From the Executive Director:
The Collective Momentum of our Alliance
September is one of my favorite months. Maybe it’s the exciting memory of new school shoes. In my more enlightened moments, it’s the vibe of the Jewish High Holidays, with their promise of forgiveness and the hope of renewal and new beginnings.
There is so much going on in the world right now where our humanity, our creativity, and our conviction are needed; I am grateful for, and astounded by, the energy and contributions of the NAMAC community on so many fronts. Of course, I’m thrilled about the announcement of our Rockefeller grant for NAMAC’s Innovation Studio, and the momentum we now have to develop a global network around creativity, science, and climate justice. In truth, our community is already imagining, creating, organizing, distributing, and engaging audiences with all manner of untold stories on so many issues that are helping to codify, decode, and lay open our most deeply felt experiences. These projects and initiatives create a collective momentum that defines the power and contribution of the artist’s voice. Please share your work with us; every NAMAC member has a full page on the website to highlight current projects and vision, to connect others to content, to lead the conversations around art, culture, imagination, and creative change.
NAMAC is a place where media artists, media arts and social sector organizations, funders, and the community-at-large can come together to share ideas, resources, strategies, and innovation. We are offering multiple opportunities this fall for NAMAC members to learn from each other’s experiences (and mistakes!), glean new insights, and share a vision for the future. Working collectively has been a pipe dream for many of us. Here is how NAMAC is working on making it real.
Two New Blog Series
We are introducing two new blog series this fall, Storytelling Matters and The Meaning of Creative Leadership.
We are offering multiple opportunities this fall for NAMAC members to learn from each other’s experiences (and mistakes!), glean new insights, and share a vision for the future.
The Meaning of Creative Leadership is a monthly series where we will be sharing unique, powerful, and poetic views of the meaning of Creative Leadership, written by NAMAC’s Creative Leadership Lab alumni. In a day and age when the notion of storytelling has been co-opted by big business, and the role of storytelling has been deeply commodified, we intend to hold the space for a conversation led by creative storytellers whose projects and purpose open fresh perspectives on the role of art and artists in cultural transformation. First up is documentary filmmaker and two-time Emmy-winning, internationally recognized leader and pioneer in digital media Katerina Cizek. She writes on “The Beautiful Chaos of Creativity.” Check out her post here and add your voice.
Storytelling Matters, the other new blog series, will feature original and curated writing and photography about global story culture and innovation in the hopes of facilitating conversation about the ethical and responsible use of creative technologies in community. The series launched with a powerful crosspost from Photo District News by Conor Risch, “Virtual Reality in Conflict Zones.” Please read, comment, and add your voice. If you have a story you’d like to write for the series, let us know! email@example.com
NAMAC is getting really good at these Virtual Roundtables—they are actually video chats on Zoom.us, and not so much a roundtable as a grid of beautiful talking and listening faces. The National Youth Media Network has been the model for these, and they set the bar high—there were over 30 organizations at the first Roundtable, and the conversation laid the groundwork for a multi-year Collective Impact proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts. That proposal went in just a few weeks ago and reflected as closely as possible the ideas and vision of that conversation and the partnership of those folks on the call. These Roundtables are a great way to get involved with the NAMAC community—see the Roundtables page for the schedule of conversations coming up, including Intellectual Property and the Myth of the Creative Apocalypse, New Models of Philanthropy in Media Arts, #BlackLivesMatter and the Future of Storytelling, and Introducing HatchLabs and The Creative Impact Network.
Let’s wrap this year, and begin the next, working together—firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Policy Watch
By Rose Kaplan
In response to an appeal of the FCC’s still-new Net Neutrality rules brought by the United States Telecom Association on behalf of a number of powerful Internet service providers, organizations that support artists and internet freedom—including NAMAC!—have filed briefs in support of the Net Neutrality rules and against the USTA’s appeal.
In a brief filed September 22nd, the Writers Guild of America, West, the Future of Music Coalition, and NAMAC ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to uphold the FCC’s order and reject the challenge brought by the USTA. Future of Music CEO (and NAMAC Board President) Casey Rae said of the brief:
“For nearly a decade, thousands of artists and independent labels have gone on record in support of strong Net Neutrality rules that ensure their ability to compete alongside the biggest companies online. Now, this same community is urging the court to uphold the FCC’s Title II framework. Without these light-touch, enforceable rules of the road, creators and fans alike will be left behind in the evolution of our digital networks.”
Another brief was filed by over 45,000 Internet petitioners associated with the website netneutralitybrief.com, created for this express purpose—read it here.
“Thousands of artists and independent labels have gone on record in support of strong Net Neutrality rules that ensure their ability to compete alongside the biggest companies online. Now, this same community is urging the court to uphold the FCC’s Title II framework.” (Casey Rae, Future of Music CEO and NAMAC Board President)
A number of organizations have recently been lobbying the FCC to expand the Lifeline program. Created under President Ronald Reagan as a subsidy for low-income families to afford basic phone service, the program was updated to include wireless service under President George W. Bush. However, as groups such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Free Press, the Media Action Grassroots Network, and Public Knowledge argued last month in comments submitted to the FCC, the program must be expanded to include broadband Internet—a necessity in today’s world.
Volkswagen was in the news recently as it was uncovered that their cars had been electronically programmed to cheat on emissions tests. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kit Walsh writes, it’s exactly these kinds of cheats that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act lets automakers get away with. “When you entrust your health, safety, or privacy to a device, the law shouldn’t punish you for trying to understand how that device works and whether it is trustworthy,” Walsh concludes.
Finally, just last week, Judge George H. King of the Central District of California ruled that the Warner/Chappell Music’s claim to copyright of the “Happy Birthday” song is false! Public Knowledge’s Raza Panjwani delves into the details of the case and its significance for copyright reform here.
Leave a Reply