Open Media Foundation
April News from the Open Media Foundation

April 2010
In this Issue
Upcoming Classes/Events
Executive Director Report
First Friday at Denver Open Media
OMF Announces New Grant Opportunities
The 2010 Census is Here
Organizational Spotlight: Free Speech TV
Youth Production Group
Quick Links
Upcoming Classes/Events
DOM Help Desk Hours
Thursdays 4:30-6pm

First Friday at Denver Open Media
April 2, Friday, 7-10pm

Your Voice.  Your Media

April 7, Wednesday, 5:30-6:30pm

Capitol Tour
April 9, Friday, 9:45-11:15am

Intro to Studio Workshop
April 14 & 15, Wednesday & Thursday, 6-9pm

Final Cut Pro Workshop
April 17, Saturday, 11am-5:30pm

Your Voice.  Your Media
April 7, Wednesday, 5:30-6:30pm

Field Production Workshop
April 24, Saturday, 11am-5:30pm

Intro to Studio Workshop
May 1, Saturday, 11am-6pm
Executive Director Report
Monthly Update from Tony Shawcross

Most of our community members are familiar with the 3 Public Access TV channels we manage through Denver Open Media.  Channels 56 and 57 are available 24/7 to every cable subscriber in Denver, with a third channel, 219 also available for Comcast Digital Cable subscribers. These channels can be viewed on Comcast in the city of Denver and online.

You may not know that we also manage a state-wide digital channel in partnership with the Colorado State Legislature. The Colorado Channel can be seen at and on Comcast channel 165 for any digital cable subscriber in the state.   Programming includes live and repeat coverage of the Colorado State House of Representatives and the Colorado State Senate.

Three years ago, Darryn Zuehlke and Denver8 gave the Open Media Foundation the opportunity to support Former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff's vision of the Colorado Channel, and today, we have 4 staff members devoted to daily broadcasts of both the Senate and House. The team is led by Deb Lastowka, OMF's Director of Community Productions.  House Producer Laura Graves has been with the project from its start in 2007.  With the addition of the Senate, OMF was able to add former intern Shea Scott, and Tod Bower, formerly of Denver8 to the team.  As with every OMF project, the effort would not be possible without the involvement of several dedicated interns.  Christian Bollmann; Kenny Linn and David Wemple round-out the team, providing crucial support and receiving valuable TV production skills in exchange.

On Friday, April 9th we're giving our top donors an inside-look at the Colorado Channel. With a special tour of the Capitol Dome, the House and Senate Chambers, the Camera Control Room, and a special peek at the secret underground passageways beneath the capitol. This tour is offered to anyone who has donated at least $100 to the Open Media Foundation in the past year, and it's not too late to participate!  Just visit and make a tax-deductible donation of at least $100 before April 9th, and you will receive a personal invitation to the tour.

Our staff has enjoyed the crash course in civics they have received the past couple of years and would encourage everyone to take a peek at what's happening underneath the gold dome.  In the coming years, watch for more additions to the Colorado Channel, and more ways for our community members to engage with their elected officials.

Opening Day of the Colorado Channel
First Friday at Denver Open Media

On the first Friday of most months, DOM holds
First Friday at Denerv Open Mediaa 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.

Friday, April 2nd 7-10pm
Come on down TONIGHT to 700 Kalamath Street for some down-home nerdy goodness.  Once again we will be partnering with our friends at dorkbot to present to you an evening of "people doing strange things with electricity".  Presenters include: Aaron Wilson/Technic9; Photonic Bliss and Synthia Payne. Also!  In our upstairs lounge, we will be hosting a beta launch party for the site  Food and beer and stuff.  Free and open to the public.

Know of a band or a local non-profit organization that you think should be highlighted during our next First Friday event?  Encourage them to apply here.
The Open Media Foundation Announces New Grant Opportunities

As part of our organizational growth and dedication to fulfilling our mission, the Open Media Foundation has announced a number of individual production grants, nonprofit organization grants and education scholarships.  For more information and to apply check out our Grants Pages.
The 2010 Census is Here: We All Count the Same

The 2010 Census is HereOMF is hosting a Question Assistance Center with Spanish translators and written translations in Russian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.  If you haven't received a census form yet, please stop by and pick one up in the lobby.  There is a Census Assistant on staff M-F, 4-7pm in the lobby at 700 Kalamath Street.

The Census is important to all of us! Make sure to fill out your forms (it should take 10 minutes or less) because every person counted means more funding for the City of Denver and State of Colorado. Over a 10 year period Denver receives $8500 for every person counted; that means much needed funds for schools, hospitals, roads and more.  Support your family and your community - fill out your Census form today and don't forget to mail it in! 
Organizational Spotlight: Free Speech TV

We are lucky in Denver to be the home of one of the world's strongest voices for civic media, FreeFree  Speech TVSpeech TV.  FSTV has been a partner of the Open Media Foundation since even before we became an official nonprofit organization. Today, we're lucky to continue our partnership with them, helping to manage their online presence and cooperating on various initiatives. We caught up with FSTV's Program Manager, Eric Galatas, to tell us a bit more about their work.

Please provide a brief summary of your organization.
Launched in 1995, Free Speech TV is an independent, publicly-supported, non-profit TV multi-platform digital media pioneer. Using both television and the Internet, Free Speech TV inspires viewers to become civically engaged to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable society. Free Speech TV is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Free Speech TV is based in Denver, CO.

What are the issues that you are trying to bring to a larger audience?  
Free Speech TV is working to turn the corporate model of television on its head.  Corporations use television to sell audiences to advertisers, they want to turn people into consumers, convince them to buy more stuff.  Free Speech TV uses media to encourage people to become active not just as consumers, but as global citizens. 

What are some of your primary goals for 2010?
Free Speech TV is working to bring our news programs like Democracy Now!, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, The Thom Hartmann Program, Gay USA, and our investigative documentaries to a wider audience on satellite, cable, the internet, and mobile devices.  In this depressed economic environment, we are also, like most other non-profits, working very hard to not only keep our signal on the air, but to grow.  Free Speech TV is independent because the majority of our support comes directly from our viewers, and we want to stay beholden to these interests, not to corporate foundations or government.  So we have to find new ways to pay our bills.

What are some of the projects you have worked on with the Open Media Foundation?
Free Speech TV can boast a unique connection with the Open Media Foundation, giving a small start-up grant to the organization for editing equipment in the early 2000s.  The Open Media Foundation took that modest level of support and grew it against near-impossible odds (to the credit of founder Tony Shawcross and his steadfast team) into a vibrant organization.  Free Speech TV also partnered with the Open Media Foundation on the televised version of the Pan African Arts Society's "Cafe Nuba" series.  Denver Open Media was also co-producer on Free Speech TV's "The Activist Studio," a series promoting Denver based community activism.

How has using television/video/web allowed your organization to reach a wider audience?
Progressive communities have long used media to spread the word, from "human media," sermons in churches growing power into a civil rights movement, to leaflets protesting the Vietnam War, or micro-radio calling attention to child labor in sweatshops.  Free Speech TV is the first television network amplifying these progressive voices.  We reach some 30 million U.S. homes on satellite and cable, and even more globally via the internet. 

Why is community TV so important?
Even in the age of the internet and "Web 2.0" hype, television remains the most powerful communications medium of our day.  For fairly obvious reasons, television in the U.S. has been monopolized by a small handful of conglomerate corporations.  Community television can do what these companies can't, or won't, do.  It can connect communities with similar interests, and help them identify and articulate their most pressing concerns without fear of censorship.  It can serve as a public forum, where community concerns can be debated, and residents can build consensus around proposals for solutions.  When consensus is built and plans actualized, community media can document promises made by those in power, so that they can be held accountable, or removed if they do not act in the best interest of the community.  Communities need more than commerce from media, they need media that serve public interests.  The Open Media Foundation is uniquely positioned, and has demonstrated that it can be effective, to serve this critical function in Denver.
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 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

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.