YMR and NAMAC Collaborate on Special Issue

Youth Media Reporter and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture’s Consulting Producers are collaborating to produce a special issue of YMR focused on youth media and creative youth development, entitled Our Desired Futures.  Inspired by NAMAC’s 50 State Dinner Party Project, this special issue of YMR will explore our Past, Present, and Future, and will be guest edited by Myah Overstreet.  This is a call for media makers, writers, poets, practitioners, and educators from near and far to help us explore and teach one another about the chapters of history that make us who we are today. We invite articles, poems, and lesson plans to publish in this special issue.  Articles can take a variety of forms: original research articles, descriptive case studies, or critical papers relating and contributing to the broad fields of youth media and creative youth development. With your help, we can make this work of artistic, personal, and professional development possible!

To submit, please fill out THIS FORM.

Mission of the Collaboration:

In 2014, Youth Media Reporter & NAMAC partnered to host a one-day convening of youth media practitioners and leaders at the NAMAC / ACM Joint Conference in Philadelphia. The premise of our partnership was “that there is now, as there has always been, a need for network building, resource sharing, and the nurturing of collective power around challenges and opportunities in youth media practices across the country.”

This 2014 conference itself was the culmination of two prior years of field-building efforts sparked by the 2012 formation of the National Youth Media Network, a group of fiercely committed youth media leaders who organized to catalyze national dialogue and national movement. We didn’t have the language to name it then, but we were indeed asking ourselves the exact question of this issue, the central question of the 50-State Dinner Party series: “For youth media as practice and youth media as field, what are our desired futures and what do we need to arrive there?”

As we who work in education know, growth takes time but not time alone. Growth also requires ongoing investment, persistent effort, unyielding conviction. We are honored and delighted to launch this special issue of YMR as a testament to NAMAC and YMR’s joint commitment to what we bring to this growth-oriented work: space to connect voices, bodies, organizations, and networks that themselves create space for youth expression and development. We invite the NAMAC and YMR communities to intersect here in laying the groundwork for what we believe can be ongoing, collective, and transgenerational action that seeds lasting, cultural impacts across our communities.

The special issue is organized in four sections: Past, Present, and Future, with a final section dedicated to poetry.  Contributors are invited to submit work that engages one of these focal areas. Proposals should clearly indicate on the submissions form which section the proposed work addresses.  

Submission Guidelines

The central question of this special issue is: How does time (past/present/future) show up in our bodies, movements, work, and field (youth media & creative youth development)?  

We are seeking submissions from writers, educators, media-makers, performers, poets, researchers, and artists of ALL AGES that bring our central question to life through poetry, articles (blog-style or academic), lesson/activity plans, photo essays, media, or even something unexpected.  

There is no absolute limit on length, however, shorter pieces typically range between 600-1500 words, and longer research articles between 3000-5000 words. Submissions should include practitioner and/or youth voices, be well documented, and be written in a clear and engaging way that considers the journal’s crossover readership, including youth and young adults, artists, cultural organizers, scholars, educators, practitioners, policymakers, funders, and youth media producers. All submissions should follow Chicago Style guidelines.  

To submit, please fill out THIS FORM


    1. Call for Articles by November 2 to November 18, 2016
    2. Follow up with all submissions by November 30, 2016
    3. All poems, articles, and lesson plans submitted by December 15, 2016
    4. Selected poems, articles, and lesson plans notified by January 15, 2017
    5. Peer Feedback January 15 to January 22, 2017
    6. Second Draft by February 1, 2017
    7. Second Round Peer Feedback February 2 – February 9, 2017
    8. Final Draft by February 16, 2016
    9. Mid-March: Public Release

About NAMAC’s Collective Action Initiative & 50-State Dinner Party Project

The 50 State Dinner Party Project is the kickoff of a Youth Media Collective Action Initiative produced by the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) to spark creative and civic conversations—over simple dinners. Our goal is to have 50 dinners in 50 different states in the next one to two years!

To start this work, we are reaching out across the country to ask a question inspired by the wisdom of Kate Fowler of Appalshop: What are our desired futures?

We believe that in order to work towards collective action and impact, we need to start with local engagement. Through local conversations, we will be able to find, name, and connect the opportunities and challenges facing rural, suburban, and urban municipalities in our diverse 50 states. This will lead us toward discovering shared visions and articulating shared goals that can move our fields—youth media and creative youth development—into more coordinated action resulting in deeper impact.

Our ultimate goal: inspiring coordinated, creative, collective action that identifies and investigates civic issues facing our country and the world and results in media-based works.