From the Executive Director
– ON MISSION –
Nonprofit leaders are generally obsessed with keeping their organizations “on mission.” Once you figure out your purpose, your reason for existing, all the ins-and-outs of being and staying relevant, solving a problem, serving the people – the goal is to make sure the decisions you make as an organization do not result in mission drift. There is always talk of the dangers of such drifting, and books written about the “unspoken crisis” of drifting.
I think a little drifting may be okay. Even good. How can you know what being truly mission-aligned feels like unless you veer off course every now and then? Sometimes, having some leeway to investigate a project that seems like a drift at first can reify the mission and help embed it more deeply in the culture of the organization. At The Alliance, our mission of advancing the media arts field and deepening its cultural impact through innovation and collaboration – is a guide, a catalyst and a mantra when we develop programs, tools and systems that support creative networks everywhere. We vet new ideas against it, and we also know it’s good to stretch the boundaries.
As 2018 moves into Q2, we’ve been re-imagining the cultural impact of media arts through multiple lenses. Economic development, equity and access to creative careers are the goals of Arts2Work; at a recent meetup at Howard University, we asked 40 incredible film students about their collective futures. They will be the next generation of producers, independent filmmakers, showrunners, editors, audio engineers, screenwriters, studio heads and creative entrepreneurs. What life will be like for them after graduation – it’s a big unknown. As we build opportunities for sustainable creative careers for those previously excluded, how might we embed state-of-the-art equity and inclusion policies that reflect our collective aspirations? Can we mitigate years of racism, sexism and ableism with a new approach?
We have so much in store this year – including mentoring our HatchLab grantee organizations as they begin collaborative projects across disciplines, a Youth Media collective impact initiative that is modeling intergenerational leadership, developing our broad Alliance network with conferences, summits, story revivals, video conferences, and labs that explore new models of sustainability and social practice. Partnerships with organizations in our network like Ghetto Film School, B3Media, Detroit Narrative Agency, Free Spirit Media, Open Signal, and Austin Film Society fuel us at every turn. We are developing new tools and access to innovation and co-creation for the field – including public access new media labs, augmented reality apps, an AI-powered digital media library and a browser-based VR Colored Girls Museum project. We’re on a mission. And we really hope you’ll join us.
Notes from the Field
Q&A with Gullah Gone Producer, Sherard Duvall.
New Member Sherard Duvall recently did a Q&A dealing filmmaking, race, and history in relationship to the documentary he produced and edited Gullah Gone.
ArtsAtl publishes Preview of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
Alliance members ARtsAtl published a preview of Terminus Modern Ballete theatre’s upcoming production Next Door, to be performed at Kennesaw State University in Marietta, Georgia.
Media Policy Watch
by Priscilla Genet
In response to increasing claims of “fake news” by the Trump administration, Trumps announcement of a “fake news award“, and its subsequent enthusiastic support from many republican government officials, journalists have been expressing their disapproval with the dangerous nature of these accusations. In an article for the Associated Press Ryan J Foley wrote ” Experts on the press and democracy say the cries of “fake news” could do long-term damage by sowing confusion and contempt for journalists and by undermining the media’s role as a watchdog on government and politicians. They say it’s already exacerbated the lack of trust in media by conservatives and contributed to hostility that sometimes turns violent.
Three trade groups together representing every major home broadband company are lobbying in defense of the FCC to support the repeal of Net Neutrality. According to Ars Technica “The motions for leave to intervene were filed by NCTA–The Internet & Television Association, CTIA–The Wireless Association, and USTelecom–The Broadband Association.” This move clearly displays the link between large broadband company’s financial incentives and the repeal itself.
As opposition to the recent FCC ruling accelerates, twelve lawsuits by over three doze entities, against the FCC in response to their repeal of net neutrality rules have been consolidated into one suit, scheduled to be heard at the federal appeals court in California.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is pushing to impose a budget cap on the Lifeline program, a longstanding service helping poor people purchase discounted phone service and recently broadband. His move to “limit lifeline spending” could effect a huge swath of impoverished peoples ability to apply for jobs, communicate with family, as well as produce and distribute artistic work.
We want to hear from you. Are you concerned with any national media policy stories that are underreported? Are there any local stories in your area that need highlighting? Please let us know.