June 5, 2020: MHz Foundation Statement of Solidarity
Executive Director, MHz Foundation
Since its inception, MHz Foundation’s mission has been to bring global culture and perspective to the world via digital programming with Curationist.org.
Founded as MHz Networks in 2001, it originated as an American broadcaster and project of the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC), servicing the Washington, D.C. marketplace, with international television programming, namely: Chinese, Russian, French, South African and Turkish programs.
After twelve years of operation, CPBC formed MHz Networks in 2013 as a non-profit entity. MHz Networks existed to carry forward the broadcast operations to service their local American market, with rich cultural content from around the world. Within the exit agreement, MHz Networks would continue to broadcast on CPBC’s spectrum, with a stipulation that if ever CPBC were to sell off their spectrum rights, MHz Networks would receive a portion of the proceeds.
In 2015, MHz Networks changed its name to MHz Foundation. At the same time, a new independent for-profit entity was created under the name MHz Networks, LLC., which operates MHz Choice, a subscription-based streaming service that continued to offer access to international content. Divesting for-profit activities allowed MHz Foundation to focus on its non-profit mission to enrich and champion global content curation.
Also in 2015, CPBC began the process of auctioning off under-utilized spectrum licenses under an incentive option of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who sought to reclaim traditional spectrum of under-utilized wavelengths, in order to foster innovation within the space. Under the agreement with CPBC, MHz Foundation shared a portion of their auction proceeds. This served as the seed revenue for MHz Foundation’s public interest activities moving forward.
Today, the MHz Foundation expands its reach beyond the Metro DC area to the world through MHz Curationist. Launched in 2019 as the main project of the MHz Foundation, Curationist strives to make global arts, culture, and heritage available to all through a free knowledge platform and website. A planned re-launch of the Curationist website in 2022 will have extended reach and capabilities.
The MHz Foundation is a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) corporation.
Benjamin Rees has seventeen years of experience in partnerships and business development in professional services and VOD industries. Benjamin is a global citizen, born in Australia, obtained United States citizenship, and has traveled to over a dozen countries in Asia, Americas, and Europe, making his worldview wide and inclusive. Benjamin brings that open worldview to MHz Curationist.org and the MHz Foundation. He is currently employed at a public company accounting firm, and his experience includes account strategy, revenue planning, and business development. From 2005-2008, Benjamin was Director of Partnerships and Business Development at IMAKE Software and Services, which specialized in open-source, highly scalable, content management, and entitlement software. He was responsible for managing partnerships with OEMs and system integrators, and provided financial analysis and due diligence resources.
Kevin Karjala is an experienced senior program delivery consultant with a focus on wireless technologies and expertise in leading business and technology impacting initiatives. He has worked with clients in multiple industries including cable, wireless, and media. Kevin excels in areas of large cross functional program delivery, software development, application, and device testing, requirements gathering, and process design and execution.
Casey is the Director of Music Licensing at SiriusXM satellite radio, where he is responsible for licensing sound recordings for transmission to 35 million U.S. subscribers. Casey was previously CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, DC-based education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers. He is also a musician, author, and music/media professor at Georgetown University and Berklee College of Music, where he has authored Berklee's first comprehensive course on music policy for its graduate degree program. Casey regularly speaks on issues such as emerging business models, creators' rights, technology policy, and intellectual property at worldwide conferences, universities, and in the media. He has testified before Congress on copyright and has written hundreds of articles on the impact of technology on the creative community in scholarly journals and other publications. Casey is an in-demand commentator in media outlets such as NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Billboard, L.A. Times, CNBC and more. Casey also serves on board of the Alliance for Media Arts and Culture—an organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for media makers in all 50 states and around the world. His book William S. Burroughs & the Cult of Rock 'n' Roll was published by University of Texas Press in 2019, followed by Music Copyright in Practice: an Authoritative Guide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Casey also runs the DC-based label Lux Eterna Records and is the proud dad to two highly musical daughters.
Ben Hall is a composer and artist in Detroit, Michigan. He is the founder of the African-American gospel music website http://Bap-tizum.com. He was profiled in Fred Moten’s 2017 book, Black and Blur and frequently works as a critic with a research focus on the visionary American composers Milford Graves and Bill Dixon. He currently serves as a research fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College.
Dr. Chalas has over a decade of experience working in the arts and culture sector both in Canada and the United States where she was responsible for educational and public program development and delivery, exhibition curation, as well as conducting and using research and evaluation information to improve teaching and learning. She currently teaches at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Chander is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Brown University. His first monograph, Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century, examined the appropriation of British Romantic tropes by colonial poets throughout the nineteenth century. He has also edited a collection of short fiction by the nineteenth century Guyanese author, Egbert Martin, and co-edited, with Tricia A. Matthew, a special issue of European Romantic Review on generic experimentation in Romantic abolitionist literature. Professor Chander is currently working on The Collected Works of Egbert Martin, with the support of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant, and developing a second monograph, Browntology, which considers the philosophical groundings of brownness in Enlightenment European thought in order to show how the figure of the model minority haunts foundational efforts to define the human.
Christian Dawson is Executive Director of MHz Foundation, where he works to use the Internet as a tool to bring us closer together as a global society. Dawson is also co-founder of Open Eye, as well as the Internet Infrastructure Coalition. Before that, Dawson spent nearly two decades leading web hosting provider ServInt. He is a staunch advocate for Internet freedom as a tool for social and economic growth.
Amanda Figueroa has been working in contemporary art for ten years. She was raised at the US-MX border, and currently resides in Boston as she finishes her PhD in American Studies from Harvard University. She is also the co-founder of Brown Art Ink, an incubator to support women of color artists and culture workers, and has previously worked in content management, web design, and public programs.
Alison Guzmán is the Director of Development at the MHz Foundation leading fundraising initiatives for Curationist.org. Originally from Austin, TX of Tejana/Paraguayan descent, she grew up in Latin America and southern Africa, returning to Washington D.C. to complete her undergraduate and graduate studies at American University. Linked to global communities and cultures, she began her career in international organizations involved in community development and access to finance initiatives. She has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit management, grant-writing, and development while generating local team capacity for fundraising. In 2013, she moved to southern Chile as the country program co-director of MAPLE Microdevelopment Chile, where her main focus is to document and co-design indigenous-led economic tools. Also a member of the Community Economies Institute, she is actively engaged in applied decolonizing methodologies, where traditional knowledge and local wisdom-based practices enhance integral community heritage and the role of online cultural spaces as part of translocal place-based solutions. She completed her museum studies certificate at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is a fellow with The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Indigenous Arts, and completed her Creative Commons Certificate for GLAM in 2021. She also speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Guarani- her mother´s language from Paraguay, and is learning Mapudungun, the native tongue of the Mapuche Peoples.
Ravon Ruffin is a strategist, educator, and community designer who focuses on public engagements with art, archives, and the internet to build sustainable ecosystems. She has worked in the arts and culture sector for 10+ years, and broadly considers how our geographies map onto the internet as a place. She is the CEO and co-founder of the creative studio and arts incubator Brown Art Ink. Ravon currently oversees educational programs at Curationist, an online platform for collecting and sharing cultural materials from the Creative Commons and public domain. She supports community-critical projects for the purposes of making cultural heritage, art, design, and the web open, accessible, and just.
A cultural geographer, Garrett Graddy-Lovelace is an Associate Professor at American University School of International Service in Washington DC, where she researches and teaches agricultural and environmental policy and agrarian politics. Her forthcoming book The Power of Seeds & Agricultural Biodiversity Policy (MIT Press), explores (agri)cultural memory, intellectual property, colonial origins of conservation, and the agrarian artistry of seedkeeping. As open education advisor for Curationist, she applies and expands these lines of inquiry in the digital cultural curation realm, with a focus on Indigenous data sovereignty, OpenGLAM, and metadata layering. With others at Curationist, she is launching the Medium publication 'Metadata Learning & Unlearning: Fostering dialogue around cultural memory, data equity, and open education.'
Sadik is a researcher and the Social Media Manager for Curationist. He is an open advocate and a digital strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the internet industry. He is a Co-Founder and Executive Director for the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group.
Sadik currently serves as the West African Indigenous Language Coordinator at Art+Feminism, a Community Facilitator at Wiki In Africa, and a steering committee member of the Wikimedia Language Diversity Hub. Outside Wikimedia, he is a Mozilla Open Leader X fellow, MozFest wrangler, and ambassador for the Mozilla festival 2022.
In addition to that, he works with several open leaders and OER experts on the UNESCO 'Open Education for a Better World' program as an advisory board member.
Sharon Mizota is a DEI metadata consultant who helps archives, museums, libraries, and media organizations transform and share their metadata to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the historical record. She has over ten years of experience managing and creating metadata for arts and culture organizations. She is also an art critic, a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers’ Grant, and a coauthor of the award-winning book, Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes: Conversations on Asian American Art.
As the Chief of Staff, Amy brings over 15 years of client service experience on small to large scale teams. She ensures on-budget and goal-aligned operations across the departments. Her focus is to maintain year-over-year growth by advancing strategic initiatives. As well as to manage and align the organization’s goals to projects from concept to implementation to measurement. Day-to-day, Amy provides holistic organizational clarity, leadership and support to all departments, contractors, vendors and employees of MHz Foundation.
Craig has gained more than 20 years of accounting experience in various industries from sports retail, commercial banking, public practice, higher education, and government (municipal and provincial). His expertise lies in budgeting, accounting, and reporting for large scale capital projects. Craig’s career has included working as the accountant of record for the construction of a $300 million dollar science and academic building in Southern Alberta, Canada, and being the controller of a $30 million dollar Credit Union in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As the controller for the MHz Foundation, Craig is responsible for maintaining an accurate set of financials, the basis for which the Foundation can make sound financial decisions, and to act as a financial resource, and trusted advisor to the MHz team.
By Postal Mail:
303 W Broad St #206
Richmond, VA 23220
One thing that unites us all is our passion for MHz Foundation’s mission and the longterm sustainability of our platform, Curationist.org. If you’re motivated, passionate for arts and cultural content and open access, and thrive in an entrepreneurial environment, this is the place for you.
Curationist.org is an emergent free-knowledge ecosystem made for curating and sharing global art and cultural heritage. Our goal is to deepen cultural awareness by creating accessible and equitable content about art and cultural heritage.
Curationist is developing a free digital archive of art and cultural heritage images culled from leading institutions from around the world. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to producing educational content that responsibly and respectfully updates and challenges the historical record. All of the digital works on our site are open access, and in the public domain.
We aim to help people learn about cultural heritage in fun, engaging, and inclusive ways. We envision an open collaborative platform where people can situate themselves in an artistically and culturally diverse, dynamic, and expanding world.
Open Job Postings:
For further information on MHz Foundation careers, please contact: jobs(at)mhzfoundation.org.