Issue 80 | September 2011

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:

LA EVENTS

  • Harvardwood Heads To...Discussion with Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, Tues., Sept. 6
  • CLA invites Harvardwood to Independent Film Financing Strategies, Wed., Sept. 7
  • Harvardwood Helps Blood Drive for National Day of Service and Remembrance, Sat., Sept. 10
  • Harvardwood Presents: The Magic of the Magic Castle, feat. a performance by David R. Kwong! Wed., Sept. 21
  • CLA invites Harvardwood to Rights Clearance and Insurance for Filmmakers w/ Harvardwood Full Member, Roger Kaplan! Wed., Sept. 21

BOSTON EVENTS

  • Harvardwood Heads To...Porgy & Bess Gala Celebration, Sat., Sept. 10

NY EVENTS

  • Our Fall Fascination September Celebration Spectacular Harvardwood PARTY!! Sat., Sept. 17
  • Harvardwood Presents CLARION MUSIC SOCIETY--Salamone Rossi, the Untypical Renaissance Composer, Thurs., Sept. 22

* Submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory
* Apply for the Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP)! - LA
* Now accepting applications for Harvardwood 101! Deadline Oct. 21
* Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program for Screenwriters in Boston
* Seeking event and "J-termship" hosts for Harvardwood 101
* Join the NYC Harvardwood Playwriting/Screenwriting Seminar - NY
* Earn a free month of Full Membership by shopping at Ralph's
* Safelist us!
* Harvardwood seeks contacts to relevant sponsor agencies
* Are you going to the Toronto International Film Festival?
* Donate to the A.R.T./Harvardwood Alumni Lab Grants Fund
* Become a Spark Mentor this Fall! (LA, SF, Chicago)
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase
* Featured Member Posting: Development/Research Paid Internship (LA)
* Member Profile: Derrick Ashong '97

Director's Notes

Well, it's not quite the September issue of Vogue but I'm pretty darn proud of our September edition of the Harvardwood Highlights! So much to do to get the academic year started off right. First, we're happy to provide another great resource for Harvardwood members - the Harvardwood Resource Directory. Submit your company, organization, or service for inclusion in our listing of industry suppliers in all types of categories (film/tv production, legal, catering, performance art, and more -- create your own category if you need to!). Feel free to forward along to your contacts outside of Harvardwood as well, all Harvardwood members and their contacts can list for free before October 5th. And get your applications ready for the 2011-2012 seasons of the Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP) and Harvardwood 101. We're accepting applications as well as mentors and Harvardwood 101 event and J-termship hosts. Let us know how you'd like to get involved!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

I'm thrilled to announce that Allison Kiessling and I will share the role of co-President of Harvardwood through the 2012 calendar year. The co-Presidents of the past decade (Adam Fratto, Stacy Cohen and myself) will continue to be involved via our newly-formed Founders Committee, as well as our respective Directorial duties -- Harvardwood Film Festival, Harvardwood Helps, and Harvard in Hollywood. We are all excited about this transition in Harvardwood's evolving infrastructure...we are literally bursting at the seams with talented new leaders!

Allison is a longtime board member, HARVY Award winner, and Director of the thriving Harvardwood Writers Program TV modules. She is also a gifted writer herself (one of Harvardwood's Most Staffable, as announced in Variety) and may occasionally peek her head into this corner of the Harvardwood Highlights to share her thoughts... Welcome, Allison!

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Discussion with Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, Tues., Sept. 6

Join us for a special discussion: A New Way to be Nonreligious...At Harvard and Beyond with Greg Epstein, author of New York Times Bestseller GOOD WITHOUT GOD: WHAT A BILLION NONRELIGIOUS PEOPLE DO BELIEVE. Special guest: Ruth Seymour, General Manager of KCRW from 1978-2010, who transformed KCRW into one of the most vibrant radio stations in the nation. Epstein and his team will soon launch the US’s first-ever full-scale exploration and promotion of the concept of Humanist community; with participation from Humanist superstars like Emmy award-winner Seth MacFarlane and New York Times #1 bestseller Jodi Picoult. There will be opportunities to get involved across the US and particularly in Southern California…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=179693

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to Independent Film Financing Strategies, Wed., Sept. 7

Learn how to cash in on the $8 billion worldwide independent film market with Louise Levison, the author of Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents. Taking the mystique out of film financing for both filmmakers and investors, she’ll clarify, demystify and streamline the business plan process, explain projections and working with money sources. Louise Levison is a film finance consultant specializing in business plans whose clients have raised money for such low-budget films as THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, TROUBLE THE WATER (nominated for the 2008 Best Documentary Oscar), and THE OPEN ROAD, as well as companies that are raising up to $300 million…Full Members of Harvardwood can take advantage of discounted admission to this event…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=179682

LA - Harvardwood Helps Blood Drive for National Day of Service and Remembrance, Sat., Sept. 10

In honor of the 9.11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, SHARE YOUR GOOD HEALTH. Give Something Priceless, DONATE BLOOD AND SAVE A LIFE! Did you know that ONLY 3% of eligible donors in Los Angeles give blood regularly, the lowest rate of any major US city? And that holidays like Labor Day weekend are a huge drain on the blood supply because of the increased number of people on the road and an uptick in injury accidents? Blood donation is a safe and simple procedure and only takes a short time out of your day. And you will FEEL GREAT, knowing you have saved someone’s life. You'll get a FREE MOVIE PASS too!...To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=175148

LA - Harvardwood Presents: The Magic of the Magic Castle, feat. a performance by David R. Kwong! Wed., Sept. 21

Do you believe in magic? You will if you visit the Magic Castle, the famous Hollywood landmark where magicians and illusionists display their brilliance. On Wednesday, September 21 a small group of Harvardwood members can be guests at the Magic Castle on Hollywood Boulevard. Harvardwood is also proud to feature a performance by David R. Kwong '02! David wrote his history honors thesis on Oriental Magicians and their Impersonators at the turn of the 20th century. David has shared his classic sleight of hand all over the world and regularly performs for movie studios, agencies, and production companies in Los Angeles. At present, David works in Development at DreamWorks Animation where he pursues his love of story. He is consulting on a number of studio films including Summit's "Now You See Me" and "Houdini," Warner Brother's "Rabbit" and DreamWorks Animation's "Rumblewick."…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=178313

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to Rights Clearance and Insurance for Filmmakers w/ Harvardwood Full Member, Roger Kaplan! Wed., Sept. 21

Production of programming - whether it be a theatrical feature, scripted or reality television series, or even digital short - requires careful attention to legal considerations even before the start of pre-production. Without doing all the required footwork in the legal clearance process and without obtaining the necessary types of insurance, precious production time and thousands or even millions of dollars may be wasted. Worse, the release of the program could be blocked or some or all of the program's financial return could be drained away through nasty litigation. This workshop will give practical guidance as to the policies and procedures that should be followed to ensure a smooth production that avoids infringement of third-party rights, and as to what is involved in applying for and obtaining necessary types of insurance policies…Harvardwood Full Member, Roger Kaplan, will be one of the leaders of this session! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=179683

BOSTON - Harvardwood Heads To...Porgy & Bess Gala Celebration, Sat., Sept. 10

Join us as Harvardwood Heads To...PORGY & BESS GALA CELEBRATION! In 1935, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess premiered at the Colonial Theater in Boston. Now, after 75 years, it returns to the A.R.T. in a groundbreaking adaptation directed by Diane Paulus and featuring renowned stars Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, and David Alan Grier. Celebrate this highly anticipated production before it heads to Broadway! This exclusive evening is followed by dinner with the cast at the Cambridge home of Jim Bailey and RoAnn Costin…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=172959

NY - Our Fall Fascination September Celebration Spectacular Harvardwood PARTY!! Sat., Sept. 17

The Fall Equinox is coming, so it's farewell to Summer, hello Fall, and time for a fabulous Harvardwood PARTY!! And this will be a great one, and a wonderful opportunity for you to meet more of our incredibly smart, sexy, and scintillating Harvardwood members! Major FUN alert!!!... We have a special Priority Registration Period for Full Members and Friends of Harvardwood (and their guests) until Friday, September 2…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=178927

NY - Harvardwood Presents CLARION MUSIC SOCIETY--Salamone Rossi, the Untypical Renaissance Composer, Thurs., Sept. 22

The critically-acclaimed Clarion Music Society will perform the music of one of Italy’s leading Renaissance musicians, Salamone Rossi. This concert offers both musical delight and a new window into the world of the Renaissance. Musical America has called the Clarion Music Society "an important force in early music." The Wall Street Journal called them "Superb!" and the New York Times said "Terrific!" And BBC Music Magazine wrote "Visionary: artistic director Steven Fox is leading the Clarion Society's Renaissance!"…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=175479

Submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory

The Harvardwood Resource Directory will be a listing of relevant industry suppliers associated with our community, giving our members and visitors a quick and easy reference guide for their upcoming projects and industry needs. All Harvardwood members and their contacts may list in the Resource Directory for free by submitting a listing before WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5th…To view more information and to sign up, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/?page=resourcedirectory

Apply for the Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP)! - LA

Harvardwood is pleased to announce the start of the 2011 Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP)! HMP aims to foster meaningful professional relationships by matching Harvard graduates with more established alums in their fields of interest for a period of seven months of one-on-one career mentoring. We're currently seeking mentors and mentees for the 2011-2012 season (the program will begin in October 2011, deadline for mentee application is Sept. 14.) Career focus and compatibility will determine the mentor/mentee pairings, and the nature of each mentoring relationship will depend on the individuals and what they have to offer…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/71373/Apply-for-the-Harvardwood-Mentorship-Program-HMP---LA.htm

Now accepting applications for Harvardwood 101! Deadline Oct. 21

Harvardwood is pleased to announce our 10th annual Harvardwood 101 career exploration program, cosponsored by the Office of Career Services and Office for the Arts. The program brings a group of Harvard undergraduates to Los Angeles during the first week of the January term (JAN. 2-8, 2012) and provides various career-related activities in an attempt to demystify Hollywood and educate current students about opportunities in the arts, media and entertainment. Past activities have included a studio lot tour, a visit to a working film set, a discussion of film development and production hosted by a major production company, a visit to a scoring stage, a panel on breaking into TV writing, an agency visit, lunches with alumni in various facets of the industry, and an info session and tour of the USC film school facilities. In addition, Harvardwood 101 provides a limited number of optional "J-term-ship" opportunities (JAN. 9 - 22, or a portion thereof) for a subset of Harvardwood 101 participants who wish to utilize the rest of the J-term to further explore their area(s) of professional interest...To find out more information and to apply, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/?Harvardwood101

Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program for Screenwriters in Boston

Writing a new screenplay? Want to workshop an existing screenplay? Sign up to join the 2011-12 Boston feature screenwriting workshop. We will meet near Harvard Square every other Thursday evening (meeting location TBA) from October 6th until February (holidays excluded). Full participants will be able to meet with producers, agents, and professional writers, as well as submit a complete work to the 2012 Harvardwood Features Showcase and Script Menu next spring. Requirements: You must be a dues-current Full Member of Harvardwood. Full Members will be charged a nominal fee for the workshop, mainly as a budget for refreshments, etc. Contact Matt Weinberg for more info or to join the workshop: matt_weinberg@post.harvard.edu.

Seeking event and "J-termship" hosts for Harvardwood 101

Harvardwood invites all Harvard alums and friends to get involved in the 10th annual Harvardwood 101 career exploration program, co-sponsored by Harvard’s Office of Career Services and Office for the Arts. Harvardwood 101 brings a group of Harvard undergraduates to Los Angeles during the January term (or "J-term”) and provides various career-related activities in an attempt to demystify "the biz" and educate current students about opportunities in the arts/media/entertainment industries. There are two segments of the Harvardwood 101 program:

1) The Harvardwood 101 "Boot Camp" program takes place during the first week of J-term, JAN. 2 - 8, 2012. The entire group of about two dozen students participates in office visits, panels, tours, and other activities sponsored by alums and friends working in the arts/media/entertainment industries.

2) The Harvardwood 101 "J-Term-Ship" program provides opportunities for the duration of the J-term JAN. 9 - 22 (or a portion thereof) for individual students to further explore their area(s) of professional interest. J-term-ship opportunities might include such experiences as shadowing an alum, doing an intensive 2-week "internship” at one or more companies, observing on a film or TV set, assisting with project research, etc. PLEASE NOTE: "J-term-ship" opportunities do not have to be LA-based.

Please contact us at 101@harvardwood.org if you have questions or are interested in any/all of the following:

  • Hosting all of the students for an office/set visit and/or participating in a panel discussion
  • Providing a "J-term-ship” opportunity for an individual student (or students)

For more information on Harvardwood 101, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/?Harvardwood101

Thanks for your support!

Join the NYC Harvardwood Playwriting/Screenwriting Seminar - NY

The Harvardwood Playwriting/Screenwriting seminar will be led by Yannis Kyriazis and is designed as a support structure for dramatic writers. Our goal is to simulate the academic setting informally, and to create a core group of writers committed to providing one another with motivation and critical feedback. The seminar’s objective is to assist you in developing both a specific project and your overall craft as a writer. The group is open to dues-paying Harvardwood members (Full Members and Friends of Harvardwood) only. Admission to the group is by application, after a review of a writing sample. The cost is $79. For full information about the group and about the application process, e-mail nyc@harvardwood.org.

Earn a free month of Full Membership by shopping at Ralphs!

Support Harvardwood with the Ralphs Community Contribution Program! In order to keep Harvardwood dues low, each year our organization participates in the Ralphs grocery store Community Contribution program -- every time one of our members or affiliates shops at Ralphs, a small percentage of the total expenditure goes back to Harvardwood! As an added bonus, if you sign up for the Community Contribution program before Oct. 15th, we'll add ONE FREE MONTH of Full Membership to your account! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/71956/Earn-a-free-month-of-Full-Membership-by-shopping-at-Ralphs.htm

Safelist us!

Make sure you're up-to-date on all Harvardwood news! Be sure to safelist any emails from an "@harvardwood.org" domain to ensure receipt of all Harvardwood information. You can safelist us by adding "@harvardwood.org" emails to your email address book. If you are a Harvardwood member you should receive our Weekly newsletter every Monday afternoon/evening (plain text) and the Harvardwood Highlights on the 1st or 2nd of each month (html). If you are not receiving the Harvardwood Weekly, please check your spam folder for Harvardwood messages. You can review past issues of the Harvardwood Highlights, here: http://www.harvardwood.org/?HHArchives

Harvardwood seeks contacts to relevant sponsor agencies

Harvardwood is currently seeking connections to agencies that help match organizations with relevant sponsors. If you have any leads or contacts to folks at companies like this, please email director@harvardwood.org.

Are you going to the Toronto International Film Festival?

We are looking for Harvardwood members coming to the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. The Toronto chapter of Harvardwood is planning to do an event that centers around the showing of a film at the TIFF. Earlier this year the group did this for Hot Docs and it was a wonderful success. We met beforehand for dinner, attended the screening, then had drinks with the director, Harvard alum Dan Sturman. So filmmakers, or anyone involved in a film being shown, get in touch, and we can be creative with our ideas and organize a great evening and event/ workshop/ or informal session. If you are coming to Toronto with a film this year and would like to be involved, please contact Dr. Shobhit Maruti at toronto@harvardwood.org.

Donate to the A.R.T./Harvardwood Alumni Lab Grants Fund

The American Repertory Theatre/Harvardwood Alumni Lab Grants provide financial support to Harvard College and A.R.T. Institute graduates to help foster their artistic talents as actors, directors, dramaturgs, and writers. Over the past two years, A.R.T. Alumni Lab grants—totaling $12,000--have helped support three full theatrical productions, four theatrical workshops, two readings, and one film project. The Lab’s Artists Grants initiative is a unique opportunity for our alumni—to our knowledge, no other Alumni Association offers a similar program. With your help, the A.R.T. Alumni Lab can continue to inspire A.R.T and Harvard College graduates to take charge of their artistic lives. To learn more about how to donate to this dynamic program, please visit:
http://www.harvardwood.org/?page=artlabgrant

Become a Spark Mentor this Fall! (LA, SF, Chicago)

Are you a film director or television writer? Do you know someone who works in entertainment marketing or production? Or maybe even a music producer, DJ or acting agent? Spark is seeking mentors in dozens of careers and would like to pair Harvardwood members with Spark students that have a passion for the entertainment business! The Spark Program is the only youth empowerment program in the country that addresses the dropout crisis by re-engaging at-risk students through hands-on, individualized apprenticeships. These workplace-based apprenticeships—in professions each student has identified as a "dream job”—are complemented by a leadership curriculum, integrated in the classroom as an elective. Harvardwood is pleased to continue our partnership with The Spark Program through our Harvardwood Helps community service initiative…To find out more about how to become a mentor this fall, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/69272/Become-a-Spark-Mentor-this-Fall.htm

Industry Successes...

Adam R. Perlman wrote episode 311 of the television series DROP DEAD DIVA, airing Sunday, September 4 at 9 pm on Lifetime. Guest stars include Brandy (Moesha), Gil McKinney (FNL), and Ed Herrmann (Gilmore Girls). This is Adam's first produced script.

Mandel Ilagan '99 has three game shows premiering this September on the Hub, the new kids' network from Hasbro and Discovery. FAMILY GAME NIGHT has its season premiere on Friday, September 2 with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 7 PM (ET) / 4 PM (PT). Two brand new shows have sneak peeks on Saturday, September 3: THE GAME OF LIFE at 4 PM (ET) / 1 PM (PT) and SCRABBLE SHOWDOWN at 4:30 PM (ET) / 1:30 PM (PT). Both shows are based on the popular board games and will have their official premieres later this month. In his role as an executive at Hasbro Studios, Mandel serves as a supervising producer for all three shows. For more information about the shows visit: http://hubworld.com.

Kurt Bodden premieres his new solo show, "Steve Seabrook: Better Than You," at the San Francisco Fringe Festival next week. He plays a motivational speaker / self-help guru; audience members at workshop performances have called it "hilarious” and "just a little creepy." Performances on September 9, 12, 14, and 17. Details at KurtBodden.com, and this short video explains the title and demonstrates the tone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD-S9kse9p0

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

Each month the Highlights is proud to feature one or two artists from some of our various programs. Click each person's name to learn more about what they do.

holly_alderman_photo_72dpi.jpgArtist Holly Alderman produces custom art and decor for exhibition indoors and out from southern California to Maine to London -- in residences, offices, restaurants, parks and gardens. In September, Alderman Arts introduces abstract Land Art Flags with an installation of 7 black and sky blue flags 7 feet tall on 11 foot poles set across a field with a spectacular mountain vista. In this and other projects such as site-specific Garden Banners for Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, later seen at the Chelsea Flower Show, and her printed scenes at Charles Spada at Boston Design Center, as well as her woven Photoshop tapestry from Pure Country Weavers on art.com, Alderman explores Classical themes through advanced technology for the potential to inspire and transform contemporary imagery. But even high-tech innovations may need the artist's final touch: she adds expressive gold and metallic freehand painting over Hermes at the Hollyhocks, her garden banner of transparent, luminous Photoshop layers of gardens and sculpture on satin. On September 10, she shows gold paintings and garden banners at Art in the Park in Charlestown, MA. In November, she moderates a workshop at the Boston Society of Architects' BuildBoston conference, "Digital Innovations in Art, Architecture and Industrial Design" with 3 speakers from the innovation district in Boston.

hollyaldermans_work.jpgHolly's art and décor appeared on This Old House, Dream House and Today, at the White House, Chelsea Flower Show, Architectural Digest Show, National Academy Mural Fellowship, Harvard Club of New York, Boston Public Library, Hungarian National Gallery, RISD Nature Collection, Mall at Chestnut Hill, on covers of Publishers Weekly, Harvard Magazine, Monadnock Magazine, and in Digital Graphics Magazine among others. She was a TA in Design Science in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and served on the Harvard Advisory Committee on the Arts of the Office for the Arts for over 2 decades. She appeared in LOVE LETTERS in Dublin, NH with Roderick Spencer, directed by Alfre Woodard.

Featured Member Posting: Development/Research Paid Internship - LA

Seeking a responsible candidate for 3-month internship with strong writing skills. Company projects include one-hour drama pilots, two feature film scripts. Internship duties include script / story research, script screening & coverage writing, good office and communication skills, occasional work-related pick up / drop off (own transportation mandatory), 20 hours per week preferred…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/networking/opening.asp?id=105856

Member Profile: Derrick Ashong '97

by Mark Saltveit '83

Ashong.jpgMany Harvard grads have gained fame, but very few have gone viral on the Internet, that most distinctive and mysterious achievement of this new century. Derrick Ashong has, and he offers a lesson in how to harness this "lightning in a bottle" to build a serious media career.

In 2008, while attending a McCain-Obama debate, he was approached by a conservative videographer who pressed him aggressively on why he supported Obama. Ashong was casually dressed, wearing his trademark cowrie shell necklace, and the interviewer seemed to expect a slack or ignorant response, not Ashong's spontaneously eloquent and authoritative explanation of health care policy.

The clip garnered more than a million and a half hits before the videographer took it off YouTube, and Derrick's "Emotional Response" (explaining directly why he supports Obama ) has garnered another 450,000 views. This naturally drew other responses, from laudatory articles in the New York Times and the Economist, to blogged suspicions that it was a set-up, and a YouTube song (apparently by a BU undergrad) that offers some "mad negative feedback" on Ashong.

More importantly, Ashong used the recognition to open a second front in his media career as a public speaker, host of a political radio show on Oprah Winfrey's satellite radio network, and now as moderator of THE STREAM, a new, ground-breaking television (and Internet) program on Al Jazeera English.

The first front was musical – he leads the positive world beat/hip-hop group Soulfège, which has been on tour all summer long in support of its new album AFROPOLITAN, and has been active since his undergraduate years, when he formed the band "Black Rose" and wrote and produced a musical called "Songs we Can't Sing."

Ashong's signature look includes a shaved head and a necklace of cowrie shells, simple, natural and elegant. "Hip-hop artists wear all this bling, gold and diamonds, but people were hurt getting all of that," he notes. Cowrie shell necklaces were used as currency in Ghana, back in the day. They're handmade, and you couldn't even buy one today. To Ashong, it illustrates beauty, power and wealth that no one suffered to provide.

Though he shies away from the label "WorldBeat," it's unavoidable for someone who was born in Ghana, lived for years in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and New York, and travels the world lecturing and playing with his band. His eclectic background proved perfect for his latest project, as Al Jazeera is based in Qatar.

THE STREAM is a remarkable innovation, a political program fully immersed in social media and the online world. The show's twitter feed, fueled by viewers, scrolls up one wall of the slick Washington DC studio, and stories focus on political issues mediated through online activism around the world. There is no (Charlie) #sheenteam silliness here; the show has been perfectly placed and timed to chronicle the Arab Spring and similar, less publicized revolts in places such as Equatorial Guinea, Dakar and Belarus, all fed by young, Internet-savvy activists.

"THE STREAM was not developed in response to the 'Arab Spring,'" Ashong notes. "It has been in development since last fall, but these events are certainly reinforcing that we're on the right path." Given Al Jazeera's limited availability and the show's focus on Mediterranean and Third World countries, it remains to be seen how popular the show will become in the United States. But anyone who wants to see what direction television will take in the online century is well advised to check it out. Naturally, it is available streaming online (with extra content before and after each episode) as well as on Al Jazeera English, at 04:30 and 08:30 GMT.

In the long run, Ashong would love to make a difference in Ghana, his native land, which is progressing rapidly. The changes there are not as camera-ready as the Arab Spring, he concedes, but Ghana has had democracy for a decade now, and financial services and I.T. are the fastest rising sectors. He'd like to make a difference in the entrepreneurial/tech arena, but you need a certain amount of political clout to do so today, and he is waiting to build that up.

It's an ambitious and complicated goal, but don't count him out. Derrick has proved a master of adapting to rapidly changing situations, and learning how to master them. Internet popularity is not something that can be created, or controlled, but it can be managed. That YouTube video critical of him has a total of 196 views as I write this; Derrick's clips have millions, and rising.

Check out tunes from Soulfège's latest work, AFROPOLITAN here: http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_9161226

marksaltveit.jpgMark Saltveit '83 is a writer, speaker, palindromist and stand-up comedian based in Portland, Oregon.

 


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