Hi, my name is Joshua Park and I am a sophomore at Lowell High School. On June 9th, I attended the NAMAC (National Alliance for Media Art and Culture) Conference of the Arts at the Oakland Marriott along with other Youth Empowerment Academy members. NAMAC is an organization that helps professional artists develop their style and create their own brands of art. Although the conference wasn’t the most youth-friendly, we all agreed that we had a terrific time and learned various concepts and ideas that we could apply to the Vote 16 Movement and in life. Some takeaways that I had from the conference were the three pillars of our society, the new Native American Oral tradition, and the importance of networking.
One of the more memorable speakers from the event was Michael Premo, the Executive Producer of Storyline, a multimedia production studio. He stated that the three pillars of American society are patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. I thought that the concept was especially impactful because it reflects everything wrong with the American culture and is the basis of national issues that have existed since the Declaration of Independence. As youth, we can change the structure of American Society and have a voice in fixing long-standing issues such as racism and poverty. During the Native New Oral tradition workshop, I learned about how Native Americans are speaking out about injustices towards their people through newer media forms such as film. Additionally, I learned about the importance of networking at this conference. Meeting and developing relationships with new people can be crucial to success in life, especially in the art profession. I thought the conference was especially meaningful in that we learned about the importance and uses of storytelling in our Vote16 campaign.