Media Arts Center San Diego

Location:
San Diego, CA

Mission Statement:
MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO promotes access to film and video as tools for community self-expression and social change, and supports the professional development of media artists.

Vision Statement:
MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO endorses the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the media arts field and the portrayal of accurate images of these communities by mainstream media and promotes community access to and use of media technology.

Teen Producers Project Mission:
MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO offers programs to educate youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, documentation, communication and empowers social change for future leaders.

Project Description: 

MACSD seeks to incorporate and expand its strengths in exhibition, youth media education, digital story creation, and border region digital filmmaker workshops via a timely and needed program re-structuring process. This re-positioning includes a new program that MACSD tentatively calls the “Media Arts Lab”; a neighborhood-based storefront, media arts learning and entertainment center for children, youth, seniors, and families.

This Project is Timely because the relevancy of media arts organizations nationwide is shifting, as technology capabilities and community economic and cultural realities continually evolve. That is, former media models are disappearing or finding they need to reposition themselves to survive. In 2007, to address sustainability and to frame the discussion of future programming, MACSD’s Board of Directors engaged in analysis of programming areas to strategically tie programming to community needs, funding and new facilities in a neighborhood Media Lab setting. These areas include: Research, Consulting, Video/New Media Production, Technology Innovation, Training, Exploration-Exhibition, and Media Distribution.

The Need for this Project is Being Determined by:

1. As a unique and innovative media arts non-profit organization in the San Diego border region, MACSD is carrying out media technology needs assessment surveys, online and during recent MACSD events. Some 2000 surveys are providing community input about future Media Arts programming needs in San Diego, based on how the community and clients are using today’s technology in their lives.

2. Greater flexibility for revenue generating programming will help sustain the organization, and better engage and increase access to the media arts for all ages.

3. This compelling “neighborhood media lab” idea comes at a time when nonprofit organizations must seek new avenues to meet community needs for cultural participation, news gathering and communication, and also enhance the organization’s financial stability.

4. A wide diversity of population throughout the San Diego region necessitates emphasis on multi-cultural understanding, authentic images and representations, and cross- cultural dialogue to empower social change.

5. A Media Lab setting ensures MACSD’s deeper rooting into the community it serves, creating attractive ways to increase engagement of new audiences.

This project relates to other activities of MACSD by:

1. Enabling exhibition of Latino and all border-region independent films at year-round venues;

2. Enabling community digital stories to be created and shared in multiple imaginative formats for self/group expression, education, community news, history and advocacy;

3. Providing more under-represented local youth from economically distressed communities (Latino immigrants, migrant teens and refugee youth from Somalia, Ethiopia and other war torn African regions) training by professional media artists to learn media literacy, communication and digital production skills, that culminate with screenings of their own produced short documentaries. Throughout this media production and literacy process, youth’s academic growth enables high school completion, pursuit of higher education and productive job readiness skills.

The VISTA project and member will help build capacity for this new “Media Lab” project by:

1. Using the tabulations and narratives of the recent “Future of Media Arts in San Diego” surveys to identify and help the MACSD leadership team analyze the basic digital media uses and needs of the community in specific neighborhoods, gaining a diversity of ideas that reflects enriching differing points of view.

2. Using the survey results as community indicators to help create a business plan; determine cost-effective venue location(s), design and furnishings, staffing, needed media technology hardware and software and ancillary materials; plus, culturally relevant media arts entertainment, creativity, education- student media arts training; digital stories and news programming directions.

3. Working with MACSD’s Board of Directors, leadership team and long-term networks of collaborative community partners (listed below) to gain local motivation and support for this capacity-building initiative.

Project Tangibles: 
The entire “Lab” business plan and capacity-building process of media technology needs assessment surveys; building project champions and collaborative networks; neighborhood venue location determinations; venue design, space usage., fundraising/development plan, and furnishings; staffing; equipment and materials; programming/activity ideas; marketing plan; on-going project evaluation and adaptations; and funding and financial stability could be shared nationwide with media arts and digital technology organizations that serve under- served and under-represented low-income and culturally diverse neighborhoods.

Supported Projects



Lab IT Coordinator

Chris Anderson
9/20109/2011

The Corps member would support the Lab Program Manager in developing and refining web-based systems to manage day-to-day operations and growth of the lab. This includes projects like implementing an inventory system for all computers and media equipment, managing current and procuring new equipment, and developing training manuals for all devices.

Our DAS Corps (Christopher Anderson) has been an enormous help to the organization as a whole. A list of accomplishments so far: Lead an audit of the current technology and inventory required by lab Installed new video and projection equipment for workshop instruction Initiated policies and procedures for recruiting workshop instructors Developed database segments for marketing and reporting on workshops and programs Actively contributed insight and tested new ways to manage inventory relative to membership Began migration of current workshop recruitment processes to Google Docs Chris has also stepped up to help with other things as needed, including designing brochures and other print material for assisting in marketing our workshops. Much of this was working under the supervision of the Lab Program Manager and Executive Director and alongside our Technology and Production Manager and helpful volunteers.

Many of the documents that our DAS Corps has created are now part of our procedures for recruiting instructors as well as registering people for our workshops. A lot of it was much needed ‘behind the scenes’ work. Perhaps the biggest change is a growth in membership through our DAS Corp’s continued efforts directing people to the growing resources here at the center. Our DAS Corps has produced many documents, reports and forms to assist in the managing and organization of our lab operations. This is (and will be) an enormous help to our Lab Program Manager and general operations of the space as we gorw. This will allow the organization to recruit and sustain a pool of instructors in a much more strategic way. There is still some refinement on these systems as well as proper training in the crucial ‘beta testing’ which our DAS Corps has overseen in his time here so far.

We are still in the process of migrating our policies and procedures to the web as well as documenting and updating our curriculum used in our workshops and other programs. A big hold up has been our move to the new space and the intense growth of our staff, including adjusting to a new workspace this past year. Many staff have had to take on more work and ‘do a little bit of everything’ to keep our programs running while building our capacities. For the most part however, our DAS Corps has been sticking very well to the Activity Timelines of the Project as stated in his VAD.






Fundraising and Development

Randy Cox
9/20099/2010

MACSD seeks to incorporate and expand its strengths in exhibition, youth media education, digital story creation, and border region digital filmmaker workshops via a timely and needed program re-structuring process. This re-positioning includes a new program that MACSD tentatively calls the “Media Arts Lab”; a neighborhood-based storefront, media arts learning and entertainment center for children, youth, seniors, and families.

The VISTA project and member will help build capacity for this new “Media Lab” project by: 1. Using the tabulations and narratives of the recent “Future of Media Arts in San Diego” surveys to identify and help the MACSD leadership team analyze the basic digital media uses and needs of the community in specific neighborhoods, gaining a diversity of ideas that reflects enriching differing points of view. 2. Using the survey results as community indicators to help create a business plan; determine cost-effective venue location(s), design and furnishings, staffing, needed media technology hardware and software and ancillary materials; plus, culturally relevant media arts entertainment, creativity, education- student media arts training; digital stories and news programming directions. 3. Working with MACSD’s Board of Directors, leadership team and long-term networks of collaborative community partners (listed below) to gain local motivation and support for this capacity-building initiative.

Goal 1: To understand and put into use the results of the “Future of Media Arts in San Diego” surveys.
Goal 2: Help to create a marketing plan to build community interest and participation in the Media Arts Lab.
Goal 3: Help to create a Fundraising & Development Plan
Goal 4: Find venue/building of first “lab” location in San Diego

VISTA member was successful in many areas relating to our new Media Arts Lab. Mr. Cox researched and then located a new facility for our organization/New Media Lab. Mr. Cox also wrote 20+ grants and raised over $20,000 towards the new facility. Mr. Cox also assisted in strengthening the capacity of our Board of Directors via new recruitment, training, etc.. Finally, in the last month of Mr. Cox’ year of service, MACSD was able to find potential funding from the City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency to redevelop the new facility. Mr. Cox wrote the proposal and we’re still waiting to hear final word from the agency; but it looks positive.

With VISTA’s previous business experience and life experience; one of the greatest accomplishments and assets was having Mr. Cox’ consultations and overall knowledge. His ability to provide all staff with ideas and to assure that staff was looking at the ‘business-side’ of things, was invaluable.




Transmission Project