Open Media Foundation
December News from the Open Media Foundation

December 2009
In this Issue
Sponsor Spotlight
Upcoming Classes/Events
Youth Production Group
Join the New Conversation
3 Year Anniversary Party
Member Spotlight: The Denver Foundation
Quick Links

Sponsor Spotlight

Upcoming Classes/Events

Your Voice.  Your Media
December 2, Wednesday, 5:30-6:30pm

Field Production Workshop
December 2 & 3, Wednesday & Thursday, 6-9pm

3rd Year Anniversary Party
December 4, Friday, 8-10pm

Transforming Your Elevator Pitch
December 8, Tuesday, 4-6pm

Final Cut Pro Workshop

December 9 & 10, Wednesday & Thursday, 6-9pm

Your Voice.  Your Media
December 16, Wednesday, 5:30-6:30pm

Intro to Studio Workshop
December 16 & 17, Wednesday & Thursday, 6-9pm

December Holiday - DOM Closed
December 24th through December 26th
Denver Open Media's Youth Production Group

Spotlight On StudentsAbout the group:  Do you know a student who dreams of being on TV?  How about working behind the scenes?  If so, they should join Denver Open Media's FREE Youth Production Group!

Finally, the Youth Group is meeting weekly!  Now, anyone between the ages of 12-19 can plan to stop by any Wednesday from 3:30-6pm to join the fun.

Participants will alternate between learning field, studio and editing techniques.  Students will learn how to produce youth-related content and will help solicit new youth-related programs.  Please check out our website for more information or email

Watch previous youth-produced SOS shows here.

We are always looking for food donations to help keep our youth fed and alert during trainings/productions, please let us know if you have suggestions or information about youth groups sponsorships.
Executive Director Report
You may have noticed something different this month. I would like to officially welcome you to the Open Media Foundation. To explain a little bit about this transformation, I'd like to share a recent blog I wrote for the MediaShift Idea Lab.  Hopefully this entry will give you an idea about where we've been and where we are going.  I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, who have supported us along the way.  It has been a terrific ride, and we could not have done it without you.  So thank you very much and have a wonderful holiday season. 

Deproduction, a Denver-based nonprofit media and technology organization has reorganized as the Open Media Foundation. The nonprofit media and technology organization was founded in 2003, offering media and technology training and services to nonprofits and individuals in the Denver Metro Area. In recent years, the organization spawned Denver Open Media, the Open Media Project, and a number of web-based initiatives through the Civic Pixel web & design department launched in 2008. The new name and website were officially announced November 19th at a fundraising breakfast hosted by Ashara Ekundayo and featuring presentations from Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, and Leslie Matthews, President of the OMF Board of Directors.

"Its not just a name-change," stated Leslie Matthews at the event, "the organization has grown significantly over the years, launching Denver Open Media in 2006, and merging with Civic Pixel to offer high end web & design services in 2008. While these efforts have been aligned with our strategic vision, the multiple brands and independent websites made it difficult to understand the cohesive design of the organization." The new website aims to convey the concerted strategy behind the various business activities of the organization, from high-end media and technology services, to training and education, and ultimately, access to the media and technology tools.

"The end goal is a community where every organization and individual, not only the privileged and wealthy, have the ability to engage in mass communications and reflect their own perspective in the larger social conversations that happen through media and technology," added Brian Hiatt, Director of IT for the Open Media Foundation. Today, over 200 local nonprofit organizations have a website or video produced by the Open Media Foundation. "We train hundreds of individuals each year, and we operate 3 Public Access TV channels in Denver" adds Hiatt. In addition, the Open Media Foundation manages the Colorado Channel, a statewide version of C-Span, for the Colorado State Legislature. This year, the Colorado Channel and OMF add daily Senate coverage to the mix, after two years of broadcasting the State House of Representatives. "Everything we do is aimed at putting the power of media in the hands of our community" Hiatt explains.

In 2008, together with Civic Pixel, the OMF team re-built the software that transformed Denver's Public Access TV station into a constituent-led, Net 2.0 media hub, and made it available to anyone through Dubbed the Open Media Project, this year the OMF has helped to install the software and unique community media model in 7 beta test stations. New partners continue to join every month, including Free Speech TV and the Bay Area Video Coalition, all looking to contribute to the open-source software that could help unite noncommercial media institutions as a new kind of user-driven media network.

Early next year, the OMF plans to release the Open Media Project software as a new kind of free software package, a Packaged Drupal Installation Profile being designed with support from the Drupal Association and fellow Knight News Challenge winner, Quiddities. At the same time, the Open Media Foundation will receive word on the $2.2million stimulus grant requested through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, aimed at extending the Open Media Project with 20 new community media partners. The final stage of the Knight News Challenge grant concludes in 2010, with a focus on content sharing among the Open Media Project beta test stations.

In Denver, one of the three Public Access Cable TV channels is automatically scheduled based on votes from the website and SMS/Text, featuring the best of over 5,000 shows submitted in just the past 3 years. In 2010, the same software that makes this possible will also enable Denver Open Media and its partner stations to share top-rated content from across the nation, allowing each station to feature the best of their combined content. The Open Media Foundation will celebrate these and other accomplishments this Friday, Dec 4th at the 3-year anniversary of Denver Open Media. The festivities will be shared live on Denver Open Media, Comcast Channel 56, online at, and on the radio via KGNU 88.5FM-Denver and 1390AM-Boulder. The event will feature musical performances from Sole and Itchy-O and interviews with a number of Open Media Foundation partners and members.
Join the New Conversation

On November 19th, the Open Media Foundation held its first annual Join the New Conversation breakfast and it was a resounding success!  Guest speakers included Ashara Ekundayo of the Pan African Arts Society, Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! and Media Generation members Amber Aldridge and Sarah Chaney. 

We raised over $37,000 in one hour and this is just the beginning.  Thank you to all the supporters and volunteers who made this event possible.  For more information about supporting Open Media Foundation and Denver Open Media or getting involved please contact

To donate, please visit our website and help us continue to put the power of the media in the hands of the people.
3 Year Anniversary Party at Denver Open Media
3 Year Anniversary Party at Denver Open Media On the first Friday of each month, DOM holds a free community event that spotlights local performance groups, musical acts, and nonprofit organizations.  These events are broadcast live on Comcast channel 57 and re-broadcast on channels 56, 57 and 219. They are also available online.

On December 4th, Denver Open Media will be celebrating its 3rd year anniversary as YOUR nonprofit community media station.

For the past 3 years DOM has been providing affordable community media production classes, access to cutting-edge video equipment, thousands of hours of local programming and free cultural events. This party will feature live music provided by Itchy-O and Sole, videos, interviews and refreshments.  Come down and support your local access station!  Everyone is invited; hope to see you there!

Know of a band or a local nonprofit organization that you think should be highlighted during our next First Friday event?  Encourage them to apply here.
Member Spotlight: The Denver Foundation
Member Spotlight: The Denver Foundation
Please provide a brief summary of your organization.
The Denver Foundation is Colorado's oldest and largest Community Foundation, created by and for the people of Metro Denver 85 years ago to improve life in our region.

What are the issues that you are trying to bring to a larger audience?  Our areas of focus, through our grant making programs, are health, human services (including hunger, housing and homelessness), education, arts and culture, inclusiveness, and grassroots/community development.  However, the Foundation is the administrator of over 800 donor-advised funds of individuals, families, and businesses who support every issue imaginable both locally and across the globe. 

What are some of the projects you have worked on at DOM? 
We have worked on a video that was shown at our Annual Celebration this year.  Components of the ten minute video were also linked to our Annual Report website (created by Civic Pixel) featuring stories told by the individuals featured in our Annual Report.
We have also tapped DOMs resources and expertise in developing three videos to promote our Nonprofit Internship Program.  The first will be used as a resource for learning on our Inclusiveness website, the second will be a promotional tool to recruit potential interns, and the third will be used to help in fundraising for the project.

What has been your experience working with Civic Pixel? 
Civic Pixel has been great.  We have worked primarily with Sharee and Brian who designed our online Annual Report. Yes, The Denver Foundation took the environmental leap this year from our standard 70 + page annual report to a 16 page report that was available online and that published the lists of donors and grantees, etc. only online. This was a big step for us and Civic Pixel walked us through the process quite nicely. 

Civic Pixel also designed our Inclusiveness Website which is another adjunct site to our own.  They have ensured that this site possesses the interactivity and robustness necessary to achieve its goals while also maintaining a visual and thematic integrated into the Foundation's main site. 

How has using television/video/web allowed your organization to reach a wider audience?  
We are increasingly becoming a nation that relies on information beyond the realm of print, so we, at the Foundation, have had to delve into this world of multimedia.  Television allows you limited time for messaging, but reaches a broader and younger audience. The web is an essential tool, in our estimation. It is a highly accessible home base for an organization, one where information can be obtained at any time of the day.  And video affords a more personal and engaging experience.  With a video camera you can link people face to face as opposed to simply presenting words on a page.

What is the most challenging aspect of producing your own videos?
 Time is of the essence with regards to producing quality videos.  And time is also very limited. We are not dedicated video professionals--most of us are new to this world of video production, and so we must carve out the time and use all of the resources and expertise available to accomplish our video goals.
Also, it is important to be able to visualize your story and to outline it a much as possible before you even pick up a camera (learned that one the hard way!) in order to cut production and editing time.

What is the most exciting aspect of producing your own videos?  
The most exciting aspect is the very same one that we listed as a challenge -- learning as we go!  It is an exciting prospect to develop a story on film and DOM provides some great resources, by way of equipment and onsite experts, that help to us to get better with each production.   It is great because they give you tips on which equipment to use based on what type of project you are creating. We are excited because, as a nonprofit, we have an economical means of developing videos, which for many years have been inaccessible due to cost.

What is your advice to other organizations wishing to create their own media?
Jump right in, is what we would advise.  You are not going to start off very polished, and you will make mistakes, but you will get better through experience and the guidance provided by DOM's staff.  Also don't minimize the importance of training. DOM offers several tracks that engage everyone from the beginner through the highly experienced.  There are also millions of videos out there that can help spur your vision for your project.  Bottom line - just get started.