A handbook for orienting interns; created by corps member Katherine Ingersoll.
Corps member Goda Trakumaite describes her Outreach Documentation Blog: “I keep a detailed record of every outreach event I do on this password protected blog accessible to the whole office. Along with some photos documenting the event and a reflection of how it went, who attended, what worked and what did not work, I upload all materials that were either used for or produced during the event. That way anyone can replicate a particular presentation while also making the changes that I might suggest making in the reflections.
The VISTA member will assist in building NMMLP’s MAG-Net projects. MAG-Net is a project of the Center for Media Justice. NMMLP, along with other organizations nationwide, is a member of MAG-Net and is working on media justice projects in New Mexico. General support for MAG-Net will include outreach efforts – creating handouts and flyers, recruiting participants for Girl Tech Collective, documenting events and activities, and assisting with the New Mexico Media Assessment.
Goal 1: Support the MAG-Net Projects: Girl Tech Collective and New Mexico Media Assessment
Goal 2: Support the Media Monitoring Project
The three main project goals for this position were to support the Girl Tech Collective program, support a media assessment of New Mexico, and support a project on media monitoring.
The Girl Tech Collective program began this past year, but was shifted to another staff person. Instead, Candelario supported another youth program in New Mexico called Digital Justice for Us! (DJ4U) program. This was a more strategic move because it connected to MLP’s work on broadband in New Mexico, a project that this VISTA member would already be working on. The Digital Justice for Us! program was successful and MLP learned a lot from this first year. Cande supported the youth involved in this program, assisted in organizing the event to showcase the young participant’s video work, lead an evaluation on the program, and documented the process. His work will make the DJ4U program stronger for the coming year. MLP’s Program Director helped support this program.
The second project goal was to support the New Mexico media assessment. This project took on the form of an assessment of broadband access in New Mexico. Cande helped to host researchers from the Social Science Research Council in our state as they conducted focus groups in the greater Albuquerque area. Cande also formalized new organizational partnerships around the broadband issue, helped to build MLP’s base, and participated in community conversations. The increase in supporters of MLP and the collection of stories and information on how broadband affects rural and low-income communities has greatly strengthened MLP’s programs and projects. All MLP staff, partner organizations, and community members helped support the goal for increased access to broadband in New Mexico.
The third project goal was to support the media monitoring project. Cande helped to support Siembra la palabra digna, MLP’s initiative to address responsible speech in our media. Cande assisted at outreach events, collected video stories from community members, and monitored media clips to examine how issues and communities are framed and reported on in various media. Support for this project has helped MLP develop better workshops and materials that connect responsible speech with access to media and storytelling. MLP’s Campaign Coordinator assisted the VISTA member in this initiative.
BAVC developed the Neighborhood News Network Project in order to take advantage of the high-speed fiber optic network that connects the local public acces, educational, and government channels to nearly fifteen community sites throughout San Francisco. It has the capacity to support live video streaming and high resolution file transfer from any connected site. In the initial n3 pilot, BAVC will focus on three unique organizations and the constituencies they serve.
The Digital Arts Service Corps member would serve a central and defining role as Project Manager in building and launching the neighborhood news network project, with complete focus for one year on building, implementing, documenting, and evaluating the project, in a way that no current staff member could do without letting their essential duties drop. The Corps member wold be responsible for identifying San Francisco neighborhoods, organizations, and programs that could most benefit from the added capacity of tools and skills required to share relevant, timely, and hyper-local news and information with each other, to conduct research, outreach, documentation, and evaluation tasks, and subsequently to implement a pilot program in a successful, sustainable, and replicable way with guidance, input and participation from BAVC staff and our community partners.
Because of the Corps member’s activities at our organization, we have developed relationships with three local community-based organizations, installed studio equipment at their sites, conducted training with staff and community members, and produced work that will continue to be distributed online and on our channels. Another major outcome of the Corps member’s work was further development of the “neighborhood news network” program model, and curriculum for the program that we can continue to use and adapt for other audiences.
Our service corps member accomplished everything we set out to do during the year. One of the main challenges that limited the scope of what she was able to accomplish was in outreach – namely, recruiting and sustaining the engagement of community producers in each of the workshops. With busy and differing schedules, and possibly because no fee was charged for participation in the workshops, some participants dropped out of the program or showed up inconsistently. This made teamwork and ongoing collaboration among the participants, and the pieces they were trying to produce, a constant challenge, particularly at one of the three sites. This resulted in fewer total participants trained, and fewer quality pieces completed without assistance, but it is also part of the reality of working with these populations. So the fact that we learned from this process still built capacity and understanding within our own organization and will impact our future partnership choices and program design.
OC is looking for assistance from Americorps Vista members to document our novel technical assistance model, to help evaluate and document low cost software solutions and training methods that we are using in our technology assistance work, and to bring this assistance model to one low-income neighborhood of Boston. We are also planning to produce, with Vista volunteer help, a concise publication for small organizations that helps them understand how to improve their technology setup. The publication will address critical needs of nonprofits, including acquisition of basic infrastructure, backups and virus protection, database management, setting up membership and donation systems, volunteer tracking, outreach, online fundraising, and gathering data on constituents.