From the Executive Director
Hey everyone, happy September. It’s been a memorable summer in so many ways—and even though I longed to be at the beach and was often catapulted into digital jealousy from the stellar vacation pix of my friends, the work we were immersed in at NAMAC was beautiful. If you actually read this eBulletin, you’ve heard about the 2016 ALLIANCE Conference, the launch of the interactive Fence Project (with an augmented reality photography app free for member organizations to use for local projects!) and the Creative Leadership Lab at Sundance—and as we round the bend to Q4 2016, we’re in Membership Drive mode so we can end the year stronger than we’ve ever been.
Over this last year, my first leading this incredible organization—I witnessed firsthand the power of creative collaboration. This Alliance re-emerged with an energy and vision that has brought folks together in new ways, created intersections and opportunities, catalyzed optimism and intentionality, laid the groundwork for sustainability, supported experimentation and innovation. We kicked off a national effort in Collective Impact in Youth Media, we produced 3 HatchLabs bringing together scientists, media makers and community activists to create projects together, our 2015 and 2016 Creative Leadership alumni are already working together in their communities—and we have put in a proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts to deepen and expand that work. Hundreds of you have participated in the Future of Storytelling Video Roundtables, attended the conference, led workshops, saw VR in a cultural context for the very first time, and found some new inspiration for your own work.
If any of this resonates for you, now is the time to help us continue all this goodness, support it, own it, and gift it to others. We have special GIFT MEMBERSHIPS available for Individuals that come with a beautiful email gift certificate and an ALLIANCE TOTE BAG made from recycled materials. Executive Directors—join at the Organizational Level and we’ll send TOTE BAGS for 10 of your staff! TOTE BAGS for Everyone! We’ll help all new members get acclimated to the community with a video orientation, and will help them get their member page up on the website, or their video in the screening room. Renew your own membership, join for the first time, or give a gift membership to the artists, storytellers, creative educators and changemakers in your life.
DO IT TODAY—it means a LOT to us. To me personally, to the Board, to the Consulting Producers, Mentors and Advisors who are the heart and soul of this Alliance—and to this entire community. We are a MEMBERSHIP Organization, after all. There is power in our numbers, and we need your voice and your participation. Join Today
NAMAC On the Road
ESoDoc, the European Social Documentary conference
Yesterday, Executive Director Wendy Levy heads to Palermo, Italy for ESoDoc 2016. While developing new partnerships for NAMAC’s global lab and residency programs, she will deliver a Keynote talk entitled “Responsive and Responsible Cinema: The New Soul Of Documentary.”
National Museum of African American History and Culture
On Friday, September 23rd, with a posse of NAMAC members and partners from Oakland and beyond, we will be in Washington, D.C. for the opening of this historic museum at the Smithsonian. Congratulations to media artists Hank Willis Thomas, Chris Johnson, Bayete Ross Smith, and Kamal Sinclair on their transformative Question Bridge: Black Males project being included in the permanent collection. This is huge.
International Documentary Association: Getting Real 2016
Straight from D.C., we’ll head to Los Angeles to join the conversations on art, diversity, and sustainability at Getting Real, the conference of the International Documentary Association. NAMAC filmmaker members, this conference is your tribe at work! Hope to see you there.
Notes from the Field
BIG Helps Launch New Community Journalism Project
BEYOND BOSTON is a new monthly regional news magazine spotlighting reporting from Boston-area community access television centers, including new member Brookline Interactive Group. The pilot episode debuted last month—watch it here.
NCTV Takes Home 4 Awards at ACM 2016 Conference
Renewing member Northampton Community Television won four Hometown Media Awards at the Alliance for Community Media’s 2016 conference in Boston last month, including Best Overall Excellence in PEG Access. Watch NCTV’s 2015 highlight reel here.
Three WMM Films Earn News/Doc Emmy Nominations
Leah Wolchok’s Very Semi-Serious, Ann Shin’s My Enemy, My Brother, and Johanna Hamilton’s 1971—all part of Women Make Movies’ Production Assistance Program—received News and Documentary Emmy nominations; the award winners will be announced later this month.
NAMLE Media Literacy Week Launches Next Month
Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week and now in its 2nd year, the National Alliance for Media Literacy Education’s Media Literacy Week works to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States and showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations around the country. Media Literacy Week 2016 will run Monday through Friday, October 31st through November 4th.
Is there something you’d like to publicize via NAMAC’s eBulletin? Fill out our eBulletin submission form.
Media Policy Watch
By Rose Kaplan
Late last month, we posted an open letter and call to action on namac.org about California Assembly Bill 2862. AB 2862, which was approved by the State Legislature last week, authorizes an update to the state’s visual and performing arts (VAPA) content standards, which have not been revised since 2001, but seemed to deliberately exclude the media arts from its consideration of the VAPA standards.
Since then, however, due to rapid and powerful public outcry, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has assured those in the media arts community that the state is committed to the explicit inclusion of the media arts in subsequent revisions of its visual and performing arts standards—as noted by Dain Olsen, a media arts teacher in the Los Angeles public schools who was previously the writing chair of the National Core Arts Standards: Media Arts.
The Pacifica Radio Archives comprise more than 90,000 hours of radio programming dating back to 1949, including rare recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Upton Sinclair, Rosa Parks and Malcolm X—” some of the best primary sources for activist history,” according to Radio Preservation Task Force Director Josh Shepperd.
In June, the Pacifica Foundation, which oversees the archive as well as the five existing Pacifica radio stations, laid off one archivist and imposed across-the-board 25% pay cuts for the remaining staff, leading to the resignation of Former Archives Director Brian DeShazor.
It was this climate of austerity that led National Federation of Community Broadcasters CEO Sally Kane to pen a letter urging the Pacifica Foundation to act to ensure the continued preservation and protection of the archive, and calling on NFCB member stations across the country to express their own support for the archive.
As OC Weekly‘s Gabriel San Roman writes, future possibilities for the archives—currently housed at Pacifica station KPFK‘s North Hollywood studios—could include new partnerships with universities to support further digitization efforts (15,000 of 50,000 total tapes have been digitized so far), but according to Interim Director Mark Torres, for the moment, the archives are safest where they are.
In its statement, led by filmmakers Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) and David Felix Sutcliffe ((T)ERROR), the IDA asks the federal government to intervene when local police arrest or otherwise harass the citizen journalists putting themselves in harms way to witness and record police violence. Signatories include filmmakers Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA), Steve James and Gordon (Hoop Dreams), and Jehane Noujaim (The Square), as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communication (BEREC) announced new net neutrality guidelines last week, and European open internet advocates are celebrating them as as victory for consumers across the continent. Read more at Vice Motherboard.
- A new international trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors has the backing of some of the United States’ biggest tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, and IBM, but public advocates warn that the deal—called the Trade In Services Agreement—could threaten online privacy; damage efforts to fight climate change; and prevent developing countries from improving public services, as The Independent‘s Ian Johnston writes.
- In 2015, the FCC issued an order allowing municipalities to build their own high-speed broadband networks, overriding state-level restrictions on such networks in North Carolina and Tennessee; but early last month, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the order, leaving rural communities at the mercy of corporate broadband providers who have little financial incentive to serve them. Read more at Free Press.