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The Power of Media to Transform

by Kate McCallum

The Millennium Project

The Millennium Project

It wasn’t always the case that Hollywood, the media capital of the world, could be expected to embrace a day-long symposium on the power of arts and media to transform. When I broke into the industry in 1985, power was held by the major studios and four broadcast and cable outlets with a fifth emerging on the horizon. Most of the time, transformation only mattered in terms of ratings and dollars and cents.

But the industry has begun to show signs of shifting beyond its obsession with tinsel and stardom. Signs of that shift have become apparent – the upcoming launch of Oprah’s new network, for example, and the number of communities and groups that have been forming in Los Angeles and in cyberspace. One of them is c3: Center for Conscious Creativity, which I co-founded several years ago and which gives me a vantage point from which to report on the many new initiatives that are changing the landscape of media and its life-affirming potential.

A brief history: While working at Universal Studios and pursuing a Masters in Consciousness Studies, I met and then teamed up with Philip Horvath, another student and Universal employee, and together we started c3. The mission was to create a space/community dedicated to research and education addressing consciousness, creativity, media and the arts. We set out to bring consciousness experts, futurists, and educators together with artists and media makers to inspire deeper meaning in the arts and media. That was the vision.

For five years the vision evolved as we hosted and produced numerous screenings, concerts, workshops and classes – and created an organizational culture of openness and understanding. In 2009 we launched a social networking platform and became an official partner of the LA Opera by participating in the first citywide arts festival – RING FEST LA 2010.

In November of 2009 c3 brought advisory board member and futurist Jerome Glenn from Washington, DC, to speak about the future of arts and media from a global perspective. Jerome is co-founder and president of The Millennium Project, a global think tank that accumulates research through collective intelligence that addresses 15 global challenges and solutions. Its findings are published annually in the State of the Future report. At the event he spoke about his desire to create a Global Arts and Media Node, a topic we had been discussing for some time. This Node would assist the Millennium Project by aggregating future trends in the arts and media, disseminating the information found in the State of the Future report, and brainstorm emerging global art forms, much like the work of the 16th Century Florentine Camerata Society that led to the invention of the art form called…opera! In January 2010 Jerome and the Millennium Project officially invited c3 to chair the Global Arts and Media Node, and this past June the c3: VisionLAB produced the first “State of the Arts” symposium. It was a tremendous success! (Go here to learn more about what happened.)

Over the past several years, a number of organizations have been sprung up in LA and elsewhere that are dedicated to inspiring consciousness and social activism through media and entertainment. Among them are:

* Architects of a New Dawn

* Creative Visions Foundations

* Elevate Films

* GATE: Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment

* The Hollywood Hill

* META: Media Entertainment Technology and Art

* PGA: Producers Guild of America’s Green Initiative

* United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative

* Images & Voices of Hope

There is a very encouraging trend in the land of tinsel and stardom. Let us hope that it portends a new era in media and entertainment at a local, national, and global level. Our collective mission is to utilize these incredibly powerful tools and collectives as “weapons of mass instruction.” Media and art have the potential to assist in the transformation and the evolution of both the individual and society, and we as creators are eager to join the ranks of the many others dedicated to that mission.

  • HawaiiGenie Aug 27, 2010

    This is truly exciting news. Thank you for all that you are doing - and right in the belly of the beast!

    I am a screenwriter in Hawaii and host of The Genie Show. I am working on a new program called Act-Resilient that uses Improvisational Comedy to help soldiers restore resilience and handle PTSD. I would love to talk with you about entertainment and transformation.

    Genie Joseph

  • Ashok Malhotra Sep 01, 2010

    This is encouraging news and we look forward to the media in contributing towards a global transformation.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Judyrodgers Sep 05, 2010

    Kate, thank you for your story and for the mention of Images & Voices of Hope ( IVOH is a global dialogue project with the media that has been running since 1999. We have run over 50 dialogues world wide inquiring into what it looks like when media is an agent of benefit to the world. Our annual world summit is in the Catskill Mountains of New York from September 23 - 26 --- screenings, presentations, dialogues and renewal for those in all media. We have added a gaming session this year. All in media are welcome. Judy Rodgers, Executive Director, Images & Voices of Hope

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