🎙️Your media arts & culture news 📷 ALLIANCE eBulletin September 2023

🎙️Your media arts & culture news 📷 ALLIANCE eBulletin September 2023

As summer has turned to fall, I have been inspired by Native artist Catherine Blackburn whose work is included in the Alliance XR Gallery’s first exhibition, Ancestral Futurism: Unapologetically Melanated. “…She points to the future by celebrating the history of strength, resilience and beauty found in Indigenous sovereignty.” [Leah Taylor] We engage in this work, in the telling of stories, in the protection and celebration of culture, with our bodies, hearts and minds. As artists and producers, we inhabit the present and attempt to reckon with an increasingly vulnerable future. I’m happy to announce three Communities of Practice at the Alliance to strengthen our bonds, deepen our connections, build collective abundance, and support many more “land-based acts of love.

from But there’s no scar II by Catherine Blackburn photo credit: Tenille Campbell

In 2016, the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture started hosting Video Roundtables, virtual field meetings designed to provide opportunities for our members and partners to connect with one another, engage with the Alliance network, explore best and emerging practices across the media arts field, and facilitate creative collaborations. While two years of COVID lockdown brought many of us to zoom burnout, at the Alliance it also led to some powerful work co-created across boundaries and generations. The National Youth Media Summit, Laboratorio en las Fronteras (American Arts Incubator), Futures We Dream (a Smithsonian partnership), and the National Day of Storytelling – all these programs emerged from the Roundtables.

As a national Media Arts Service organization, The Alliance is committed to holding space for transformative field-wide conversations, co-creation and action. We are excited to announce the launch of three intergenerational, cross-sector Communities of Practice to help mitigate the silos in which we often find ourselves, to nurture our connections and build shared purpose and solidarity.  For more information and to join these groups, http://www.thealliance.media/communities-of-practice/

We are also excited to welcome a number of new artists, advisors and partners organizations into the Alliance network: please check them out and join the Alliance to participate in upcoming collaborations!! Welcome, Designing Creative Futures/CA Lawyers for the Arts, Osborne Association, Voices from Within, Veronica Corzo-Duchardt, Adamu Chan, Chihiro Wimbush, Beth Miyares and Gillian Rose. What an incredible community we are.

As always, please be in touch, and here’s the link to join and support Alliance programs.

~ Wendy

wendy@thealliance.media

Notes from the Field

Lola Flash Featured in Blind Magazine
Photographer Lola Flash, whose work is featured in The Alliance XR Gallery, had her recent book Believable: Traveling with My Ancestors featured in an in-depth article from Blind Magazine. The piece features a number of her photographs and excavates the way they explore gender, sexuality, and race to weave a history, and to “script new futures and possibilities.”

PhillyCAM Fellows Win Hometetown Media Awards
Among a number of Hometown Media Awards won by PhillyCAM programs, their Block by Block program, broadcast on WPPM-FM, was awarded the Audio Programming Community Radio Award. The bi-weekly program features news and interviews relevant to and told by Philadelphia locals.

Grants and Calls

California Humanities for All Quick Grants
Locally initiated, small scale, public humanities projects are desired for California Humanities’ Humanities For All Grant. The grant will award between $1,000 to $5,000 to projects that seek to involve underrepresented underserved demographics in California.
Deadline: October 2nd
California Documentary Project Grants California Arts Council is seeking documentary filmmakers whose work “reveal[s] the breadth and range of California’s cultures, peoples, and histories.” Applicants have the opportunity to receive Research and Development Grants totaling up up to $15,000 and Production Grants up to $50,000. Deadline: November 1st
Dan David Prize
Nine scholars and practitioners in the historical discipline will be awarded $300,000 each through the Dan David Prize. Nominees should be within 15 years of either receiving their PHD or producing a major work. Deadline: October 11th


Deadline: August 28th

From the Alliance Blog:

Hip-Hop’s 50th: Activist Martha Diaz’s Journey Through the Artform

by Sayou Cooper

Martha Diaz is a very busy hip-hop head. Whether it’s her MacArthur Civic Media Fellowship at the USC Annenberg Lab, her role as Executive Director for the Hip Hop Education Center or archival and advisory duties for the Universal Hip Hop Museum—hip-hop is always on her mind.

In 2023, hip-hop celebrates its semicentennial birthday. The stylized rhythmic genre and culture have moved beyond its Bronx block parties to the ears of millions around the world. In a male-dominated industry and culture, female trailblazers like Martha Diaz are often excluded from art form’s history.

“I grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. I was what you call a latchkey kid. My mom worked all the time.” Diaz spoke during our hour-long phone call. Paterson, now the third most populated city in New Jersey, has always been a nest for the immigrant movement. Diaz and her family were part of that enclave, immigrants from Columbia.

At home and caring for herself most of the time, she came across hip-hop at an early age. In the 1970s and 80s, hip-hop was a burgeoning art form commonly misunderstood. “Before it was like, oh, it’s just noise…they thought it was just a trend and they thought it would disappear.”

Diaz plunged further into the culture as a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Night clubs she frequented always had hip-hop, and from there she met artists and important figures in the industry. At Dickinson she studied Communications,Television and Film Production. This interest in television and hip-hop, landed her an internship on Yo! MTV Raps.

 read more at thealliance.media

Storytelling Mattersfeatures original and curated writing and photography about global story culture and innovation in order to facilitate conversation about the ethical and responsible use of creative technologies in community. If you have a story to share, let us know! wendy@thealliance.media

Workshops, Festivals, Convenings

Tallgrass Film Festival, October 5-8, Wichita, KAHeartland International Film Festival, October 5-15, Indianapolis, IN
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, October 6-14, Hot Springs, AR
Chicago International Film Festival, October 11-22, Chicago, IL
Newport Beach Film Festival,  October 12-19, Newport Beach, CA
Philadelphia Film Festival, October 19 – 29, Philadelphia, PASCAD Savannah Film Festival,  October 21-28, Savannah GA
Naples International Film Festival, October 26-29, Naples, FL

Media Policy Watch

by Priscilla Genet  

Yesterday, September 27th, the Writers Guild of America announced the end of an historically long writers’ strike, with leadership voting unanimously to end the strike. The strike lasted 148 days, just a week short of their longest strike in 1988, according to Deadline. That same day, SAG-AFTRA and the Studios set a date to resume strike negations: Monday, October 1st. The deal terms of the WGA’s agreement cover a wide range of issues including rate increases, employment guarantees, and restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence. “These are essential protections that the companies told us, to our faces, that they would NEVER give us,” said member of the WGA’s strike negotiation team Adam Coever on X (formerly Twitter).

Newspaper company Gannett, who offers news coverage for around 20 High Schools nationally, recently came under fire for their readily apparent AI-penned coverage of school sports. The articles included a story for The Columbus Dispatch titled “Go WINNING_TEAM_MASCOTS!” In an interview with NPR’s On the Media, Jay Allred, CEO of Gannett’s parent company Source Media Property, explained the process and reasons for Gannett automating Sports Reporting. Allred describes his company’s technology as “information, not journalism,” and speaks to users’ desires for real reporting, as well as pointing self-critically to the concern of similar technological glitches effecting more serious reporting such as arrest records. This is all the more concerning with serious budgetary issues affecting dwindling local news sources, and a concern that smaller sources might seek to automate reporting to avoid having to pay writers.

Job Bank


Advanced Filmmaking Teaching Artist, Venice Arts, Venice, A

Senior Specialist, Exhibition Installation, Los Angeles, CA

Development Director, Salt Lake Film Society, Salt Lake City, UT  
Teaching Assistant, Center for Creative Workforce Equity, Venice Arts, Venice, CA

Film Teaching Artist, Center for Creative Workforce Equity, Venice Arts, Venice, CA

Film Equipment Specialist for MFA Doc Film Program, Stanford University MFA Documentary Film Program, Stanord, CA

Operations Assistant, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Brooklyn, NY

Communications Director, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Brooklyn, NY

Director, The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York, NY

Board of Directors Member, DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, Washington, DC

Research Officer, Arts, The Wallace Foundation, New York, NY








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