Asheville and Buncombe seek to fund community-media project, possibly for public-access channel
Asheville and Buncombe County is seeking to fund a local project — possibly more than one — that will help the area grow in terms of its progressive vision, economic workforce, industrial development and training/education. Included in the list of examples of possible projects is one that manages the public-access channel. The city/county channel, URTV was recently closed after a funding dispute with the county.
The winning project(s), which will receive $120,000 over a three-year period, will likely involve some form or forms of media to achieve its goals, do so by partnering with other organizations, and be self-sustaining within three years. Proposals must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2011. The complete request for proposals is available as a PDF here: http://ow.ly/5vnuL
In a list of examples of possible projects — which includes the management of the public-access channel — the document lists projects that:
"seek to support innovation and growth in areas such as film, new media, simulation, telehealth, game technology, image processing, scientific visualization, national security applications, and new markets for content. Proposals may seek to build a new media network utilizing current and future tools that allows for residents, business, government and education to communicate, share information and media resources, and to interact on a level only now becoming possible because of the technology. Proposals may consider incorporating management of the public access channel but are not required to do so.
At its June 28 meeting, Asheville City Council passed a motion to partner with Buncombe County to issue a request for proposals to evaluate options for a new community media project to replace the defunct WNC Community Media Center. Council member Jan Davis voted against the measure, and Council Member Cecil Bothwell was not present at the meeting. Funding will be provided for a new community media project for three years, with the city and county splitting the cost. The request for proposal does not specify that a public-access television channel to replace the defunct URTV must be part of a funded project.
Council's vote follows the city’s refusal to renew the WNC Community Media Center's contract to operate URTV, following the non-profit’s collapse amid a funding dispute with the county.
Thanks to Josh O'Conner for the heads-up on the city/county request.
The text of the document is below:
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS for COMMUNITY MEDIA DEVELOPMENT INTIATIVES
Presented by Buncombe County & City of Asheville Invitation to Apply
Issued: July 1, 2011
Deadline to Apply: August 1, 2011
Submittal address: City of Asheville ATTN: Cheryl Heywood, City Hall 4th Floor PO Box 7148 Asheville, NC 28802
Inquiries: All inquires and questions about the request for proposal must be submitted in writing by email to Cheryl Heywood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County of Buncombe (“County”), together with the City of Asheville (“City”), welcomes proposals from all qualified organizations and individuals to provide community media development services, programs or projects. This Request for Proposals (“RFP”) is an opportunity to evaluate options for community media development, small business and job growth opportunities, and public education services related to media technology.
Globalization, technology and competition have changed the landscape of economic development, communications and job growth over the last decade. Buncombe County and Asheville partnered on a series of projects to harness the multi-dimensional creativity of our people to continue to develop a creative economy that fuses technology and the arts.
As a center for both technology and the arts, Buncombe County provides a dynamic environment for programs that stimulate economic development. The purpose of this Request for Proposals is to discover and support additional opportunities to cultivate these assets. The ideal proposals will utilize an interdisciplinary approach, contemplating innovative methods for further developing the intersection of technology and media arts as an industry and community asset. Proposals that seek to build on ties with industry, community involvement, and educational institutions will be highly evaluated, as will proposals that incorporate the vision and goals set forth in the County’s and City’s community master plans.
Proposals must improve the lives of County and City residents with an emphasis on:
• Community development: Creating a vision of a County and a City that is ahead of other communities in building a media network and resources that are innovative and green, and one that places the power of new media in the hands of local citizens;
• Economic and workforce development: Creating a strategy that connects government, education, community, and business in a proactive economic and workforce development movement;
• Industry development: Further developing the media arts industry in Asheville and Buncombe County such that it creates new jobs and opportunities for the community; and
• Training and education: Training for the 21st Century media world where a small investment can buy you a studio, post production resources and a door to a career.
For example, proposals may, but are not limited to, seek to support innovation and growth in areas such as film, new media, simulation, telehealth, game technology, image processing, scientific visualization, national security applications, and new markets for content. Proposals may seek to build a new media network utilizing current and future tools that allows for residents, business, government and education to communicate, share information and media resources, and to interact on a level only now becoming possible because of the technology. Proposals may consider incorporating management of the public access channel but are not required to do so.
While the specifications for proposals are intentionally broad to allow for creative applications to emerge, proposals must seek to enhance quality of life, increase creative activity, build on the County’s distinct identity and resources, build on our sense of place and public participation, and encourage a vibrant local economy. Funding will only be made available for the implementation of initiatives; funding is not available for planning, development or design proposals.
The structure of the funding provided under this agreement is intended to provide seed funding to enable a new community media development initiative to achieve financial independence and sustainability within three (3) years.
As such, proposals should include plans for maintaining the services, program or project once the funding period for implementation has ended. These documents must include an overall business plan and forecasting of future revenues and expenditures.
During the three year award period, funding will be provided according to the following schedule:
• Year 1 (Sept. 2011-Sept. 2012): $60,000
• Year 2 (Sept. 2012-Sept. 2013): $40,000
• Year 3 (Sept. 2013-Sept. 2014): $20,000
• After three years, funding would be discontinued.
Payments will be made in September contingent upon the Proposer’s compliance with all terms and performance requirements set forth in the Agreement.
The term of the County and City agreement will be three years and is scheduled to begin on September 1, 2011 and terminate on September 1, 2014.
Individuals, non-profit and for-profit organizations, educational institutions, and government entities are eligible to submit a proposal. Proposals incorporating partnerships involving two or more organizations are encouraged but not required. In cases of proposals that incorporate partnerships, one partner must serve as the lead Proposer and assume full responsibility for the Agreement and its requirements.
Proposals must be a maximum of four pages. Label the top of page one with your organization’s name, address, and the name, phone number, and e-mail of the contact person for the submission. Label the top of pages two, three and four with the name of your organization. Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Excess pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.
The document should begin with a one-page letter summarizing the proposal from the lead contact for the submission. Follow the cover letter with up to three pages detailing your project. Use the boldfaced language below as headings for each item and organize your response a), b), c), etc.
Proposals must include information on:
a. Budget. Provide a three year budget forecast for the project or initiative, and describe other sources of funding support for the project and your sustainability strategy.
b. Major project activities. Be as specific as possible about the activities that will take place during the project period. Discuss your action plan and the strategies that will be implemented, including the priorities of Community Development, Economic and Workforce Development, Industry Development and Training and Education. Include information on the location(s) of the proposed activity, if applicable, and any special resources that will be used.
c. Outcome(s) and Measurements. Discuss how your project directly addresses outcomes for job creation, workforce development and/or business incubation, including specific metrics. You may also address a secondary outcome and/or any additional outcomes of your own that you have established for the project. Detail the performance measurements that you will use to provide evidence that outcomes were achieved.
d. Schedule of key project dates by month or quarter.
e. Partners, key organizations, and individuals that will be involved in the project. List the partners for the project and note whether they are committed to or merely proposed for the project. Describe how partners will work together to provide leadership for the project. Describe the responsibilities of your other partners and the resources that all partners will provide.
f. The target community. Discuss the anticipated engagement with the target community. If actual figures or reasonable estimates can be secured, indicate the number of people the project will serve. Have you worked with this target community before? Has the target community been involved in the planning for and implementation of the project? Describe any underserved groups or areas that will benefit.
g. Communications. Plans for promoting, publicizing, and/or disseminating the proposed project, as appropriate.
h. Documentation. Plans for documenting, evaluating, and disseminating the project results, as appropriate.
PROPOSAL REVIEW & CRITERIA
Proposals will be reviewed and scored on the basis of merit. The following will be considered during the review of submissions:
The merit of the project, which includes the
• Potential of the project to achieve results consistent with goals outlined in this proposal, including (weighted 25% of evaluation):
o Community development: Creating a vision of a County and a City that is light years ahead of other communities in building a creative economy that is progressive, green, and places the power of new media in the hands of ordinary citizens;
o Economic and workforce development: Creating a strategy that connects government, education, community, and business in a proactive economic and workforce development movement;
o Industry development: Developing a new media industry that is based anywhere and inspires new visions, new jobs, and a new future;
o Training and education: Training for the 21st Century media world where a small investment can buy you a studio, post production resources and a door to the world.
• Appropriateness of the proposed performance measurements and their ability to provide evidence that the outcome was achieved (10%).
• Quality of the proposed partnership, if applicable (5%).
• Extent to which the project engages the public in participating in the project (25%).
• Appropriateness of the project to the organization's and/or individual’s mission (5%).
• As appropriate, plans for documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of the project results (5%).
• Ability to carry out the project based on such factors as (25%):
o Appropriateness of the budget and its funding support and sustainability strategy.
o Quality and clarity of the project goals and design.
o Resources involved.
o Qualifications of the project's personnel.
o Readiness to meet the County’s and City’s Agreement requirements.
o Likelihood that the project or initiative will be completed within the proposed period of support or able to sustain itself without future funding from the County and the City.
What Happens to Your Proposal
All submissions will be reviewed by a joint advisory panel comprised of County and City staff with expertise in community development, financial and grants management, cultural arts, and other applicable areas. Panel recommendations will be forwarded to the City Council Finance Committee, which will then make final recommendations to Buncombe County Commission and Asheville City Council. The County and the City also reserve the right to require presentations as part of the assessment process, if deemed necessary or appropriate.
Award of the Agreement must be made by the mutual agreement of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council conveyed via Resolution. Pending an award decision, it is anticipated that Proposers will be notified of award or rejection in September 2011.
Sealed proposals will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 1, 2011 at the address below. Proposals shall be delivered in a sealed envelope addressed to:
Postal Address: City of Asheville ATTN: Cheryl Heywood, 4th floor PO Box 7148 Asheville, NC 28802 Physical Address: City Hall, 4th floor 70 Court Plaza Asheville, NC 28801
Under no circumstances will any proposal be accepted or considered after the appointed hour. Proposals arriving after 5:00 pm are late proposals and will be returned unopened. The method of delivery is the responsibility of the Proposer.
This solicitation does not commit the County or the City to award an Agreement, to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a proposal, or to procure or contract for the articles of goods or services.
All submissions are subject to North Carolina Public Records law. Data that the Proposer does not wish disclosed to other than personnel involved in the evaluation or contract administration will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by NCAC T01:05B.1501 and G.S. 132-1.3 if identified as follows: Each page shall be identified in boldface at the top and bottom as “CONFIDENTIAL”. Any section of the proposal that is to remain confidential shall also be so marked in boldface on the title page of that section. Cost information may not be deemed confidential. In spite of what is labeled as confidential, the determination as to whether or not it is shall be determined by North Carolina law.