The Allied Media Conference is a slow-cooked stew. Here in Detroit, the cold has crept in, reminding us that it’s time to start chopping up the AMC ingredients and set them to simmer. Even though there are 232 days between now and AMC2013, it will be here before we know it, and it will be delicious because of all the careful preparation that happens between now and June.
Here are three good ways to start your AMC2013 prep today!
PLAN A DELEGATION
As we poured over the 250 responses to the AMC2012 Reflections Survey we realized just how important delegations are. Every year lots and lots of AMC participants describe their conference experience as life-changing, affirmative, and invaluable to their work.
But some people tell us that the AMC was hard to navigate, or felt overwhelming. And for all of the ways in which the AMC is the most accessible conference of its kind, some people can’t afford to participate or experience other barriers. Emotionally, logistically and strategically, our sense is that the AMC is best experienced with a crew.
For several years now Creating Collective Access has demonstrated the power of rolling as a delegation at the AMC. They spend the months leading up to the AMC organizing collective fundraisers and caretaking efforts that will make it possible for people with disabilities to participate fully in the conference. Other great models from the last AMC were the NOLA delegation and the Detroit Future Youth delegation. We encourage more groups to follow these examples, and start planning now to bring a delegation to AMC2013.
Start by figuring out: who do you want to experience the AMC with? Who do you want to make sure is there, who hasn’t been able to participate in the past? Send an email to gauge their interest and remind them that the dates of AMC2013 are June 20 -23, 2013. Start a discussion about what your crew could bring to the AMC and what they would want to get out of it. A delegation could be as large as 100 people or as small as two people. It could be geographically-based or identity-based or it could be a group of friends.
If there are non-profit organizations in your delegation, encourage them to incorporate travel, housing and registration costs for the AMC into their 2013 budgets. It is never too early to start fundraising to get to the AMC (see below). Determine with your delegation how much you need to raise and make a plan for how you’ll raise that between now and June. Review past AMC grassroots fundraisers for inspiration.
Then, as the conference approaches, spend some time with your delegation analyzing the AMC schedule: What looks good? What will be most useful to bring back to your community? How will you approach the nighttime events? Who wants to party and who wants to have quiet time back at the dorms? During the conference, plan check-in times once or twice a day to catch your breath and process the conference experience together.
PROPOSE A TRACK, NETWORK GATHERING, OR PRACTICE SPACE
Coordinating a Track, Network Gathering, or Practice Space (T/PS/NG) is the best way to ensure that the content of AMC2013 will be relevant and useful to you, because you will be directly involved in shaping it.
T/PS/NGs provide a home within the AMC for specific media strategies and social justice issues. Historically tracks have been used to convene existing national networks, such as INCITE! and the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net). Tracks have also been used to incubate new networks, like Nation Inside, which builds media strategies for ending the prison industrial complex, or the Medios Caminantes network, which fosters grassroots media for immigrant rights.
The AMC content-development process builds relationships across issues and communities, as coordinators from different T/PS/NGs cross-pollinate ideas and strategies throughout the year. This collaboration often leads AMC sessions to approach problems from a more intersectional analysis and generate solutions that are ultimately more holistic.
First, read the FAQs for proposing a Track, Network Gathering or Practice Space. Then, consider these questions: What seeds were planted at AMC2012 that could be nurtured into an amazing T/PS/NG at AMC2013? How can we build upon the amazingness of returning T/PS/NGs? What are some brand new ideas for T/PS/NGs which embody AMP Network principles and advance our practices of media-based organizing? (We define "media-based organizing" as any collaborative process that uses media, art or technology to bring about a more just and creative world.)
If you want to bounce your ideas off an AMP staff person, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a call with AMC Content Coordinator, Morgan Willis. The deadline to propose a T/PS/NG is Friday Nov. 12. Accepted proposals will be notified by early December, and the organizing process will kick off in January 2013 with a meet-up for coordinators in Detroit.
PLAN TO PAY THE FULL REGISTRATION RATE
By starting to plan your budget now to be able to pay the full registration rate for AMC2013, you will support the AMC to maintain incredible things like: breakfast, childcare, reiki, acupuncture and massage treatments, four nights of life-changing music performances and dance parties, housing scholarships for hundreds of participants, an awesome ever-evolving web platform, and of course the 150-something expertly-crafted sessions that make up the AMC.
The awesomeness of the AMC is directly proportionate to it’s level of participant-ownership. We appreciate tremendously the investments we receive from the Open Society Foundations, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and our many sponsoring organizations. We need the small investments of many to balance out the large investments of a few, in order to ensure that AMC participants guide what the AMC is and what it becomes.
For AMC2013 the scholarship registration rate will be $50. The standard registration rate will be $115 because it’s the 15th Anniversary :) If you are coming to the AMC as part of an organization, work the standard registration rate into your organizational budget for 2013. Any group that registers 10 or more people at the $115 rate will be considered a "Network" level sponsor of the AMC and will receive sponsor benefits.
Email email@example.com to find out more. If you are coming to the AMC as an individual, try to set aside $15 per month in your cookie jar between now and June.
AMC2013 will be most transformative and wonderful for all, if we commit to mobilizing our crews to attend, help shape the content in the form of Tracks, Network Gatherings and Practice Spaces, and figure out ways to pay the full registration rate. It’s time to start getting our AMC ingredients together and make some delicious media stew.