Raising Expectations
Transforming Community Media

It is time to look to the future and set new expectations for the role of community media in our towns and cities. Explore how community media can transform to meet future needs and continue to be a vital part of our community's fabric.

October 12 & 13, 2023

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, October 11

Monroe County Community College
Monroe, MI
hosted by MPACT

View or download the 2023 Conference Program

Register to attend.

Schedule (subject to change without notice)

Wednesday, October 11

4:00 PMCentral States ACM Board of Directors Meeting
6:00 PMOpening Reception - River Raisin National Battlefield Park

Thursday, October 12

9:00 AMRegistration/Breakfast/Coffee/Tradeshow
10:00 AMWelcome Address (MPACT, Mayor, etc)
10:30 AMBreak w coffee
11:00 AMBreakout Session: Generative AI
 Breakout Session: GR Documenters Network: New Chapter in Local Media Engagement
12:00 PMBreak
12:15 PMLunch & Plenary Session: Transforming Community Media - Raising Expectations
1:45 PMBreak
2:00 PMBreakout Session: Telling community stories with your phone
 Breakout Session: Future of local media as civic infrastructure
3:00 PMBreak w Snack
3:30 PMBreakout Session: Get Out to Get People In
 Breakout Session: Digital Inclusion
4:30 PMBreak
5:00 PMBreak - Trade Show Ends
6:00 PMPhilo Awards Reception - Meyer Theater
7:00 PMPhilo Awards Ceremony

Friday, October 13

9:00 AMRegistration Open
9:30 AMBreakout Session: More Impactful Strategic Planning
 Breakout Session: Planning Media and Storytelling Events
10:30 AMMonroe City Hall, then to MPACT
12:15 PMLunch & Connect
1:30 PMBreak
1:45 PMBreakout Session: Vision to Action, using data and dashboards to make your organization more nimble, efficient, and effective.
 Breakout Session: Building the Next Generation of Storytellers
2:45 PMBreak w Snack
3:00 PMCentral States Region Membership Meeting


Workshops/Sessions (subject to change)

Plenary Panel - Lunch

Transforming Community Media - Raising Expectations

As the media industry continues to shift and cable revenues decline, what role do we see community media operations play in our communities in 5 years, 10 years? If we can break from being focused on our ties to cable television programming, what is the future? What do we want a local media ecosystem to look like? How do we fund the future community media?

Generative AI

Join us for an informative and engaging session exploring the power and potential of generative AI. This workshop will examine the expected and unexpected benefits and threats of this rapidly evolving technology. Through demonstrations, hands-on exercises, and creative brainstorming, participants will learn how generative models predict responses based on input the user provides and the importance of crafting effective prompts. Finally, we'll discuss the ethical implications of generative AI and consider ways to use this technology responsibly and in line with our values and goals. By the end of this session, you'll have a deeper understanding of generative AI's potential, and take away practical techniques for crafting successful prompts.

More Impactful Strategic Planning - How to Change the World with Your Plan

Why are you and your nonprofit here if not to change the world and the lives of people in it?  In this workshop, we will present an overview of the Zero-Based & More Impactful methods of strategic planning and how you can use them to make the world a better place.

Vision to Action, using data and dashboards to make your organization more nimble, efficient, and effective

How do you know you’re doing well? Do you have the information you need to track your organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in meeting your mission?  Do you have the tools you need to measure your impact, and can you use that information to focus your efforts where it can have the greatest effect?  In this workshop, you’ll learn how to obtain and use data as an impactful management tool for steering your organization and how creating dashboards can help you do it.  

Telling community stories with your phone

Most people carry an entire production studio in their pockets. Explore how to create high-quality stories featuring your community with mobile devices. Explore how centers are integrating mobile devices into programs to expand community storytelling and engagement.

Digital Inclusion
What role can you and your media center be playing in your communities to address digital inclusion and equity? Gain an understanding of the basics of digital inclusion, what data resources are available, and how you can use these to explore conditions and digital equity barriers in your community.

Future of local media as civic infrastructure

Community access media has enjoyed benefits of sustained funding through cable franchising. As the cable industry is shifting and traditional funding declines, are there other approaches to ensuring that community access to media and information is supported as civic infrastructure? What needs to happen, what steps can you take, and what are options are currently being explored around the country (tax districts, fees on streaming services, fees on right-of-way use, digital equity and broadband funding) to ensure the health of local media ecosystems moving forward.

Get Out to Get People In

In order to increase community involvement with your media center,  you have to first get out beyond your doors. Explore how media centers are engaging with their communities in ways beyond providing coverage of events. When you table at an event, how can you make that more interesting? Discover ways to listen and learn from your community to know what they need.

Building the Next Generation of Storytellers

Millennials are now the biggest group of the population. Combined with Gen-Z, a new generation will be our future storytellers. Explore how are media centers engaging with younger populations, amplifying youth voices, and passing the torch onto younger generations. (High school programs, internships, youth programs, workforce development, etc)

Planning Media and Storytelling Events and Festivals

Film festivals, community screenings, and events can be ways to engage in your community. Dig into what makes a media event or festival successful, what you need to think about, how much time is needed, and how do you ensure it furthers your mission and community impact.

Roundtable Lunch & Connect

Break bread and connect with each other. Informal topics of discussion will be held at various tables to meet and learn from each other.  Indicate some of your interests in your conference registration to help determine focused topics for various tables.

The Grand Rapids Documenters Network: A New Chapter in Local Media Engagement

In this presentation, we will explore the GRCMC’s brand new program, the "Grand Rapids Documenters Network." This newly formed network represents a transformative chapter in local media engagement and community empowerment.  Through a collaborative and inclusive approach, this innovative project strengthens the bond between media outlets and their audiences, while also fostering a deeper sense of ownership and understanding of local issues.


There are a number of area hotels to choose from for lodging. We do not have a conference rate at a hotel.

Tru By Hilton

I-75 at Exit 15
1731 N Dixie Hwy.
Monroe, MI 48162

Book Now!


TownePlace Suites by Marriott

I-75 at Exit 15
1440 N Dixie Hwy.
Monroe, MI 48162

Book Now!


Hampton Inn

I-75 at Exit 15
1565 N Dixie Hwy.
Monroe, MI 48162

Book Now!


Days Inn & Suites

I-75 at Exit 15
1900 Welcome Way
Monroe, MI 48162

Book Now!


Holiday Inn & Suites

I-75 at Exit 15
1687 N. Dixie Hwy
Monroe, MI 48162

Book Now!


Quality Inn & Suites

I-75 at Exit 15
1225 N Dixie Hwy.
Monroe, MI 48162

Book Now!