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Anita Stech

anita stech

Communication ‘71

After graduating with a B.A. in Communication in 1971, Anita went on to earn her M.A. from Michigan State University in 1972, studying “public access television” (which did not yet exist). She taught a course on cable TV at the University of Texas, Austin, from which emerged a group that pioneered Channel Austin, which became Austin Public Access Television – the oldest non-profit public access organization.  

Anita moved to Duluth in 1973 where she developed the city’s first four local public access programs and was hired as a staff member for the Minnesota Cable Communications Board. While working for the state, Anita helped found Public Access Community Television (PACT), and in 1978, opened Communications Projects, a Duluth based consulting company, educating elected officials and cable commissions on how to create and employ local media. Anita was on the PACT board until 2015. Jerry Moscatelli, former executive director of Duluth’s PACT, said of Anita: “It would be safe to call her the ‘First Lady of Public Access TV’.”

Anita has also worked to serve the community in ways that affirm the value of diversity, sustainability, and social justice. In 1994, she co-founded the Duluth Girls Hockey Association and served as the first female president of the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association from 2000-2002. In 2007, Anita started “Cut Loose Creations,” which upcycles old clothing into new garments and, in 2011, she co-founded “Nice Girls of the North,” which hosts monthly and seasonal exhibits for environmentally friendly locally made products.

In 2011, Anita’s commitment to social justice energized her work to restore the Speak Your Peace Civility program (SYP), established by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation in 2001. Anita brought renewed energy to SYP and devised standards by which local political organizations might earn the label “Civility Certified.” She organized workshops to train community members in civil communication and conflict management and coordinated volunteers to ensure that throughout the 2016 campaign cycle, at every public meeting, political debate, and public forum, there were SYP citizens present and ready to affirm the rights of all persons to speak.