I can’t believe it’s June
I’ve been at NAMAC for all of six months—and could not be more excited about what we’ve done in such a short amount of time, and the promise of what is ahead. Here is a huge thank-you to all the new and renewed members (please join or renew
if you haven’t yet!), to everyone who has participated in a Virtual Roundtable, to our new crew of Creative Leadership Lab participants, to our new Board President and our incredible Board of Directors, and to funders like Philadelphia Foundation and the Fledgling Fund who have provided the crucial support that has helped us re-ignite the Alliance and begin our new phase of growth, innovation and sustainability. Thank you
Please mark your calendars—one year from this month will be the National NAMAC Conference in Oakland, CA
. Prepare for three days of extraordinary content designed to ignite creativity and innovation, inspire collaboration, challenge inequality, and embolden our communities for the work ahead. It will be the
conference you don’t want to miss next year. Whether you are a media arts organization, an independent producer, funder, educator, technologist, journalist, media policy wonk, community activist or social entrepreneur—everyone is welcome and we intend to rock the stages and the meeting rooms at the Oakland Convention Center as never before.
Needless to say, there is much to do between now and then. The NAMAC Creative Leadership Lab happens at Sundance next month—and you can learn more about the new cohort of visionary participants here
. Our Youth Media programming continues with Collective Impact project planning and policy discussions with leaders in Creative Youth Development
from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. NAMAC Innovation Studio
projects are moving forward – stay tuned for big announcements in September regarding new programming and opportunities, interactive case studies and participatory media toolkits and apps.
One of the highlights of this month so far was attending DML2015: Equity By Design
. Funded by MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Hub at UC Irvine, this year’s conference called on participants to promote equity in digital learning practices, and engage in solutions-thinking around addressing educational opportunity gaps. I got to introduce NAMAC to this community in the Ignite section of the program, with a short talk called Telling and Doing
. Using NAMAC Innovation Studio projects Map Your World
and Oakland Fence Project
, I attempted to frame a very fast argument (Ignite talks are five minutes) that participatory media can guide crossover learning from classroom to community. I used the simple concepts of “telling and doing” to make a call for pedagogy that encompasses both art practice + civic engagement, personal storytelling and expressions of democracy, technology and empathy. A “telling and doing” approach goes beyond the transactional relationship of knowledge transfer from teacher to student and embodies a classroom and community practice that provides for agency, creativity and memory. A “telling and doing” framework empowers educators as facilitators of cultural experiences.
My hope for next year is that NAMAC member organizations, Innovation Studio project directors, and independent doc filmmakers who are breaking new ground with audience engagement for young people are part of a NAMAC contingent to DML 2016 that illuminates the role of media art and artists in global connected classrooms and our presence there helps open up new creative conversations and partnerships.
Hope everyone has a wildly creative and restorative summer—replete with as many unplugged moments of relaxation, delight, and connection as possible.
Action items for right now, if you are so moved: