Arnold resident Ed Lark, award-winning filmmaker and 20-year manager of the Calaveras County Public Access Television studio, was recognized at the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday for his contributions to Calaveras County.

Lark is retiring after 20 years of managing the television studio in San Andreas, where he produced and managed countless programs on the county’s two public access channels and also taught video production classes. This was in addition to teaching photography at Columbia College and a prolific career of travel and documentary films, 18 of which were included in a film lecture series in Washington, D.C., by National Geographic.

A proclamation by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 26 recognized and honored Lark for “20 years of distinguished public service,” expressing appreciation for “his loyalty and leadership to the county” and wishing him “much happiness and good health as he begins his new chapter in life.”

Lark is excited to begin this new chapter, though it might not look too different, as Lark intends to keep making films in and around the community, covering events such as the Ironstone’s Concours D’Elegance and volunteering at the studio from time to time.

He also plans to go on more cruises, if Covid allows.

Lark, who has travelled to many countries around the world during his filmmaking career, now looks forward to taking cruises to Alaska with his wife, Joan.

Lark met his wife early in his career, and according to him, “she’s been a great help-mate in supporting me. She helps with the filming... a great deal of support.”

While Mrs. Lark earned a nursing degree, she sacrificed her own career to support her husband’s throughout their 62 years of marriage. With video cameras in hand, the duo have roamed the world to document various cultures, tourist destinations, and also covering community events closer to home.

Now, Lark plans to travel for leisure, not for work.

“I’ve spent my life doing that,” Lark said, adding that he doesn’t have a “big urge” to get back to international travel.

Instead, he is looking forward to enjoying more downtime and less decision-making.

“In my regular work when I was doing [filmmaking], you have to plan every detail. When you take a cruise, the most challenging detail you have to decide upon is what you want to choose from the menu. It’s a nice thing.”

While Lark doesn’t plan to work too hard, he will still keep busy. Lark says he will continue making videos of community events and help out at the studio when needed, on a volunteer basis.

While a replacement for the manager role hasn’t been announced, Lark is confident that studio programmer Sarah Lunsford will keep things running smoothly. Lunsford has worked at the studio for 15 of the 20 years Lark has been manager.

Lark expressed gratitude for his long and successful career, saying, “I’ve had fun all of my life. I’ve been fortunate to choose the direction of where my life will go, and I’ve enjoyed every minute, every day, every year. … I’ve been very lucky.

“When I was young I sought to go after my dream, didn't know whether I would make it or not, and fortunately, I did.” Lark added, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve done, and I’ll keep doing it until I can’t.”

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Marie-Elena studied creative writing, art, and photography at University of Nebraska at Omaha, graduating with a BA in Studio Art -Visual Media. She moved to California from Nebraska in 2019 and is happy to call Calaveras County her home.

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