2020 BLACK MEDIA 

STORY SUMMIT

HIGHLIGHTS

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Leslie Fields-Cruz

BPM Executive Director

Where There's a Will, There's a Way

 

Earlier this year, as the gravity of the pandemic was becoming clear, the BPM staff and I seriously considered postponing the 2020 Black Media Story Summit. Before throwing up our hands,  we decided to explore the possibilities of hosting the summit virtually. After some intense research, we decided to go for it. So, June 23-25, thanks to a gumbo of online engagement tools — including Zoom, Stream Yard, YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and HighFidelity — we managed to pull off the first ever virtual Black Media Story Summit without a hitch.  The event exceeded our expectations and was well received by those who attended.

We are deeply grateful to all who presented and participated. The following is a summary of what occurred.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

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DAY 1

Virtual Town Hall 

THE PANDEMIC

PIVOT

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown all sorts of organizations for a loop. Now, everyone is scrambling to figure out how to keep their audiences, members, and customers engaged for what may be an extended period of social distancing. In this town hall, the leaders of three presenting organizations discussed how the pandemic prompted them to  pivot and develop new ways to showcase Black talent.

BPM Host: Lisa Osborne, director of emerging media initiatives

Moderator: Stephanie McKee-Anderson, Junebug Productions

Featured Speakers: Ryan Wilson, The Gathering Spot; and Jason Steer, Apollo Theater. 

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DAY 2

Panel Sessions

REBUILDING THE DISTRIBUTION ECOSYSTEM

 

These two panels explored ways to capitalize on the industry’s current creative thinking, in response to Covid-19, to develop solutions that address the ongoing inequities faced by Black storytellers. Interactive participation in these sessions was capped to optimize our ability to gather everyone’s valuable insights, but the public was invited to view the discussions via YouTube and Facebook Live.

BPM Host: Denise Greene, director of program initiatives

Moderator: Michelle Materre, Creatively Speaking

Keynote Speaker: Phillip Agnew, Black Men Build

Panel 1 Speakers: Maori Holmes, BlackStar Film Festival; Dr. Yaba Blay, author 

Panel 2 Speaker: Aymar  Jean "AJ" Christian, Open Television, aka O|TV 

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DAY 3

Watch Party

CLIPS &

CONVERSATIONS

 

Between 1987 and 1995, public television released the independent documentaries of filmmaker Marlon Riggs: Tongues Untied,Black Is ... Black Ain't , Color Adjustment, and Ethnic Notions. During this conversation, filmmakers who knew Riggs, have been inspired by him and have studied his work discussed his impact, then and now, on public media and the documentary field.

BPM Host: Denise Greene, director of program initiatives

Moderator: Cornelius Moore, California Newsreel

Featured Speakers: Thomas Allen Harris, Family Pictures USA; Rhea Combs, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Luchina Fisher, Mama Gloria

BPM 40th ANNIVERSARY VIRTUAL HOUSE PARTY

Thursday, June 25 (7:00 - 8:00 pm EDT)

The Story Summit closed with a innovative celebration of BPM's 40th Anniversary. Guests convened online for the Virtual House Party at a High Fidelity patio where DJ M-Squared streamed in a lively set of familiar hits via Instagram Live.  Guests mingled acoustically from their respective locations while nibbling on their own renditions of a special DIY anniversary recipe created by Celebrity Chef Ricky Moore of the PBS documentary The Hook, scheduled to air nationally in August.

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Guests posted their renditions of Chef Ricky's creation on Instagram

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BMSS THANK YOU