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

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

I can’t lie — May has been amazing. On May 3rd and 4th, the Alliance produced a Community Design Lab for Teaching Artists in Watts for 25 media and visual artists and educators who will be leading Arts2Work training in California. The event was co-facilitated by Alliance Advisory Board member Veronica Corzo-Duchardt, Design Director at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, with a roster of amazing guest speakers including Martha Diaz, Hip Hop Education Center, Ryan Burvick, Audio Pictures, Lauren Stevenson, Patreon, and Nate McKinney from KALW’s UnCuffed. Thanks are due to Snap Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and NBCUniversal for making it all possible, and thank you to all the Teaching Artists — for showing up for the process and working so well together, building programs and careers like we build the world.

A group of people standing together

Description automatically generatedCommunity Design Lab for Teaching Artists at WLCAC                                                         photo by Rahzizi Ishakarah

Things we will be thinking about and doing this summer:

  1. Arts2Work: We are kicking off the planning of the first Registered Apprenticeship pathway and mentorship model for community-based Digital Archivists. If you are a media organization or filmmaker who wishes your digital media collection was organized, archived, searchable and more accessible to your community — we would love to speak with you. We are looking for partners who are willing to mentor a skilled youth Apprentice as part of the project. Please reach out to Alliance Senior Consultant Martha Diaz, martha@thealliance.media.
  2. Innovation Culture Studio: We are in the early planning stages of a new Creative Justice AI Media Collab; an in-person, 5-day working studio for documentary filmmakers and photographers, AI technologists and human rights partners — to explore new possibilities for artist and journalist-led media projects.
  3. Open Archive Initiative: We are continuing the development of a web platform for community-based organizations, public media stations and independent media makers to co-create an accessible, sustainable, AI-enabled digital archive. Video, audio, photography, and previously unpublished or orphaned work product (like interviews, broll, etc). can be included. The goal is an open and accountable digital archive from which collected work can be researched, and new work can be activated and curated. We are imagining an ethics-based, AI-powered tagging and image search toolkit, a platform where registered users can license footage for research and new productions, connect with each other, learn new tech, and collaborate on future world-building projects. We prototyped this platform briefly with the Microsoft Media Team about 4 years ago as a project called FRED. Now it is time to make it happen for real. Partners and interested funders/investors, please reach out!

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. 

~ Wendy


Notes from the Field

Youth FX | 2024 World Premiere Screening
The world premiere of a number of short films made by students in Albany’s Youth FX program will take place on Thursday, June 6th at 7p.m. at the Spectrum 8 Theaters. Following the screening there will be a Q&A session with the young filmmakers and program personnel.

Marcia Smith, Co-Founder and President of Firelight Media, To Step Down; National Search To Be Conducted
Marcia Smith, the co-founder and president of Firelight Media, has announced she will be stepping down from her role at the end of 2024. A national search for her successor will begin this month and she will remain with the organization until a new President is appointed. On her time at the organization, Smith said, “From the outset, [my partner] Stanley and I understood the transformative potential of documentary films that center communities of color in front of and behind the camera. What we did not anticipate is how much the filmmakers we’ve supported would transform the industry as a whole.”

Grants and Calls

ITVS Open Call
The ITVS Open Call provides independent producers up to $350,000 in funding to complete production for a standalone broadcast-length documentary that will air on public television. This funding opportunity supports exceptional storytelling that takes risks, tackles important issues, and serves underserved audiences.Deadline: June 3

Austin Film Society Grant for Feature Films
Film and Video artists located in Texas are invited to apply for the Austin Film Society Feature Film Grants. Grants for both Production and Development are available, with $15,000 available for films in production and $15,000 for films in development.
Deadline: June 6th

The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund
The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund supports in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories that integrate journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. Established in 2017, this fund prioritizes projects combating misinformation on social media and other internet platforms by using journalistic principles like fact-checking and research. Filmmakers worldwide can apply, and the fund aims to help them retain their independent voices while creating artistically rigorous work accessible to general audiences.
Deadline: June 25th

IDA Open Call for the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund
Documentary filmmakers worldwide are encouraged to apply for the IDA Open Call for the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund. The theme for this years is Gender Justice. The fund offers over $500,000 in grants to support feature-length documentary films and immersive nonfiction media projects that reflect the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz’s work. These projects exhibit objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, artistic writing,  and outstanding music composition, as well as skillful direction, camerawork, and editing.
Deadline: June 25th

Job Bank

Executive Director, Windsor Historical Society, Windsor, CT

Executive Director, Points North Institute, Rockport, ME

Administrative and Program Associate, Reel Medicine Media, Oakland, CA

Part-Time Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, The Better Angels Society, Remote

more jobs on the Job Bank

Media Policy Watch

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its second major round of grants which will provide more than $110 million in funding for projects. The available categories are Arts Projects, which supports a wide range of projects of varying sizes, focusing on public education; Our Town, which focuses on projects that integrate the arts into local communities; and State and Regional Partnerships, covering 40 percent of funding provided to state, regional, and national organizations.

The Department of Justice has announced it will be filing a major antitrust lawsuit against the concert ticket-selling platform Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. The DOJ is seeking to break up the companies for what Attorney General Merrick B. Garland describes as “anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators.” This lawsuit is part of a multi-year investigation, as the public has developed a growing resentment for the platform after it crashed during a presale for a Taylor Swift tour, infuriating fans. Live Nation has responded to the suit, claiming that antitrust enforcement has come to rely on the whims of a populist urge, not the law itself, and is “anti-business.”

Former Federal Trade Commission General Counsel, Alden Abbott, wrote in Forbes that the lawsuit could face many pitfalls, including difficulty in proving the companies hold a monopoly as they have relatively low profit margins, and that it could be difficult to prove their merger is anti-competitive. However, following the recent Google lawsuit and the FTC’s ban on noncompetes, a general trend towards federal efforts to promote both consumer and worker rights is evident.

Workshops, Festivals, Convenings

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, May 29th-June 2nd, Los Angeles, CA

New Media Film Festival, June 5th-6th, Los Angeles, CA

Tribeca Film Festival, June 5th-16th, New York City, NY

Bentonville Film Festival, June 10th-16th, Bentonville, AR

American Black Film Festival, US – June 12th-16th, Miami, FL

Provincetown International Film Festival, June 12th-16th, Provincetown, MA

DC/DOX Film Festival, June 13th -16th, Washington, DC

Frameline International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, June 14th-24th, San Francisco, CA

Palm Springs International ShortFest, June 18th-24th, Palm Springs, CA