Kicking off RYMAEC

Kicking off RYMAEC

Sure, it's a mouthful to say "Regional Youth Media Arts Education Consortium." While no one necessarily expected the name to stick, project coordinator Joe Douillette says the acronym RYMAEC (pronounced RYE-mac) did. So when it came time to advertise the kick-off event at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) on Tuesday evening, Joe made sure to include a pronunciation key on the postcards.

For those who don't know Joe, he runs the Fast Forward youth media program at the ICA, and he's also CCTV's outgoing board president. With RYMAEC.org (built by CCTV's own Sean Effel) as a backdrop, he introduced youth media educators from Boston and beyond to the concept, story and infastructure behind RYMAEC. Check out Joe's re-cap of the event here.

A few months ago, I noticed that part of my VISTA work-plan outlined a need to tap into citywide, statewide, and nationwide youth media networks. So it wasn't my immediate intention to fulfill that goal when I attended the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) conference last fall, but that experience really introduced me to the power of this sort of network in the growing field of youth media. Though Joe says the geographical boundaries of the RYEMAC initiative are unclear, he interestingly mentioned NAMAC as a likely partner for future collaboration. (A sizable number of NAMAC's constituents work in youth media.)

It's exciting to think about the limitless scope of media distribution in this YouTube generation. Of course, it presents its share of challenges, too: How do we deal with the legal implications of distributing media produced under the wing of the school district, for example? That's a huge barrier that we grapple with at CEA where media release forms must be signed by parents, giving us the rights to distribute students' work only on our channels and website.

Such challenges underscore the need for a resource like RYEMAC, and I definitely hope people take advantage of it.

(Another great resource I have discovered is the RTNDF broadcast journalism teacher listserv, where useful advice circulates daily.)