In Spokane, the percentage of women and minorities working in film production is low or – in some areas – close to non-existent. Community-Minded Enterprises (CME), which owns local television station CMTV14, is committed to increasing representation for women and minorities in this field.
A $25,000 Community Strategies grant from Innovia Foundation helped to fund CME’s ALT/lens project, a program that gave women and minority communities free technical workshops and access to professional video production equipment.
In 2017, CME hosted 25 workshops and three community screenings, educating 270 women and minority individuals about the process of video production. Several of the projects attendees completed during the program aired on CMTV, which reaches approximately 100,000 homes in the Spokane region.
By the end of the year, CME completed its short-term goal of equipping women and minorities with film production skills, and the workshops contributed to long-term goals of introducing diversity into the field and creating media-related opportunities for underrepresented populations. CME encourages minorities to boldly share their stories with the world.
One attendee said, “As a gay Latina female, I felt welcome and safe. I was able to overcome my fear of being filmed. I learned a lot of technical skills as well as a lot about myself through the experience of storytelling.”