2023 Year End Appeal
Our last year-end mailing was in 2019, and so much has changed. Still PhillyCAM remains committed to providing transformative opportunities for people to express themselves, to learn from each other, and to produce and share media reflective of the experiences of everyday people.
PhillyCAM provides a platform for community members to amplify stories told from their lived experiences; stories that are often silenced by mainstream media. We hope you will make a year-end contribution towards Philly’s people powered media, where individuals come to learn and grow together while creating media in a welcoming and supportive space.
In October 2024, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of our cable channel and community media center. We have grown into a valued community anchor where over 4000 people have learned radio and television production skills and created and aired over 20,000 hours of hyper local media content across our cable TV channel, WPPM radio station and online platforms.
PhillyCAM also amplified youth voices during the 2023 primary election as part of Turn Up! Turn Out, funded by Lenfest’s Every Voice, Every Vote. Using their own analysis of the issues, they conducted interviews with the mayoral candidates, providing a unique platform to discuss their plans and platforms. Participant Kris Hill, commented that “this project really highlighted us as part of the community and how in Philly people come together in important times. The community means a lot to me and this experience showed its kind-hearted people working hard for each other.”
PhillyCAM is having an impact on local journalism even beyond Philadelphia. We have trained over 70 people to be community reporters in our fellowship program for radio and television journalists. They told stories that went beyond sound bites, instead looking towards solutions for building within communities and supporting movements that impact the neighborhoods they live in. This fall, a delegation of journalists from 21 African nations toured PhillyCAM. Many said it was a highlight of their trip to the United States and commented that they felt "reinvigorated about their own approach to how they might support similar community programs at home."
This year really felt like we were coming of age. One great story from 2023 is that of Ramses Montes, (pictured center right) an alum of our youth media program. In an Op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer he wrote that “without this foundation of confidence, learning, and community that many young Philadelphians need, I would not have moved on to my fruitful professional career.When I dropped out of college, when my high school and parents did not support me, PhillyCAM helped me get back on my feet and contribute to society.”
He joined us this year as a radio instructor for the Hear Us Out youth radio program.
PhillyCAM also amplified youth voices during the 2023 primary election as part of Turn Up! Turn Out, funded by Lenfest’s Every Voice, Every Vote. Using their own analysis of the issues, they conducted interviews with the mayoral candidates, providing a unique platform to discuss their plans and platforms.
Participant Kris Hill, commented that “this project really highlighted us as part of the community and how in Philly people come together in important times. The community means a lot to me and this experience showed its kind-hearted people working hard for each other.”
In October, member and former staff person, Antoine Haywood installed Telling Our Stories: A Community Media Oral History on the walls at PhillyCAM. This stunning multimodal photo exhibit, part of his doctoral thesis at the Annenberg School of Communications at Penn, lifts up the stories of Philadelphia-area BIPOC communities and explores why people of color continue to use community media in the present. It is a powerful representation of the impact that PhillyCAM continues to have. Listen to the stories behind the photos at www.tellingourstoriesproject.com.
With a multitude of streaming platform options, cord-cutting is on the rise and cable subscriptions are declining. This directly impacts the funding we receive from cable franchise agreements. We need to become more independent and less reliant on these cable grants. Change can be challenging, but it’s also a challenge to grow in new ways. Please consider helping us meet this critical challenge by increasing support from individual donors like you. Let’s continue to build the shared vision of people powered media."
Please consider contributing to our year-end fundraising campaign to continue building on our 14 years of work, remaking a media system to be inclusive, reflective of the diversity of all Philadelphians, and free of corporate influence.
You can also mail your donation check or money order to:
P.O. Box 43776
Philadelphia, PA 19106
With tremendous gratitude and appreciation,