autumn's blog

Digital Storytelling Workshop Connects Community

The power of personal storytelling can shift perspectives and change individual trajectories. But what role can it play in larger settings – academia, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood projects?

That’s the topic of “Storytelling: Discovering Self, Connecting Community,” a free event scheduled for Wednesday, April 25 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Blanchard Room in the Mary L. Stephens Library in Davis. Non-profit community media & technology center Davis Media Access (DMA) has partnered with the Library to present the event, which is supported by a 2018 City of Davis Arts Grant.

The evening features the following presenters:

·      Milmon F. Harrison, Professor of African American & African Studies at UC Davis. Professor Harrison’s areas of expertise include ethnicity in the U.S.; the Black Christian church; black social and political thought, and Black popular culture. Trained as a Storytelling Facilitator at the StoryCenter in Berkeley, Harrison uses digital storytelling as a tool with his students, and also in his academic and personal research. He will share several digital stories, in addition to talking about his work.

·      Danielle Fodor is an artist, teacher, and community organizer living in Davis, CA. She creates artwork that transforms people, places, and communities by working in a variety of mediums, including zines, performance, murals, audio, and posters. Fodor has an extensive resumé of media and arts projects, spanning organizations from KDRT 95.7 FM to the Experimental College and the Arboretum at UC Davis; Grant High School in Sacramento; community build street murals in East Davis; the Davis Feminist Film Festival; and Imagining America. Fodor will speak about recent story share projects at The Cannery in Davis, and Imagining America at UC Davis. You can see some of her art here:

Video Quilt Will Celebrate 30 Years

We love our volunteers and supporters. We love that so many of you have taken what you have learned here and gone on to do great things. And…we have a simple request of you (whether you’ve moved on or are still active).

Please help us put together a “Video Quilt” by doing the following:

  • Record (or have someone record for you) a simple video on your phone
  • Tell us 1). Your name 2). How DMA has changed or impacted your life and 3). Wish Davis Media Access a Happy 30th Birthday
  • Please speak clearly, make sure you’re not squinting into the sun, and make sure we can hear you.
  • Upload your video to, no later than April 6, 2018
  • If you can’t manage this yourself, we’ll do it for you. Make an appointment by emailing Jeff or Autumn.
  • By submitting, you give DMA permission to use your video for promotional purposes, including fund raising, Big Day of Giving testimonials, and a new ‘About DMA” video quilt

Stories and personal testimonials have such power, and there are many to be told after 30 years! What you do reflects the best of DMA, and we are eager to share. Thank you, in advance!

A Note From the Director

We’re celebrating 30 years!

It’s a Tuesday as I write. Studio Manager Diane Dedoshka and I are finalizing a schedule for a record number of “Meet the Candidates” productions. DCTV intern Daisy Lee has a crowd in here tonight for her game show pilot, and Production Manager Jeff Shaw is meeting with KDRT’s public affairs programmers. This is the day-to-day reality of life in a community media & technology center: busy, full, vibrant, and innovative.

In 1988, a group of forward-thinking people in this city decided to form an organization that would provide multiple layers of community benefit—a non-profit that helps other non-profits, schools, local government, and ordinary citizens share information, build skills, and foster transparency. In 2018, that non-profit is known as Davis Media Access (DMA), and we’re excited to be celebrating 30 years of service to our community.

I believe we’ve lived that original mission, and built upon it considerably over time. I still get excited about the work we do! A couple of things are really juicing me right now, and I hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about our 30-year Video Quilt, summer youth workshops, and digital storytelling.

DMA Board Comings & Goings

We bid longtime board member Henry House a fond farewell this month, and thank him for his service. Henry bought a new home near Grass Valley and is in Davis less frequently these days.

We also welcome Bill Wagman to a two-year term on the board. Bill says, "I have been involved in radio production for many years. I have hosted programs on KDVS since 1991 including 'The Saturday Morning Folk Show' for the last 17 years, and have been a co-host of the 'Folk Brothers' on KDRT for the last 2 1/2 years. I've long had an interest in community media as it extends to community radio. It is so much more important and relative than commercial, mainstream media, which seems to be more interested in reaching the largest, most lucrative market possible.

In Remembrance

Community media centers by definition involve many members of the community, and DMA is a place where friendships are forged. We've lost a few good folks these past couple of months, and would like to remember them as follows:

  • Longtime community TV volunteer David Pierce, who passed away in January. David was a fixture around here in the late 90s and early aughts. We remember David for his innate curiosity and his love of dramatic contrast, and his willingness to volunteer.  A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 24 at the Shaded Arbor Picnic Area in Davis Community Park.
  • We also remember Marcella Lorfing, wife of OLLI producer Bill Lorfing, and a longtime supporter of DMA. Marcella passed in December.
  • Finally, we remember with fondness Corinne Cooke, a longtime supporter of DMA, who once told me that librarians and community media had much in common, and it's a message I integrated deeply. I will miss my spirited discussions with her.

--Autumn Labbé-Renault

Core Competencies Workshops

DMA offers the following workshops in our Core Competencies series this month & next. These workshops are free to community members who have attended DMA’s General Orientation.

Final Cut Pro X: Titles, Credits & Motion Graphics – Wed., Feb. 7 2018, 7-8:30 p.m.

Covers the basics of putting titles and credits on your production. Topics include titles and motion graphics, typography, color, and lower-thirds. Lecture w/ overheads and Q&A.

DCTV Website: Reservations & Resources Training – Tuesday, Feb. 20 2018, 6:45 - 8:00 p.m.

Required to participate as a volunteer producer at DMA. 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. Class can accommodate 20 people Lecture w/ hands-on and Q.& A

DCTV Television Studio Workshop – Wednesday, Feb. 21, 3:30 - 5 p.m

Required to crew for studio productions. Training for how to crew a DCTV television production. You’ll learn how to run a studio camera, be a floor manager, and run the studio audio board in the control room. You’ll also learn how to set up and tear down the studio for a production, including the proper stowing of cables, configuring lighting, setting up microphones, and flipping the On-Air switch! Class can accommodate 8 people.
 Wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing. Hands-on demonstration w/ Q.& A.

Canon XZ-25 Orientation & Camera Basics: Lighting (Double Workshop) -Wed., Feb. 21, 2017 - 6:45 - 7:45 pm & 8 - 9 p.m.

Register for either one or both hours. Learn the basics of operating and configuring the Canon XA-25, DMA’s workhorse HD camera. We’ll cover the automatic and basic manual configuration, as well as various audio options. Hands-on demonstration with Q & A.

The second workshop covers lighting for your video projects. Learn the basics of proper exposure for a well-lit iage and how you can adjust the exposure for various effects. This workshop will help the filmmaker, documentarian, and photographer understand the ways in which lighting can help communicate with the viewer. Lecture w/ hands-on and Q.& A.

DMA receives City Arts Grant

DMA is pleased to announce it has received one of the City of Davis Community Arts Grant awards for 2018. This annual funding is awarded through the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs program, and has received a substantial boost in the past few years through expanded support from City leadership. The program provides funds for a wide variety of community-based arts programs and projects that foster excellence, diversity, and vitality in the arts, and this year is no exception.

DMA’s project, “Connecting Community Through Personal Storytelling,” will take place April 14 & 15, with a public workshop and screening on April 25. All events take place at the Mary L. Stephens Library in Davis, and we thank the Yolo County Library for its partnership. We’ll have more info and an invitation to participate soon, but for now, we’d like to thank the City for its wholehearted support of arts and culture.

A Note from the Director

I write frequently about the state of national media, here and elsewhere. And with each passing month, the news seems to get worse. From corporate favoritism and the death of Net Neutrality under the “watch” of the Federal Communications Commission, to the reorganization and downgrading of newsrooms at major dailies across California, to additional layoffs at our own community newspaper, the news about those who report it, is dire.

The Fourth Estate in this country used to be venerable, a watchdog against corruption. As CALMatters Editor David Lesher recently wrote, “Media is declining nationally, but unique pressures have made California into America’s laboratory for a dangerous experiment about what happens to the public interest when policy is made without the public’s awareness or accountability.”

This leaves non-profit community media centers such as Davis Media Access (DMA) facing new challenges. For years, our mission was to facilitate the production and distribution of content created by community members. Over the decades (DMA will celebrate 30 years of operation this October), that mission shifted to include more local content creation.

Save the Date – Holiday Open House

Monday, Dec. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. - Each December, DMA throws open its doors and holds a Holiday Open House. You are cordially invited to come share hearty nibbles & festive sips. Meet your favorite DJs, find out what fellow programmers are doing, and learn about the many opportunities available through DMA. Just bring yourself and a willingness to engage with the DMA community! (Parking is challenging, but should be available along Fifth Street and at that hour, in the DMV parking lot).

A Note From the Director

October went by in a flash, and was filled to the brim with community events. Davis Media Access (DMA) and KDRT 95.7 FM were happy to support the Oct. 22 community Fire Relief Benefit. Elected officials, local businesses, and community organizers came together with many generous donors to raise more than $26,000 in four hours, all benefitting those affected by the fires in Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties. We were glad to be on hand with a radio broadcast live from the Sudwerk Dock Store.

That same day, the KDRT community of programmers and volunteers kicked off a weeklong on-air fall fundraiser. I’m delighted to report that we met the $5,000 goal for the week, which is part of the $25,000 we raise each year to support the station. A big thanks to the KDRT Operations Committee, and to Sudwerk Brewing Co., Thai Canteen, Teabo Café, Yoloberry Yogurt, Woodstock’s Pizza, and Berryessa Brewing Co. We thank these local establishments for generously donating a portion of each day’s proceeds towards our fundraiser, and thank all of you that attended, or who donated online. We are also grateful to the bands, musicians and artists who performed at our special events including: DJs Trop’a and Mr. Glass, Justin Cox, The Big Poppies (twice!), Fong Tran, The Philharmonik, and The Nickel Slots.

Davis Fire Relief Benefit: Helping our North Coast Neighbors

Fire relief fundraiser planned in Davis Oct. 22

If you’ve been wondering where or how to donate to fire victims, look no further: a group of local elected officials and community organizers in Davis has come together to mount a response to the unprecedented wildfires that devastated Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties last week.

Spearheaded by Davis City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, the group has organized a Fire Relief Benefit, to be held Sunday, Oct. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at Sudwerk Brewing Company, 2001 Second Street in Davis. 

Get Involved

Interested in expanding your skills?  Davis Media Access is holding a one day workshop in Television Studio Production, October 18th, 2017.  You will learn how to run a studio camera, be a floor manager, and run the studio audio board in the control room.  You’ll also learn how to set-up and tear-down the studio for a production, including the proper stowing of cables, configuring lighting, setting up microphones, and flipping the On-Air switch!

We require you attend a general orientation before hand.  The next general orientation is October 11th at 6:30pm.

Turn Us On! KDRT Fall Fundraiser

KDRT will also hold a regular fall fundraising drive from Oct. 22-29. Highlights include special programming, and fundraiser nights at venues including Thai Canteen, Teabo, Sudwerk, Yoloberry, Woodstocks, and Berryessa Brewing. Please visit for dates and details.

KDRT has always been a hyper-local, grassroots effort. Hyper-local means exactly that - we are a team - your neighbors AND your community radio programmers, all depending on generous listener support from the citizenry of Davis.

Neighbors Night Out

The City of Davis, UC Davis and Associated Students of UC Davis, are planning the 12th annual Davis Neighbors’ Night Out on Sunday, October 15. Davis Neighbors’ Night Out (DNNO) is a celebration of our community, initiated to encourage neighbors to get to know one another. Connected neighborhoods often make safer neighborhoods with residents looking out for one another.

Neighbors, neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Watch Liaisons, apartment complexes, and/or homeowner associations are encouraged to be a “Party Sponsor.” Anyone interested in more event information or how to host an event, may visit the City of Davis website: or contact Carrie Dyer, City staff, at or (530) 757-5602.