From the Executive Director
It’s CONFERENCE TIME!!! We cannot wait to welcome everyone to the Bay Area for ALLIANCE 2016. It’s not too late to register, but hook it up soon—the Opening Night celebration on Thursday 6/9 (Welcome To Country!) is at Impact Hub Oakland, a beautiful but smaller venue than the Convention Center, and will sell out for sure. If you have a full conference pass, it includes a ticket to Opening Night. You won’t want to miss a beautiful evening of storytelling with award winning films and filmmakers, performances by Amikaeyla, The All Nations Singers, Mxd Ingrdnts, and other surprise guests.
When the Conference kicks off at the Marriott Convention Center on Friday morning 6/10, we are filling the place with only-at-NAMAC experiences that bring art, media, culture and community together: ignite presentations from visionary leaders, provocative panel discussions, hands on workshops, roundtables with funders—and room in the day to move, connect, eat, create, and be inspired. Friday night, we walk (or LYFT) the conference to the OAKLAND MUSEUM where we will find some of the best food trucks in town, full bar, salsa dancing and even some quiet space on the lawn to continue those conversations we wish we had more often.
Saturday 6/11 is packed with the voices of conference participants—powerful introductions by the incomparable Melinda Weekes and Jamiel Alexander, and a Cross-Pitch session where YOU (first-come first-serve sign-up) could get 3 minutes at the mic to present your most exciting new project to the crowd and see who might want to get involved. It’s not a pitch for funding—you get to extend an invitation to collaborate to the most engaged and creative audience imaginable. And you won’t want to miss the Mainstage Funders Panel, or the Keynote Performance by Marc Bamuthi Joseph—along with a packed day of field-building conversations.
Sunday 6/12 features a half day of programming you will never forget—before you head out into the beautiful Oakland afternoon. Live music from the incomparable Amikaeyla will start the morning. And you’ll hear from the jaw-dropping young people creating NAMAC’s new national Collective Action project in Youth Media. A performance by local poet Koko Griffin (an extraordinary young woman who is designing an independent major in Revolutionary Film Acting even before her first day in college) will precede the final session of the conference—where acclaimed filmmaker Pete Nicks talks about his vision for Open Hood and gives us all a SUPER sneak preview of scenes from his highly anticipated documentary on the Oakland Police Department. Only at ALLIANCE 2016!
So there’s all that—and the dance floor, the Innovation Studio, the pop-up lunch sessions, the documentary filmmaker & impact producer roundtables, panels on Beautiful Information, Black Panthers, Media & Disability, Radio, Museums and more. Anywhere the media arts come to life. We are there.
See you in Oakland my friends.
Member News and Notes
3rd Stage Consulting’s Almost Sunrise Screens at Telluride
3rd Stage Consulting, led by new member Erin Sorenson, produced an impact campaign for Almost Sunrise, a documentary on the struggles of American veterans, that included meditation walks, breathing sessions, and performance art in Telluride.
Brookline Interactive Group Dives into Community-Access VR
Brookline Interactive Group, whose Executive Director is new member Kathy Bisbee, announced last month that it is partnering with Northampton Community Television to develop new curricula and training programs around virtual reality technology. Bisbee said: “VR is the next generation of the public Commons, … both a literal virtual commons that we have to ensure will be accessible to the public in VR and a real physical space at our media centers.”
Donda’s House, Chicago Park District Prepping Summer Fests
New member Donnie Smith‘s youth arts organization Donda’s House, Inc. is collaborating with the Chicago Park District on two summer festivals—Teens in the Park, in July, and Peace on the Beach, in August.
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Media Policy Watch
By Rose Kaplan
Early last month, the FCC approved a merger between cable giants Charter and Time Warner Cable, along with smaller cable company Bright House—just a year after it blocked a similar deal between Comcast and Time Warner. Like that other deal, the Charter-Time Warner-Bright House merger will lessen competition in the already small world of broadband/cable companies, and likely result in higher prices for consumers, writes Mary Alice Crim at Free Press.
Argues media analyst Timothy Karr, “The best way to solve the false-scarcity problem and disrupt big cable’s control over the fate of the Internet is to ensure universal and affordable access to big, open pipes where network owners are barred from discriminating against the content that flows over it. The imminent approval of the Charter merger moves us in the opposite direction, toward an Internet dominated by a few cable gatekeepers that thrive on scarcity.”
Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation last month published analyses of the Trans-Pacific Partnership international trade deal, which was signed in February by the United States and eleven other Pacific Rim nations. The EFF’s Jeremy Malcolm writes, “The minuscule benefits [of the TPP] do nothing to justify the very real costs of the TPP that will be borne here and around the world. No monetary value is or can be placed on the loss of sovereignty that results from us locking in our current broken copyright system, so that we no longer have the flexibility to adopt better rules. None can be placed on the lost opportunity to include users in developing more meaningful global standards on net neutrality, or on other digital issues. No measure is placed on the value of works lost from the public domain for a further 20 years.”
A new bill on the docket in California could end landline and DSL service for rural communities. AB 2395, introduced by Silicon Valley state rep Evan Low, would allow AT&T to decommission wired services across the state, as long as it provides alternative ways for customers to call 911. Evaluating the bill, the Rural County Representatives of California wrote, “While AB 2395 offers the promise of a more modern communications system for California, the bill devises a scheme that minimizes consumer protections and provides avenues for telecommunication providers to abandon their current subscribers from ever experiencing these modern telecommunications options,” as quoted on Stop the Cap!