Data

Location
Vancouver
British Columbia
Canada
Sector
name:sector-key:Non-Profit or Non Governmental
General Issues
Arts, Culture, & Recreation
Links
http://genwhymedia.ca/

ORGANIZATION

Gen Why Media

April 18, 2019 Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
October 12, 2018 Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
October 15, 2017 tmahoney
Location
Vancouver
British Columbia
Canada
Sector
name:sector-key:Non-Profit or Non Governmental
General Issues
Arts, Culture, & Recreation
Links
http://genwhymedia.ca/

Gen Why Media creates and leads civic engagement projects to inspire the next generation of political leaders.

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Mission and Purpose

Gen Why Media is a non-profit organization specializing in producing media, events, and participatory art aimed at engaging the public in social and political issues. Gen Why Media’s mission is to re-invigorate political participation through cultural production and works across generations in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, universities, businesses and community groups. 

Origins and Development 

Gen Why Media was formed by Tara Mahoney and Fiona Rayher while attending Vancouver-based, non-profit film school In Focus Film School. The two women made a short documentary titled Generation Why that explored the potential of Generation Y (people born in 1980s and early 1990s) to change culture and social structures for the better. The film was well received and the screenings were well attended, which eventually grew into non-profit specializing in civic engagement.

Organizational Structure and Funding

Gen Why Media is run by the two founders - Tara Mahoney and Fiona Rayher who make the decisions for the organization. Occasionally it hires workers on contract to suport larger collaborative projects.

It is funded by a combination of grants and fee-for-service contracts.

Specializations, Methods and Tools Used

Gen Why employs several methods and tools to provide a wide range of opportunities and forms of public engagement:

Major Projects and Events

  • Creative Publics Lab - An emergent proje ct that reimagines the university as place to develop new political practices. Housed at the SFU School of Communications, the lab brings together post-secondary students with local practitioners to work on experimental art, design and media projects aimed at developing new political practices that engage local communities in issues of public concern.
  • Fractured Land - A feature length film and national engagement project that tells the story of a young First Nations law student and emerging leader from northeast BC, epicenter of some of the world’s largest fracking operations, tries to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him – blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom.
  • Bring Your Boomers - An inter-generational dialogue series that uses on-stage ‘living room style’ conversations and cultural performance to create an informal but important space for the public to re-evaluate their opinions, assumptions, values and beliefs while connecting with members of their community.
  • Not-a-Party Election Party (series): An election-focused event series that celebrates the community organizing that happens outside the political party system.
  • Reimagine CBC: National online-to-offline campaign that galvanized thousands in a massive brainstorm on the future of Canadian public media. The project was a collaboration between Gen Why Media, Openmedia.ca and Leadnow.ca.
  • Re-Think Housing: An event and video launched the City of Vancouver’s re:THINK HOUSING initiative which generated a creative narrative around possibilities for Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis.
  • REGENERATE - A public art project that used reused household and industrial materials to create a large scale, text-based art project and living greenwall. 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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Publications

Mahoney, T. (forthcoming 2017). CREATIVE PUBLICS: Participatory Cultural Production and the 2015 Canadian Federal Election. Public Journal . Issue 55: DEMOS.

http://www.publicjournal.ca/55-demos/

Creative Publics Final Report: http://genwhymedia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Creative-Publics_Final-Report_for-web.pdf 

See Also 

Creative Publics Lab 

Social Innovation Labs 

Participatory public art 

Public Policy Collage 

Photovoice 

References

https://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2016/sfu-tutorial-innovation-teaches-creative-civic-engagement--spark.html

http://www.straight.com/article-376114/vancouver/vancouvers-gen-why-media-project-aims-redefine-millennial-generation

External Links

http://genwhymedia.ca/

https://creativepublicslab.wordpress.com/

http://www.fracturedland.com/

Notes

Lead image: Gen Why Media/Facebook https://goo.gl/7qYjq2