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.
Manu Samriti Chander is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University. He is the author of Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century and co-editor of the Oxford University Press book series “Race in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture.” His research has been supported by the Fulbright Program and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
Casey Rae is an author, professor, musician, and music business professional based in Vancouver, Washington. As former Director of Music Licensing for SiriusXM, he oversaw the licensing of audio for transmission across the company's services. Previously, Rae served as the CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers. He has authored and teaches courses at Georgetown University and Berklee College of Music on copyright, digital disruption, and media policy.
Rae regularly speaks at worldwide conferences, universities, and in the media on issues such as emerging business models, creators' rights, technology policy, and intellectual property. He has testified before the United States Congress on copyright matters and has written hundreds of articles on the impact of technology on the music community in scholarly journals and other publications. His book William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock 'n' Roll, an exploration of the Beat writer's impact on music culture, has been translated into seven languages across eight editions. Rae has also authored a book on music copyright and is currently finishing a book for Oxford University Press. Most importantly, he is the proud dad of two talented daughters.
Dan Stackhouse has dedicated his professional life to elevating not-for-profits in the Richmond, Virginia region through effective and sustainable fundraising. He has served in development roles at the Community Idea Stations (now Virginia Public Media), the Library of Virginia Foundation, and the New Community School. Today he serves as Vice President of Resource Development for the Westminster Canterbury Foundation. A graduate of the University of Richmond, Dan is a past president of the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives and, in addition to the MHz Foundation, serves on the board of Richmond Triangle Players. Dan and his husband Jim are longtime residents of Richmond.
Robin Garcia is a Chicana hailing from a working-class family in Los Angeles, with a strong background in cultural studies. She holds a doctorate from Claremont Graduate University, specializing in Africana Studies, Media Studies, Latin American Studies, and Globalization and Culture. Noteworthy publications include the essays "Decolonial History by/for Afro and Indigenous Venezuelans" and "Who Owns the Archive? Community Media in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez." Garcia’s teaching experience spans various Cal State campuses, Antioch University, Pitzer College, Pace University, and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. She has contributed significantly to cultural initiatives, notably with the L.A. County Department of Arts and Culture, focusing on cultural equity and inclusion.
From 2020 to 2022, she served as the Community Arts and Culture Programs Co-Director for WE RISE, an L.A. County Department of Mental Health initiative supporting the arts, healing, and racial and social justice. Robin's artistic endeavors include the creation of Voices in the Water, a sound installation reflecting on diasporic water stories in MacArthur Park, and co-curating "Of Soil Seeds and Stars," an exploration of ancestral memory, land, and bodies. She has extensive experience as a consultant for municipal agencies and community organizations on issues related to arts, equity, cultural production, and public history, particularly in collaboration with first people communities on matters of public art and land access. Currently, she holds the position of ACLS Emerging Voices Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia, where she teaches "1492 and Beyond" in the Global Studies program.
Kelly Doyle Kim is an advocate for closing the gender and representation gaps on open sites like Wikipedia and for adoption of open access policies within GLAMs. She is the Open Knowledge Coordinator for the newly established Smithsonian American Women's History Museum. Previously, she was the Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity at West Virginia University Libraries, the first role focusing exclusively on the gender based gaps on Wikipedia at an academic library in the United States. She has given talks about her work at SXSW, Wikimania, MuseWeb, and others. She is based in Charleston, South Carolina. She recently recorded an episode for the Smithsonian’s podcast, Sidedoor.
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 is the Platform Director at Curationist, where she brings 12 years of experience in arts and culture, community engagement, and ethically sustainable strategy to the field of open access. She was raised at the U.S.-Mexico border and, after doctoral study at Harvard University, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Nicole Malli serves as the Community Director at Curationist, leveraging her extensive expertise as a strategist and storyteller to enrich and expand our comprehension of restorative histories. Her focus centers on cultivating community involvement within expansive partnerships and programs. With a background in cultural anthropology and prior contributions to high profile projects like the Slave Wrecks Project and America250, Nicole brings a nuanced approach to external relations, cultivating meaningful connections and spearheading ventures that honor diverse perspectives while championing inclusive practices across multicultural and nonpartisan collaborations. Based in Washington, D.C., she holds degrees from Ripon College (BA) and George Washington University (MA).
As the Content Director for Curationist, Betsy Lin Seder oversees the user experience, design, and content of the site. She has worked as a user experience designer and strategist on media and retail sites. Her past clients include Estee Lauder, Vogue, and Viacom, where she helped develop MTV’s first foray into social media in 2007: “MTV Think,” a tool for engaging and organizing young activists. She is a visual artist and educator who teaches photography, video, and media at universities. Her artwork with video and photography, which centers on spaces, memory, and language and their relationships with images, has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. She is based in Los Angeles and sometimes New York City.
Sharon Mizota is an inclusive metadata consultant who helps archives, museums, libraries, and media organizations transform and share their metadata to improve accuracy and inclusion in the historical record. She has over 12 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.
hana Lutker is based in Los Angeles. As Managing Editor, she oversees the Editorial Content Team and works collaboratively to cultivate our editorial framework and voice. Shana is a visual artist with an interdisciplinary practice whose work has been exhibited and written about widely in the U.S. and abroad. She previously served as Executive Director of the nonprofit Project X Foundation for Art & Criticism, publisher of the contemporary art journal and website X-TRA.
Sangita Pawar is a Philadelphia-based dancer, choreographer, performance artist, and multimedia artist. They have a background in digital media and cultural studies, having received their BA from Fordham University in 2020. They have since worked extensively in the music industry as a digital marketer, creative project manager, and social media specialist. In 2022, they earned their MA in Performance Studies from New York University. They are currently a Dance PhD candidate at Temple University, where they will expand on this research through the lens of both American and Indian social, classical, folk, and contemporary dance practices. They seek to combine their extensive artistic background and research surrounding performance theory with their background in media studies to help diversify the works of art and perspectives represented in modern artistic spaces.
Sadik Shahadu 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, he works with several open leaders and OER experts on the UNESCO “Open Education for a Better World” program as an advisory board member.
As the Chief of Staff, Amy Sawyer brings over 15 years of client service experience on small to large scale teams. She ensures on-budget and goal-aligned operations across 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, Sawyer 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 science and academic building in Southern Alberta, Canada, and being the controller of a $30 million credit union in Winnipeg, Canada. As the controller for the MHz Foundation, Craig is responsible for maintaining an accurate set of financials, the basis on 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:
2920 W Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23230
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.