🎙️Your media arts & culture news 📷 ALLIANCE eBulletin February 2024

🎙️Your media arts & culture news 📷 ALLIANCE eBulletin February 2024

From the Executive Director

Black History Month + The Impulse of Creativity

Every now and then I am lucky enough to meet an artist whose images and words and body moving in space changes me every time I experience their work. Marc Bamuthi Joseph has been one of those artists for me, for so many years now. He spoke at the 2016 Alliance conference in Oakland, and just last week at a National Endowment for the Arts event entitled Healing, Bridging,Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in our Communities. The event, co-hosted by the White House Domestic Policy Council, was designed to explore how the arts can contribute to health, animate and strengthen physical spaces, fuel democracy and drive equity in communities. Marc had something to say that everyone should hear and that I spend hours every day thinking about — in the hopes of serving community, creating powerful programs with others, and feeling the light of transformation. From Marc:

“People ask me all the time, what can art do to help create an equitable society, but that is the WRONG QUESTION and it puts the onus on the wrong people. The actual question is, Why isn’t our health care system more like music? Why doesn’t our political apparatus operate more like the flow of a poem? Why isn’t inspiration thought of as part of the civic infrastructure just like roads or telecommunications? There is a critical mass of people defending the constitutional right to bear arms; who’s defending the idea that inspiration is a constitutional right, protected, by the 14th Amendment? The idea that in order to be enfranchised one must have access to the ballot box, to equal protection under the law, AND a clear pathway to the flourishing of the imagination. By constitutional right, CAN YOU BE AN AMERICAN IF YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE IMPULSE OF CREATIVITY?”  (watch his full remarks here.)

I have also, of course, been thinking about AI lately, contemplating both the brightest and darkest implications of tools like Sora on humankind. I also think about how many imaginative people’s dream jobs will be replaced by machines – and when – and how we insist that AI be conceived to expand the boundaries of human creativity and not destroy it. A report from CVL Economics crossed my desk last week called Future Unscripted:The Impact of Generative Artificial Intelligence on Entertainment Industry Jobs – and it is bracing. (Stay tuned for last call for animators and sound designers…and many other entry-level roles) I believe in laws to hold back unchecked development of AI from those who would destroy the world with it and embedding inextricable protections for those most vulnerable – but we all know that evil-doers don’t follow the rules. I worry about the C Suite subset of evildoers who continue to dismiss ethical and environmental considerations in the race for profits and tech dominance. Why isn’t our emerging technology more like music? Why don’t we demand that for every job created for an AI, there are also jobs for an actual person and their human mentor?

Please join the Alliance and take part in Communities of Practice, Arts2Work programs, the Open Archive Initiative, our Youth Media Network, the Innovation Studio, our Power of Storytelling grants, and so much more.  

As always, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

~ Wendy


Notes from the Field

Skylight SolidariLabs Participant Reports Back
Earlier this month, independent Native news site Servindi published an article from their director, Jorge Agurto, on his experience as a participant in Skylight’s SolidariLabs Peru. A translated version of this article appears on the Skylight blog. Twenty-four participants were chosen from Peru, Mexico, Columbia, and Guatemala for what Agurto describes as a space that “emphasized the experiential and spiritual aspect, in weaving senses and relationships, in discovering, rediscovering, and strengthening our deepest humanity.”

Alliance for Media Arts + Culture’s 2024 Power of Storytelling Grant Winners Announced
Ten emerging filmmakers, all trained at community-based media centers in partnership with The Alliance, have been awarded Power of Storytelling Grants. The grants are part of a partnership with NBCUniversal, which aims to provide training and development for diverse creative media. A statement from Hilary Smith, NBCUniversal’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, reads “We are pleased to partner with the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture to help make the Creative Impact Lab a place where diverse apprentices can learn best-in-class storytelling techniques — and, at the same time, help shine a light on the incredible social impact work of our nonprofit partners.”

Grants and Calls

Creative Capital Awards
Fifty individuals across five diverse categories will be chosen to receive the Creative Capital Awards. They are specifically seeking boundary pushing work in the visual arts, performing arts, film/moving image, technology, literature, and forms. Winners will be awarded between $15,000 and $50,000.
Deadline: April 4th

The Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant The Chicken & Egg Pictures is seeking filmmakers who have directed at least one feature-length documentary and are in the research and development stages of their next feature-length film.Grantsof $10,000 are available for Research while $20,000 grants are available for Development. Deadline: March 4th

Gotham/Cannes Producers Network Fellowship
Up to seven experienced film producers will be chosen to participate in the Gotham/Cannes Producers Network Fellowship. The fellowship will help them key into an international network of experts to expand their knowledge of international production, funding, and legal knowledge.
Deadline: March 7

The Chicken & Egg Pictures Hatched
Filmmakers working on nonfiction films whose intent is to have a transformative impact are wanted for The Chicken & Egg Pictures Hatched grant. Ten directing teams will be awarded grants of $30,000.
Deadline: April 1st

Workshops, Festivals, Convenings

True/False Film Fest, February 29th-March 3rd, Columbia, MO Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival, March 7th-17th, San Jose, CA

SXSWMarch 8th-16th, Austin, TX

Sonoma International Film Festival, March 20th-24th, Sonoma, CA

Garden State Film Festival, March 21st-24th, Asbury Park, NJ

Media Policy Watch

by Priscilla Genet  

Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts hosted Healing, Bridging, and Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in Our Communities. This five and a half hour-long summit, archived on the National Endowment for the Arts website, featured a wide range of speakers and performers from dance and musical performances to panel discussions hosted by policymakers. The summit was broken up into three sections on the themes of healing with a focus on arts and health; bridging, on arts and physical infrastructure; and thriving, on arts and civic infrastructure. It was bookended by an opening session and closing remarks.

Within the summit, the Environmental Protection Agency announced their Artist in Residency program with EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Radhika Fox, stating that “incorporating arts and cultural strategies into our work can reveal new ideas, unlock opportunities, and help us find new and enduring solutions to pressing water challenges.” Also announced are a new Interagency Working Group on Arts, Health, and Civic Infrastructure that will facilitate support of the arts across agencies, $5 million in funding for arts initiatives that focus on the health of individuals and communities, $3 million to support artistic projects focused on promoting cultural understanding, and an additional $2 million to arts organizations doing the same.

The Federal Trade Commission has been taking major steps to limit the aggregation of location data by big tech companies. Last month, two companies were blocked from selling location data following allegations that data broker Outlogic sold “precise location data that could be used to track people’s visits to sensitive locations such as medical and reproductive health clinics, places of religious worship, and domestic abuse shelters,” according to the FTC. Lina Khan, FTC Chair, warned a group of technology leaders last month that they should pay particular concern to the ways that private data such as location can be used to train AI models saying “there is no AI exemption […] firms cannot use claims of innovation as cover for law breaking.”

Job Bank

General Manager, Assistant Curator, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles, CA

Vice President, Planning & Capacity Building, Arts Consulting Group, Remote

Executive Director, Venice Arts, Venice, CA

Marketing & Communications Associate, Arts Consulting Group, Remote

Director of Administration, Open Signal, Portland, OR

StoryCorps Brightness in Black Fellowship, Atlanta, GA

Chief Development Officer, The Center for Arts and Innovation, Boca Raton, FL

Dean, School of the Arts, Emerson College, Boston, MA

President & CEO, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI

more jobs on the Job Bank