For more than 20 years, beginning with its international award winning three-part PBS documentary series, No Time to Be a Child, Nomadic Pictures has been committed to community engagement. The guiding purpose is to reach community audiences directly to build their awareness of the social issues in a film, foster dialogue, and motivate them to forge solutions. This has been a high impact endeavor: reaching and engaging diverse audiences through innovative and traditional media tools and resources that could advance sustainability. Through community engagement Legacy in 2000 reached over half a million people and inspired the creation of federal legislation entitled, The Legacy Act. The Principal Story in 2009 reached 9.5 million people and has been distributed to every US Embassy across the world.
What happened during the decade connecting these two campaigns was a boundary-pushing expansion of media-based community engagement strategies designed by Outreach Extensions (OE), a national consulting firm that specializes in comprehensive, high profile campaigns for media projects. Working in collaboration with Nomadic Pictures, OE developed engagement strategies that included national partnership and stakeholder development; community and partner ascertainments; public television grants leveraging their media assets; specially produced outreach videos and video clips; print and online discussion guides and handbooks; screenings/discussions; dissemination of promising practices; and digital, new media, and social media platforms.
The examples of three films, Legacy, Omar & Pete, and The Principal Story demonstrate the scope and significance of the collaboration between Nomadic Pictures and Outreach Extensions as well as project funders.
Through the five years of filming All the Difference, scheduled to be released nationally on PBS in spring 2016, Outreach Extensions advised Nomadic Pictures on topics and scenes that would be useful to a national engagement campaign. As a result, 31 outreach video clips highlight the obstacles that the film’s two young men, Robert and Krishaun, encountered and how they effectively used a range of people and resources to help them achieve the dream of a college degree – and begin their working lives post-college. Two online resources utilizing the 31 clips, a student handbook and a facilitator guide, offer a roadmap for first generation college students, particularly young men who may be deterred by issues of poverty and race. A broader community engagement campaign will be conducted by the broadcaster POV, an acclaimed PBS public affairs series. Funders are the National Black Programming Consortium, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Wyncote Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
For more information on Community Engagement, please contact Nomadic Pictures.