autumn's blog

Community Arts Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The City of Davis announced the opportunity for artists and arts organizations to apply for a 2018 art grant.  Community Arts grants provide funding for a wide variety of community-based arts programs and projects that foster excellence, diversity, and vitality in the arts, and have been awarded by the City since 1973. This year, the City of Davis has again demonstrated a renewed investment in the arts in our community by increasing the city’s Arts budget, including $50,000 toward Community Arts grants. This money will be awarded to artists or local organizations for projects taking place between January 2018 and June 2019.

KDRT Celebrates 13 Years With New Antenna

This fall, Davis Media Access (DMA) celebrates 29 years of operation, and 13 years of community radio. It was October 1988 that our antecedent, Davis Community Television, began as a public access station. In 2004, we launched KDRT 95.7 FM, a move that fundamentally changed our organization and necessitated rebranding. And 10 years ago, DMA emerged as the rebranded non-profit offering community media and digital technology services to the community.

Launched on Sept. 24, 2004, KDRT airs an eclectic mix of music and public affairs programming, and builds community by promoting dialogue, encouraging artistic expression, and acting as a forum for people who typically lack media access. KDRT’s mission reflects its values: localism, social equality, public participation, media literacy, diversity, and, of course, community media.

A Note From the Director

This week, I participated in a research study looking at links between community media, media literacy, and libraries, conducted through the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston, MA.

They first asked for my definition of media literacy, which is as follows: media literacy is the ability to understand what media is, its role in our lives, and the kinds of messages it sends. To teach media literacy is to deconstruct media, with an end goal of understanding it well enough to create one’s own messages.

I believe this is particularly important for our youth, who spend inordinate amounts of time online. I’ve heard adults discount youth by saying, “real life is not about likes and followers.” And yet for many of our young folks, it is. So let’s not discount that. Let’s understand that in order to get the likes and follows, first, they become content creators. They’re putting stuff out there that in many ways is very personal. They’re making themselves vulnerable. And why are likes and followers so important? What role is media playing in their lives, and what hole is it filling?  As a mom of two teenagers and one young adult, these are things I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about.

Thank You to Our 2017-18 Donors

Donations, whether by local businesses, donor-advised foundations, or individuals, keep KDRT on the air, and help support our work on local election & youth media services. We fundraise all year, but conduct our major drive during the spring months, with on-air fundraisers on KDRT in both fall and spring. Our goal for this year was $30,000.

DMA's donors and supporters make possible a great deal of the work we do. We appreciate you!

$1,000 & Above

Upcoming Workshops

Davis Media Access is excited to announce several new workshop tracks. We’re launching this month with our Core Competency series. These workshops will be offered at least quarterly and are free to those who live, work, study, or volunteer in Davis.  Prerequisite: attendance at a DMA General Orientation within the past 18 months. All workshops are offered at the media center, located at 1623 Fifth Street in Davis.

Later this quarter, we’ll roll out our Cinema Skills workshops, and a community lecture series to boot, with the first topic addressing online privacy & media literacy.

Final Cut Pro X Media Management - Wed., Sept. 13, 2017,  7 - 8:30 p.m.

Keep organized as you collect media for your production, so that editing can be a creative exercise. Tips on staying organized for fiction and non-fiction pieces, as well as some advice on the types of shots to collect and how to shoot them. By using the organizing tools available in Final Cut Pro X (events, tags, markers, stars), or even pen and paper, you can focus on the story you are telling, instead of searching for the elements you need( or wondering if you even have them). Investing some time in staying organized will save you lots of time when you edit and make it easy to try variations as you think of them. Lecture format w/overhead. Feel free to bring your own laptop.

Canon XA-25 Orientation: Camera Basics (7 - 8 p.m.) & Composition (8 - 9 p.m.) Thu., Sept. 21, 2017

DMA is offering two workshops back to back.  Sign up for one or both.

In the first session, learn the basics of operating and configuring the Canon XA-25, DMA's workhorse HD camera, available for checkout to volunteers. We’ll cover automatic and basic manual configuration, as well as various audio options.

In the second session we cover composition for your video or photo shoot.  Whether shooting fiction or non-fiction, certain ways of framing your image, accounting for lighting, and using selective focus can help communicate your story to the viewer. This workshop will help the filmmaker, documentarian, and photographer understand the ways in which composition can affect the viewer, both positively and negatively. Hands-on demonstration w/ Q & A.

DCTV Website: Reservations & Resources Training Wed., Sept. 27, 2017, 7-8:30 p.m.

Training for how to use DCTV's website to make reservations, create show records, add episodes, and otherwise manage your production(s) at Davis Media Access.  A review of available equipment and the requirements for checkout or use will also be included.  Moving forward, this workshop and the skills learned in it will be required to make use of DCTV's facilities. Bringing your own laptop to follow along is suggested, but not required. Lecture w/ overheads and Q & A.

KDRT Celebrates 13 Years with New Shows

One of DMA’s projects is KDRT 95.7 FM—low-power, non-commercial grassroots radio located in Davis, CA. Launched on Sept. 24, 2004, KDRT airs an eclectic mix of music and public affairs programming, and builds community by promoting dialogue, encouraging artistic expression, and acting as a forum for people who typically lack media access. KDRT’s mission reflects its values: localism, social equality, public participation, media literacy, diversity, and, of course, community media.

It’s been a busy summer of engineering for the new antenna, vetting new programs, and having the programmers shadow experienced DJs and learn the core competencies needed to broadcast on non-commercial, educational radio. In the process, some of our existing programs shifted around a bit. Please find the full program schedule online, or pick up a copy in the lobby at DMA. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at some of the new shows:

Music to Make Pancakes To” Live Sunday 11 a.m. – noon. Tune your radios to 95.7 and heat the skillet to 420, 'cause DJ Presto Pancakes will be flipping records while you flip your 'cakes! Psych, soul, and funk is what's up.

Praise Time with Preacher” Tuesday 4-5 p.m. DJ Preacher says, “Gospel music is very powerful, whether one is a Christian or not. Through the music and chat in my show, I hope to help you find in you the thing I strive for every day: my spirit. You have it too, and I will work to help you find it and show it to the world. As I say most nights before I go to sleep, ‘We fall down...but we get up.’ We can work together to get up and listen to each other, and bring each other up.”

Smashed and Rehashed” Live Tuesday 5-5:30 p.m. Local musician Justin Cox (The Polyorchids) hosts freeform conversations with local bands, artists, promoters, and others who actively shape local culture. This show tilts in the direction of indie and punk music because that’s where Justin interacts the most, but it’ll reach far beyond that as well.

Rap Snacks” Live Wednesday 6-7 p.m. Join your host, Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy, as he takes you on a weekly hip-hop source-sample voyage. Rap Snacks will delight your ear holes as you experience live the oh-so-fresh vinyl records that inspired hip-hop producers to create the legendary tracks that shaped an entire generation. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives as the wheels of steel that stay spinning do not rust. Word is bond, kid!

This is Your Brain on Music” Live Thursday 5-5:30 p.m. Is your favorite song on the radio? Well, it should be! DJ Rebecca Hirsch, a 10th grader at Da Vinci High School, says she hopes to put the songs people love on air while playing songs to become someone's new favorite. “My dad would blast Beethoven in the car and my Mom played Chopin at home. I am a big fan of most every kind of music, and am always looking for suggestions of new bands and genres. I play Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Ukulele. Be it Igor Stravinsky, RHCP, or Thelonious Monk, music is a transcendent experience for me.”

Silver Nine Volt Heart” Live Thursday 6-7 p.m. Join your host, Rodriguez, as he swings the gate wide open for a cool musical trip featuring sounds from all points of the compass.  Being mindful that "everything connects to everything else,” on “Silver Nine Volt Heart” you will find the many colorful threads that make up the tapestry of recorded sound...just click it on and let the music start.

Cowboy Tracks” Live Friday 1-2 p.m. Join DJ Nancy Flagg around the campfire to hear heartfelt cowboy music and poetry. Something deep in your soul will resonate to stories from the early wranglers, Mexican vaqueros, Hawaiian paniolos, Silver Screen buckaroos, rodeo riders, contemporary real cowboys, and all who appreciate wide open spaces, freedom and the cowboy lifestyle.

September General Orientation

Curious about KDRT, DCTV or DJUSD Channel 17, and want to learn how Davis Media Access can help you? Plan to attend one of our General Orientations!

Potential volunteers should attend an orientation, held monthly. They last about an hour and include the history of Davis Media Access, a tour of the facilities, and information on how to get involved. Anyone is welcome to attend an Orientation, but to use the facility for your own productions you have to live, go to school, or volunteer at an organization in Davis, California.  

DMA does not charge for the use of our equipment and facilities and attending a General Orientation is the first step for getting involved.

A Note From the Director

During my early years working in community media, the topic of hate speech arose frequently at conferences and on list serves.

The example that always surfaced was, “if the Ku Klux Klan comes to us and wants to air programming, do we have to air it?” Back then, and in a town like Davis, that seemed like a very remote possibility, and our discussions about it seemed academic. But in the context of American politics today, the question has surfaced anew on community media forums.

The answer then, and now, is yes. It’s neither an easy nor a comfortable answer. Talking about free speech is a slippery slope, especially when hypothetical scenarios meet grim reality, as they did in Charlottesville.

Centers such as Davis Media Access (DMA) are rooted in the tradition of public access channels, which are platforms for free expression and free speech. In conversation with perhaps 100 community members over the years who have complained about programming espousing a viewpoint they didn’t like, I’ve always said that free speech is a double-edged sword.  We may not like or appreciate every viewpoint aired on our channel, but as a colleague of mine says, ‘it’s above our pay grade to decide what is legal; that’s a decision for the courts.”

City Seeks Volunteers for Broadband Speed Tests & Cost Survey

The City of Davis, assisted by CCG Consulting, is studying the feasibility of developing a citywide fiber optic network and is asking residents and businesses to help by taking a broadband speed test and participating in a cost survey.

To take the Speed Test: use the link below. Be sure to use your home or business WiFi If using mobile phones/devices:  http://ccgcomm.com/davis.html

To participate in the Cost Survey: Block out any information that will identify you on a copy of a recent bill that includes broadband, and send it to CCG Consulting (CCG) via 2 options noted below.  It’s also okay if your bill includes multiple services. CCG will use bills only to gather broadband prices, taxes and fees.

    •    Scanning and emailing an electronic copy to data@ccgcomm.com

    •    Faxing a copy to (941) 209-5315

Summaries of survey results will be included in a Citywide Fiber Optic Network Feasibility Study Report available for public review.

Friday Nights with FDyC

DMA is partnering with FDyC to sponsor Teen Media Nights here at the media center, beginning April 21. Open to youth aged 12-19, these Friday-night sessions provide mentoring and instruction in video production, DJ’ing, music production, mixing and scratching, and more.

In 2014 Frankie Woods founded a youth program in Davis, California called FDYC (Future Development Youth Center) to mentor under-served youth in the community that needed guidance, direction, focus and purpose. With Frankie's twenty-year background in music production, DJing and videography, and a passion for mentoring youth, he took it upon himself to marry his experience with his desire to give back, and thus the FDYC program was born. Frankie is also a part-time DMA production staffer, and this partnership developed out of our shared commitment to youth media. Email fdyc.org@gmail.com for info and to register.

Find Live DiRT at the Davis Music Festival

KDRT 95.7 FM teams up with the Davis Music Festival this weekend to present the next edition of Live DiRT. Live DiRT is a live-music feature of KDRT radio – sometimes happening in local venues and sometimes live in the KDRT or DCTV studios. Live DiRT has no fixed schedule, popping up whenever musical artists can merge their touring schedule with KDRT programming.

KDRT will broadcast live during all three days of DMF as follows:

  •     Friday, June 16 from Sudwerk Brewing Company Dock Store beginning at 5 p.m.
  •     Saturday, June 17 from Armadillo Music beginning at 3:45 p.m.
  •     Sunday, June 18 from Woodstock’s Pizza beginning at 12:45 p.m.

Join KDRT broadcasters for the live-music action at these venues, or tune in live to KDRT 95.7 FM in Davis worldwide. In addition to the musical artists performing at those venues, KDRT DJs and DCTV camera crew will be roving the streets of downtown Davis on Saturday, collecting interviews, sounds and samples from other Davis Music Fest venues, and sharing them over the air and via social media.

Da Vinci Students Explore Radiolab-Style Production

At Da Vinci Charter High School in Davis, CA, Scott Stephen Bell's 10th-grade students were asked to create a Radiolab-style podcast suitable for radio replay, as part of their study of WWII. They were asked to incorporate the following questions into their project: what is the cost of war?  How can a radio documentary covering the major people, events, and concepts of World War II provide perspective on issues that the world faces today? And, are you able to relate to the listener and explain why this topic is important and how it impacts our world today?

The students' finished documentaries were reviewed first by their peers, and then by a panel of KDRT programmers and Davis Media Access staff. Programs were ranked in order and the top five segments are being aired on local radio station KDRT 95.7 FM and worldwide at kdrt.org. Air dates and times are May 28 at 2pm, May 29 at 8am and May 30 at 4pm. DMA and KDRT are pleased to partner with Da Vinci teachers and students in the exploration of making history come alive via the medium of radio.