From the Executive Director
I’m making a departure from my usual news and updates to bring you the spark you might need to get yourself, your staff, your grantees, your friends and colleagues, registered for ALLIANCE 2016, NAMAC’s upcoming biennial conference in Oakland this June 9 – 12, 2016.
We have an incredible team of folks (Thank you Tricia, Kelly, Matt, Vanessa, JJ, Brittani, Amikaeyla, Melinda, Adrian, George, Mary, Pam & Paco, Sarah, Marc, Anselm, Anne Marie, Ashara, Jason, Myah, Daisyruth, Sam, Eric, and the entire Board of NAMAC!) working on building what we hope will be a wildly memorable and important gathering for our field. Coming together to celebrate accomplishments, envisioning our creative futures, devising the most powerful ways of working together, thriving in a sustainable way, protecting freedom of expression, cultivating leadership, making a difference in the communities we care about… it’s all on the table. And at that table, and on that stage, are people and ideas that need your voice, your brain, and your spirit to make it real.
This is not your regular old panel-after-panel gathering. Yes, there will be panels—and roundtables, and workshops, and presentations, and one-on-one meetings. But here’s what’s different. How many conferences have you attended where:
- The event begins with a native Welcome-to-Country and drum circle? (Our conference takes place on Ohlone land here in Oakland)
- Every discussion starts with a story-on-film or a story performed?
- No panels have only white people or only men on them?
- Keynote speakers hang out for scheduled meet-and-chat sessions… poolside?
- Breakfast tables are hosted by media, culture, and social justice funders with whom you’ve been wanting to connect?
- An Innovation Studio is available that not only showcases new interactive projects but offers hands-on workshops and free resources so you can get started on projects in your own community?
- Dance breaks are hosted by local DJs?
- The conference app keeps you connected to regional arts & culture events and creative collaborators way after the conference is over?
- Your delicious box lunch can be enjoyed outside at the local farmer’s market with live music, a poetry stage, and story booth?
- The local Museum (thank you Oakland Museum!) hosts a special Friday night gathering for the community with food and drink, artist talks, gallery tours, live music, and dancing?
- There is always space for pop-up sessions to be curated by conference attendees?
- The conference hosts (the collective voices of NAMAC) are committed 100% to supporting your work, your network and your impact—all year round—with programs, partnerships, grants, labs, research, residencies and more?
We had a big push of registration last week (thanks everyone!!!), and we don’t want anyone who wants to come to get a “sold out” message. So please, REGISTER EARLY!! That means today, this week, this month—we’ve just extended the EARLY BIRD discount to April 15th and then it seriously goes away.
Folks have been asking me how they can support the work of the conference—if you’ve already registered, please help us spread the word. Tweet #alliance2016, @namac with links to your favorite speakers and panelists at alliance2016.namac.org. Funders and Organizational Partners—you could email your grantees and members, and if you really want to kick it up, offer travel and/or registration stipends. To get things started, NAMAC will offer the first 5 registrants TODAY (Tuesday, April 5th) a $500 travel stipend. Just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, after you register and we’ll make it happen if you are one of the first 5 registrants today.
We are working to make this gathering the kind of event that catalyzes new relationships and deepens old ones, inspires new ways of thinking and coming together, kickstarts new projects, and re-imagines a creative future where the work of our media artists, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and interactivists embeds deeply into culture, education, and civic life—here and around the world. Come to Oakland in June. Come for this.
Feel free to contact me anytime—email@example.com
Member News and Notes
BFCA-sponsored Latina Film Festival and Conference debuts
Indiana University’s third annual Latina Film Festival and Conference launches this Thursday (above: Karyn Kusama’s 2000 film Girlfight, starring Michelle Rodriguez, which screens on Saturday), and IU’s Black Film Center/Archive is a festival sponsor.
Global Witness offers takes on Panama Papers leak
The Panama Papers are taking the world by storm, with their revelations of astounding corporate greed and malfeasance, and Global Witness has since authored a series of press releases on the fallout and significance of the leaks.
Zun Lee’s Fade Resistance project profiled by CBC Arts
Fade Resistance is a photography project by new member Zun Lee that seeks to “restore the narrative impact of thousands of found African American vernacular Polaroid photographs.” Last month, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation posted a brief video about the project with Wedge Curatorial Projects’ Kenneth Montague.
Is there something you’d like to publicize via NAMAC’s eBulletin? Fill out our eBulletin submission form.
Media Policy Watch
Last month, NAMAC joined other media and public interest organizations in signing a letter to the FCC opposing internet service providers’ use of “zero-rating.” Zero-rating—in which companies exempt certain web services from customers’ monthly data caps—has been in the news lately, as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have all incorporated it into their broadband product offerings. As Vice Motherboard’s Sam Gustin explains, such policies have the effect of undermining net neutrality and free speech, by incentivizing customers’ use of some websites and services—and avoidance of others.
A number of states have floated bills recently weakening protections for members of the LGBT community, with mixed results. In Georgia last week, HB 757, a bill allowing faith-based organizations to deny services to those who violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs”—and fire employees who aren’t in accord with those beliefs—drew sharp criticism from a number of media and entertainment companies, including Disney, AMC, Time Warner, and Netflix.Georgia Governor Nathan Deal ultimately vetoed the bill last Monday.
The standoff between Apple and the Department of Justice over a locked iPhone 5C belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters ended late last month when the DOJ dropped the case, successfully unlocking the phone without Apple’s involvement, with the help of mobile software developer Cellebrite. However, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Nate Cardozo writes, new, similar cases are already underway; in this case, the DOJ seeks access to messages sent using the Facebook-owned mobile app WhatsApp, which since 2014 has used strong end-to-end encryption (meaning WhatsApp itself cannot read or access messages its users send). Cardozo suggests that, like in the Apple case, the DOJ might demand that WhatsApp write code that would bypass or disable its own encryption algorithms—potentially a hint of further battles to come between the government and other encryption services.
The FCC recently announced a few new programs and initiatives. On March 31st, it adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on privacy for broadband customers, a particularly pressing issue given recent government demands that ISPs disclose information about their customers’ internet activity. That same day, it voted, 3-2, to expand its Lifeline program—created to help low-income Americans obtain phone service—to include a subsidy for broadband. And finally, just this week, it released new broadband “nutrition labels” for ISPs to use, which, while voluntary, are aimed at helping consumers compare various aspects of broadband plans including data caps, overage charges, and speeds.