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How did you become interested in creating media?
My father's brother was making movies in Hollywood, so because of their intense competition, my family had been making "home movies"

 
   

that were like "hollywood movies" for most of my childhood.  In college, I started producing (shooting, editing, titling) educational movies and other entertainment shorts.  I minored in Journalism, had a late night AM radio show and hosted a weekend talk show on a local TV station during my many college years.  So one might say that I've always had an interest in and have been involved in audio and video media. 

Do you have plans for your own show?  If so, what will the message of your show be?
I would love to host my own show!  However, in today's youthful society, I am self-conscious of being elderly so I would rather produce shows that might better appeal to a broader, more youthful audience. As laws pertaining to the use of marijuana (cannabis) have changed dramatically over the past several years, there seems to be more and more questions about the use of it, both growing and cooking and other uses as well.  So I figured that since I had so many questions that needed to be answered, perhaps others did as well.  So I decided, and after a slight nudge from a few friends who knew of my production skills, to produce a show about marijuana.  I did not want to do the usual Youtube type videos that show you how to roll a joint, or how to water a plant, or even just a "watch us smoke" video that seemed to be all that was out there and/or available.  So I started producing educational, informative shows at DOM.

My first show, Moms for Marijuana Regulation, was so informative and educational, that I knew right away that this was the type of show I wanted to do.  These were mothers and a retired police lieutenant that were proponents of changing the laws with regard to the use of marijuana.   And if they could get their message out, I knew that I could help get 'the message' out from other such proponents, as well.  Producing several other shows like What's Next with Wayward BillC4CPR Liveand The Rob Corry Show have allowed me to put educated, authoritative persons in front of the camera to speak intelligently about the subject matter.

What do you do outside of producing videos?

Having semi-retired, I live in the mountains now.  I have wanted to do so most of my life.  I still take hikes, bicycle, and ski up here, but I no longer participate in what I might call "city" activities such as "keeping up with the neighbors", working on my old muscle cars, or bar hopping down the mall on weekends.  I enjoy taking in a 3D movie (even if it's one designed for the grandkids), and Imax movies.  Of course, I still go for rides in my jeep on the weekends and I enjoy listening to what might be called classic rock & roll but am expanding my listening to other music available these days, as well.

 

Why is public access television important?
Public access is television in fact for us.  The questions I might ask about cannabis are not going to be on local television and if it is, it's not about questions, it's about the hype.  So the available choice to get the message out there is public access.  Many a program has started out in concept as a public access show.  In fact, if you think Wayne's World, it all started as a skit about a public access cable show and went on to be...

Why do you enjoy producing public access content?

I do not have the funds to purchase my own TV station, and watching what goes on at DOM to get everything "right" to air on multiple channels is a feat that seems to encompass a multiplicity of facets.  However, the staff at DOM gets it done.  It's that get-it-done kind of mentality that I like being around and that inspires not only myself, but I'm fairly certain others as well.  Everyone seems very supportive and willing to help one achieve their set goals.  And the only place to do this is going to be on public access.  As such, it is a platform that allows someone like myself the ability to not only get shows on the air (cable), but to produce them in a professional manner with current, state-of-the-art, HD capabilities.  And with the production platform comes the viewing audience that just isn't there on Youtube (unless I can get the Keyboard Cat to smoke a doobie!).  Public Access allows me all this and so much more!!

Please provide a brief description of your organization.

More than 20 years ago, a young Fort Collins student was distressed to realize that many of her classmates were unable to purchase books

 
   

through the monthly Scholastic Book Club catalogs because their families didn’t have enough money. Years later, when the little girl had become an adult, she returned to Fort Collins and began Book Trust to insure that all children would have the chance to choose and own their own books. In 2001, Book Trust began operating as a pilot program under the fiscal sponsorship of the Serimus Foundation; this pilot project was able to reach 170 students across Fort Collins. By 2006, Book Trust had obtained independent nonprofit status. Our mission is to uniquely deliver choice and ownership of books to low-income children, increasing their literacy skills and fostering life-long learning. Our organization firmly believes that by inspiring a passion for reading one child at a time, we will help increase the number of children with strong literacy skills who are prepared to be successful in school and beyond.

Tell us about your experience working with OMF.

We have been continually impressed with OMF’s professionalism and high quality video product. OMF has produced two phenomenal videos, which have been used both locally and nationally to promote our program. In addition, the support they have shown for our organization through social media and other outreach initiatives has been extremely appreciated. We hope to continue our work with OMF on future endeavors.

What are the issues that you are trying to bring to alarger audience?

Over 31 million children are living in low-income families in America.Research indicates that children living in middle-income communities, on average, own 13 books. Yet, more than half of the children living in low-income communities do not have any books in their homes. In fact, in areas of poverty, the ratio of books to children is one book per every 300 children. In our increasingly information-based world, a child’s ability to read proficiently is closely correlated with the child’s later successes as a student, an employee, and a citizen. Research shows that independent reading (e.g. children opting to read books of their own choosing for pleasure) is closely correlated with reading proficiency. Children from low-income families typically have few books in their homes, under-funded libraries at their schools and limited opportunities to access the public library. Thus, disadvantaged children tend to have limited access to reading materials that they are truly interested in, which is a key predictor of the amount of time a child is likely to spend reading independently. (McKool, Factors That Influence the Decision to Read Out-of-School, July 2010, www.core.ecu.edu). According to Susan B. Neuman, Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, “Access to books and educational material is the single biggest barrier to literacy development in the United States and beyond. If we can solve the problem of access, we will be well on the road to realizing educational parity-a goal which has eluded the country for generations.” Book Trust helps to increase the time children spend reading independently by insuring children from low-income families are able to purchase books of their own choosing each month, ultimately, improving their literacy skills. Our 2012-13 national results showed: 1) Book Trust positively impacted student attitudes about reading; 2) BT students are more likely to read for fun outside of school time than comparison group students; 3) BT positively impacts reading behaviors in the home; and 4) Teachers reported that 9.7% more 2 students progressed to reading at grade level over the course of the year than did comparison group students.

What are some of your primary goals for 2013?

During the 2013-2014 school year, Book Trust will expand its reach to serve 30,000 students in 10 states. More than half-over 17,000-of these students are right here in Colorado. Our goal is to empower students to purchase 700,000 books bringing our cumulative total to 3.2 million books. We will also provide participating teachers with the opportunity to accrue over 10 million bonus points from Scholastic to purchase additional classroom resources and materials for some of the neediest schools in the nation. Through our efforts, our students will develop a passion for reading, as well as improve their attitudes towards reading and improve their reading skills, fostering life-long learners.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

After graduating with a degree in both Business and Speech Communication from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX I spent 5 years working at the Vanguard Group Inc, one of the nation's largest mutual fund companies. I managed people and process improvement projects in a variety of departments including small business and sales. Hoping to use my skills in a different way, I left Vanguard and joined the U.S. Peace Corps where I spent 27 months living and working in Georgia (the country not the state).

 
   

In addition to complete cultural immersion, I developed training curriculum and mentored numerous villagers on project design, funding, implementation, and evaluation. I also had the privilege of working on health and empowerment projects for women and girls. After returning to the U.S., I earned my M.A. in International and Intercultural Communication from the University of Denver, with the goal of working in a Denver area nonprofit. I love the mission of OMF and am thrilled to be joining the team! In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking in the great Rocky Mountains!

Why do you think community media centers are important?

Repeatedly throughout history we have seen the power of even a single individual's ideas to enact social change. There are great ideas and movements out there, but too often their voices are drowned out by the immense flood of powerful political and corporate interests that discourage truthful, honest public debate. Community media helps to level the playing field so that everyone's ideas can be developed in a professional way and presented to the community for consideration. We have seen the power of community engagement from recent events in the U.S., Egypt and Turkey, and community media has such an important role to play in the organization and success of these types of movements.

What is your experience in Operations and how will you apply that in your position at OMF?

I have experience managing people and large projects in a very structured, highly regulated corporate environment and I appreciate how clear policies and guidelines keep a growing organization running smoothly. I also have experience scraping together enough funds at the last minute to run a girls camp in a small Georgian village. Working in these very different environments has taught me to be well-organized and clear with expectations, to maintain solid communication, and to always be prepared with Plan A, B, and maybe even E. I also have gained a lot of experience in being flexible and patient in dealing with last minute changes. Additionally in every place I've worked, everyone has had great ideas, and I have tried to take the role of facilitator, drawing out ideas from people who might know far more about the subject than I do. I am excited to work at OMF with people who are community media experts, and to see how we can keep the organization moving forward in a positive way together.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

This is such a difficult question! I want to gain as much knowledge as possible about working in the nonprofit sector so I can take on increasing levels of responsibility, such as managing larger-scale, higher budget projects that will positively impact the community. I want to keep traveling, meeting interesting people and experiencing all the richness and knowledge the world has to offer! 

The Open Media Foundation announced on May 8, 2013 that it is awarding 11 Denver-area nonprofits with grants totalling a combined value of $25,000 in media and communication services, training, and tools.

The largest grant was awarded to the Sisters of Color United for Education (SOCUE).  The Multimedia and Outreach Assistance Grant, which is valued at $15,000, will equip SOCUE with the tools and resources necessary to create their own media. In addition, OMF will work closely with SOCUE to produce both field and in-studio productions, including a quality promotional video for their organization.

The Multimedia and Outreach Grant includes:

  • Free-unlimited access to over $2 million in equipment and television studios for one year

  • Free media training for SOCUE staff and volunteers

  • Production support for studio and field productions

  • Web support to strengthen online video presence

"If your first issue is not media, it should be your second, " said Daniel Stange, Health Promotor and Program Manager for SOCUE.  “As a Promotora de Salud or ‘Promotors of Health’, being able to create media content that showcases not only health disparities but also the ability to overcome and the capacity of community to advocate and create change from within is a blessing” added Stange.

"Our selection committee was impressed by so many of the applicants" said Ann Theis, Station Director for Denver Open Media, an OMF project. "It was an extremely difficult decision to make, and we are very excited to begin working with SOCUE to help them accomplish their media goals to not only reach a larger audience but also to get their constituents engaged in making media", Theis added.

“We are grateful and humbled for this opportunity to create relevant content, gain valuable knowledge and skills necessary to become publishers of our collaborative journeys of survival, wellness, dedication, synchronicity and hope” Said Belinda Garcia, ED of SOCUE.

The grant is part of OMF’s initiative to engage and amplify the voices of Denver’s Latino community and individuals lacking post-secondary education in the local media conversation. With support from the Denver Foundation and Knight Foundation, OMF recently completed a year-long inclusiveness assessment that found these two groups to be the most underserved and underrepresented in the local media.  In the coming years, these two demographic groups will continue to be a primary focus for OMF's outreach.

Although OMF initially intended to select one recipient, the pool of applicants had many deserving organizations dedicated to serving the two target demographics. As such, OMF awarded an additional $10,000 in memberships and trainings to ensure these organizations would have the opportunity to access multimedia resources and let their stories be heard in the community.

The ten other recipients receiving a year-long Nonprofit Organization Membership to Denver Open Media are as follows:

  1. Project WISE

  2. Servicios de La Raza

  3. Colorado Progressive Coalition

  4. Latino Community Foundation of Colorado

  5. YESS Institute

  6. COLOR

  7. Rights for All People

  8. Cafe Cultura

  9. Escuela de Guadalupe

  10. Confluence Ministries

 

About the Open Media Foundation:

The Open Media Foundation (OMF) works to put the power of media technologies in the hands of civic-minded individuals and groups. OMF produces high-end media content for nonprofits and public sector organizations. It also provides access to affordable media education and technical resources to anyone interested in expressing their own voice. In addition, OMF operates Denver Open Media, Denver’s public access TV station. To find out more about OMF, visit www.openmediafoundation.org.

For more information contact: Ann Theis, Open Media Foundation, 700 Kalamath Street, Denver, Colorado, 80204, 720-222-0159 ext. 203, grants@openmediafoundation.org.

The City of Denver is currently in the final stages of negotiating with Comcast for a Franchise Agreement that will determine the next 10 years of Public Access TV in Denver, and its not looking good. 

As you know, DOM's three channels are currently in Standard-Definition, though the majority of Comcast Channels have moved to HD. The current state of the Franchise negotiations have a mechanism for only one DOM channel to move to HD in the next 10 years. While other cities have each channel mirrored in SD and HD, Denver's negotiators are accepting an offer that has just a single HD channel for Public Access (plus one for Government and another for Education). 

Your City representatives need to hear that all PEG channels should have a pathway toHD in the franchise. In ten years, Standard-Definition channels will be obsolete, and with no pathway to enable their transition to HD, we are essentially sacrificing those channels. Secondly, the negotiations have the PEG fee increasing by only 5%, a pace that is far below DOM's member growth, far below Comcast's annual bill increases, and even below inflation. DOM provides equipment to members through this PEG fee, and as the negotiations stand, we are not going to be able to keep-up with demand from members, meaning more outdated equipment and facilities. 

Please send a note to the At-Large City Council Member and the Mayor's Representative on the Franchise Negotiating Committee, who represent all residents of Denver. More information, including contact info for all 5 members of the negotiating committee can be found here.  Email these committee members to let them know DOM's channels need to be HD within 10 years: Deborah Ortega - At Large City Council Rep, deborah.ortega@denvergov.org, and Erin Mewhinney, erin.mewhinney@denvergov.org. 

The Open Media Foundation’s Spring Fundraiser, 'A Higher Definition of Media' Free Breakfast will be held Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:30am at the Mi Casa Resource Center. At this one-hour, free introductory event, you will learn how OMF’s Services, Training, and Tools empower everyone to contribute to the Collective Perspective in our community.  Breakfast is complimentary.  Please arrive no later than 7:15AM as the program will start promptly at 7:30AM.  RSVP online today!

 

A Higher Definition of Media
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
7:30-8:30AM
Mi Casa Resource Center
360 Acoma Street Denver, CO 80223





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We will be announcing the grant winner no later than April 20, stay tuned to see which deserving nonprofit will be selected to receive $15,000 worth of OMF service to help promote their organization to the community!

The Open Media Foundation has submitted a proposal to the Knight Foundation for their News Challenge to improve Open Government. Watch our video that we submitted for the Open Media Project for Government, and show your support on our submission on the News Challenge website

 

 

 

Please come down, visit the Santa Fe Arts District and join the live studio audience for a great performance from one of Denver's best local bands, 

This month's festivities begin with a Donor/Volunteer-appreciation reception on the 2nd floor at 6pm, followed by a live broadcast in Studio A at 7pm featuring the Andy Hackbarth Band.
 
Even if you can't make it down to the studios, you can join in this broadcast by Tweeting your First Friday photos, text, or other comments using the #DOMFF hashtag. 
 

Special thanks to the sponsors of our Donor Cocktail Event:  Black-Eyed PeaWhole Foods  and Wynkoop Brewery

Please join us for OMF's Donor Cocktail Party on Friday March 1st.  Free food and drinks will be provided to all donors and supporters that RSVP.  This reception will be from 6 to 7 pm on the 2nd Floor of the OMF building at 700 Kalamath, Denver CO 80204.  First Friday festivities will follow immediately after downstairs in Studio A.

We couldn't do our community work without the continued support of our donors - please RSVP for this event at www.denveropenmedia.org/rsvp

Drinks and food are provided by our event sponsors, Black-eyed Pea, Whole Foods and Wynkoop Brewery.

     

The Open Media Foundation is getting ready for some big events.  Currently, we are seeking individuals to help expand our outreach and fundraising capacity through our Development Internship openings. This position is for someone interested in learning all the aspects of marketing, networking, fundraising and outreach for a non-profit organization. Tasks will focus on building diversity into outreach efforts, which in turn will build a strong base of different types of supporters including members, students, donors, watchers, supporters and champions within the community.  Students interested in nonprofit fundraising, event planning, outreach and independent media are encouraged to apply.

To apply, please complete the online application, and be sure to upload your cover letter and resume within the form.

If selected for an interview, you will be asked to bring a writing sample & a copy of your resume. If you have questions, email: intern@openmediafoundation.org 

Denver Open Media's February 1 First Friday celebrates Black History Month through poetic expression. This month's program features some of Denver's finest poets, sharing with you great poems that celebrates the historic accomplishments, vital struggle, and future hope of Blacks in America. 

    Featured poets include Lucifuri, Mahogany, Jovan, and Isis. Also featured during this program will be a visit by Denver historic figure, Dr. Justina Ford, known as "Colorado's Lady Doctor", portrayed by actor Adrienne Martin-Fullwood. And don't miss our video tour of the Blaire-Caldwell African American Research Library. 

On the first Friday of most months, DOM hosts a free community event with local performance groups, musical acts, and nonprofit partners. These events are broadcast live on Comcast Channel 57 as well as streamed on our website. They are rebroadcast on Channels 56, 57 and 219. They are also available online for on-demand viewing. This events are held inside Denver Open Media's Studio A.

     

How did you become involved in multimedia work?    

I first became interested in film and video production at a young age. My grandmother had a laser disk of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. I must have been 6 or 7 years old. I remember the first time I watched it, it scared the crap out of me. Then my grandmother showed me the flip side of the disk and it contained the behind-the-scenes footage. I was amazed at the whole make-up process, the big cameras on set, and how much fun everyone was having. I thought to myself "that's awesome, I want to be apart of that". 

Tell us about why you decided to do an internship with Open Media Foundation? 

I become involved in Denver Open Media foundation through a friend who had been a intern at DOM. She told me to fill out an application and then introduced me to guy who was starting work on a documentary. I worked with him for about a month before hearing that I had been approved for an intern spot. I have continued to work on the documentary which should be done some time this fall.

 

What have you gotten out of your internship with OMF? 

Denver Open Media has been a great place for me to grow as a filmmaker. it has provided a place to exchange ideas with other filmmakers. I have learned a lot about parts of television production that I have previously not been familiar with. Areas such as the operations in the control room and in-studio procedures. Denver Open Media has help me to open up my creativity and my dedication to the craft of making films.

What are your career goals? 

Being a part of this great station will help me in the future by opening up doors for me to start my own production company and providing me a place to network and gain new cliental. 

Why do you think community media centers are important?

I believe that having a place like DOM is very important to our community. If theres not an outlet for the communities voice to be heard, then I think we lose out on oppertiunties to talk about important issues that will affect us. Without discussing the issues from both sides we miss out on coming up with a solution that will benefit both parties. Let your voice be heard. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I guess I've always followed my heart and dreams. So cheesy but very true. I have been truly blessed! I wanted to work in the film industry since the age of 5. It was my mission in life and so I attended Columbia College in Chicago which was like the TV show Fame with all the creativity and diveristy of the arts. I ended up leaving half way through my junior year when I was offered an internship on the remake of 'The Shining' which was filmed in Estes Park and Denver. I was very lucky that they had designed my internship to follow the career path that I was on at the time, a producer, so I interned in every department. After the show wrapped 2 months later I was offered a job on a TV show on HBO in Los Angeles, which was one of my dream companies to work for after watching 'And the Band Played On.' I would free lance jumping project to project but would find myself back at HBO for 2 years working in post production on the 1st 2 seasons of The Sopranos and then 6 years as the Festival Coordinator on the US Comedy Arts Festival which was a comedy/film festival in Aspen, CO. I went on to to AFI Fest and LA Film Festival. I had been volunteering during my 6 years at HBO for Afghan Women's Mission which is a nonprofit organization that supports the oldest feminist women's organization, RAWA. That's where things began to shift for me and I began to realize that I wasn't on the Hollywood path anymore but more of an activist one. I worked as an event coordinator doing nonprofit benefits and realized that through my event experience I wanted to help to raise the funds for people to do the good work. I wanted people to discover a great organization and the importance of their work and help them achieve it. That's how I ended up leaving Hollywood and taking me on this new path. One that is still new, exciting and the one I will follow the rest of my life. 

 

Why do you think community media centers are important?

Honestly, because they allow individuals to have a voice and to express themselves in a way that may not fit the status quo, but to also question it. More importantly I feel it gives people a way to connect with others that they may not have been able to otherwise and it allows conversations and ideas to flow. It allows a spark to start and thus can set us on a path for change and conversation. 

 

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Hopefully building outreach and policy skills so that I can have a stronger impact on policies that are made on issues I care about, especially violence against women which is something that has affected me and those around me pretty harshly.

 

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

The people I work with here and the inspiration I have through them. The people I have met and worked with outside the organization during my job have been great too. Also, I enjoy that not one single day is ever the same. Events is a constant puzzle piece that you juggle on a day-to-day basis and I love trying to find the right fit and waiting for the unexpected.

Colorado's House and Senate will begin their 2013 session on Wednesday January 9 at 10 AM, and the Colorado Channel will continue to provide a live broadcast of the floor in both chambers on Comcast Channel 165 in Denver and live-streaming on their website at www.coloradochannel.net. The Colorado Channel is managed by the Colorado Channel Authority Board, but the work needed to keep the cameras rolling can be credited to the OMF video team, and the website's design and video archive is the work of the OMF web team.  OMF supports community engagement through media, and we encourage everyone to tune in and learn about what legislators are discussing at the capital this year.