July Update: new board officers, noisy restaurants, photo challenge, classes and more

Summer is usually a slow time for us at the Media Alliance / Daily Planet, but this month, we have lots of news to report: board elections, a 4th of July fireworks photo challenge, a chance to participate in a story about noisy restaurantsupcoming classes and ourstaff reports.  Scroll down for details.

And please remember: your support of the Twin Cities Media Alliance makes all of this work possible.  You can become a member or extend your membership by making adonation of $10 or more at our secure online donation page, or sending a check (in any amount) to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.

Headed for the fireworks tonight? Grab your camera – or your phone – and send us your best shots, to be included in a Daily Planet photo gallery! Sharing your pics with us is easy: just tag them with #tcdpic on Instagram, Flickr, or Twitter—or e-mail them to jay@tcdailyplanet.net. After the Fourth, check back here to see all the action.

Everybody complains about noisy restaurants, but here is your chance to do something about it. Daily Planet reporter Kristoffer Tigue is working on a story,”Are Twin Cities restaurants too loud? We’re testing them—and you can help.” You can share your experience by posting a comment, or you can download a free decibel meter and send Kristoffer your own data.

New board officers: At the June 25 board meeting, the TCMA board of directors elected a new slate of officers:

  • Chair:  Daniel Getahun, Minnesota International Center
  • Vice-chair: Reggie Prim, founder & CEO at PrimCreative, LLC
  • Secretary: Amy Xiong, digital media coordinator at Cornerstone Media Group
  • Treasurer: Brooke Worden, senior v.p. financial services. Weber Shandwick

Liz Patton, attorney, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, will serve another term as at large member of the executive committee.

The remaining members of the board will continue to serve:

  • Barry Madore, web developer, Advantage Labs
  • Leola Johnson, professor, Macalester College (on leave)
  • Sheldon Mains,  director SPOKES Bike-Walk-Connect
  • Dennis Schapiro,  founder of Jola Publications and editor/publisher of Public School Montessorian
  • Ann Treacy, principal, Treacy Information Services
  • Mark Weber, Regional Manager for ECM Publishers (effective July 15)

Staff reports: 

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:
It’s July, which means the Minnesota Fringe Festival is just around the corner! Since 2008, the Daily Planet has been hosting several Fringe bloggers who provide fast and furious (and smart, and opinionated) coverage of the Midwest’s largest performing arts festival. Earlier this year we said goodbye to the late John Munger, one of our founding Fringe bloggers and a longtime staple of the local dance scene; on a happy note, this year we’ll be welcoming several teenage writers from the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Critical Review program. If you’re planning to attend the Fringe this year from August 1-11, be sure to follow the Daily Planet for the best and most comprehensive coverage of all the shows—and, as always, we invite you to share your own views via comments or even your own blog! Let me know if I can help you get started writing for the Daily Planet.

Editor Mary Turck reports:
We are experimenting with Storify as a way to cover local festivals and breaking stories (including Northern Spark andthe big storms), and Kristoffer Tigue is leading a project that tests sound levels in local restaurants. In addition, Daily Planet polls — and now our new Photo Challenge — feature offer new opportunities to participate and bring your stories, photos and opinions to the Daily Planet. We’ve had great coverage of mayoral forums (here and here andhere), the controversy over eviction of the Minnesota School of Science, and Community Voices articles from a wide range of people. June was a big month — and the rest of the summer will bring more big stories.

Community Engagement Editor Lolla Mohammed Nur reports:
June has been a busy month for community engagement! After teaching a successful and well-attended class at Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (MNNOC) on media and organizing, our community engagement editor has been working on developing a series of media skills classes catered to neighborhood organizations and advocacy groups. June was also the month of intensive planning and implementation of TCMA/SNG’s Seward Storytelling Project, funded by the Center for Urban and Regional Planning (CURA) and in collaboration with Common Bond.
We had a highly successful open community meeting, where a diverse group of participants – age-wise, racially, and culturally – came together over dinner to share stories, engage in fun icebreakers, and help plan for future storytelling sessions. We hope to fully launch the storytelling project in late August/early September. In addition, our community engagement editor continues to expand our relationships with underrepresented communities by representing TCMA at community and cultural events, and inviting community members to submit first-person content. Many of these are Our Stories and Community Voices pieces.

Community Asset Mapping / Neighborhood Engagement Specialist Maggie Pearson reports:
June was a busy month of meeting business owners all over Minneapolis and Saint Paul to talk about our community directory; our directory hosts listings for establishments all over the cities, from businesses, to parks and churches. These listings can be created by any registered user, and serve as a great way to get to word out about neighborhood gems. See something missing in the directory – you can create a listing here. June also welcomed a new member to the asset mapping team, Beatrice McLeester, a soon-to-be graduate in the U of M’s housing studies program. Beatrice will be interning with us this summer, working on organizing our community photowalks and engaging neighbors. Welcome Beatrice!
Bruce JohansenProgram manager for Training and Engagement Bruce Johansen reports: 
Conversation, laughter, Afro Deli food, and lots of good energy filled the room for a successful kickoff to our Breaking Walls and Building Bridges project. In collaboration with the Seward Neighborhood Group, the project brings residents of diverse backgrounds together and helps them share their stories in a variety of ways. June also found us at Honey, serving as happy hours co-hosts of a newly re-launched NetSquared Twin Cities meetup group, the NPTech Social Club. Join us in July to share new gadgets and online services you’ve discovered recently. A number of neighborhood associations came together in June for a highly useful Telling Your Story to Make a Difference workshop, facilitated byJohn Capecci.

Many more workshops and trainings are slated for July, thanks to a generous Bush Foundation grant that’s helping us assist area nonprofits with their media and communications needs. June’s social media clinic,photography and LinkedIn classes, all received rave reviews. We’re learning that sometimes one session just isn’t enough, so in July photographer Tom Baker is doing a reprise of his popular community photo walk, but this time as atwo-part class, with Tom providing thorough, insightful critiques of everyone’s photos the following week. Also by popular demand, Marcos Lopez-Carlson is offering a two-part LinkedIn class. Learn how to set up a profile accurately and discover new contacts. Then, benefit from hands-on advice about what to share, how to optimize profiles, and tips on exploring groups and using Linkedin for job searches. Have questions about Facebook, Twitter, or other social media? Make sure to sign up early for July’s social media clinic.


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