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The NAMAC eBulletin

your latest media arts + culture news—May 2016


From the Executive Director

Wendy LevyHey Everyone… ALLIANCE 2016 is coming—and seriously, y’all should get registered and get ready to head over to Oakland, June 9 – 12. Don’t wait. Register NOW. The conference team has put together a badass program of panels, roundtables, screenings, performances, special events, one-on-one meetings, open mic pitches, and art & stories for days. ALLIANCE 2016 is the time to find new partners-in-crime, funders, collaborators, inspirations & fresh ideas. Have a poolside meeting with a new program officer. Learn how media artists are creating revenue models way outside the box. Get real with other media arts leaders about the future of truly independent film. Talk to your creative counterparts across the country and share notes from the field. Hear from documentary subjects whose powerful voices extend way beyond the screen and deep into communities. Learn new strategies for creative survival and tools for social impact. Have a discussion about the ethics and artistry of emerging technologies—and see some new VR and AR and interactive photography projects in the Innovation Studio. Find out what Google has in store for Cardboard… and beyond. We have hotel rooms blocked for YOU.  Oakland filmmakers, poets, Native American drummers, hip-hop dancers, and soulful jazz musicians are waiting to welcome YOU.
A few conversations you won’t want to miss:
Stanley Nelson’s film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolutions galvanized audiences from its premiere at Sundance 2015 to its national PBS broadcast in February 2016, where it became the highest rated and most social documentary in PBS’s history and top-trended worldwide. Throughout its yearlong release, the film has sparked a national conversation on the legacy of the Black Panther Party and the parallels to today’s Movement for Black Lives. Find out how it happened, and what lessons we can learn.
With Sonya Childress, Chi Do, Yo Ann Martinez, Malkia Cyril, Keith Zwofer, Ericka Huggins

Museums have a way of feeling out-of-reach to the masses. Many people have never even set foot in a museum—and don’t feel any less informed because of it. Art was marginally important to many people in the analog age, and now that digital communication drives human interaction, can museums attract and maintain diverse audiences and gain more relevance in everyday life? Can visual art and museums become catalysts for meaningful political discourse? Can digital outreach bring the community in—and can it take the museum out of its marble walls?
With Afua Kafi-Akua and others
In a digital culture where the lines between documentary, journalism, and community media are blurring beyond recognition, what are the most compelling approaches that artists and journalists are using to reframe political and social narratives? What are the recent projects that have become part of transformational policy shifts? In a public media landscape where advocacy is still a dirty word and media arts practice without an “issue” is virtually impossible to fund—what must the new paradigm shift look like?
With Ellen Schneider, Paco de Onis, Pamela Yates, and others

Over the years, Creative Capital has awarded $40 million to 642 groundbreaking artists nationwide through funding, counsel and career development services. Their workshops have empowered nearly 12,000 creative minds to strengthen their careers and enrich their community.
This session is a Special Presentation by several of Creative Capital’s award-winning media artists—be there
We have survived a transition of a few years where many core media arts funders have revamped their guidelines, re-aligned their visions, cut longstanding program areas, instituted new priorities, clarified their purpose and practice. Where do we go from here? What are the new opportunities for content-producing organizations, independent artists, activists using media? What kind of storytelling, field building and community development is really interesting to funders right now? How do we work better together?
Panelists include program officers from MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Fledgling Fund, and others
Check out the conference site,—and let's hang in Oakland next month!
Department of Critical Media Practices

Notes from the Field

New Critical Media Practices program at UC Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is launching a new Department of Critical Media Practices program to address changing landscapes of electronic media-making via the development of both analytical and production skills across a wide range of platforms, practices, and technologies—and renewing member (as well as previous NAMAC Director) Helen De Michiel is on board as a Visiting Professor.

Heinz Endowments hires Alyce Myatt for PF/PCA review
Arts consultant and renewing member Alyce Myatt was recently enlisted by the Heinz Endowments to review programs offered by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
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New Orleans Film Society

New and Renewing Members

ArtsEdge is a free digital education resource created by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Arlington, VA) to support teaching and learning in, through, and about the arts.

Susannah Brown is the Public Education Manager at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York, NY).

Community Film Workshop of Chicago (Chicago, IL) offers production and education programming supporting the development of digital media artists in underserved and under-represented communities and giving people of color, youth and women the tools to transform their communities.

Jeanine Corbet is the Operations Manager of the Brooklyn College Television Center (Brooklyn, NY).

Renewing! Helen De Michiel (Boulder, CO), founder of Thirty Leaves Productions, is currently a Visiting Professor in the new Department of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado.

Renewing! Alyce Myatt (Baltimore, MD) is an independent consultant to foundations and donors in media and philanthropy.

The New Orleans Film Society (New Orleans, LA) produces the annual New Orleans Film Festival each fall, a major showcase of local, regional, national, and international films, as well as hosting other events to support local film audiences, artists, and professionals.

The Executive and Artistic Director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival, Louise Rosen (Brunswick, ME) also provides consulting services to advise media makers on finance, development, production, marketing, and distribution strategies.
Rogovy Foundation: Miller / Packan Fund

Grants and Calls

Rogovy: Miller / Packan Film Fund
A new fund offered through the Rogovy Foundation will award between $5,000 and $25,000 to six to ten filmmakers working on documentaries in the areas of education, the environment, and civics. Deadline: Sunday, May 15th

Call for Submissions: UNAFF 2016
The United Nations Association Film Festival seeks international documentaries addressing human rights, the environment, refugees, famine, homelessness, racism, disease control, women's issues, children, universal education, war, and peace. Regular deadline: Monday, May 16th; late deadline: Thursday, May 26th

SFFS Documentary Film Fund
The San Francisco Film Society is accepting Letters of Inquiry for its Documentary Film Fund, which funds riveting documentaries in postproduction distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters, and innovative visual approaches. Early deadline: Monday, May 16th; late deadline: Monday, May 23rd

National Science Foundation: Antarctic Artists and Writers Program
The NSF program supports artists and writers whose work requires them to be in the Antarctic to complete proposed projects, which should increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic and human endeavors on the southernmost continent. Deadline: Wednesday, June 1st

more Grants and Calls on the Job Bank
Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center

Job Bank

Neighborhood News Director, Somerville Community Access Television (Somerville, MA)—due Sunday, May 15th

Technical Teaching Instructor, HtH Boot Camp, Hack the Hood/Center for Media Change (Oakland, CA)—due Friday, May 20th

Media Arts Instructor, Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center (Patchogue, NY)—due Sunday, June 12th

Production Coordinator, FSM News South, Free Spirit Media (Chicago, IL)—due Wednesday, June 15th

Open until filled
Assistant Professor of Art, Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH)
Director of Marketing and Communications, The Crucible (Oakland, CA)
Development Associate, Educational Video Center (New York, NY)
Education Director, Film Streams (Omaha, NE)
Program Manager, Curriculum and In-School, Free Spirit Media (Chicago, IL)
Marketing Associate and Online Content Manager, Gateway Arts/Vinfen (Brookline, MA)
Chief Operating Officer, Ghetto Film School (Bronx, NY)
Lead Youth Producer, Manhattan Neighborhood Network (New York, NY)
Youth Production Coordinator, Manhattan Neighborhood Network (New York, NY)
Filmmaker-in-Residence, Steve and Kate's Camp (San Francisco, CA)
Digital Operations Specialist, StoryCorps (Brooklyn, NY)
Manager, Education Partnerships, StoryCorps (Brooklyn, NY)
Manager, School District Relationships, StoryCorps (Brooklyn, NY)
General Manager, Yellowstone Public Radio (Billings, MT)

more jobs on the Job Bank
Fate of a Salesman

From the NAMAC Blog

An Incredible Documentary TV Series You May Never Have Watched… If You Live in the DC Area
By Erica Ginsberg

What if I told you there was a documentary strand which has shown nearly 100 amazing social issue documentaries about the forgotten stories of contemporary American society followed by provocative conversations on the issues spotlighted? It sounds a bit like public television. And it is.

An Open Letter to New Zealand Immigration Minister Hon Michael Woodhouse
By Simon Kilmurry

On behalf of the International Documentary Association, I am writing to express our deep alarm and concern at the recent rejection of a visa application for documentary filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami by Immigration New Zealand. Ghaemmaghami was scheduled to attend the prestigious Documentary Edge International Film Festival in May 2016.

Cooking Up Climate Action: A Secret Recipe
By Mary T. An

What happens when you put a climate scientist, a filmmaker, and an environmental activist together in a room for a day and ask them to create something? 

Storytelling Matters is a NAMAC blog featuring original and curated writing, photography and video about global storytelling, culture & technology issues and innovative thinking. If you have a story to share for the series, let us know!
Rockefeller Foundation: Telling and Spreading Stories That Fuel Change

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. 

Rockefeller Foundation: Telling and Spreading Stories That Fuel Change

What do you get when you put filmmakers, cause experts, digital specialists, and journalists in a room against a magnificent backdrop of Lake Como? This report by the Rockefeller Foundation gathers wisdom, tools, and expertise that can help everyone, but particularly those in the social impact sector, bring their storytelling to new levels, organized around three guiding questions:
  • when and how to tell stories;
  • how to make storytelling part of the organizational culture; and
  • how to track and assess the impact of stories.
CMAP: Arts and Culture Planning: A Toolkit for Communities

This toolkit by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is intended to help municipalities incorporate arts and culture into their communities, enhance livability by improving quality of life, and become more attractive places to live, work, and play. It offers a primer on different types of arts and culture and their inherent primary needs and secondary impacts, then proceeds to detail concrete steps that can be taken by communities.
Hollie Fifer's 'The Opposition'

Media Policy Watch

By Rose Kaplan

Let's start with a story about documentary filmmaking, gentrification, and state censorship. Yesterday marked the start of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, where a new Australian documentary premiered while in the midst of an important legal battle. Hollie Fifer's The Opposition—produced with help from NAMAC member BRITDOC—follows the fight over a squatter settlement in Papua New Guinea, as developers seek to remove the squatters to make way for a hotel and marina development. However, due to the pending court case—a former Papa New Guinea politician won an injunction against the film in an Australian court—Fifer is barred from showing her completed film. Instead, a heavily redacted version will screen featuring the narration of Australian actress Sarah Snook over a black screen with scrolling text.

"There are powerful forces who don't want this film to be seen," said producer Rebecca Barry, "but we believe that audiences should have the right to make up their own minds." The case could set international precedent for cases involving documentary film and free speech—read the whole story at The Hollywood Reporter.

Not even large tech corporations are exempt from state censorship, as a recent New York Times story about Microsoft makes clear. The company is suing the Justice Department over its right to notify customers when the government obtains warrants to read their emails. "The increase in government demands for online data and the simultaneous increase in secrecy have ... impaired Microsoft's right to be transparent with its customers, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment," reads an excerpt from the suit.


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 ConferenceJune 9th through 12th 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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