Five Hours Up Front

On Tuesday afternoons, you can find me at AIM’s front desk. Volunteers support AIM in a myriad of ways, and one of my way happens to involve answering phones and writing a lot of $8 receipts.

I offered to step in when the staff was especially shorthanded, thinking I was doing AIM a favor. But time has shown me I’m the one that benefits. I’ve learned a lot about the business of creating media—and even more about the art of cultivating community.

Today I learned some of the finer points of shooting video from a student production at Yorktown High School. As a radio producer, this was all news to me, and I was fascinated. I was, of course, learning from a fellow member.

Earlier in the afternoon a radio producer stopped in to ingest his show and snapped a photo with me as we declared ourselves fans of each others’ programs.

AIM definitely puts the “community” in community media.

Things I have learned working the front desk:

• Volunteer hours are updated every Tuesday (by me!). Get your volunteer hours in by noon on Tuesdays and I can personally promise your balances will stay current.
• Membership expires before you know it. Check in at the front desk to be sure you’re current. You can pay online or in person.
• AIM’s meeting rooms are available for members’ use, free of charge, for gatherings related to AIM productions. Call or ask at the front desk about reserving the large or small meetings rooms.
• Arlington residents can help non-Arlington-resident AIM members by serving as “sponsors” for TV programs produced by non-residents. Hopeful producers post requests for this support on the bulletin board in the kitchen. It’s an easy way for members to help one another in bringing community media to the airwaves.
• Spring break and summer camps for kids ages 8-13 are hot commodities! Kids love the camps, and parents vie feverishly for access. You can learn more about these great programs here ( and here: ( Don’t dawdle if you’re thinking of enrolling some lucky kid near you.

Come by some Tuesday afternoon and say hello. And remember to sign in at the kiosk so we can keep track of just how many people contribute to this remarkable community!

—Lynn Borton