Collage by Colombian artist Hansel Obando
As October ends, the world is in an undeniably horrible state. It’s nearly impossible to focus on day-to-day activities in the shadow of brutal global warfare, with so many innocent lives already lost and more at grave risk, the disintegration of American democracy, persistent mass shootings in a country that refuses to control access to guns but insists on controlling women’s bodies and freedom. It’s harder and harder to feel the joy of life, to show up for conversations about anything else, to envision a future without the terrors and injustice so many people face right now. I know these are the times when artists are sorely needed, when we go to work with vision and urgency, to reflect on this world and to help make sense of the horrors we face collectively, and alone.
At the Alliance, we are currently reimagining our 2024 Power of Storytelling Grants program to support projects not only from US-based emerging filmmakers, but to also include collaborative public media and storytelling events and exhibitions — the kind of work that is designed to bring communities together in the process of making, and in gathering, witnessing and engaging with the work and each other (See Alliance Board Member Anula Shetty’s recent project Philly Daydreams). Where do stories of hope live? How do we best amplify the voices that are persistently silenced? How do we create conditions for young ones and elders to create and build together? I am loving initiatives that are in development right now in Watts, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Ignacio – establishing creative media hubs and multi-arts workforce centers where there are empty spaces and a vision for change. These are culturally and digitally-rich communities that are supporting art-making, journalism and creative media production, entrepreneurship, training, economic resilience and the practice of humanity. As partners in this work, we honor the legacy of “each one teach one” and are re-invigorating mentorship as a sacred practice in the face of AI-powered technology and corporate branding that has no roots, no accountability, and no real sense of history.
This is your Alliance, our Alliance. We build together. Get involved, partner, donate, sponsor programs – anything is possible.
As always, please be in touch and join the Alliance.
Notes from the Field
ARTS2WORK APPRENTICES RISING: Breaking New Ground in Baltimore and Beyond
Registered Apprenticeship is a national movement where digital media careers are finally being recognized and BIPOC artists, technologists, and storytellers are coming out of the margins as vital creative workers. The national Arts2Work program offers career pathways for Multimedia Producers, Digital Video Editors, and Multimedia Graphic Designers and during this National Apprenticeship Week panel and screening, you will hear directly from past and current Apprentices in our Baltimore program at the award-winning nonprofit, Wide Angle Youth Media. These emerging designers, producers, directors, and editors are leading the way forward, as creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and valued staff members. Come see their work and hear about Apprenticeship from a very new perspective.
Monday, November, 13th 10AM PT/1PM ETUNLOCKING CREATIVITY: Media, Justice and the Future of Apprenticeship
Unlocking Creativity is a Community of Practice hosted by the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture. It includes arts, culture, journalism organizations, and media artists from across the country who are working with current and formerly incarcerated individuals and justice-impacted youth. Friday, November 17th, 10AM PT/1PM ETFilm Frontera’s 8th Annual Filmmaker Showcase
Last month, Femme Frontera premiered the 8th year of its annual showcase of films made by women from border regions, particularly the U.S/Mexico Border. The showcase was featured on New Mexico KRWG Public Radio through an interview with it’s founder and director. A corresponding Q&A from the premier at Philadelphia Latino Arts & Film Festival is archived on YouTube.
Grants and Calls
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
Connecticut Humanities Fund Planning Grants
Connecticut-based organizations working on projects that fall under the umbrella of interpretive digital media are wanted for the Connecticut Humanities Fund Planning Grants. Interpretive digital media includes digital exhibits, virtual tours, and documentary films. Applicants can receive between $5,000 and $25,000 in funding.
Deadline: November 7th
Illinois Arts Council Agency Artist Fellowship Program
The Artist Fellowship Program recognizes exceptional Illinois-based artists. The grant is specifically seeking artists who have created a substantial body of work in the fields of Crafts, Digital Arts, Ethnic & Folk Arts, New Art Forms, and Visual Based Arts. Grant winners will be awarded $15,000 with a limited number of finalists receiving $1,500.
Deadline: November 7th
Workshops, Festivals, Convenings
| American Film Market (AFM), October 31st-November 5th, Santa Monica, CA|
Denver Film Festival, November 3rd-12th, Denver, CO DOC NYC, November 8th-16th, New York, NY
Sound Unseen, November 8th-12th, Minneapolis, MN
Three Rivers Film Festival, November 8th-15th, Pittsburgh, PA
Baltic Film Festival NY, November 8th-19th, New York, NY
Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, November 8th-12th, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition, November 16th-19th, Pittsburgh, PA NFMLA Monthly Film Festival: Indigenous Cinema, November 18th, Los Angeles, CA
NFMLA DocuSlate Documentary Film Festival, November 19th, Los Angeles, CA
Media Policy Watch
by Priscilla Genet
As the fog of war and a news blackout within the Gaza strip continue, Antony Blinken met with Qatari prime minister Sheikh Mohammed to ask that Al Jazeera “turn down the volume” on their coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to The Guardian. This came after an Al Jazeera broadcast featured Chief Correspondent Wael al-Dahdouh’s on-air response to the discovery that his family had been killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Two weeks ago, Artforum published an open letter signed by thousands of prominent artists calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Some viewed this letter as one-sided, feeling that it didn’t provide historical context and failed to mention the attack from Hamas that served as the precursor for Israel’s military campaign. The letter has since been updated to reflect a condemnation of violence against noncombatants generally, but regardless, a wave of retaliation has ensued, most prominently with the firing of Artforum editor-in-chief David Velasco. Velasco was dismissed last Thursday by Artforum’s parent company Penske media. Regarding the firing, Velasco stated to The New York Times “I’m disappointed that a magazine that has always stood for freedom of speech and the voices of artists has bent to outside pressure.”