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Multi-media platform capacity building

VISTA Name: 
Michael Ewing
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will be part of CAN TV’s strategic moe toward helping groups repurpose content for strategic placement on multiple platforms such as social networking and video sites, RSS feeds and other resources. The Corps member will work with 5-10 nonprofit groups that use CAN TV and will help determine how to best extend content via multi-media platforms to achieve better results. The findings will help inform the updating of CAN TV’s workshops and classes to better respond to a transitioning media environment.

The Corp member will work with staff to evaluate client needs, examine best practices and elicit information about “lessons learned.” Curriculum will be developed that integrates new media tools and responds to client needs. CAN TV’s participation on multiple media platforms will provide an opportunity to learn by doing, training the trainers that work through CAN TV, who will then be responsible for training the public.

Project Outcome: 

Mike has been a great asset to CAN TV. Over the past year, our VISTA has worked to help build CAN TV’s capacity to find the easiest, most effective way to serve our nonprofit clients’ needs in the Web 2.0 era. He started by surveying the members and found that lack of time and technical expertise prevented many of the groups from extending their content through online tools. Curriculum was created and tested in order to make the process of extending content online easy, efficient, and effective for the clients we serve. Free software was also selected and used as part of the curriculum. Case studies that highlight the impact of the project were completed for select groups. One pilot member reported on the benefits of the project at a quarterly cable commission meeting this summer. In order to ensure the sustainability of the project, best practices from these case studies will be implemented into our nonprofit services.

Overall, Mike was able to accomplish the tasks associated with the project. It was challenging working with the schedules of the nonprofit groups and getting them to respond in a timely fashion.

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.

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.

Regional Collaborative Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Ericha Hager
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA regional collaborative coordinator will manage the initiatives determined by the staff and board of MAP and the other participating stations around sharing specific technology, educational curriculum development, new/social media and PEG management practices. The VISTA will work with CMAP’s Executive Director Kathy Bisbee to increase outreach to regional media centers, continue collaborative efforts with existing partners created during the first VITSA year and implement new technology, marketing and fundraising strategies with both current and emerging collaborative partners.

To fulfill this role, the VISTA will be required to coordinate monthly conference calls and regional meetups; utilize social media tools and Web 2.0 technologies as effectively avenues of communication and education modules between centers; define the roles of each media center in collaborative efforts; schedule site visits to each center, document conversations between centers and determine best practices; identify thought leaders and innovators within the industry; and incorporate new insights into the existing cookbook for regional collaboration.

Project Outcome: 

Ericha has worked the last year to create a collaborative of seven community media centers in northern California to share best practices and resources. The group, now called the California Community Media Exchange (CACMX), has held four day-long summits to address issues they identified as being crucial to their individual centers and the community media movement as a whole: productions, youth media, fundraising, and technology. In addition to creating a strong network which will serve as a solid resource for the centers in the future, the group has created some lasting tangibles to represent CACMX and support community media nationwide:

-The group has developed a website, www.communitymediaexchange.org, which is designed to act as a space for collaboration for community media centers across the country and keep everyone updated on the goings on of CACMX.
-The group laid the foundation for the creation of a quarterly, issue based show and produced one, 30 minute episode introducing who each center in the collaborative is and what they do. -Segments from the collaborative show were edited into a short, three-minute advocacy piece encouraging the support of the Community Access Preservation (CAP) Act, HR 1746.
-Three of the centers of CACMX are in the process of developing a collaborative grant application to establish a Youth Digital Technology Program that links non-profits working with youth to community media centers to cooperatively implement after school and summer programs with the goal of encouraging low income and at risk kids to stay in school.
-CACMX is now working on developing a standardized curriculum for technology classes that can be easily taught and adapted to each community media center in the collaborative and beyond.

Our organization has built our capacity through:

–Learning best practices from other media centers
–Ongoing sharing what we know
–Building our local brand and awareness of our work locally and regionally
–Linking regional work in an organized, structured manner combined with long-term relationships
–Ongoing funding still needs to be acquired to assure that the collaborative work continues.

Ongoing funding still needs to be acquired to assure that the collaborative work continues. There simply wasn’t enough time to fulfill both the program work as well as train the DASC member and develop funding proposals within the timeframe of the one year of service.

Impact Quote: 

We are very pleased to have a DASC member who could accomplish so much, and hope that the program will have an opportunity to again support critical community organizations such as ours.

Community Outreach and Organizing

Organization: 
WSLR, Inc.
VISTA Name: 
David Beaton
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

In relation to the Comprehensive Broadcasting Plan, the Corps member will be responsible for researching current radio technology and preparing cost/benefit analyses for the Board and gathering information about the operations of other community media centers. The Comprehensive Broadcasting Plan would be the priority for the first half of the year and laying the groundwork for the media center would be the focus of the second half of the year and laying the groundwork for the media center would be the focus of the second half of the year. To support the media center concept, the Corps member will gather information on the needs of the community, reach out to organizations/individuals to build partnerships to help meet these needs, determine what each organization has to offer and at what level they would like to participate. The Corps member will also assist in developing a marketing plan to familiarize the community with the new services/trainings/events that will be available at the media center. Working closely with the Station’s promotions committee, the Corps member will assist with organizing two fundraising events to build awareness and raise funds to support the center’s growth. A grant proposal for local funding will also be developed.

Project Outcome: 

David was very helpful in putting together a ‘Brick by Brick’ campaign to help us match a $28,000 gift we had received. He developed the brochure for marketing the campaign and reached out to many individuals for contributions. David was able to research various STL options for the station and determine their feasibility and cost. He secured an agreement with a local building owner to allow us to place a microwave relay station on his building at no cost to the station. So the station is in a much better position to move on these options as we plan our relocation in the Fall. He has completed a Comprehensive Broadcasting Plan to set the strategic direction for the station as we move forward. David has also finalized a proposal for a Community Media Center that will be presented to the Board. What remains to be done is to implement the plan/proposal in conjunction with the move to our new space. We had hoped to be in the space by now, but had significant delays due to the contractor hired to do Phase 1 of the project. We have just entered Phase II which is a remodeling of the station side of the building and expect to move in in October 2011. Getting this facility operational essential to ensuring the sustainability of the project. The new location will increase the station’s visibility, improve the reliance of our signal, expand our community presence and involvement and offer lots of new partnership opportunities.

David contacted a number of local foundations in regards to our building campaign and talked to their Grants Project Managers. Unfortunately, when they found WSLR did not own the building they would be moving in to they discouraged us from submitting applications for funding. Therefore, during David’s term with the station he did not prepare a local grant proposal. However, he is currently working to help us come up with a Festival Proposal to submit for funding to the Arts and Cultural Alliance. David did suffer from a number of health challenges during his year as a VISTA which slowed his progress down. We also suffered significant delays in Phase 1 of our relocation effort. A project the contractor had estimated to take 35 days wound up taking 5 months. Therefore, we were unable to get in the new space and actually see the plan unfold. We had hoped to be further along with the vision of the media center at this time.

Impact Quote: 

The support for community media projects provided by the Transmission Project has been greatly appreciated. It is oftentimes hard to find funding for smaller grassroots organizations. Having an additional person on staff this past year has been extremely helpful in advancing the goals of WSLR and our larger vision of expanding to a full Community Media and Arts Center. Thanks!”

- Arlene Sweeting, supervisor

GreenBlueGray Project Developer

Organization: 
Reclaim the Media
VISTA Name: 
Amber Cortes
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
7/2011
Project Description: 

Our VISTA will help to launch a new hybrid radio/web media project serving high-quality news and features to community radio audiences in the Seattle area. The VISTA will help design and support a project workflow for recruiting news and information providers, organizing news producers, and preparing content for publication. The VISTA will help recruit and coordinate volunteer radio and media producers from regional community radio stations to host and produce programming. The associate will help create and maintain relationships with partnering media outlets, help maintain a project website, and help deepen network relationships among innovate grassroots, community and ethnic media outlets in the Northwest

The VISTA will also work with the project manager and RTM to conduct outreach to participating news outlets looking for weekly/daily news to feature, to maintain the project website, and the conduct community outreach to help promote the project.

Oregon Learning Lab Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
Portland Community Media
VISTA Name: 
Ryn Shane-Armstrong
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2006
Project Description: 

Ryn will participate in OLLIE productions as a trainer, work with community partners to plan successful OLLIE projects and events, and develop youth outreach and education efforts of Portland Community Media and Multnomah Community Television.

Project Outcome: 

In the past six months, OLLIE has provided digital media training to over 150 youth through 17 projects at 11 community locations. In addition, OLLIE has scheduled projects to serve an additional 180 youth over the next six months. Each round of OLLIE projects has balanced new and returning community partners. Our VISTA has served as a group coordinator for many of these sites, facilitating communication between the OLLIE staff and volunteers, the OLLIE coordinator, and community partners. Ryn has also begun to identify volunteers to support this project. He identified the post-production talents of a community partner and utilized them to finish a student project.

In addition, OLLIE’s curriculum design has evolved. Based on participant feedback, trainer input, and research into youth media best practices; the teaching methods, practice exercises, and time allotments for each segment of production have changed to better serve the youth we work with. Ryn’s insights about classroom teaching experiences and research into youth media curriculum are of great value to this process. I am looking forward to further utilizing Ryn’s expertise to design and implement our summer intensive “Adventures in Television”sessions. He is one of the leads for this project.

A very exciting part of OLLIE’s evolution is the creation and implementation of a graphic design identity package. Ryn has served as a lead contact in the process of recruiting and hiring a designer, developing a logo, and working with vendors. Currently Ryn is leading efforts to develop and refine copy that will promote the program in print, web, and video materials. Ryn also was able to develop his web design skills to create a first draft of a website for OLLIE: www.ollietv.org. Behind the scenes, he has created extensive outlines for future implementations of a site that will be useful to project staff, community partners, and program participants.

Impact Quote: 

An amazing thing about Ryn is the way in which he integrated himself into the media center community. He put himself ‘out there’ as willing to help, learn, and volunteer on his own time to help others and make the media center a better place. He has organized the staff on more than one occasion to attend cultural events and support each other. He is an exceptional asset to the Oregon Learning Lab for Information Education.

Website and Program Building

VISTA Name: 
Emily Yoshida
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2006
Project Description: 

Our VISTA is building the infrastructure for “STUDENTS” to be able to develop meaningful skills that will serve them well later in life. Journalism, Digital Media and in the future, E-Commerce are areas that HOLA youth will now be able to excel in because our VISTA built out the technology and curriculum to one day master these skills. This will in turn allow our kids to realize HOLA’s mission of advancing their lives (Through technology) and revitalize their communities with the new skills and experiences they will have had because of technology.

Project Outcome: 

Emily went on to set up our new HOLA website in HTML, which was awesome! She is very gifted artistically and her contribution to that project will be felt and seen for a long time to come.

The Wireless Lab, the system for check in and check out, plus the Web Journalism project using this lab have also been successfully initiated by Emily.

Impact Quote: 

Our VISTA’s technological skills were an incredible asset to HOLA. Her willingness to share her knowledge was invaluable and we are already feeling her absence.

Transmission Project