Neighborhood Empowerment Network’s Daniel Homsey is joined by Susan Cervantes of Precita Eyes, Kate Connell of the Book and Wheel Works, and Robynn Takayama of the San Francisco Arts Commission to discuss the important links community art plays in bringing neighborhoods together. Watch a segment with Wendy Testu about the happenings in the “Welcome to the Neighborhood Project,” a community art and literacy program in Hunter’s Point.
The NEN and AII Release the First Episodes of NENtvâ€™s KIOSK
The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) and the Art Institute of California San Francisco have collaborated through the NEN University Academic Alliance to produce the first two NENtv episodes of â€œKioskâ€.
Kiosk is a 30 minute broadcast quality TV show dedicated to elevating and celebrating the community building work that is happening in the neighborhoods every day. Each episode features both in studio guests as well as video profiles of people and organizations from around the City who are making a difference in their communities.
KIOSK was produced and directed by students enrolled in instructor Marc Smolowitzâ€™s Studio Production course. â€œAs an instructor, itâ€™s my goal to help the students achieve the academic goals of the curriculum.â€ Stated Smolowitz, â€œIf we can do so while at the same time helping the communities of San Francisco celebrate the great work happening in their neighborhoods, it only enhances the learning experience.â€
Daniel Homsey, the program manager of the NEN, stated â€œThe ability to collaborate with an organization such as the Art Institute of California San Francisco with its talented instructors and students, helps the NEN achieve its mission to help the communities of San Francisco no only be acknowledged for their work, but also present their efforts in a way that is easily consumable for other residents.â€
To view the episodes of NENtvâ€™s KIOSK, visit empowersf.org/nentv.
The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) was launched in the fall of 2007, when the City and County of San Francisco partnered with residents and community serving non profits to create a new platform to nurture collaboration and community centric problem solving. The NENâ€™s mission is to develop tools, resources and strategic partnerships that empower communities to steward themselves to being safer, cleaner, greener and healthier places to live and work.
This debut episode of the NEN Kiosk focuses on community gardens. Join NEN’s Daniel Homsey as he talks about this growing trend with Blair Randall of Garden for the Environment, Fran Martin of the Visitacion Valley Greenway and Mei Ling Hui of the SF Department of the Environment. These community leaders join in to share their experiences with community gardens and how they play a major role in uniting neighborhoods.
As you’ve probably seen, we at the NEN have been more than a little busy recently. With my imminent departure for New Orleans, the recent Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, NENfm’s big launch, and more, it’s been another action-packed month.
Here’s the highlights…
Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp 2010
The NEN was proud to be a partner at this year’sÂ Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, which featured dozens of speakers, workshops, a resource fair, live jazz, networking, and much more – all on the theme of community building.
We at the NEN were a big part of the action. Pre-event, we captured exclusiveÂ NENfminterviews with many of the event’s speakers, including Craigslist Foundation CEOÂ Lynn Luckow and SF City TreasurerÂ Jose Cisneros.Â
On the day of Boot Camp, I hosted two workshops entitled â€œBuilding Resilient Communities through Multi-Sector Collaboration” and â€œCommunity and Schoolyard Gardensâ€, the former being partly an explanation of the core principles behind the NEN and the latter being a growing area of interest in the Bay Area right now.
Check out the NEN’s Christoph Zepeda’s biggest takeaways from the event inÂ this NEN Blog.
NENfm Joins the Audiowaves
In July, we launched theÂ NENfm podcast. The show interviews the best thinkers and doers in our neighborhoods. Most recently, we were thrilled to interview President Obama’s ex-mentor John McKnight on his thoughts about community-organizing (hear that showÂ here). If John’s advice worked for the President, maybe it’ll work for you!
A picture can be worth a thousand words, especially when it says something about a neighborhood’s uniqueness or the power of uniting a community through a common project. That’s why we’ve launched the weeklyÂ NENpics. So far, we’ve visited theÂ Excelsior’s blue tower andÂ Sunset Heights’s Moraga Stairs. NENpics updates are every Friday.
The Right Kind of Recovery on NENtv
It’s likely that, sooner or later, San Francisco will experience a major earthquake. And when that happens, only the right kind of recovery will ensure that residents stick around to help get the city back on its feet. In this two-part talk, recorded exclusively forÂ NENtv and part of theÂ NENtalks series, I explain what we need to do now to get ready. Watch part 1 (“the challenge”)Â here and part 2 (“the solution”)Â here.
NEN Kiosk Hits “The Real World”
We’ve been getting so much wonderful feedback about the Blogs, videos, and podcasts here on empowersf.org. At the same time, there’s still a special place in our hearts for something we can hold in our hands.
That’s why we’ve just launched “NEN Kiosk”, our hardcopy newsletter. InÂ this NEN News announcement, Christoph Zepeda, Kiosk’s editor, explains why NEN Kiosk is important. Oh, and a PDF version of the newsletter is included for you web-lovers.
The NEN Heads Out to New OrleansÂ
My visit to post-Katrina New Orleans in 2007 deeply influenced my community work and the ethos I’ve brought to the NEN. So, I’m excitedÂ to head off today back to the Big Easy to speak at the August 26thÂ Resiliency Summit about the NEN model and how we can prepare our cities for external shocks, such as natural events. I’ll beblogging,Â Twittering,Â Facebooking, andÂ recording audio diaries during my five-day stay to bring you the best of the Summit. So check back daily here on empowersf.org for the latest.
What I love about San Francisco is that there is always something new to learn, someone different to get to know, and an alternative way of looking at things. Every day, this city breeds another opportunity for both individual and social development. Here, people can find themselves and feel part of a community.
As you can probably tell from theÂ blogs,Â NENtv episodes, andÂ NENfm podcasts here on empowersf.org, we at the NEN believe strongly in the power of storytelling in effecting change and inspiring action. After all, for millenia stories have been used to transmit knowledge and store wisdom. However, while traditional media have often focused on content that serve financial bottom lines (often culminating in negative coverage, entertainment, or cheaply-produced stories), empowersf.org is firmly set on providing practical advice and inspiring action. If you’re not up and doing something after visiting this website, then we have work to do.
Of course, while immensely powerful the internet has the challenge of conveying information through a pixelated screen and competing with a world of other content, meaning that other forms of media still have their own strengths. As a result, the NEN is now launching a new platform through which citizens can celebrate the work that happens in our neighborhoods: The new hard-copy newsletter,Â NEN Kiosk.Â
Don’t worry, web-lovers! NEN Kiosk is also available online. ClickÂ here to download the PDF version.
The first issue of NEN Kiosk gets the scoop on the NEN’s upcoming visit to New Orleans, how Potrero Hill’s Annie Shaw turned courage and hard work into a garden that’s one of San Francisco’s best communal spaces, why NEN Media Director Adam Greenfield thinks NEN’s media is a departure from the norm, and much more.
Be sure to stick around for more issues of NEN Kiosk and don’t forget to send us your feedback on the newsletter as it continues to develop.
Since joining the NEN as Editor of NEN Kiosk, I have been greatly impressed with the level of passion and energy that goes on hereâ€•teamwork and genuine support is a beautiful thing as it magnifies our capacity to do a greater good. Stay tuned to see how a little bit can go a long way by making a little bit of contribution, one day at a time.
Christoph Zepeda is earning his Masters degree in English Literature with a certificate in teaching post-secondary reading. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling, yoga, movies, and creative writing. He hopes to one day publish a novel, memoir, and collection of poems.