Be their aspirations “Survivor” or “Sesame Street,” would-be Isla Vista television producers now have some place to turn besides mom and dad.

The South Coast Community Media Access Center (CMAC) is offering grants ranging from $500 to $1,500, to local video producers. The recipients are to use the money to create and compile a five to 30-minute video exhibiting the diversity of interests and events in the CMAC broadcasting range, which extends from Goleta to Carpinteria and includes Isla Vista. CMAC, established in January 2003, is a nonprofit community-based organization aimed at promoting community video, inspiring local producers and being a resource for the community.

“We are looking for fresh approaches and innovative styles for community-based programs,” Hap Freund, CMAC executive director, said. “We want to demonstrate the potential of our community. Hey, we’re giving away money.”

To be eligible for the grant, a one-page proposal must be submitted to CMAC no later than May 12. This proposal must contain the idea, the approach and the length of the proposed video. The proposal must also include the grant amount sought (from $500 to $1500), whether the producer of the video needs to use CMAC’s equipment and the producer’s contact information. Up to two ideas from one person may be included, but only one grant can be issued per person. A tape of the proposed project does not need to be submitted along with the proposal, but it may be required for finalists.

CMAC said it is open to many topics, ranging from politics to culture to current issues to entertainment. Obscene ideas, however, will not be accepted.

“We are hoping to inspire people who are interested in video production,” Freund said.

Although the grants are open to any resident from Goleta to Carpinteria, previous video experience is recommended. However, Freund suggests that someone with a good idea can collaborate with someone who has production knowledge.

The grant money is directly from CMAC’s budget, and the amount of money distributed depends on the number of proposals submitted. Freund was once involved in a $20,000 grant project about wildlife that eventually became a $500,000 idea. He stresses to those interested in video production that “you never know where things will lead.”

This is the first time CMAC is executing this type of program and, if successful, Freund plans to continue in the future.

“We are a unique resource, the embodiment of the First Amendment,” Freund said. “We don’t want public television to be hidden anymore.”

CMAC operates both Public Access (Channel 17 on basic Cox Cable) and Educational Access (Channel 21). UCSB programs are regularly aired on the Educational Access channel.

Those with further questions regarding the local producers grant or CMAC can visit, or e-mail Freund at