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The NAMAC eBulletin

your latest media arts + culture news—December 2015


From the Executive Director

Wendy Levy

It’s been an incredible year at NAMAC. If you are reading this, you were likely an important part of making it happen.

We came together with a fervent agenda—to collaborate, innovate, grow strategically, and create change. This Alliance, a far-reaching group of artists, organizations and institutions, culture workers, educators, media makers, storytellers, code builders, deep thinkers, and creative leaders—forged new bonds and made commitments to do some deep work together.

People showed up:
  • to the launch of the Creative Leadership Lab at Sundance (an extension of NAMAC’s signature National Leadership Institute);
  • to participate in the birth of the Creative Impact Network and HatchLabs;
  • to the launch of the Innovation Studio, where participatory media projects can grow into system-changing forces of nature;
  • to write for two new blog series, Storytelling Matters and The Meaning of Creative Leadership;
  • to add their voices to powerful online conversations hosted through our Video Roundtable program including Black Lives Matter and the Future of Storytelling and The Future of the National Youth Media Network (stay tuned for a video report from Black Lives Matter and the Future of Storytelling later this month);
  • to plan and produce a seriously badass NAMAC Conference—coming your way June 9-12, 2016 in Oakland. Save the dates. Seriously, you won’t want to miss it.
It’s happening. This is what a commitment to “field-building” feels like. And it gets even better. In 2016, we will deepen our work supporting collaborating artists and organizations to connect with meaning, ethics, and impact in global communities and cultures; to explore new media technologies and storytelling modalities with accountability and intention; to model new methods and practice through case studies, research, and training; and to foster dynamic and boundary-pushing conversations at every turn.

Please check out our expanding network of Consulting Producers—these are the amazing folks who will be working closely with me next year to create, produce, and facilitate NAMAC programming. I am grateful to them for stepping into this Alliance with all they have and offering their leadership and expertise—just as I am to our visionary funding partners, who make the work possible: Andy Warhol Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Adobe Foundation, Fledgling Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and Philadelphia Foundation.

If you’ve thought about joining NAMAC, now is the time. Our members are our value and our promise—so if you’ve joined or renewed this year, THANK YOU. I am an optimist by nature; even in the midst of the crises we have faced, and continue to face, in the growing winter cold, I am moved by the collective force of our tribe and feel blessed to be part of helping us chart true north—as artists, seekers, storytellers, and global citizens.

A happy and safe New Years to all,

wendy signature
installation by Xia Xiaowan at Beijing Minsheng Art Museum (photo by Lydia M. Chen)

Member News and Notes

See's News + Opinion for more!
Updates from Lydia M. Chen's Art and Smog
Renewing member Lydia M. Chen has updated her blog with new stories and photos from her research for Art and Smog—the working title for her in-progress documentary revisiting the lives of several Beijing artists whom she first profiled in her 1991 documentary Inner Visions. (Above: a photo by the filmmaker of a walk-through landscape installation by Xia Xiaowan at Beijing Minsheng Art Museum)

The Loft Cinema gets a 70mm film projection upgrade
Late last month, Tucson's Loft Cinema announced its acquisition of a new Norelco DP75 film projection system, which will both give the cinema better access to 35mm prints and allow it to screen 70mm prints for the first time. To celebrate, Loft is screening 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm in January, with more to follow.

Harmony Institute explores social issue docs at the box office
In a blog post, Harmony Institute's Matt Olivo analyzes a number of different metrics for predicting box office performance for social issue documentaries.
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World Pulse

New and Renewing Members

World Pulse (Portland, OR) is a membership organization helping women around the world use the power of digital communication to speak out, connect, and build solutions to global challenges. Programs include an Online Community Leadership Program and a Digital Empowerment Training.

LaTosha Brown (Atlanta, GA) is a singer/songwriter and the owner of The Way Productions. With her record label, Pink Butterfly Records, she created and screened I Got a Good Man for the Atlanta 48-Hour Film Project last year.

Renewing member! Lydia M. Chen (Newton, MA) is a documentary filmmaker whose recent work has profiled avant-garde art in China. Her current project, Art and Smog, will follow several Beijing-based visual artists whom she previously interviewed in her 1991 film Inner Visions, exploring how 25 years of economic growth have affected the artists’ lives and work.

Stephanie Ricks founded the Stephanie Ricks Foundation and C.O.M.E. to The Arts (Atlanta, GA), its youth arts program, to remedy a lack of arts and communications programs in the local public middle and high schools. Programming includes public relations, corporate communications, online journalism, marketing, and social media.

Carol Coombes (Miami Beach, FL) is the Director of Cultural Arts for World OutGames Miami 2017. She is currently an eLearning student in the Masters Program in Business Design and Arts Leadership at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Heidi Duckler is the Artistic Director and founder of Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), which since 1985 has explored site-specific dance performance fusing art, movement, pop culture, and interactivity.

Ashara Ekundayo (Oakland, CA) is the Chief Creative Officer and Omi Gallery Curator/Director at Impact Hub Oakland. Through her company BluBlak Media Consulting, she has worked with local and national organizations to build capacity for increased community engagement through the uses of creative practice, exhibition, strategic communications design and project management.

Renewing member! Global Action Project (New York, NY) works with young people to create media for community power, cultural expression, and political change. Since 1991, GAP has provided media arts and leadership education for thousands of youth in underserved communities across New York City and the country.

Renewing member! Patrice O'Neill (Oakland, CA) is the Executive Producer and Co-Founder of The Working Group, a nonprofit media company interested in workplace issues; race, diversity, and the battle against intolerance; and encouraging democracy and citizen participation. Its series and anti-hate campaign Not in Our Town debuted on PBS in 1995, with subsequent episodes airing throughout the 2000s and 2010s.

Pinball London (London, England) is a production company that works with filmmakers around the world. Pinball produces mainly for cinema, with linked projects including books, art installations, events, and music projects via Pinball Arts and consultancy on impact distribution and audience outreach/engagement via Pinball Audiences.

Renewing member! Since 1972, Women Make Movies (New York, NY) has worked to address the under- and misrepresentation of women in media via the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent film and video by/about women. WMM provides services to both users and makers of film/video, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color, and facilitates the development of feminist media through its Distribution Service and Production Assistance Program.
Independent Television Services

Job Bank

Community Manager, Maker Education Initiative (Oakland, CA)—due Tuesday, December 15th

Documentary Workshop Instructor, Educational Video Center (New York, NY)—due Friday, December 18th

Assistant Professor in Time-Based Media, University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)—due Monday, January 4th, 2016

Executive Director, Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo, NY)—due Friday, January 15th, 2016

Assistant Professor in Games and Playable Media, University of California (Santa Cruz, CA)—due Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Open until filled
Assistant Professor, Digital/Film Production and Cinematography, Emerson College (Boston, MA)

Education Director, Film Streams (Omaha, NE)

HoopsHIGH Program Coordinator, Free Spirit Media (Chicago, IL)

Development Associate/Manager, Harmony Institute (New York, NY)

Director of Development, Independent Television Services (San Francisco, CA)

Assistant/Associate Professor of Digital Arts, University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)

Director of Digital Media, Peninsula Jewish Community Center (Foster City, CA)

Marketing and Digital Media Manager, Shakespeare and Company (Lenox, MA)

Community Engagement Manager, Criminal Justice Project, StoryCorps (Brooklyn, NY)

more jobs on the Job Bank
Philadelphia City Council hearing on the proposed franchise agreement with Comcast

Media Policy Watch

By Rose Kaplan

Back in May, we reported on the efforts of Philadelphia residents to hold Comcast accountable in advance of Philly's then-upcoming Comcast franchise renewal talks. This week, those talks were ongoing—with reporting late last night that Comcast and the City of Philadelphia had finally reached a deal.

While franchise renewal talks happen regularly all over the country, the Philly talks have added significance; in Philadelphia, America's poorest big city, many residents lack access to broadband, and Comcast is the only Fortune 50 company headquartered in the city. For details on the deal and the weeks of talks, including comments by folks from youth media, public access, and more, check Philly's archive of Comcast-related stories.

John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative: Skidmore College Storytellers' Institute

Grants and Calls

AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women
The American Film Institute offers this hands-on training program in order to increase the number of women working professionally in screen directing. Participants must complete a short film or series by the end of the program. Deadline: Sunday, December 6th

Call for Applications: 2016 Film Independent Documentary Lab
The Documentary Lab is a five-week intensive designed to help filmmakers currently in post-production on feature-length documentary films. The Lab provides creative feedback and story notes to participating filmmakers, while helping them to strategize for the completion, distribution, and marketing of their films. Deadline: Monday, December 7th

2016 Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca seeks submissions of feature-length and short narrative and documentary films, as well as trans/intermedia projects for its interactive storytelling program. Deadlines: Friday, December 11th (Storyscapes project); Wednesday, December 23rd (late deadline for world-premiere features)

2016 Los Angeles Film Festival
The LA Film Fest seeks submissions of feature films (completed after June 1st), short films, music videos, alternative online content, and more. Official deadline: Monday, December 14th

Call for Submissions: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Full Frame seeks short (up to 40 minutes) and feature (41 minutes or longer) documentary films completed after January 1st, 2014. Late deadline: Tuesday, December 15th

Harvestworks New Works Residency
Individual working artists are encouraged to apply for the Residency, a national program offering American artists up to $5000 to make a new work in Harvestworks' Technology, Engineering, Art, and Music lab. Proposed projects should explore new aesthetic premises and push the boundaries of conventional art forms and media. Deadline: Tuesday, December 15th

Call for Submissions: Big Sky Doc Fest: 2016 Big Sky Pitch
Big Sky seeks documentaries-in-progress for its 2016 Big Sky Pitch, in which filmmakers pitch their projects to top American documentary commissioning editors and funders. All documentary forms and subjects are eligible. Deadline: Thursday, December 31st

Moore Doc Studies Collaborative: 2016 Storytellers' Institute
The John. B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative's Storytellers' Institute is a five-week residency at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY) at which up to four competitively selected filmmakers (Institute Fellows) workshop and develop documentary projects alongside ten Skidmore students and faculty. Deadline: Friday, January 1st, 2016

2016 Rooftop Films Summer Series
Rooftop Films seeks submissions of feature and short documentaries and fiction films of any genre or category for its 2016 summer series of outdoor film screenings. Regular deadline: Friday, January 15th, 2016

Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation
The Fellowship brings fellows to Harvard University to work on specific courses of research or specific projects relating to innovation in journalism. Candidates should either be working journalists (freelance included) or work for news organizations in a business, technology, or leadership capacity. Domestic deadline: Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Call for Submissions: AFI DOCS
The American Film Institute seeks submissions of feature and short documentaries, from around the world, on any subject. Regular deadline: Friday, February 5th, 2016
Media in Action: A Field Scan of Media and Youth Organizing in the United States

New in the Resource Library

Have you checked out the NAMAC Resource Library yet? There you'll find story and design tools, cultural strategies, field research, and white papers that will deepen your understanding of innovation and shared practice across the field. 

Media In Action: A Field Scan of Media and Youth Organizing in the United States

Renewing NAMAC member Global Action Project conducted this national research project with Data Center and Research Action Design in order to understand how youth organizers use media as a tool to advance their activism, and what challenges they face, focusing on the following areas:

1) What stories do youth want to tell?
2) How do youth organizing and media strategy fit together?
3) How do youth organizers gauge impact and reach audiences?
4) What media tools are youth organizers using and how?
5) What challenges do youth organizers face using media as part of their organizing strategy?

Women Weave the Web: Recommendations for Women's Digital Empowerment

Throughout 2014, new NAMAC member World Pulse crowdsourced the wisdom and testimonies of women leaders worldwide on digital inclusion and empowerment via its WWW: Women Weave the Web Campaign.

A host of cultural, economic, social, and infrastructural barriers keep women from accessing the empowerment potential of the Internet. This 2015 report distills hundreds of women's voices from more than 70 countries to provide actionable steps that any individual or organization can take globally to ensure that women begin to have equal access to digital tools, digital literacy, and empowerment from being connected online.

Workshops, Convenings, Festivals

International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Arts and Digital Media
Sunday and Monday, January 10th and 11th, 2016
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Premiers Plans: Angers Festival
Friday, January 22nd through Monday, January 31st, 2016
Angers, France

Göteborg Film Festival
Friday, January 29th through Monday, February 8th, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden

Thin Line Fest
Wednesday through Sunday, February 17th through 21st
Denton, Texas

Nonprofit Technology Conference
Wednesday through Friday, March 23rd through 25th, 2016
San Jose, California

THE JOYS OF NAMAC MEMBERSHIP • Networked Web PortalA robust website that visually showcases the impact stories of member organizations and individual artists serving marginalized and under-resourced communities across the country and around the world • Leadership RoundtablesQuarterly Creative Leadership Roundtables will be developed as a year-round participatory framework for peer-to-peer mentorship relevant to a range of arts and culture staff, from founders to mid-career leaders and next-gen emerging voices • Innovation StudioA virtual and actual lab space to receive mentorship and support in the development of unique open source media/arts/tech initiatives, with an opportunity to present your ideas to funders and investors • Media Policy Action HubThis very public action hub will aggregate breaking news, legislation and current campaigns in a live interactive map interface, focusing on issues like net neutrality, surveillance and human rights, censorship and free press • Global Artist Residency Program and FundTo facilitate the most dynamic collaborations between artists, organizations and communities, NAMAC will partner with trusted cultural exchange programs to design NAMAC co-branded media arts residencies, with a companion fund to support collaborative projects between artists and NGOs • National Conferencecoming June 2016 in Oakland!

National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture
NAMAC facilitates collaboration, strategic growth, innovation, and cultural impact for the media arts field; through a strong members network and state-of-the-art programming, NAMAC supports a vibrant and essential role for media arts in culture and community. JOIN TODAY
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