The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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    FilmGate Interactive monthly festival encourages Miami filmmakers to stay local

    July 7, 2015, 3:52 p.m., Posted by Alec Schwartzman

    Photo by Alec Schwartzman on

    More than a hundred people packed O Cinema Wynwood last week for an “Indie-Pendence” Day celebration.

     The event was the latest installment of “I’m Not Gonna Move to L.A. (NOLA),” a monthly short film festival from Knight Arts Challenge winner FilmGate Interactive that champions local filmmakers, helping them display their work and connect with the broader community.

    “NOLA is the longest-running local short film series in Miami,” said Tina Francisco, the filmmaker coordinator. “Since we started [in February 2012,] we’ve shown over 250 films. It’s a great platform for local filmmakers”

    On the first Wednesday of every month, FilmGate Interactive invites the community to take part in the experience, which includes a “percolator” to pitch ideas to the audience, networking opportunities, vintage movie trivia, live local musicians, and, of course, the screening of shorts produced by local filmmakers. At the end of the screenings, every audience member gets a fuzzy ball to throw at the director of their favorite film. The director with the most fuzzy balls wins the audience award, a free year’s membership in FilmGate Interactive. The membership benefits include discounted production insurance and rentals, and production support. Guest judges choose a winner as well.

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    Engaged Communities

    Building solutions for the high cost of housing in San Jose

    July 7, 2015, 9 a.m., Posted by Wayne Chen

    Wayne Chen is acting division manager for the San José Department of Housing. Photo by Sergio Ruiz for SPUR San Jose on Flickr.

    Everyone talks about the high cost of Silicon Valley housing, as if it were the next hot IPO.

    But how “high” is it?

    This spring, the median cost of a single-family home in San Jose was $851,000 and the median household income here was $81,800, for a cost-to-income ratio of over 10:1. The average monthly rent of a new, one-bedroom apartment in San Jose is approaching $3,000, which would require an annual income of about $120,000. Yikes!

    Even though these prices make you swoon, costs in other Silicon Valley communities are even crazier. In Palo Alto, just up the road from San Jose, the median single-family home sales price in May was $2.75 million and the median household income was $121,000, for a ratio of over 22:1!  

    It wasn’t this bad 40 years ago, the last time the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship. Back in the mid-1970’s, the median cost of a house was about three times the median household income – which was in line with the national standard.

    Not anymore. Our ratio is now off the charts, in the range of ultra-expensive cities such as London and Tokyo, whereas the current national ratio has remained steady.

    These high costs do signify one positive thing: the innovation economy of Silicon Valley has created unprecedented wealth and amazing technologies that have changed the world and fueled a local employment boom.

    The serious downside is that growing income inequality and the mismatch between the growth of jobs and the dearth of affordable housing in our region threaten our long-term economic and social resilience, harm the environment by increasing commute distances, degrade the quality of life and civic engagement and erode the diversity and inclusiveness of our cities.

    So what can we do to close the gap of housing affordability?

    With generous support from Knight Foundation, the “Housing 2.0: Reimagining the Housing System”  symposium will bring together doers, thinkers, funders and builders to envision a housing delivery system for a more balanced, sustainable and equitable Silicon Valley that will be good for everyone.

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    Engaged Communities

    Join us for these upcoming July Miami events

    July 6, 2015, 4:20 p.m., Posted by Matt Haggman

    We have a terrific lineup of events set for this month in Miami that are supported by Knight Foundation. They include:

    • July 6, 13, 20, 27: Code for MIA hosts its weekly Civic Hack Night.

    • July 6, 13, 20, 27: Hacks/Hackers hosts OpenHack Miami at The LAB Miami.

    • July 8: Digital Grass presents an interactive conversation, The Big Business of Civic Innovation with special guests: Carla Mays, Dr. Pandwe Gibson, Armando Ibarra and me at The Lab Miami.

    • July 8, 15, 22, 29: Live Ninja holds #WaffleWednesday, its weekly tech and creatives morning meetup in Wynwood.

    • July 9: Join The Idea Center at Miami Dade College for student-led venture presentations at the CREATE Accelerator Showcase.

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