Project Highlights

Some highlights from my favorite projects.

For a full list, download my CV.

Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public Radio Collection

During my time a the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, when it was still situated within the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I worked with the UMD Libraries to get the entire collection of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) digitized. The 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. Covering topics as diverse as the national census, atomic energy, American labor, religion, US history, agricultural engineering, mathematics, and foreign relations, the NAEB lobbied extensively to unlock the airwaves—to access precious frequency space—in order to bring the voices of poet Robert Frost, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, anthropologist Margaret Mead, conservationist “Ranger Mac,” and many other individuals into American homes and classrooms. 

It is also one of many such a/v collections which has important, contextual related print materials located at an entirely different institution (Wisconsin Historical Society) from the audiovisual materials (currently digitized and with both UMD Libraries and the American Archive).  Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public Radio Collection is a multi-institutional collaboration between MITH, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and the University Libraries at the University of Maryland, with collaborative support from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at WGBH/Library of Congress, and the Radio Preservation Task Force. The project is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). My Co-PI is Eric Hoyt from UW-Madison.

The goal of the project is to create a comprehensive online collection of early educational public radio content from the NAEB. This resource will provide enhanced access to important, mostly hidden, archival materials by linking split hybrid paper/audiovisual collections together, and providing a search engine for the linked collections, enabling users to simultaneously search both the NAEB's documents as well as its sounds.

Sample wireframe designs.
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

Engaging the Public: Best Practices for Crowdsourcing across the Disciplines 

(CrowdCon) MITH, in conjunction with Dartmouth College and the iSchool at University of Maryland 

Alternative Projections Symposium

LA Filmforum, in conjunction with University of Southern California's Visions & Voices  initiative

Infinite Animation: The Work of Adam Beckett

iotaCenter, in conjunction The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science & Technology Council

The Orphan Film Symposium West

LA Filmforum, in conjunction with New York University

Los Angeles Filmforum screenings

coordinated all outreach/publicity between 2001 and 2009

CrowdCon crowdsourcing symposium at UMD in 2015
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