Some highlights from my favorite projects.
For a full list, download my CV.
Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public Radio Collection
The National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) is a pivotal (and largely forgotten) institution responsible for promoting and distributing educational audio programs and accompanying print materials to schools and communities across the United States for most of the 20th century. The NAEB collections, which are currently split between the University of Maryland (audio files) and the Wisconsin Historical Society (paper collections), provide an in-depth look at the messages being broadcast to the general public through the rubric of ‘educational radio,’ which predated (and heavily informed) what we now know as public radio, between 1950-1970.
MITH, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society, has embarked on a collaboration to virtually reunite the split collections of the NAEB, develop an open and comprehensive web portal for them, and tell the story of early educational and public broadcasting. This initiative, generously funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access grant, is entitled Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public Radio Collection.
The project aims to provide a model for innovation within digital humanities by virtually reunifying the two geographically segregated collections of the NAEB by employing strategies such as virtual reunification, linked data, minimal computing, and synced transcripts. The project demonstrates innovative approaches towards increasing the discoverability of audiovisual collections in ways that allow for better contextual description, and a flexible framework for connecting audiovisual collections to related archival collections.
For an overview of the project (with screencaps of the beta version of the site), view this presentation I gave to the IIIF Archives Community group.
For a lighter look at both the NAEB and Unlocking the Airwaves itself, check out this video presentation recorded and presented virtually as part of the 2020 Orphan Film Symposium.
Screencaps: Beta application website. Program landing page (upper); search page (lower).
American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a large-scale public broadcasting archiving and preservation initiative. The project is now managed by WGBH and the Library of Congress, but for several years before it moved there, the project was initiated and incubated at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), where I was the project manager. I managed strategic initiatives, vendor relationships, and projects that supported the initial inventorying of over 120 public broadcasting stations' collections, including the design and implementation of an Archival Management System (AMS) to manage the digitization of 40,000 hours of material from 100 different stations. The AMS was based on an agile development framework (SCRUM), representing a unique convergence of a project management tool and a tool for collection management and preservation.
Screen caps of the AMS, including the Dashboard showing the Asset/Instantiation display and streaming interface (above left), progress on the digitization project (above center), and the metadata mapping interface (above right), which utilized Metadata Interoperability Services (MINT) to allow stations to ingest their inventory metadata.
Alternative Projections, Los Angeles Filmforum
I was the Project Director on a Getty-funded grant project for Los Angeles Filmforum entitled Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in LA 1945 -1980, a historical survey and preservation project resulting in over 35 new oral histories, an academic symposium, a media-rich website and database and a 16+screening exhibition series. The project was part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative showcasing postwar art in Los Angeles.
I will not try to pretend that this wasn't my #1 career highlight. I got to conceive of the project; write two separate (funded) grants; assemble an Advisory Board of filmmakers, historians and curators; supervise the work of five researchers; travel all over the country shooting oral histories; organize an academic symposium which included screenings, panels, and art/historical installations; supervise the curation of screenings all over LA in conjunction with other cultural organizations; and work with the Academy Film Archive to preserve select films and strike new prints for preservation and exhibition purposes. It was a rewarding three years of my life.
The website for Alternative Projections was our final official digital publication about our work which was funded by the Getty grants. There you can see the database of films, artists, organizations and curators which comprised this era of rich artistic experimentation and innovation in the postwar era. Additionally, a book was published about the project, edited by Filmforum board member and advisory board member David James and Filmforum Executive Director Adam Hyman.
Exhibition and Public Humanities Work
I have a history going back 16 years of work in the public humanities. These range from exhibitions and screenings for Los Angeles Filmforum, a boutique alternative film & video exhibition arts nonprofit which I was involved with for ten years in roles ranging from Outreach Coordinator to Board Chair, to my current position for which I spearhead MITH's Digital Dialogues speaker series as well as conferences and special events. Here's a partial list, with links:
Lead Organizer, Bastard Film Encounter 2019, April 25-27, 2019 in Baltimore, MD.
Textual Embodiments (Society for Textual Scholarship 2017 Annual Conference)
Computer Science & the Humanities Then and Now: A Film Screening & Discussion with Andy van Dam in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL)
Alternative Projections symposium at USC, 2010
(CrowdCon) MITH, in conjunction with Dartmouth College and the iSchool at University of Maryland
LA Filmforum, in conjunction with University of Southern California's Visions & Voices initiative
iotaCenter, in conjunction The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science & Technology Council
LA Filmforum, in conjunction with New York University
coordinated all outreach/publicity between 2001 and 2009