe Photoshop CS6
      • Adobe After Effects CS6
      • Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
      • Adobe Media Encoder CS6
      • Reaper Recording Software
    • Six Edit Suites w/ the following the programs:
      • Adobe Audition CC*
      • Adobe Illustrator CC* 
      • Adobe Photoshop CC*
      • Adobe After Effects CC* 
      • Adobe Premiere Pro CC*
      • Adobe Media Encoder CC* 
      • Reaper Recording Software

*Our Adobe software may not be compatible with similar Adobe brand software.

How do I book equipment and studio space?

Great question! You can book equipment and studio space with The BRIC Media Center by filling out our Electronic Equipment & Studio Reservation Form.

How do I find crew members to help with my Brooklyn Free Speech show(s)?

You can find crew for your Brooklyn Free Speech show(s) by clicking here.

What editing software do you use?

We teach Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Adobe Premiere CS6 can be found on the computers in our edit suites and on the 12 computers in our media lab.

I'm new to tapeless and don't have an SD card, which one should I buy?

You should purchase a Class 10 Card. As far as card size (8GB vs 32GB and everything in between), that all depends on what you'll be recording. Please feel free to contact a Brooklyn Free Speech public equipment team member at 718.683.5645 or pe@BRICartsmedia.org for size recommendations.

Do I need a hard drive?

You will need an external hard drive to save and edit footage at The BRIC Media Center. We also recommend that you get one for home use when working with video, so as to not fill up your computer's hard drive space. 

Important Note
Not all hard drives connect to all computers so please feel free to contact a Brooklyn Free Speech public equipment team member at 718.683.5645 or pe@BRICartsmedia.org for recommendations and computer compatibility.

Tell me more about Brooklyn Free Speech Radio

What is Brooklyn Free Speech Radio?

Brooklyn Free Speech Radio is the borough's first community podcast network with content produced and edited by you!

How do I get involved?

Easy! Take an Orientation and then a podcast certification class. After that, you'll have access to free equipment at Brooklyn Free Speech and distribution on our network!

What is Podcasting?

A podcast is like a radio show that is created for subscribers to download or stream.

What kind of equipment will I have access to?

We have Zoom audio recorders, handheld mics, editing stations, and a podcast studio available for free!

Do I need experience?

Not at all! Even if you have basic computer skills, you're ready to get started.

Do I need to be on-air talent? I think my voice sounds funny.

We all think our voices sound funny! But no worries, there are a variety of formats for podcast shows and not all producers act as hosts for their shows.

Where does content go?

Your content will play on our Brooklyn Free Speech podcast channels listed below:

B Free Awards

What are the B Free Awards?

Brooklyn Free Speech is proud to present the B FREE AWARDS, an awards show that celebrates excellence in programming on its three Brooklyn Free Speech channels. 

The 6th Annual B FREE AWARDS will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at BRIC House and celebrate the free speech crusaders who every week air over 650 hours of television programming on Brooklyn Free Speech Television and Brooklyn Free Speech Radio. We’re rolling out the red carpet for the dedicated producers who share their programs with the community. 

Have a question about the B FREE AWARDS? Email us at BFreeAwards@BRICartsmedia.org.

When and where will the 2019 B Free Awards be held?

The 6th Annual B FREE AWARDS will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at BRIC House.

What is the eligibility period for entries for the 2019 B Free Awards?

Films, TV shows, or shorts submitted for air on Brooklyn Free Speech from January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018 are eligible to be submitted for the 2019 B Free Awards.

What is the submission deadline for B Free Awards 2019?

The submission period for the 2019 B FREE AWARDS will be announced in late 2018.

How do I submit my content for the 2019 B Free Awards?

We're so happy that you're interested in submitting your content.

FOR BROOKLYN FREE SPEECH TV
Your film, TV show, or short, MUST air on one (or all) of our five Brooklyn Free Speech Television channels this year (2018) order to be eligible for the 2019 B Free Awards.

FOR BROOKLYN FREE SPEECH RADIO
Your podcast MUST air on Brooklyn Free Speech Radio this year (2018) order to be eligible for the 2019 B Free Awards.

We'll have more information about the actual submission process in late 2018.

Media Education

What is Brooklyn Free Speech Media Education?

Media Education is Brooklyn's hub for learning how to create compelling and innovative content for the YOU-focused, YOU-centric, YOU-curated Brooklyn Free Speech. We offer many free or low-cost television and film production courses ranging from:

  • Intro to DSLR Filmmaking
  • Intro to Marketing 
  • Television Studio Production
  • Audio Production: Field, Studio & Editing 
  • Fundamentals of Screenwriting
  • Digital Camera Basics
  • We also offer a host of Adobe Creative Suite classes incuding: Premiere (Video Editing with Premiere), After Effects (Motion Graphics with After Effects), Photoshop (Intro to Photoshop & Advanced Photoshop), and Audition (Audio Editing with Audition).

Once you're a Certified Community Producer you'll be able to reserve production equipment (if you don't have your own equipment) so that you can create your own show for air on the New York Emmy-nominated Brooklyn Free Speech.

Media Education at Brooklyn Public Library

What is Media Education at Brooklyn Public Library?

In 2012, Brooklyn Free Speech partnered with the Brooklyn Public Library to bring media training to residents in and around the Central (Park Slope), New Lots (East New York), Kings Highway (Midwood), Coney Island (Coney Island), and DeKalb (Bushwick) branches.

This partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library allowed us to expand our reach providing Brooklyn residents with free introductory media courses and low-cost, high-quality media education courses at their neighborhood library branch. Within a year, three of the branches (East New York, Kings Highway, and Coney Island) began providing free equipment checkout for Certified Community Producers.

Highlights
In July 2015 we opened a brand new, state-of-the-art television studio at the Brooklyn Public Library in Coney Island.

In June 2016, we expanded our media training reach even further by offering courses at the Brooklyn Public Library's DeKalb branch in Bushwick. 
 

 

Get Involved!

I am interested in signing up to volunteer on shows that air on Brooklyn Free Speech. How can I do that?

Interested in getting more involved at Brooklyn Free Speech? Volunteering with your fellow Brooklyn Free Speech producers is the perfect networking and media skillset building opportunity. Ready. Set. Volunteer!

I am a certified community producer. How do I find crew for my show?

Need help with finding crew members for your Brooklyn Free Speech productions? Fill out our online Studio Crew Request Form and we'll match you with fellow producers who specialize in your needed area. 

I want to get more involved. Are there volunteer opportunities available with Brooklyn Free Speech?

Yes! We're always looking for great volunteers like you. Fill out our volunteer form to get involved with events like our BRIC Media Talks series, B Scene, and the 6th Annual B Free Awards happening on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Ready. Set. Volunteer!

Skillbuilding Workshop: The Producers' Think Tank

The Producers' Think Tank is a support system intended to aid Brooklyn Free Speech producers in moving their production projects or show ideas forward. Topics covered in the Think Tank sessions will vary depending on the needs of producers. Some areas that will be covered include: 

  • Networking and building a production team
  • Guidance on facility and equipment usage
  • Assistance with show ideas through group discussion

Interested in participating in The Producers' Think Tank? Learn more here!

Skillbuilding Workshop: Field Production

The Field Production Skill Building Workshop series consists of small group sessions designed to give producers who are certified in field production additional time with field equipment with staff guidance.

Interested in participating in our Field Production Skill Building workshop? Learn more here!

B Social

How do I find Brooklyn Free Speech on social media?

Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  YouTube  |  @BFreeBK

Getting to BRIC House

Address

BRIC
647 Fulton Street
(The Media Center, Second Floor)
Brooklyn, New York 11217-1113

Contact the Brooklyn Free Speech Team

GENERAL INQUIRIES
BFreeBK@BRICartsmedia.org

EQUIPMENT ROOM (PE)
718.683.5645 or 718.683.5605
pe@BRICartsmedia.org

MEDIA EDUCATION TEAM (CLASSES)
718.683.9338
classes@BRICartsmedia.org

COMMUNITY PRODUCER LIAISON
Matthew Allen
718.683.5649 
mallen@BRICartsmedia.org

TV PROGRAMMING
Kareem Bland, Traffic Coordinator
718.683.5643 
programming@BRICartsmedia.org

Tyrone Gorin, Program Coordinator
718.683.5644
programming@BRICartsmedia.org

RADIO PROGRAMMING
Mark Pagán, Community Radio Specialist
718.683.56438
programming@BRICartsmedia.org
 

Public Transportation

SUBWAY
2 3 4 5 to Nevins Street (closest subway station!)
B Q R (D & N, 11PM - 6AM) to Dekalb Avenue 
B D N Q R to Atlantic Avenue—Barclays Center 
A C G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street
C to Lafayette Avenue
G to Fulton Street

BUS
B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 
All of the above buses stop within three blocks of The Media Center. 

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD
The Long Island Railroad stops at Atlantic Terminal, approximately 2 ½ blocks away from The Media Center. 

ACCESSIBLE SUBWAY STATIONS
Looking for the full list of MTA accessible subway stations in Brooklyn? Here it is!   

Travel Alert: Please confirm bus and subway service on the MTA website as there are
frequent weeknight and weekend service interruptions.

Access-A-Ride | Uber | Lyft

Tell the driver you're going to 57 Rockwell Place (Between Fulton Street & DeKalb Avenue). It'll be much easier for them to find our building and you'll be dropped off right in front of the door.

Driving Directions

From downtown Manhattan or the FDR Drive
Take the Brooklyn Bridge. Turn left on Tillary Street. Turn right on Flatbush Avenue. Turn left on Fulton Street and drive one block. The BRIC Media Center which is housed in BRIC House will be on the left; parking is on the right.

From Manhattan's West Side
Take the West Side Highway to Canal Street. Exit left onto Canal Street. Canal Street feeds straight into the Manhattan Bridge. Across the bridge, continue straight onto Flatbush Avenue. Turn left on Fulton Street and drive one block. The Media Center which is housed in BRIC House will be on the left; parking is on the right.

From the BQE (East or West)
Exit at Tillary Street. At the second light, turn left onto Flatbush Avenue. Turn left on Fulton Street and drive one block. The Media Center which is housed in BRIC House will be on the left; parking is on the right.

Parking

Street Parking
While there are metered and alternate side of the street parking spaces in close proximity to BRIC House, we advise that you take public transportation. If you are planning to drive, we strongly advise that you read all parking signs very carefully. 

For your convenience,  here is a link to the New York City Department of Transportation's website for more information about alternate side parking rules and suspensions.

Bike Parking

Anthony Riddle Bike Parking Photo

Anthony Riddle Bike Parking Photo Photo: Alease Annan


For your convenience, BRIC provides free, sidewalk bicycle parking directly in front of
BRIC House. 

Please make sure to bring your own lock and please also be sure to lock your bike securely. 

Looking for the New York City Bike Map? Here it is! 

Legal Stuff: Policies & Procedures

Read The Media Center's Policies and Procedures Handbook

Policies & Procedures 
Here you'll find The BRIC Media Center's policies and procedures handbook. This booklet provides information about our access program and the services we offer through our state-of-the-art media center.

The programming and operations policies detailed in the following pages govern the use of channel time on Brooklyn Free Speech; training at The BRIC Media Center; and use of The BRIC Media Center.

It is essential that you read these policies thoroughly before completing and/or submitting any forms or applications as each require that you sign, indicating that you are familiar with our community media center policies and agree to abide by them. 

We encourage you to share this information with friends, family, and other Brooklyn residents and organizations that may be interested in using Brooklyn's community channels to express their views and exchange information about their neighborhoods.

We look forward to working with you to create meaningful community television for you and the Brooklyn community. 

Read The BRIC Media Center's Policies and Procedures Handbook

WATCH & LISTEN