Friday, November 22, 2002

Silicon and Storytelling
I participated in the Digital Storytelling Bootcamp and Festival under the tutelage of the late Dana Atchley back in 1999. Several colleagues and collaborators of his are keeping the flame alive -- and recently launched the Digital Storytelling Association. Here's the announcement:

Representing eight countries, and over 30 US states, a cross section of media professionals, educators, community activists, artists and enthusiasts have organized a new international membership organization, the Digital Storytelling Association (DSA).  The DSA is dedicated to evolving the practice of digital storytelling by providing services, advocacy, resources, and information. 

 To celebrate the launch of the organization, the DSA will be assisted by the British Broadcasting Corporation in Wales to present a webcast of digital congratulations of statements by DSA affiliates around the world including Melbourne, Brussels, Stockholm, Cardiff, New York, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, and Scott County, Kentucky. The program will be available beginning on Friday, November 22, at 5 p.m. PST and will be archived for future presentation.  The webcast event will be featured as part of the launch of the DSA website. The website was designed by a team of graduate students (Nikolai Cornell, Yael Maayani, Cybil Weigel) from the Media Design program at the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena working with the award winning graphic and broadcast designer, Harry Marks.  

 The DSA website will act as the information source for all of the DSA activities and membership information.  As part of the launch, there are a number of new articles and commentaries by DSA affiliates from around the world, the basic descriptions of membership benefits and activities and an online membership application and fee payment.  In launching the organization, the founding participants will make the website a home for new creative activities, community building projects, and interesting discussions over the coming year.

In beginning a membership campaign, the DSA hopes to grow to 500 global members in the next year, and to establish country and local chapters in most areas where there are current constituents. As part of the opening Membership drive, the first 50 new members will receive a free copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements provided by Adobe Systems, Inc.  Individual membership fees are $50/year with a discount fee of $25/year (low income/student/relative international economies).  Memberships for non-commercial and commercial organizations are also available.

As described in the DSA charter, "Digital storytelling uses digital media to create media-rich stories to tell, to share, and to preserve. Digital stories derive their power through weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, and insights."  According to Daniel Meadows, the Creative Director of the BBC Cymru/Wales Digital Storytelling Project, "For over 10 years, a large number of people working as professional and amateur digital media practitioners have associated our work with the idea of Digital Storytelling.  We felt the movement of activity and dialogue around this work has finally achieved a breadth of interest and sophistication to sustain our new association."

Included in the organization's activities in their inaugural year are an online and print Membership Directory database, information resources in the form of an email and web-based newsletter and technology news, the support and development of regional and local chapters, and the hosting and co-sponsorship of gatherings and conferences.

As part of their activities, the DSA is working with partners to develop a US national conference in Arizona in June of 2003 and an international conference in Cardiff, Wales in November of 2003.

In the first year, the DSA will be based at the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, California. For more information about the DSA, contact Emily Paulos at 510 548 2065.

Congratulations to Denise Atchley, Joe and Nina Mullen, and everyone else involved for getting this wonderful effort off the ground!

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