ACM Chicago workshop in progress

By: Ron Cooper

****Photos by Keri Stokstad

The Alliance for Community 2012 Chicago National Conference concluded last week after welcoming several hundred community media advocates and public, education, and government access managers. Here’s brief synopsis of several workshop I chose to attend.


Digital Nonlinear Workflows and Centralized Trans-Coding – Anticipating our new server and networke media, this workshop pointed the complexities involved in digital media management. The workshop discussed various file types, various solutions for mixed media workflow and best practices for storage, transcending, archiving and broadcast.


From TV to FM: Building PEGs Community Media Infrastructure Through Low Power FM Radio – Access Sacramento’s “The Voice” community radio will be applying for a LP-FM license in a few months. In this workshop, our Davis Media Access neighbor Jeff Shaw from KDRT radio walked through the online process we assume the FCC will use.Precision is required because details will separate successful from unsuccessful applicants.


Web Development Success for Community Media – Peer to Peer support for Drupal based web based development is rapidly establishing a successful code base helping achieve successful adoption, implementation and maintenance of web based solutions for access management. Six different access organizations shared their experiences is building and maintaining their data management systems.


Library and Community Media Centers: Best Practices – Libraries and Access Centers share many points in common. We welcome the public, share information and knowledge, and serve as gathering places for all. As Access Sacramento plans to provide the Central Library with new production technology, we look forward to developing digital literacy training, specialized media production, and exciting new youth media initiatives.Lynn Bradley, panelist from the American Library Association, knows local Librarian Rivkah Sass and wishes us all the best in new collaboration.


Extending the Access Mission – As a speaker, I shared the panel with two other wonderful organizations. Mauro DiPasquale from Worchester, Mass.presented their amazing and elaborate system of archiving videos, documenting their historic community. I presented three of our programs for review – the Youth Media Conference for Social Change, the “Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival, and our Neighborhood News Bureau web site The panel concluded with the organization named “Best Large Public Access Organization in the Nation for 2012 – Montgomery County Media’s (Maryland) Sonya Burke, Multimedia Manager and Producer. She demonstrated their amazing web site and use of social media for marketing.


Studio Time = Revenue – The need to diversify revenue streams invites Access Centers to develop new strategies for production equipment use. Fee based services of various types were presented by the panelists from Boston, Montgomery County, and San Jose.


The Search for Sustainability – Concluding presentations, I joined Suzanne St. John-Crane (San Jose’s CreaTV), Mike Wassenaar (St. Paul Neighborhood Network) and moderator Sue Buske for a free form discussion of critical issues facing community media centers managers, boards, staff and advocates. The lively discussion include many questions and comments from the full-house audience.


The Conference concluded with honors and awards for worthy leaders and volunteer producers. Next year, the national conference will be held in San Francisco May 29-31, 2013. And coming very soon, Access Sacramento will co-host the Western States ACM Regional Conference October 18-20, 2012.

Executive Directors, Keri Stokstad of Pasadena and Suzanne St. John-Crane from San Jose

Chicago Skyline from Conference Hotel

Executive Directors, Todd Thayer from Ventura and Matt Schuster from Santa Barbara