Open Media Foundation
March News from the Open Media Foundation

March 2010
In this Issue
Upcoming Classes/Events
Internship Available
Executive Director Report
Organizational Spotlight: Family Star
Auction Deemed a Success
Youth Production Group
Quick Links
Upcoming Classes/Events
DOM Help Desk Hours
Thursdays 4:30-6pm

Your Voice.  Your Media
March 17, Wednesday, 5:30-6:30pm

Intro to Studio Workshop
March 20, Saturday, 11am-5:30pm

Field Production Workshop
March 24 & 25, Wednesday & Thursday, 6-9pm

Hands-On Studio Certification
March 27, Saturday, 2-5pm

First Friday at Denver Open Media
April 1, Friday, 8-10pm
Internship Available
** Graphic Design Internship
Opportunity Available!**

The Open Media Foundation is currently looking to fill an internship position within our Graphic Design department. 
Our Design department is unique in that our interns work in print, web design as well as television graphics, and will have 
the opportunity to work with clients in a professional setting. This is an opportunity to work with a fun, creative team 
in a non-profit, collaborative environment.

Applicants must have a design portfolio, resume, and apply online.

Basic requirements are to work at our offices at least 12 hours a week, for a total of 200 overall. 
If you are interested, please fill out the online application, or email
with questions.
Executive Director Report
Monthly Update from Tony Shawcross

At the Open Media Foundation, our first goal is ensuring that the people of Denver have access to affordable services, training, and tools that "put the power of media and technology" in their hands.  The long-term vision is that we become part of a new kind of participatory, community-driven media network.  Separate from the commercial media network that is designed to connect affluent audiences with advertisers, we want to help create a democratic alternative that also reflects the perspectives of communities which lack the collective buying-power to merit much attention from mainstream media or their advertisers.

This is why we started the "Open Media Project", the open-source, web-based software tools that power Denver Open Media, and are now utilized, in some form, in a half-dozen other Public Access TV stations across the nation. As the final step in the Knight News Challenge grant we received to support that vision, we're working now on a content-sharing solution that will enable participating stations to exchange their best content, transforming each Public Access station's website into a conduit for viewing the best noncommercial media across a growing number of stations that support media production among demographic groups that generally aren't represented in YouTube or anywhere else on TV or the web.

While this vision is still under development, we cooperated in a couple great events over the past week with dozens of like-minded organizations across the country, both featuring two-way conversations with visionaries who pioneered different aspects of the work we continue at the Open Media Foundation.  First, on Thursday, February 25th, we joined nearly 40 other community media and educational institutions to host a "wireside chat" with Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons. The chat concluded with an interactive Q&A session facilitated by Twitter, which received thousands of tweets from across the globe.  After that, we continued the conversation in Denver with a panel featuring Flobot MC Jonny 5, and a mix of professors, writers, filmmakers, and legal scholars from the University of Denver. 

Four days later, another group of venues hosted a screening of the Sundance grand-jury prize winning documentary about the "greatest internet pioneer you've never heard of", Josh Harris.  "We Live In Public" is an insightful look at the painful implications of a future Harris predicted where our every action would be chronicled on-line, and our attentions focused on the private lives of others.  Harris and Director Ondi Timoner were available afterwards for a multi-city, interactive Q&A that included just enough self-absorption and technical blunders to reveal just how far we haven't come over the years.

We hope that these sorts of collaborations become more and more common. The technology is here, and all that is lacking is the realization that as noncommercial media entities, one of our strongest comparative advantages is our mission-focused incentive not to compete with one-another, but to cooperate.

WLIP Screening Event
We Live in Public Screening Event
Organizational Spotlight: Family Star

Please provide a brief summary of your organization.Family Star Montessori & Head Start
Family Star's mission is "transformation through Montessori education that empowers children and parents to think for themselves, to do for themselves, and to create better lives".  We were founded in 1988 by a passionate group of inner-city Denver parents and educators determined to stop the decline of their community and provide their young children with a healthy future.  They closed down a crack house across the street from the local Montessori elementary school.  This building, reclaimed and renovated, became Denver's premier Montessori early childhood education center.  The success of Family Star's pilot program led to a partnership with Early Head Start and the opening of a second location in northwest Denver in 1997.  The original issues that precipitated the founding of Family Star remain significant today.  Our primary organizational goal is to empower children and their families to achieve a lifetime of learning. With this goal, we promote the age-appropriate development of children and support families as they acquire the skills to become involved parents and active participants in their children's education and in their community.

What are the issues that you are trying to bring to a larger audience?  
The academic achievement gap for students living in poverty is well-known, but the stark statistics bear repeating. Low-income children consistently fall behind their peers in test scores, graduation rates, college enrollment, and other measures of academic success. Our programs close the education gap and prepare students to enter school ready to learn.  In 2010, Family Star will offer a full-day, year-round education program to 180 children at a time, ages two months to six years old-reaching approximately 250 children each year.  The majority of the families we serve are living in poverty -- 82% of our families live at 200% of the federal poverty level or below.

Why is your organization/school unique?
We believe that our authentic Montessori program is key to our success in educating low-income children.  Montessori is a child-centered curriculum that acknowledges and supports the individual needs of each child.  The environment contains specially designed, self-directed manipulative materials that invite children to engage in learning activities of their own choice. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in our classrooms learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.  Family Star is one of the only early childhood centers in the Denver area that make an authentic Montessori program available to low-income children.  Family Star helps mitigate the impact of poverty and turns families toward success, enhancing their abilities to succeed in school, at home, and in their futures.  We also offer support to our families via our Healthy Families program, our pregnancy and prenatal program, and our network of community resources - family support and health and disabilities services that are integral to our Early Head Start program.

What are some of your primary goals for 2010?
Our primary goal for 2010 is to expand our early childhood services to meet the needs of more families.  We are also researching the feasibility of renovation on our building at 2246 Federal to make 17,000 additional square feet usable for providing quality early childhood services.  Additionally, we plan to study Family Star practices and outcomes in order to identify and strengthen "what works" for our program, and to learn how we can contribute to the dialogue surrounding early childhood development.

What are some of the projects you have worked on with the Open Media Foundation?
The Open Media Foundation has provided video services for Family Star's "Lunch with the Stars" event for the past four years.  This video is an integral part of our annual fundraiser, and allows us to showcase the unique nature of our school, our families, and the children we serve.  Each year, we partner with staff from the Open Media Foundation to film, edit, and produce a high quality video that truly allows us to convey the unique paring of our Early Head Start and Montessori programs.

What have been some of the outcomes of these projects?
Since partnering with the Open Media Foundation, we have received constant feedback on the high quality and content of our annual video.  The finished videos are also uploaded online, allowing anyone to watch and learn what our program is like, how we function, and what we're about.  The Open Media Foundation has allowed us to broaden the amount of people who have access to information about our organization, and helps us give a real glimpse into the positive changes in the lives of our families.

Click here to view the 2009 Family Star video produced by the Open Media Foundation.
Valentine-themed Silent Auction a Success
Valentine-Themed Silent AuctionOur February Valentine-Themed Silent Auction was a great success; we raised $1500, a 50% increase over last year!  Thank you to all who volunteered to make it happen, supported us by donating items and who purchased some great gifts.  If you have any feedback or items you'd like to see next year, please contact

Support local businesses; they support us!

Auraria Center for Higher EducationBonacquisti Wine CompanyBuntport Theater  ⋅ Colorado BalletCorepower YogaD'Vine WineDenver Art MuseumDennver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and ToysDenver Pilates MovementEnstrom CandiesLandmark TheatresHammond's CandiesHarmony YogaKirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative ArtLindita's SalsaLovely Confections BakeryMondo VinoMuseo de Las AmericasMy Brother's BarSalon L'KaiSOL Store of LingerieSportique ScootersTall Grass SpaThe Avenue TheaterThe Denver Center for the Performing ArtsThe Denver Film Society (Starz Film Center)The Jet HotelThe Little Flower MarketVital YogaOogave
Denver Open Media's Youth Production Group OPEN MEDIA GENERATION

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 OMF'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

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 group sponsorships.