The nation’s only nonprofit dedicated solely to media content about the Black experience is convening a gathering of U.S. black creatives together with media technologists, funders, investors and distributors to get strategic about forwarding Black content in the U.S. Black Public Media (BPM) is bringing key players together for the Black Media Story Summit in an effort to pipeline the stories on the issues most crucial to black people in troubled times and to develop strategies to get Black creatives fully engaged in emerging media. Sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, Google and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional funding provided by Wyncote Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Black Media Story Summit will be held on April 6 at Google’s New York City offices.
The invitation-only event will bring Black thought leaders in such pressing areas as mass incarceration, the environment, health and immigration together with filmmakers and producers and those who can help move key content to market. Executives from American Public Television, the ARRAY Alliance, BBC America, BET, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Imagination Capital, kweliTV, Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the Open Society Foundations, PBS, POV Digital, the Producers Guild of America, Silicon Harlem, the Southern Documentary Fund, Sundance Institute, Third World Newsreel, TV One, WNET, and more, will attend.
The event will have a session on virtual reality with Erin Teague of YouTube and Guy Primus of the Virtual Reality Company. Filmmakers, producers and writers of note confirmed to attend include Lisa Cortes (Precious and Monster’s Ball), Yance Ford (Strong Island), Thomas Allen Harris (Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People), Shola Lynch (Free Angela & All Political Prisoners), Stanley Nelson (Tell Them We Are Rising and Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution), and Shukree Hassan Tilghman (This Is Us), among others.
“Equity, access and inclusion remain the issues at large. So, while we stand by the incredible narrative and cultural changes that are rising to the surface, particularly in Hollywood, they can’t be solely centered in one area of the industry,” said Black Public Media’s Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz. “The outcry for equity, the commitment, the change, has to reach across platforms and all areas of media.”
Black Public Media, formerly the National Black Programming Consortium, has been producing and supporting media with a purpose since its founding in 1979. Known for its signature public television series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange and web series Black Folk Don’t, the national organization is also a funder of films and content (such as I Am Not Your Negro, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart and web series (Pops and Ask a Muslim) and trainer of producers (with its 360 Incubator + Fund).
The Black Media Story Summit is a part of BPM’s new initiative WOKE! Broadening Access to Black Public Media, a series of projects and events designed to connect creatives working with new technologies and platforms to funding, resources, partners and distribution opportunities. WOKE! includes a new BPM funding initiative sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Journalism and Media program specifically for emerging media, with the goal to usher forth black talent and black content into an industry that overwhelmingly lacks diversity.
For more information on BPM, visit www.blackpublicmedia.org or follow it on Twitter (@BLKPublicMedia) or on Facebook.
Black Public Media (BPM), formerly the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), is committed to enriching our democracy by educating, enlightening, empowering and engaging the American public. The nonprofit supports diverse voices by developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the black experience and by investing in visionary content makers. BPM provides quality content for publicmedia