With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment, inspiration and we amplify local voices on five cable channels.

Open Signal builds upon the legacy of Portland Community Media (PCM), an organization that empowered thousands of Portlanders to access video and television technology during its 35-year history. 

Personalized Training

We offer customized workshops for groups and individuals of all ages and learning abilities, available by appointment. Learn about new software and equipment at your own pace, or keep your coworkers up-to-date with digital media skills. To view a detailed list of available trainings visit our website.

Most opportunities certify you to check out gear from our media equipment library in order to create content for our cable TV channels. Age restrictions may apply for certain equipment certifications.

Prices vary based on training needs and group size. Group rates and nonprofit discounts are available. To request a quote please complete this form. 

For assistance or more information contact our media education team at education [at] opensignalpdx.org


Are you sick of local news outlets ignoring the stories that affect your community? Join this project-based studio class to collaborate on a show that agitates for social change.

In this class, intended for both certified Open Signal producers and anybody with an interest in citizen journalism, we’re calling on you to submit a show proposal that fits this summer’s theme: “Our Town.” We will be exploring how a place shapes identity: What makes a place special? What narratives create the essence and character of a place? What are the people like? 

Whether it's a short documentary, a televised interview show or anything else you can imagine, we're looking for programming proposals that evoke compelling community dialogues that can create change.

After the proposal selection, members of the class will work with the selected producer to create a short program, practicing hands-on studio skills like video switcher operation, graphics, advanced lighting, audio mixer operation and more, as well as expanding their writing, producing and production assistant skill sets.

If your proposal is chosen, you’ll get to work with a crew of community producers to bring your show to life!

Even if your proposal is not chosen, you'll have the opportunity to create a short program, practicing hands-on studio skills in a collaborative setting with the studio crew. 

Certified HD Studio Producer Crew Slots: 5

Creative Assistant Slots (no experience required): 3

Prerequisite: Intro to HD Studio Session #1 and Session #2.  There are three slots open for Creative Assistants who have not completed the HD Studio Certification.

This class is part of our Studio Production track. Learn more about our media education tracks here.

Certification: N/A

Class dates: July 30 & 31

Project proposal due date:  July 12th

If your show is selected, we'll notify you by July 16th.

About Our Scholarship Fund

Our scholarship fund is named in honor of Bob Hedlund, independent producer advocate.

Bob Hedlund was known for his commitment to the role of community media in society. Hedlund was more than a volunteer; he was a leader at Portland Community Media, now known as Open Signal.

For the past ten years Bob had been an important member of the Open Signal family. He created the Independent Producers’ Organization (IPO) and produced the IPO series, which continues to address topics such as media reform and legislation. He attended Open Signal board meetings to ensure the needs and views of independent producers were always included in discussion, and volunteered on numerous programs in support of other Open Signal producers.

Bob greeted everyone with a beaming, infectious smile and a warm hug. His presence will be missed very much by Open Signal staff and producers.

In honor of Bob and his commitment to producers, Open Signal named its Media Education Scholarship "The Bob Hedlund Memorial Scholarship Fund". The scholarship fund enables Portland-area residents to participate in Open Signal’s media education program at reduced rates or no charge.

How to Apply

To apply for the scholarship, please complete the application form and submit along with documentation of financial need. Please clearly specify your priority of first, second and third workshop choice and workshop dates on the application. 

Scholarships are reviewed on the 15th of every month and scholarships will be awarded on the 20th of every month. Scholarship applications that demonstrate a desire to create media work that will inspire, educate or bring awareness to the greater community, will be strongly considered.  

Submission of application does not guarantee a scholarship or enrollment in the class. If your application is approved and registration is full, you will be offered enrollment in the next available class. Applicants may be considered for one scholarship slot per term, with a maximum of 3 scholarships per calendar year.

Guidelines and Criteria

The following conditions must apply to be eligible for scholarship funds:

  • Scholarships are open to area residents within the city of Portland.  Underserved or underrepresented populations can be considered in the greater Portland area.
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need by supplying documentation that supports his/her low-income status.  Accepted documents include: Pay Stubs, Income Tax Return, statement of benefits, documentation from DHS, etc. For your privacy please exercise caution when uploading sensitive documents. Social Security numbers should be blacked out. If documentation cannot be supplied, applicants must complete the application section explaining their financial situation. 
  • If documentation cannot be supplied, applicants must complete the application section explaining their financial situation. 

Applicants must agree to the following in order to be approved for a scholarship:

  • Must participate in Open Signal’s workshops with the intent to produce programming for Open Signal channels.

For support with your application or for more information about our scholarship fund please contact Open Signal's Media Education Department by email: education@opensignalpdx.org or by calling: (503) 288–1515.

About Open Signal

With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment and inspiration, amplifying local voices on five cable channels.

Partnerships and Resource Sharing

Partnerships with nearby schools, fellow non-profits and community organizations make up the heart of Open Signal and vary depending on the needs and goals of each organization. We believe in sharing resources for the greater good with partners that further our mission. We offer in-school, after-school and weekend instruction on digital storytelling, equipment lending, discounted trainings and more! 

Deadlines and Review Process 

We award partnerships based on alignment with our mission, available in-kind resources and overall capacity. There are 6-partnership sessions available to apply to a year. Applications are due 60 days prior to the proposed partnership start date. In order to accommodate partners that require advanced scheduling we have created early bird deadlines. Early applications will be reviewed 1-session in advanced if submitted by the early bird deadline listed below.

Request Deadlines:

  • September — October
    Early Bird Deadline: June 1.
    Deadline: Aug. 1.

  • November — December
    Early Bird Deadline: July 30.
    Deadline: Sept. 1.

  • January — February
    Early Bird Deadline: Sept. 1.
    Deadline: Nov. 5.

  • March — April
    Early Bird Deadline: Nov. 5.
    Deadline: Jan. 1.

  • May — June
    Early Bird Deadline: Jan. 1.
    Deadline: March 1.

  • July — August
    Early Bird Deadline: March 1.
    Final Deadline: May 1.

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed by Open Signal staff and community producers. Applicants will be notified within 7-business days of session review dates. 

Open Signal is proud to partner with the following organizations, which give under-served groups access to media technology:

Open Signal offers Test-Out Certification for experienced filmmakers to access our resources without having to complete a certification course. Filmmakers who meet one of the follow qualifications are welcome to apply: a.) an advanced degree; b.) a certification with another access facility; or c.) more than two years work experience in the video, television or media production industry.

Available Test-Outs:

Intro to Video Production (includes standard JVC 600 cameras and field production gear - (audio and lighting) - $160
Canon C100 - $90
Sony FS7 - $90
JVC 850 - $50
Editing (Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere) - $135
Field Production gear (audio and lighting) - $50
iPad Activist Filmmaking Kit (includes iPad, two lenses, light, two mics)
- $45

We have a staff member available by appointment for test-outs on the Sony FS7.

NOTE: Canon C100 and Sony FS7 test-outs do not include certification for field production gear such as audio recording equipment and lighting. If you need access to field equipment, you can add on the Field Production test-out for $50. 

Test-Out Certification Guidelines:
  • Selected based on qualifications and ability to submit content within 2-month period. 
  • Attend an in-person test-out and new producer orientation.
  • If failure to pass, the full fee will be offered in workshop credit to be used within 1 year of test-out date. 
  • Content created with gear must be completed and submitted within 2-months.