🎙️Your media arts & culture news 📷 ALLIANCE eBulletin December 2021

🎙️Your media arts & culture news 📷 ALLIANCE eBulletin December 2021

From the Executive Director

The Power of Creative Community

Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos”

Martin Luther King, Jr              

It’s been a year, hasn’t it?

I must thank our Board of Directors and an incredible team of producers this year who co-created our programs and communications, served our members, produced our videos and events, designed our reports and postcards, delivered our services, illuminated our culture. I do have the best job ever.

The Alliance is navigating the end of 2021 in the company of a network of thousands of resilient, creative futurists:

  • The Futures We Dream films we created for the Smithsonian FUTURES Museum have opened and will be showcased on January 15th on the big screen at the MLK Library in Washington, DC in an event with live music, spoken word poetry and a town hall-style conversation on the Power of Story in the Quest for Justice.  What is the Future dream of? We’ll be launching the FUTURES WE DREAM Multi/Verse site on IG as a collective playlist of 1-minute videos, photos and poems. We’d love to hear from you.
Freedom Constellations            NuWu Means The People                 Tiichajil_Good Life
  • In our Innovation Culture Studio, Unapologetically Melanated: A Virtual Exploration of the Mythic & Da Truth! is being developed as the opening exhibition for the Brown Girls Mythic + True VR Story Gallery. Thanks to an EPIC Megagrant this year, a group of visionary BIPOC curators and producers have been working with Versatile Media, co-creating a breathtaking media gallery experience for the Quest 2.. Previews will be available at the beginning of February 2022 – a short future away. Partner and investor inquiries are welcome!
Syzygy 1 by Lola Flash                                 But there’s no scar II by Catherine Blackburne
photo Tenille Campbell
  • Our Youth Media Leadership Workshop produced a Virtual Summit this year led by emerging youth mediamakers and their mentors across the country. It featured a Short Film Showcase, and sessions on Liberatory Design, Abolition, Creative Activism and much more. The future is now: we are planning a reboot of our Youth Media Program next year to strengthen the extraordinary network of Youth Media organizations in this Alliance nationally and invite new international partners, emerging nonprofits and creative agencies, native arts centers, museums and libraries to help us expand the program. An advisory group of young leaders will set the agenda.
  • Arts2Work officially became an “award-winning program” – earlier this year, we were thrilled to receive the 2021 MIT Solve Prize for Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US. Over 40 paid Apprentices and Pre-Apprentices came through the program this year, three new programs created (Albany, Dallas, Miami). We ended the year with a Congressional Briefing on The Creative Economy and Jobs of the Future – with Representatives Teresa Leger Fernandez and Lucy McBath – raising awareness about the power of artists to create the conditions for the recovery and revitalization of our communities – and the need for our professions to be an integral part of federal workforce investments that are designed to “build back better.”
Arts2Work Dallas project
There were also career workshops + creative labs, the Open Archive Symposium, nonprofit coaching sessions, custom technology trainings, gatherings for Executive Directors,  and the launch of the Arts2Work Learning Hub. This is the work of the Alliance; we hope you’ll join us this year, and be an important part of our future.

Wishing everyone love this holiday season, delicious things, art everywhere and good health.

~ Wendy




Notes from the Field

Call For Applications re:imagine/ATL Apprenticeship Program
Atlanta Georgia’s re:imagine/ATL in collaboration with Arts2Work are currently seeking young animators and producers ages 18-24 interested in a career in Media Production for their Emerge apprenticeship program. In this nine-month-long program, participants will “build their portfolio, receive coaching from mentors, and work collaboratively with team members while gaining client-based work experience.” The deadline for applications is December 20th and the training starts in February.

BAVC Celebrates 45 Years
The Bay Area Video Coalition published a blog post recently celebrating and reflecting on their 45 years as a community space. They are celebrating by publishing a community spotlight highlighting the diversity of individuals talented individuals associated with the organization.

Media Policy Watch

by Priscilla Genet

President Biden announced his Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal during last Wednesday’s virtual Summit for Democracy. In the Fact Sheet published last week, Biden announced a number of initiatives including an International Fund for Public Interest Media, support for a global Defamation Defense Fund for Journalists, the establishing of a Journalism Protection Platform, and increased support of the Media Freedom Coalition. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quoted by CNN last week stating “These new efforts will come atop the $236 million dollars President Biden has requested in the 2022 budget to support independent media around the globe a more than 40% increase on the amount allotted in 2020.”

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is facing extradition to the United States from the United Kingdom where he has been incarcerated since 2019. The legal battle for the U.S. government to extradite Assange is the result of an alleged violation of the Espionage Act due to his publishing of classified internal documents from former U.S. Army Intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning including video evidence of a U.S. Military helicopter killing two journalists purportedly mistaken for insurgents. The extradition process “began in May 2019 but was delayed several times partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Persuaded by the defense team’s arguments that the extradition of Assange would be oppressive due to his risk of suicide, a British judge ruled against the extradition on January” according to Eloise Barry in Time. However, following a recent hearing at the British High Court ruling that Assange should be extradited, he will be turned over to the US unless overturned by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Chris Hedges expressed his dismay at the verdict against Assange in an opinion piece published by Salon on Tuesday stating “Assange committed empire’s greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption, and innumerable war crimes. […] Empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds.” Assange’s brother said in an interview with Breaking Points this week “This is going to kill him […] the pressure on him is so great that eventually, he will crumble”. As the burden of the appeal mounted, Assange suffered a minor stroke that he is currently recovering from according to both his brother and his partner Stella Morris as reported last week.