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Coming to Revolutsia: a collaborative project that’s just a little hard to explain

Thursday, September 19 2019 5:08 AM

The latest Revolutsia lease is a little difficult to explain, but Courtney Bengtson says things should be a little more clear by move-in early next year.

Bengtson is director of strategic initiatives for the Wichita Community Foundation.

The Foundation is partnering with the Knight Foundation on a project that they hope will enhance local news.

“We’re creating a physical gathering space for the local media to collaborate on potential projects,” Bengtson says.

“We’re interested in strengthening our local news ecosystem.”

The space will be where mamafilm currently is. The pop-up microcinema is moving to new space, which creator Lela Meadow-Conner will share news about next month.

Bengtson says the idea behind the news space is to create collaborative projects around certain topics that journalists and the community will help select.

“It’s really important for this work to be at a neutral site.”

She says Revolutsia is in a “neighborhood where a lot of things are happening,” particularly related to potential topics that journalists can explore.

Bengtson says she’s viewing the gathering spot as a lab of sorts. She says she doesn’t yet know if the space will be for journalists only or if the community can participate there as well. She says there will be a design workshop to help create the space.

“Really, we’re going to be designing the space with the newsrooms.”

The Community Foundation is already taking research from community surveys and other areas that indicate what people can and should care about and comparing that to what media outlets are covering.

“We need to make sure that the community feels informed and engaged in these topics.”

Bengtson says this isn’t about creating a new news outlet.

“We are literally bringing together a group of like-minded people with the ultimate goal of informing Wichitans of things that they care about.”

She says the Community Foundation will provide resources such as technology and training and “whatever else the group decides is necessary to make this successful.”

“It’s going to be really cool to have a space that everybody can use together.”

Bengtson says that “there are a lot of collaborative projects happening around the country,” particularly in communities where the Knight Foundation is involved.

If it still sounds a little confusing, she says that’s because “it’s in such the early stages.”

Look for more information late this year.



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