In 2010 and 2011, NAMAC set out to better understand the challenges, opportunities and emerging strategies for independent media arts organizations in the digital era. Through four regional gatherings, a total of 64 media arts leaders in Boston, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and Texas shared their experiences. Following the gatherings, NAMAC commissioned a series of eight case studies to learn more. This Report from the Field synthesizes key findings from all four convenings and incorporates rich illustrations gleaned from the case studies.
Storytelling is at the forefront of every stage of content creation and it is the theme of my second NAMAC blog 'travelogue'. Here I begin exactly one day after the SIEGE 2010 Expo concluded when the FutureMedia Fest kicks off at Georgia Tech. I offer my personal experience with computer-based media as a backstory.
On January 14, 2010, the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture was one of thirteen independent creator organizations showing support for net neutrality in an FCC notice regarding the preservation of an Open Internet. The comments submitted by the various organizations bear witness to the call for enforceable and lawful rules that can ensure equality to all creators on the Internet. In a growing digital world, NAMAC wants to make sure every artist and creator has the opportunity to reach out to their potential audiences.
Co-signers include Future of Music Coalition, the Writers Guild of America and the American Music Center to name a few.
Community media work has always been hard to fund, and it’s only getting tougher with today’s economy. Meanwhile, universities are looking for creative ways to reach out to the communities that surround them and have the resources to do it. As a media artist/educator living in a university town, it occurred to me that I could design the kind of participatory, social change oriented media projects I’m passionate about in a way that meets the university’s needs. So I put these puzzle pieces together and over the past two years developed the Art of Regional Change (ARC) at the University of California Davis, 15 miles west of Sacramento.
Connecting with people has never been easier than it is today. Thanks to technology and social networking, we are literally able to get up-to-the-second updates about the comings and goings of hundreds of “friends” near and far. This is powerful and exciting. Yet it seems as visual arts administrators, we’ve got so much to do and so little time to do it that we are rarely able to meaningfully connect with each other. This summer, however, I had the chance to “disconnect” from status updates and text messages and connect with an impressive group of arts professionals at the 2009 NAMAC Leadership Institute for Visual Arts Organizations.
However, the tech is secondary, not nearly as important as repairing some current issues with trust and curation.
As a news media guy, I'm an amateur, relying on large part on people who really know the business. Frequent engagement in social media helps, and most importantly, 14 years in online customer service gives me a good feel for the ground truth and attitude online.
The time is now. If we don't fully own the absolute necessity to change how we've all been working, we won't be working -- and we won't have the illuminating, inspiring, transforming films that we now enjoy. It's your choice, but action is required.
There is the capacity for many more of us to create and prosper from creative media work. This capacity can also close up and vanish along with our audiences. The canaries are now the size of Big Birds and we somehow are able to ignore them (but that is a subject for a different posts).
Collaboration has moved from the sidelines to the center of how we do business and fulfill our arts and cultural missions. As media arts organizations and practitioners, our context is an increasingly interdisciplinary and participatory culture.
How do art house cinemas survive in the 21st century with a business model that appears to be quixotic at best and suicidal at worst?