outreach

Community Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
Squeaky Wheel
VISTA Name: 
Goda Trakumaite
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will help promote and brand Squeaky Wheel’s individual programs (such as the Buffalo Youth Media Institute, techARTS for girls, and Channels - Stories from the Niagara Frontier), help raise the visibility of Squeaky-produced media, amplify the marketing of their educational and production programs, and strengthen Squeak Wheel’s community presence of its media literacy and production workshops. All in all, the community outreach coordinator would help make Squeaky Wheel and its services to the community more visible and accessible to more people.

Project Outcome: 

Goda Trakumaite has expanded and developed our outreach activities by bringing the services that Squeaky Wheel offers to the attention of many schools, organizations and other groups. She has accomplished this by providing free one-day workshops, by organizing a number of public screenings and by directing our community outreach and documentary production program, Channels: Stories from the Niagara Frontier. Goda has increased the visibility of Squeaky Wheel’s Channels program through weekly screenings, regular email notices and acting as the contact point for filmmakers and organizations who are interested in becoming involved in the Channels program. In addition to this, Goda has helped increase the national visibility of work created through Squeaky Wheel programs by submitting films and videos to various festivals throughout the country. Goda has also been overseeing the coordination of various in-school workshops. Her activities have been crucial part of increasing the recognizability of the Squeaky Wheel brand and helping schools to see first hand how Squeaky Wheel can help them to incorporate media literacy and production into their after-school and in-class activities.

Impact Quote: 

Since Goda has served here, we have increased our membership, revived our Channels program and increased the number of schools and organizations contacting Squeaky Wheel for customized workshops, screenings and other off-site events. By having established these very important connections, Squeaky Wheel will continue to benefit from it’s increased visibility through greater attendance at screenings, more and higher quality applicants to our community programs and increased enrollment in our workshops. It is our hope that because many of these benefits lead to increased income for Squeaky Wheel, it will be possible for us to be able to afford to maintain this position of an outreach coordinator.

Online Community Manager

VISTA Name: 
Rachel Allen
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will layout the foundation for a strong and robust social media network, where NAMAC can model behaviors and techniques, and then, in turn teach them to NAMAC’s membership. The Corps member would be able to help create the social media plan, implement and refine it, and develop it further through the duration of service. The overreaching goal is to connect real people to people, and to develop long-lasting professional relationships that can enhance the capabilities of NAMAC’s nonprofit members.

Media Literacy Analysis and Curricula Development

Organization: 
Access Humboldt
VISTA Name: 
Sam Kaplan
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will survey the constituents of Access Humboldt, analyze the data, incorporate these key elements into our programs and curricula, and increase the awareness of the available resources.

Project Outcome: 

As a result of the Corps members service, new relationships with county media instructors and organizations have been created. Pre-existing relationships have been strengthened. Engagement with youth media makers has increased dramatically. Access Humboldt (AH) has contracted with a youth media instructor to work directly with students at the Community Media Center. (AH is located on a high school campus.) VISTA raised awareness on campus of the media resources available to students. VISTA built upon, strengthened, partnerships between AH and other community programs. These collaborations are key to sustainable programs. Still to be developed, a funding model for cash-strapped institutions.

The Corps member was also key in creating an opportunity to collaborate with a community radio partner arose with the passage of the Local Community Radio Act. Together with KMUD-FM, AH hosted Community Radio Day, a gathering of community radio leaders from around the county to share information and brainstorm future collaborations. Community members had an opportunity to participate in a Community Journalism workshop. VISTA developed two new social media tools for AH, a Miro website and a Twitter account. VISTA also revitalized an existing YouTube page. The goal of these activities was to attract more youth to AH programs.

Media Justice Organizer

Organization: 
Media Literacy Project
VISTA Name: 
Leticia Miranda
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will support Media Literacy Project’s media justice campaigns and public awareness efforts and ensure that the message and effort of the campaigns are connected and relevant to partners, members and constituents. The Corps member will also participate in all campaigns and will function as a liaison between MLP, campaign partners and will assist the Campaign Coordinator with implementing and revising as needed MLP’s campaign strategy, with conducting campaign evaluations, and with creating campaign curricula.

MLP’s campaigns for the 2010-2011 program year include the Prison Phones campaign, the Cell Phone Literacy campaign, and the continuation of their Universal Broadband and Network Neutrality campaign.

Project Outcome: 

In 2010 MLP wrote into our strategic plan the need to develop a strategic communications department for our organization. Leticia Miranda stepped in and helped us start that process. What has changed at MLP as a result of her activities includes: MLP’s website was being redesigned and Leticia provided helpful feedback during that process

–MLP has a lovely new website that we launched in January of 2011; MLP has always created monthly deconstructions and Leticia came up with the idea to do video deconstructions
–while we can’t do these every month, she created a process for when we do them 2 or 3 times a year; MLP’s newsletter was redesigned; MLP had an increased presence in the press as a result of the Op-Eds and press releases she wrote
–prior to her arrival we did not have press releases as often or of the same caliber; MLP’s reputation as a national player was elevated through the film Free the Air, which was an MLP response to a Verizon ad, directed by Leticia; we have a communications plan; we have new ideas and plans for our annual Girls Toolbox class and Girl Tech Collective as a result of her participation and insight; due to the success of MLP’s increased visibility we were contacted by a funder who offered to provide us monies for the next 2 years for a Strategic Communications Director. Leticia has worked with the new hire and the work will continue.

Impact Quote: 

Leticia not only accomplished the proposed project, she offered her skill set in other areas as needed. Challenges initially arose around the creation of a communications plan because MLP needed a new strategic plan for her to use. Once program goals were clarified, she was able to create the plan.

KONZ Internet Radio Developer

VISTA Name: 
Megan Andrews
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will develop and implement an online community radio station for the Manhattan, Kansas area called KONZ Internet Radio. The VISTA will help with fundraising, public awareness and education about the online station and what it can offer, oversee equipment purchases as well as beginning the process of recruiting and training volunteers to staff the station. The Corps member will create the foundation for future sustainability by helping provide the energy and the necessary day-to-day work.

Project Outcome: 

Megan’s job was to help create Konza Internet radio. When she started, the plan was to create an on-air radio station. Shortly after she started, it became apparent that we were not going to be able to raise the funds needed to purchase the equipment for the station. The Board of Directors decided to pursue an internet-based radio service as a way to keep the idea alive. Megan was able to quickly shift gears and use her skills to develop the service we are now using. As the result of Megan’s activities, UFM has a functioning, on-demand radio service that is being utilized by the community, the region and the world. We worked hard to develop a streaming station with a regular program schedule. We found that the streaming service did not work well with the talk format we were using. we also found than more people were downloading the programs rather than listening to them through the stream. Consequently, we have moved to an all on-demand radio service with downloads available in a variety of program areas. There are two areas that remain to be done to ensure sustainability. 1) we need to continue to recruit program hosts who can take the responsibility for adding regular content to the website. We are negotiating with two significant program areas that will expand offerings of interest not only our local residents, but our military families that may be deployed elsewhere in the world. 2) As our program content expands, we need to increase our marketing and community awareness. we also need to expand our website to include a comprehensive community calendar that will draw people to our website.

Development Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Carolyn Braunius
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA will work on building The Sanctuary’s grassroots fundraising capacity while organizing and expanding our grant writing efforts. Other priorities include continuing to build The Sanctuary’s capacity for handling volunteers and in-kind donations. The goal is to put into place a solid foundation for attracting and retaining a full spectrum of support, ranging from financial and material to human resources.

Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
Brookline Access TV
VISTA Name: 
Jessica Wholey
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA will network and meet with collaborating, partner, and support organization in Brookline and the Boston area and provide those organizations with guidance and technical assistance in media and technology program development. Develop a volunteer recruitment and management program for BATV, website support and development, and grant writing and research.

Project Outcome: 

essica has been instrumental in cementing relationshps between BATV and community groups. These relationships have led to increased dialogue and media production for Brookline residents. These relationships have included:

Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) Connections Literacy Initiative: represented BATV on a “Connections” board of Brookline organizations, which includes Brookline Public Library, the Brookline Housing Authority, the Parent-Child Home Program, the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, Steps To Success, the Brookline Recreation Department, the Brookline Music School, & the Brookline Community Foundation. Focusing on children 0-8, we’ve created programs for early literacy that will help each student enter first grade on equal educational footing. Our first major project was a Sing-A-Long video that Jessica produced with Debbie Fellman of BEEP. It is being screened at a “Red Carpet Event” at the Coolidge Corner Cinema tomorrow for all the BEEP children.

Steps To Success After school Photo Club: Steps to Success is an excellent Brookline organization that aims to close the achievement gap for children in public housing, and foster educational equality in an attempt to end generational poverty. Jessica coordinated a media related enrichment club at their after school program every Monday. It was such a good fit for BATV and STS that it evolved from a photography club into a music video club.

BHS Sports: In an attempt to increase participation in the Brookline sports programs and garner greater community support for High School sports, Jessica worked to bring BATV together with the PTO, the BHS Athletic Department, and the BU Sports broadcasting program to increase our local sports coverage. We began by covering a few events in the fall, a few more in the winter, and had a successful and ambitious programming schedule this spring!

Bibliophile Cinema: With the amazing guidance and leadership of Robin Brenner at the Brookline Public Library, we’ve organized a monthly book/movie club. The idea is that we read a book and then watch the adapted film. And of course, we always have a lively discussion afterwards!

Jessica was also involved with recruiting interns and coordinating them. She created job descriptions for several intern positions each semester, then recruited, interviewed, hired and managed students from schools all over the Boston area: Framingham St, Brookline High, Newbury College, BU, BC, Emmaneule, NEIA, Northeastern University, NESAD @Suffolk, SMFA @ Tufts, and Roxbury Community College. With the help of these interns, we’ve increased our coverage of community events.

Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator

Organization: 
National Radio Project
VISTA Name: 
Karl Jagbandhansingh
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member would provide the leadership and passion to coordinate and guide the many people who want to get involved with national Radio Project Currently, we are blessed to have a fairly steady stream of volunteers, yet we lack the capacity to coordinate the volunteers effectively. The Corps member will also play a critical role in reaching out to more economic justice groups who can advise us on key issues. We have been wanting to cultivate these relationships to deepen our beat, but have lacked the capacity to do so. The Community Engagement and Volunteer COordinator will play a vital role in our organization: managing volunteers, reaching out to grass roots economic justice organizations, and organizing events and house parties, with the support of other volunteers. They will deepen our networks among 3 major constituents: 1? Volunteers, 2) Donors, and 3) Grassroots Allies.

Project Outcome: 

Karl recruited, new fall, spring, and summer cohort of production and organizational interns and volunteers and:

– organized, and publicized a Fall “Happy Hour” event to build relationships with housing groups
–Organized, publicized, and recorded a Spring event: A Community Discussion on Gang Injunctions
–Supported production of several programs, including interviewing and recording participants for “Presumed Guilty: American Muslims and Arabs”
–Audio recorded events for rebroadcasting
–Trained interns/volunteers and set up systems for coordination of projects/tasks for interns/volunteers among staff.
–Full participated in staff meetings and staff retreats to determine strategic planning and direction of organization.

As a result of our corps member Karl’s activities, we’ve strengthened our volunteer recruitment strategies, refined our volunteer management systems, developed a deeper relationship with the local community radio station, and build stronger relationships with grassroots groups working on housing, prison, policing, and immigration issues. After Karl is done, we need to continue to stay in contact with grassroots groups via email so they know we are a media resource for them to get their stories heard.

Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
WERU-FM Community Radio
VISTA Name: 
Meaghan Lasala
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will serve in a vital outreach and engagement role that is necessary to boost community engagement work in our new broadcast service area. The Corps member will also serve as a liaison between the radio station and the community during this critical time of community engagement.

Project Outcome: 

Meaghan was responsible for Outreach & Community Engagement in the Greater Bangor area (which WERU just started serving with a new radio signal). She:
- Coordinated four listener focus groups
- Coordinated three major events
- Attended several community events on behalf of WERU
- Networked with several area nonprofit organizations and businesses
- Trained two high school teachers in radio program production so that they can instruct their students in the same.
- Produced several community interest short features for broadcast
- Coordinated and hosted a monthly panel discussion and call-in program about various issues and goings-on in Greater Bangor.
- Is creating a report and manual of all her activities so that they may be replicated and sustained after her term at WERU has ended.

While one may think that if your radio broadcast signal reaches a community then you are part of that community, but this is not necessarily true. The changes for our organization as a result of our Corps member’s work are primarily with regards to having a greater connection with the Greater Bangor area. Our network of partners and contacts has been expanded greatly. We are better known by institutions such as the University of Maine New Media Studies Department, the Maine Discovery Museum (children’s museum) and the United Way. We have a relationship with the Bangor Area Chamber of Commerce and are better known by a variety of locally-owned businesses. We are seen as an organization that is physically present in the area by virtue of our holding events and attending other organizations’ events. Listener/members in the area have a greater sense of belonging to the radio station “family,” in part due to a new public affairs programming about the Bangor community created by our Corps member. To sustain these positive changes we need to prioritize the relationships, events, etc. that she has done and assign those activities to members of our staff and volunteers. We may not be able to absorb all the work that she was doing but hopefully will be able to continue doing the activities that we found to be most useful.

All of the objectives of our Corps members were largely accomplished, though a major challenge was that our new radio broadcast transmitter to serve the area didn’t come on line until six months after we had anticipated. Had that happened on schedule the depth of our member’s work would have been more profound and require less work by the organization to grow and sustain.

Community Broadcast Coordinator

Organization: 
Common Frequency
VISTA Name: 
Gavin Dahl
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA will assist in the implementation of a broadcast radio facility in the Sonoma area in which Common Frequency and Freemind Media each have FCC NCE construction permits for. The VISTA would take the lead in interfacing with the local community to find people and non-profits interested in producing content for the new radio facility. They will then train these people and arrange the on-air schedule/automation. In addition, they will give consultation and network with other new radio stations CF is aiding. The overall goal is to create a grassroots radio content repository that represents regional topics and issues not covered by corporate news with the intention of giving voice to underrepresented demographics resulting in democratic civic improvement.

Project Outcome: 

Gavin’s main duty is to build capacity within a select group NCE FM permittees we are working with, and additionally strengthen Common Frequency. Gavin has attended multiple conferences and networked with several individuals and entities within the media field which has brought more attention to CF’s efforts. His major duty includes assisting developing radio stations with creating tools they can use to work with the community, fundraise, and build stations. Gavin also completed documentation that will be helpful for entities building radio facilities.

The organization has strengthened connections with peer groups in our field, with attention brought to key leaders within community radio regarding the lack of resources currently dedicated to local community communications infrastructure. Such attention has energized others outside of Common Frequency to contribute to help solving problems and possibly pursue funding for the endeavor. In addition, more internal planning has been directed towards strengthening organizational structure including fundraising and projecting a paid position. What remains is continuing to strengthen the board of directors, looking for consistent stable sources of funding, and more visioning and planning. The organization is still very short capacity-wise for the large projects it partakes in. Overall, the VISTA member was indispensable and was a rare opportunity for the government to invest in community communications that will (in the future) form the basis for infrastructure to help the community solve complex local issues by itself. Such investment is essential in our view.

Transmission Project