African American Multimedia Conference 2020

Iconoclast Productions.put together the African American Multimedia Conference from 1996 to 2009. From 1996 to 2003 it was at the African American Art and Cultural Center in San Francisco. From 2004 to 2009, it took place at various venues, including the San Francisco Main Public Library,. Artists Theater Access, Bay Area Video Coalition. City College of San Francisco, and CLAER.

The purpose of the conference is to help community artists to gain access to technology for creating and promoting their art. It is an important resource for independent music producers, singers, rappers, songwriters, filmmakers, video makers, graphic designers, and anyone who wants to know how technology can help them to succeed in the arts. Conference activities include panel discussions; free hands on computer and technology workshops; lectures; and fun activities for youth.

In August of 2008, Carolyn Saulson, president of Iconoclast Productions, Organizer of the African American Multimedia Conference, had to slow down. She was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a bone cancer. In January 2009, the chemotherapy weakened her immune system, lead to the flu and she developed Guillane Barre. The organization and its producers moved to the East Bay, where they continued to produce their public access television show, Stagefright, along with a series of smaller art events focused around music, homelessness, ecological preservation, art and literature around Oakland and Berkeley. Carolyn passed away after a long battle with cancer January 2019.

In 2020, in order to honor her mother Carolyn Saulson, Sumiko Saulson sought to revamp the Convention, and have secured two guests of honor: Crystal Connor, an author and video blogger/reviewer out of Seattle, and horror poet Linda Addison, the first Black winner of the Bram Stoker Awards. They have their hotel accommodations and airfare for February 14 -17, 2020 paid by a patron from Seattle. Crystal also has a series of films for the festival she puts on in Seattle, which is entitled Beyond Us: Beyond Us: Black Minds in Horror.

The event will include workshops and panel discussions related to African American media arts inclusive of video, music, audio, gaming, animation, vblogging and podcasting.

Mission Statement

To ensure that both individual artists and community arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Black Community in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Vallejo and other Citiesare empowered with the tools they need to tell their stories, and that San Francisco Bay Area Black Voices not be silenced. To achieve this we work to foster within our community, the creation and exhibition of works music, film, video, and digital arts conveying the African American personal and community experience. To encourage through training, consulting, and exhibition programs African American participation in multimedia: film/video, music/audio, and animation; create works in the media arts, and assist media artists with disabilities.

Vision Statement

Our goal for 2020 is to support black artists who live or engage in creative
works within San Francisco Bay Area Black Voices, as we consider that our community underrepresented and under-served. It is our artists who represent our culture, and by supporting them, we make known to the larger culture the beauty, history, and depth of our lives and our struggle. Our objectives (available on our website) include improved outreach to audiences and new publics; further program and service area expansion to San Francisco Bay Area Black communities in Berkeley and Vallejo revitalized and expanded art exhibition.

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