2020 Workshop Materials

ACM West 2020 Conference Workshops

Community Media: Riding Waves of Change

Community Media Centers across the country are making changes needed to meet funding challenges and the evolving needs of the community. These changes can sometimes be challenging and involve budget cuts, rebranding, changes in staff/job descriptions, and raising funds from non-cable sources to supplement decreasing cable company funding.  These changes can also provide opportunities to engage new community members and to explore new and exciting services, programming, and partners. This panel introduces you to examples of how this process can be undertaken in a manner that will result in a revitalized CMC that is poised to prosper.  Hear from seasoned CMC CEO’s as they share their experiences.

Speakers: Matt Schuster, Executive Director, Public Media Network, Kalamazoo, MI; Keri Stokstad, CEO, Midpen Media, Palo Alto, CA

Presentation Materials: Matt-Schuster-WavesofChange.pdf,


Going Beyond Cable Funding: Revenue Development Options, Opportunities, and Success Stories

In today’s world, it is essential that Community Media Centers identify and implement a variety of revenue streams to supplement decreasing cable company funding.  This is not an immediate or one-size-fits-all endeavor.  What works and what doesn’t will vary between large and small CMC’s, rural, urban, or suburban.

This two-part workshop will explore six different categories of non-cable funding and present success stories in each category, including: (1) Production Services, Fee for Service, and Other Earned Income; (2) Monetizing the Web/YouTube/Social Media; (3) Program Sponsorships/ Underwriting; (4) Events & Special Activities; (5) Grants; and (6) Contributions and Donations.

Speakers: Mike Johnson, Executive Director, CCX Media, Brooklyn Park, MN; Debra Rogers, Executive Director/CEO, Falmouth Community Media, Falmouth, MA; Rory O’Farrell, Operations Manager, TTCTV, Truckee, CA; Stacy Higa, President and CEO, Na Leo TV, Hawaii, HI; Linda Gellasch, Executive Director, Grand Rapids Community Media Center, Grand Rapids, MI; Deborah Vinsel, Executive Director, TC Media, Olympia, WA.

Presentation Materials: TCMedia-Sources-of-revenue-2020.pdf, Going-Beyond-Cable-Funding-ACM-W-Feb.-18-20-2020.pptx, Beyond-Cable-Funding-Debra-Rogers-Presentation-1.pptx, Na Lao TV powerpoint, Na Lao TV video,


Switching Gears: Retooling Your Community Media Center Board to Meet the New Reality

This Board-focused workshop will address how to make changes to your Board — and maybe your organizational structure — to face the new reality that Community Media Center Boards must be more funding-focused, and fulfill their mission at the same time.

Speakers: Suzanne St. John-Crane, CEO, American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA; Shana Peete, Leadership Development Specialist, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, Redwood City, CA

Presentation Materials: Suzanne_St_John-Crane_Retooling_Your_Board.pptx, Shana_Peete_Retooling_Your_Board.pdf.


Building and Implementing a Marketing/Re-Branding Plan for You Community Media Center

In order to stand out in the cluttered world of media choices — be they on-line or on cable — it’s essential that the Community Media Center has a clearly identifiable brand, a brand that is recognized as a valued content and media services provider in the community.  Discover how you can take a strategic approach to developing and marketing your CMC’s brand resources that will help to achieve your long-term goals and increase your impact in the community.

Speakers:  Bobby Chastain, Executive Director, KMVT 15 Silicon Valley Community Media, Mountain View, CA; Melissa Toren, Executive Director, KCAT TV Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Karen George, Executive Director, Quad Cities Community TV, Champlin, MN

Presentation Materials: Final-ACM-West-Branding-Presentation-by-Karen-George.pptx


Exploring “Community” and “Public” in Media

“Community” and “public” are two cornerstone terms we use to describe our centers and the work in our communities.  What does it look like when community and public are truly at the center of our work?  We’ll explore what it means to intentionally engage the community in creating media that shifts existing narratives.  You’ll discover what you need to do in your centers to effectively shift to community-driven and -controlled strategies in today’s new power structures and values.

Speakers: Matt Schuster, Executive Director, Public Media Network, Kalamazoo, MI; Chad Johnston, CEO, CreaTV San Jose; Shelly Wolfe, Executive Director, PSTV, Philadelphia Public Schools, Philadelphia, PA

Presentation Materials: Matt-Schuster-publicandcommunityinmedia.pdf,


Production Rapid Fire: Tools, Tricks, and Gadget

Discover some of the many gadgets, tools, and tricks that Community Media Centers use to help create amazing productions.  This session will be fast-paced and jam-packed with tons of information in a short time.  There will also be time allotted for attendees to share a few of their own tips and tricks.

Speakers: Brian Scott, Executive Director, Berkeley Community Media, Berkeley, CA; Kat Tracy, Director of Education, Akakū, Maui, HI; John Ittelson, Consultant and Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay, Monterey, CA

Presentation Materials: Kat Tracy Slides, Kat Tracy Video.


Hyperlocal News and Public Affairs: An Exploration of Opportunities and Partnerships.

Across the country, Community Media Centers are trying to fill the void left by the continuing collapse of local news outlets (print and electronic).  Whether you call it hyperlocal news, information, or public affairs programming, there’s an opportunity for CMC’s to fill the void independently or by partnering with other organizations, educational institutions or media outlets (e.g., radio stations).

In this workshop you’ll hear from several community media centers that have been producing community news for several years. You’ll hear what is working and not working.  What kind of staffing is required?  Is it funded in any way and if so, how is funding secured?  Is hard news and journalism being undertaken or is the coverage only soft news?  How can you handle covering situations that may result in “unhappiness” from the local government?

Speakers: Jo Ellen Kaiser, Chair, Foundation of Alliance for Community Media; Linda Gellasch, Executive Director, Grand Rapids Community Media Center, Grand Rapids, MI; Joe Livernois, Editor and Reporter, Voices of Monterey Bay, Christine Winge, Executive Director, AMP Media, Monterey, CA, Sean McLaughlin, Executive Director, Access Humboldt, Eureka, CA

Presentation Materials: Hyperlocal-News-and-Public-Affairs-ACM-W-Feb.-18-20-2020.pptx


Re-envisioning Community Media Centers: Building Relevance and Long-Term Financial Sustainability

Staying relevant and financially sustainable is essential if Community Media Centers are going to survive.  We’ll examine what it takes to create a roadmap for the future.  Find out how a strategic planning process designed specifically for CMC’s can help build relevance for a community media center operation and at the same time, raise community awareness for the organization and build long term financial sustainability.

Presenters Sue Buske and Mike Johnson will lead a lively discussion and open the presentation to comments and suggestions from other media centers to hear best practices for remaining financially sustainable in uncertain times.

Speakers: Mike Johnson, Executive Director, CCX Media, Brooklyn Park, MN;  Sue Buske, President, The Buske Group, and Chairperson, Board of Directors, Alliance for Communication Democracy, Sacramento, CA

Presentation Materials: Revisioning-for-Community-Media-Centers-Final-2020.pptx, Revisioning-for-Community-Media-Centers-Final-2020-1.pptx,


Machine Learning: Big Data Ate My Video

“How is anyone ever going to find my video after it rolls off the front page?”  Often the biggest challenge is recognizing and solving the problem that search engines operate on text, not video.  This workshop will address options for video captions, metadata enhancement, captions in languages other than English, and offline distribution of Community Media Center programs and the implications for workflow.

Speakers: John Hauser, Digital Media Archivist and Special Projects Wizard, Access Humboldt, Eureka, CA; Daniell Krawczyk, President, Municipal Captioning, Garner, NC

Presentation Materials: Video Slides – HTML version, Machine Learning Books – Reading List, Working with the Internet Archive – Google Docs version, Metadata “Cheat Sheet” – Google Docs version, Updated Remarks regarding the Community Media Archive and the Youtube->Archive project.


Identifying and Addressing the Primary HR Issues Facing Community Media Centers Today

In the ever-changing world of Human Resources, nonprofit Community Media Centers face a variety of concerns related to workforce performance and legal compliance.  Some of those concerns are similar to those of for-profit businesses (e.g., the use of contractors versus employees).  However, due to their nature, structure, and budgets, nonprofit organizations contend with certain unique challenges that, if not managed effectively, threaten to interfere with the fulfillment of their missions.

This workshop will take on several of those common HR issues, such as funding, use of volunteers, compliance with state and federal laws, staying true to the organizational mission, and accurate management of payroll taxes.

Speakers: J. Alan Fagan, President, the Mattox Group, Monterey, CA; Sonya Llewellyn, Director of Program Development, 501(c) Services, San Jose, CA

Presentation Materials: TMG-HR-Presentation-20200218.pptx,