Mission, Vision, and History
The stories we see in mass media impact the beliefs, ideas, and values that shape the way our world operates. Our mission is to empower people to use media and communications to make better lives, use authentic voice, and build common understanding.
Too often, the dominant narrative is controlled by those with money and access because they have the tools and resources to disseminate a story. Since 1984 SPNN has created intentional media programming for the Twin Cities with a focus on BIPOC & LGBTQ+ communities. SPNN staff provide programs and classes to help youth and adults learn media-making and storytelling skills and our cable channels and social media are a platform to share those stories with local communities. SPNN’s cohort-based documentary programs provide access to industry standard tools and training for filmmakers and media artists with beginning through advanced skills. Our CTEP AmeriCorps program places up to 35 AmeriCorps members throughout the Twin Cities in nonprofits, libraries, and workforce centers to teach basic digital literacy and job search skills. We also partner with other organizations to create video content in the field and in our on-site television studio to ensure coverage of local events and provide valuable civic content.
With training, support, and mentorship, SPNN works with adults and youth to teach crucial tech skills and the craft of creating media so they can tell their own stories. We offer traditional classes, which include basic and advanced technical workshops; in-depth documentary training programs for both beginners and early career artists, and job skills programs for youth. We offer sliding-scale fees for accessibility and our program participants receive free one year memberships to SPNN. We support community-run shows like BiCities and Generations,- shows produced by and for their respective communities. To foster networking and relationship building, we bring in media makers with artist panels. We also partner with organizations to create unique workshops and classes for youth and adult.
Our production team works with community partners to create programming to benefit the Saint Paul and wider Twin Cities community. We have partnered with the League of Women Voters to create election related forums, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, La Clinica, and CLUES on the Hope Against Opioids Conference, and Minnesota Elder Nonviolence Coalition. SPNN also hosts studio productions like the SPNN Forum, and Candy Fresh.
The Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the "digital divide" for new immigrants and low-income communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. CTEP AmeriCorps members serve at sites across the Twin Cities metro to help youth and adults use technology to better access social, civic, educational, and economic opportunities. Member teach technology literacy at non profits, community centers, workforce centers, adult basic education sites, and libraries.