NYU students, in cooperation with the National Black Programming Consortium are putting on a Community Archiving Workshop on October 26, which will tackle the archiving of social issues documentaries from the 1980s produced for public television and distributed by the National Black Programming Consortium [NBPC], a media arts center founded in 1979. Organizers welcome the participation of archivists and those new to archiving, interested in learning basic archiving skills for video materials. Join us in this effort to save NBPC’s collections and learn about audiovisual archiving in the process! Interested participants must be pre-registered — please RSVP here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NBPC is one of five minority consortia funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and has worked to bring Black voices to the airwaves since the 1980s, expanding into in-house production in the 1990s. They have helped, in example, films like Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust and Marlon Rigg’s Black Is… Black Ain’t and Tongues Untied make it to public television. Much of NBPC’s rich and precious resources, however, have been locked away in older video formats. Their historic collections include many 3/4” U-matic cassettes, used by pioneering documentarians starting in the 1970s to record stories showcasing the rich spectrum of the Black experience.
We are recruiting participants to activate the recovery of these endangered tapes. They will spend the day inspecting and inventorying a collection of some 200 tapes, pulled from NBPC’s storage locker. The inventory will help NBPC build a record of their extensive collection of early content and decide what can be saved. By assessing materials on October 26th, the ultimate hope is that NBPC can use the record produced to determine content to be donated to an institutional archival space focused on the Black experience and for use in the organization’s forthcoming 40th anniversary retrospective.
Organizers believe that it is essential to de-mystify the process of inspection and cataloging so that other important collections held by arts and cultural groups of New York will not disappear from the cultural record. Selections of NBPC content will be screened and refreshments will be served.
The Workshop is organized by students in Community Archiving: Media Collections, a graduate course in the Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, taught by Mona Jimenez, Associate Arts Professor/Associate Director, Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP). It is inspired by Community Archiving Workshops organized by the Independent Media Committee of the Association of Moving Archivists and their network.
About Community Archiving Workshops:
The first Community Archiving Workshops (then called Activist Archiving) were held at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester (2009) and at Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia (2010). Since 2010, workshops have been held many places including Austin, Seattle, Richmond, Savannah, Nashville, Oaxaca and Santiago, Chile.
About National Black Programming Consortium [NBPC]:
NBPC is a media arts center committed to a fully realized expression of democracy. They support diverse voices by developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the Black experience and by investing in visionary content makers. Founded in 1979, NBPC develops, produces and funds media content about the Black experience for public media outlets, including television, digital radio and online. Since 1991, NBPC has invested more than $10 million dollars in iconic documentary content for public media outlets, including PBS and PBS.org; trained, mentored and supported a diverse array of producers who create content about contemporary black experiences; and emerged as a leader in the evolving next-media landscape.
Please email any questions to email@example.com. For more information on the Community Archiving Workshop experience, please see documentation of last year's workshop. We hope to see you on October 26th. #blckmediaarchive