-- BakuLost - 01 Jun 2005

hey y'all here's a document i drafted thinking about long-term stuff. it is also uploaded as an attachment if that's easier. please change, add, comment:

AUSTIN INDEPENDENT MEDIA CENTER LONG-TERM STRATEGIC WORKING DOCUMENT

Purpose: This is working document to identify the strengths and weakness of the Austin IMC collective. Its goal is to identify and elaborate autonomous and sustainable projects that will help us continue our existing work and take it further.

Statement of Where We Are At: Over the past year, the collective has greatly strengthened and done great work. Members of the collective have published numerous works ranging from feature length films to center column features. Members have participated in intensive media projects, such as the Taco Bell Truth Tour coverage and multi-media coverage of events an example being the recent Halliburton action. We also hosted a conference. In many ways, we have become a fully functioning media team. We have also seen the collective grow with new members.

The Austin collective has always placed great emphasis on horizontally sharing media skills, specifically in order to contribute to the self-empowerment of marginalized groups. It seems that we have done a relatively good job at this during the Tour, during various actions and with members of our community. However, it seems that we are lacking a systemic or programmatic component to this philosophy. We could also use ways to share skills with more people outside the activist community. One member has proposed a way we could do this, but it seems to have been limited.

I feel that those are our two areas of focus and work. Our projects and goals should reflect that by 1) increasing our capacity to produce quality media (such as of post-production abilities) 2) developing and funding programmatic horizontal media-sharing and skill developing.

It seems that our biggest challenge, beyond capital, is the changing character of the collective. Almost all our collective members are young people whom are often moving away, traveling, or taking extended leave. We need to come up with solutions to this or think of projects that are just so engaging that people will want to stay in Austin to work on them.

Goals:

A larger space (perhaps, a permanent space) More equipment Radio Webstream Server Better post-production, ie in-house DVD burning and web distro New web design More systemic media sharing More committed and diverse membership Building relationships with marginalized communities and having our work reflect their needs More \x91mainstream\x92 appeal, i.e. broadening our readership/viewership to beyond the activist community A printing press (this may seem strange, but imagine printing issue ourselves. It could even generate some money printing for other people) public access TV show, think street level TV

Ways to Meet Goals: I feel that all these goals are attainable, but most of us have jobs, lives that limit are ability to devout time to the projects. One solution to this would be to pay collective members. However, that decision is very serious bringing up questions about our viability as a radical project and staff/money issues always bring potential problems. Also, in my non-profit experience once people start getting paid more and more focus is placed on fundraising in order to pay salaries rather than the actual work. With that said smaller amounts of money distribution seems to work if done thoughtfully.

We are limited by real-world constraints, i.e. actually doing this, roadblocks, money, burn-out.

Another idea I\x92ve been turning over is a living cooperative and media space together. This is loosely based on the Rhizome model and the Center for Arts and Media Production in St. Louis. Living and working together can bring a whole host of issues, but some of the benefits of a living and working space are that it reduces living costs so that collective members can work less at capitalist jobs and more with IMC projects. Another component of this could be an in-store coffee shop that could help cover costs.

In order to take on such large tasks, the collective could agree to a working framework including specific goals, dates, responsibilities for members, and accountability measures.

Projects:

Capital campaign to buy a space Elaboration of the project with goal description, tri-folds, presentations, etc Grant Writing Identification of Local Donors Publicity Campaign to raise the profile of the project Equipment Capital Campaign Needs Schedule of Fundraising Goals and Equipment Purchases Grant Writing We can definitely write grants for this. But, since we would be writing so many we could do this more of the way we already do, ie keggers, film screenings, etc Autonomia Elaboration of the project with goal description, tri-folds, presentations, etc Grant Writing Identification of Local Donors Publicity Campaign to raise the profile of the project

Proposals:
Topic revision: r3 - 28 Aug 2005, AlsteR
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