Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Reclaiming Lands - SNAG Magazine

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One-line solution summary:

We will produce and publish our 10th issue of SNAG Magazine, a full color printed forum for Native Youth voices from throughout the country.

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Pitch your solution.

Seventh Native American Generation (SNAG)  Seventh Native American Generation is an Indigenous-led, non-profit arts organization that has been presenting the arts since 2002 in San Francisco, the North Bay and throughout California in rural reservation communities. Our annual publication, SNAG Magazine, has featured over 450 artists, photographers, musicians and writers. We have hosted more than 70 events with visual art presentations, traditional and contemporary dance and music, and have offered an outlet for Youth to showcase their stories

Through our annual publication SNAG Magazine, we have published 10 full color magazines and 300 page anthology. Our 10th edition, Reclaiming Land, includes a gallery and historical timeline of reclaimed lands, and features renowned visual artists, and 15 song CD featuring aspiring young Native Musicians.

We will produce, publish and print our 10th full color 64-page issue of SNAG Magazine, and re-develop our website for online publishing to increase our readership.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Sharing stories artwork and traditional arts has been the essence of what makes up our Indigenous cultures since we emerged from our origin places. Since colonization began Native peoples experienced, the loss of lands and stories, and the impacts of settler occupation has severed ties to the land, our languages, traditional foods, and our cultural arts.  

Native peoples today have limited access to Indigenous led sources of journalism and access to publish new work. With most major networks or publications controlling the narrative, Native people are left out of the decision making process, from the board room to editing room.

In print media, Native people's have been limited to Indian Country Today, which is no longer Native owned, and the various Native magazines, that have limited viewership, and most do not publish regularly, and the content is rarely available online. With the advent of social media and citizen journalism online, there are very few sources that are Indigenous led who consistently publish, leading to wide-spread mis-information, and Native peoples again not controlling our own narrative.

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What is your solution?

SNAG works to provide a vital media outlet to highlight Indigenous Youth voices. Through our publication we showcase over 50 artists annually, and through our workshops with Native Youth throughout CA we provide media training throughout the year. We will publish our 10th printed edition of SNAG Magazine, a 64-page full color magazine and music CD, highlighting the ways tribal people are "Reclaiming Land" from throughout the country. We will re-develop our website so we can publish weekly content year-round on our site and our Medium.com page, and host a virtual Indigenous Marketplace this fall to support Native artists. Next year will host 4 one-day NDGNS Hackathon events to create new innovative Indigenous led solutions in a series of one-day hacks. To date, we have published 9 printed editions of SNAG Magazine, and published over 450 Native artists and contributors, and 300 page anthology of past issues entitled "SNAG A Decade of Indigenous Media."

Our process is meeting weekly to discuss our issue, and gathering content through our network of artists and content creators and regular contributors. Once our content is gathered we use photoshop and indesign to design and layout each issue.


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Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit?

Our population includes the diverse tribes of the Bay Area, our local community in Sonoma County and the tribes in our region, including our local tribes Makamo Mahilicana (Dry Creek Pomo), Ha Bida (Point Arena Manchester Pomo), and Kashaya (Stewarts Point Pomo). Our magazine reaches a wider audience of Native Youth and the general public throughout the US and Canada. We work with local tribes and collaborate with and feature various Indigenous led organizations. Our advisory council is made up of Indigenous community leaders in the Bay Area, who contribute their experience and voice to our vision mission and development. Our Youth help to steer the vision and theme of each issue, and have a meaningful voice and impact in our overall production of each issue. We have also launched a covid19 relief effort to address more pressing physical needs, and have distributed food to Point Arena Manchester Pomo, in 2 food distributions, distributing over 2400 in food and supplies. We are currently working to rebuild the Ya Ka Ama community garden in Forestville CA, and have used funds raised from our covid19 relief fund to make repairs on the 100 ft. greenhouse, and assist in propagating and planting, to provide plant and tree starts and food from the garden to our local community. Our magazine provides a platform for Indigenous Led solutions, Youth art and articles, and a printed publication to document and share current Indigenous achievments and struggles, and our events and workshops provide a public forum for Native Youth and the public to engage and learn skills in photography, visual arts, natural building, videography, magazine production, graphic design, layout, and audio production.

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Which dimension of the Fellowship does your solution most closely address?

Support language and cultural revitalization, quality K-12 education, and support for first-generation college students
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Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Fellowship and your selected dimension.

SNAG supports cultural revitalization by promoting Native produced stories, art, photography and music, and provides a much needed outlet for Young Native artists to showcase their work. Our magazine is a vital resource for Indigenous voices. Each issue educates our greater community about the challenges our Indigenous communities face. Educating on current events, sacred sites preservation, artistic expression, and highlighting organizations and emerging artists. Each issue shares creative solutions Native people are implementing in their own communities, and offers ways that allies can participate and help to elevate Indigenous led solutions.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Forestville, CA, USA
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth
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Who is the primary delegate for your solution?

Ross Cunningham

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Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your primary delegate.

Pomo, Northern CA

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Is your primary delegate a member of the community in which your project is based?

Yes

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process
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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

SNAG Magazine utilizes print and digital publishing to share stories written and produced by Native Youth from throughout the US, Canada, Central American and the Pacific Islands. Gathering artists through events and workshops to create innovative solutions, and providing a space for artists to incubate new work in our sustainably built media arts center. 

Our 64 page printed edition of our 10th publication of SNAG, “Reclaiming Lands,” provides an outlet and platform for Indigenous Youth voices 12-30 years old, while providing training for Youth to reclaim their voice and take action. We will produce, print, publish and market our latest issue of SNAG Magazine. In addition to supporting the publication, we will be transitioning our content to a digital format available through our new website, and publish weekly content on our Medium.com page beginning fall of 2020 - summer of 2021. Our project is based in Forestville CA, where we own land, and have built the first permanent structure, our Cob Visual Arts Studio. Our space, The NEST Community Arts Center, is an Indigenous led, sustainably built, media arts center, the first of its kind in CA. This fall we will host a virtual Indigenous Marketplace; hosting artist and craft vendors and releasing our magazine digitally, publishing on our website and on Issuu.com. Our Inno-Native program’s NDGNS Hackathon will host 4 one-day Hackathons and speaker series events in collaboration with Adobe Creative Cloud in 2021, during which, we will develop creative solutions to challenges we face in our communities.

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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

We use Adobe Photoshop and Indesign and the Adobe Creative Suite to produce and publish SNAG Magazine. Our content is driven by Native artists, photographers, writers, and musicians, publishing over 50 artist’s in each of our magazines. We also lead workshops for Youth, training Native Youth in writing, audio production using Logic ProX, and digital photography and photo editing in Photoshop, video and film editing using Adobe Premier, screenprinting, mural making, and natural building, cob/pallet wall systems, and earthen plasters. While SNAG projects are often hands-on learning and training, amidst the Covid-era, we are using the opportunity from MIT Solve to transition our content to a digital platform and expand our audience. We will create, market and publish our content using our Medium.com page (shared on our social media platforms) and redevelop our website at snagmagazine.com to publish weekly news, organization and artist features, and updates from stories we are closely following.

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Provide evidence that this technology works.

Print media has been around for many generations often times telling the story from the perspective of folks outside our communities. With media conglomeration and through mergers of larger companies, there are now only 6 corporations that control a majority of what we see, hear, watch and read. 

Digital publishing has existed since the beginning of the internet, but citizen journalism has been on the rise with the advent of community-led solutions to media conglomeration with sites like Indymedia.org and New America Media leading the way for smaller POC-led content creators. Our magazine SNAG, has been a leading voice for Indigenous people since its founding in 2002. Our articles, artwork, photography and interviews have produced a stunning collection of work that has been published digitally and in print. Our “Decade of Indigenous Media” Anthology is 300 pages, and features over 350 Native artist contributors. Our current issue “Reclaiming Land” features over 50 artists & musicians. Each of our printed editions of SNAG magazine are an opportunity for us to highlight new and emerging Native artists, writers and photographers, and build community beyond the Bay Area, publishing art from tribes from throughout the US, Canada, Central America, and the Pacific Islands.

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Ancestral Technology & Practices
  • Audiovisual Media
  • Crowdsourced Service / Social Networks
  • Internet of Things
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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What is your theory of change?

SNAG’s success is measured by our community and Youth’s engagement, and by offering them continued opportunities to share the knowledge learned through workshops and community events. When we see Youth standing up for the environment, writing or sharing stories through photos or art, we know we have made deep, lasting impacts. A pre- and post- survey will be distributed to our workshop participants, measuring their knowledge and skill level in various forms of media to determine what they have learned during our multi-media workshops.

The successful completion of our community arts center The NEST will allow us to expand and provide ongoing artist residencies, retreats, dance classes, music lessons, production courses, holistic healing workshops, other arts programming, and provide an essential cultural gathering space.

The “Reclaiming Land” issue itself will be a historic account of what we accomplished this year. The immediate outcome is the successful completion and printing of our 10th printed edition of SNAG Magazine “Reclaiming Lands,” and the digital release this fall during our virtual Indigenous Marketplace, and creating a new platform to host digital content on our site snagmagazine.com and through our medium.com page, will also increase our audience and content distribution long term. The building of our media arts center The NEST will provide a sustainably built permanent home for SNAG Magazine, and a hub for creative innovation for all artists.

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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • LGBTQ+
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 3. Good Health and Well-Being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
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In which state(s) do you currently operate?

  • California
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In which state(s) will you be operating within the next year?

  • California
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

From our natural building workshops, school year workshops, and summer program workshops, last year we reached over 200 people. Each year our magazine reaches up to 4000 impressions; annually we have over 600 event participants, over 10,000 engaged through social media/web presence, and we have published over 450 Native artist contributors, many of whom have gone on to have careers in media arts. Our website currently has more than 300,000 views. Through our printed publication SNAG magazine, we plan to publish 300 Native artists and musicians. With the publishing of 5 new issues in 5 years, we will reach over 20,000 people. We plan to reach over 6000 attendees at our events, and over 50,000 engaged through social media. Through our new website and Medium page, we plan to increase our weekly audience: publishing weekly content for 52 weeks for 5 years, we will publish another 260 content creators, if each article reaches 100 people, we could see an increase of 26,000 readers.

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

We are in the midst of planning our 3rd Annual Hackathon. Our Inno-Native program will host it in collaboration with Adobe Creative Suite, 4 one-day events and virtual hacks, inviting Native artists to innovate collective projects in day-long hackathons. We will have 2 guest speakers at each hack whom we consider innovators to discuss their inspiring projects; we plan to have 50+ in attendance at each of these events this Summer/Fall.

We are currently working weekly to finish our 10th issue of SNAG Magazine, “Reclaiming Land”, which will feature over 50 Native artists, photographers, and writers, and we will host a community celebration and digital magazine release party at our annual Indigenous Marketplace event Nov 2020, which will be an online event, featuring over 25 Native art/craft vendors and guest performances, with an approximate attendance of 300 people.

Launching our online publishing with our new website and through our medium page, beginning this fall will expand our audience and we will be able to publish 260 artists per year, and increase our readership.

Our five year plan is to fundraise and construct our strawbale media arts center, which will house SNAG offices, music studio, artist housing and holistic healing space. Creating a hub to incubate content, art, and innovative solutions for future generations.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

One challenge is finding a balance between working to seek new and increase existing financial support and maintain the magazine production and programs. One of the biggest challenges of building your own space is fundraising the resources needed for building. Our projected fundraising goal for the next phase of our space is 150,000 in the next 2 years. We will work to expand our current network of donors, through a mix of individual donors, crowdfunding, grant support and creative fundraising strategies, community dinners, and other fundraising events. We plan to meet our goal, and complete construction of our offices in fall of 2023. In the next five years, we plan to expand our capacity to offer artist residencies, providing long-term artist support, and online publishing, breaking down some of the barriers of traditional access to our audience, and increasing visibility and the number of artists we serve each year.

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

We are currently pursuing resources through grants and continue to document and share progress with our donors, and have begun a campaign to focus on donor follow up for individual donors who have made large donations in the past. Last year we raised over $25k through our crowd-funder, and from individual donors combined. We plan to increase this through soliciting our donors and increasing our crowd-funder donations by campaigning each season to ask for support. We have also been increasing our connection and contact with local tribes who have donated in the past or supported our work, or have benefitted from our covid 19 relief support. Outreaching to other tribes and larger gaming tribes for support would also create a new funding paradigm, and new source of income for our projects. Through grants each year we seek to raise 36,000 per year to fund the production of our magazine, our workshops and events. We plan to increase our staff this fall with 2 interns, and 2 Co-Directors to support our growth. We will continue to seek funding through grants and creative fundraising strategies, and seek mutually beneficial partners who can help us have a larger impact.

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Nonprofit
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How many people work on your solution team?

Our team consists of our two Co-Directors, Julia Miller-Vasquez (Tejas, Tarahumaru) and Ross Cunningham (Afro-Pomo, California Native). Our decisions are led by our Indigenous Advisory Council made up of community leaders and artists from the Bay Area, and our Youth who contribute to our annual publication, who decide our theme for each issue, and develop the content. We also have a steady stream of volunteers who contribute greatly to our work, volunteers helped to build our first building on our lot we purchased in 2012, over 200 people participated in cob building to erect our 2-story cob visual arts studio.

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How many years have you worked on your solution?

18 years, since 2002.

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Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our Co-Director's leadership both have a strong background in the arts. Julia has just completed her Audio Production degree at Expressions Art College, and has a background in Dance, Singing and Sound Engineering, Audio Production, and Ross has been leading workshops with Youth for 20 years as a teacher and after school, leading youth in multi-media workshops in film, graphic design, magazine layout, photography, mural making, and also is an accomplished musician who has toured the world several times over with his band Audiopharmacy. We combine our strengths and community connections to develop each issue of SNAG Magazine with the intent of strengthening our communities, and sharing the beautiful articles, art, stories and music of the next generation of Native leaders. We have both worked in the Native Community in the Bay Area for many years, and have deep connections to the families, and tribes in and around the Bay. Our skills in audio production, layout, design, and film making make us a well rounded team, that can lead various workshops with Youth and adults, providing much needed training and technical literacy to our community.

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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

We are partnered with several organizations. One of our main collaborators is Ya Ka Ama a 125 acre community center and farm. We are working closely with Ya Ka Ama and their board members to jumpstart their farm. We have invested many hours this year and have worked with our local community to gather seeds to re-establish our local food system. Planting local heirloom seeds, and working to restore the 100 ft greenhouse to working order, clearing it out, running new irrigation and maintaining with fresh food starts for the community. We have also collaborated with Graton Tribal TANF for many years to host several weeklong workshops for Youth, and our 2 weeks summer program where we have over 100 Youth participants. We just completed our online virtual GONA, where we had over 40 Youth participants and 10 artist teachers and facilitators. We also have been collaborating locally with Point Arena Manchester Pomo Tribe, who we have been working with closely to distribute food to needy families since April of this year, to date we have dropped over $2400 in food and supplies, and we have helped to bolster their strength, working with them closely to implement a covid 19 needs assessment survey and assisting them with the development of their new website, bringing them support where they needed it most.

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

What is your path to financial sustainability?

One of our biggest funders is our community. Last year alone we raised over $26,000 through our crowdfunder, and through private donations. Additionally we raised another $10,000 with a grant from the California Arts Council. We also typically will raise over $5,000 per year from selling magazines, t-shirts, sweatshirts, patches, music CD's, books and stickers. In addition to our magazine sales at events, and through our website, we also have several fundraising events throughout the year, our largest being our Indigenous Marketplace event in the Fall of each year we host 35 vendors, and multi-disciplinary artist line-up, with traditional dancing, song, live painting, live music, Dj's and performances. This year we are moving our marketplace to an online virtual marketplace, where we will seek out community sponsors to purchase space for the artists and crafts people and use the sponsorship money to purchase merchandise to promote the event with raffles, and giveaways. Our longterm goal for making our organization sustainable is to continue building our space. With the completion of our cob visual arts studio, we are in the midst of fundraising for the next building which will house our offices, recording studio, community kitchen, artist housing and holistic healing space. 

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What are your estimated expenses for 2020?

20,000

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Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
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Why are you applying to Solve?

Our greatest barrier now amidst covid 19 pandemic, and the economic struggles that have come from the pandemic, we have lost the ability to connect with our community, being that our magazine is in print, with limited accessibility through our website, getting the magazine to our community has been extremely limited. We are pressed to transition at this time to a digital format as a solution. With support from Solve, we will begin to transition our content to a digital format, using a combination of medium and issuu, to release content weekly. We already have a lot of content with each of our magazines at 64 pages, and our anthology at 300 pages. We will use funds from the Solve grant to do weekly article/art posts each week in our medium page, and share content through our magazine group page on facebook. We will use funds to re-develop our website so we can also publish through our own website, and re-develop our online store so we can sustain ourselves through online sales of our our print publications. Also our team will be working on completing our 10th printed edition of SNAG Magazine "Reclaiming Lands," and will release it digitally this Fall at our virtual marketplace in November, and will release a printed version in spring of 2021.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Product/service distribution
  • Funding and revenue model
  • Talent recruitment
  • Marketing, media, and exposure
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Please explain in more detail here.

We seek our partnerships that are mutually beneficial. We have partnerships with groups and organizations where we collaborate on our strengths. Our fiscal sponsor for example is the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, they support us fiscally and help us to manage our grants and donations. We support them by sharing their work and arts workshops, and by attending their events, and sharing them through our networks. Other beneficial partnerships include working with artists to publish their work. We cannot afford to pay artists, but when we share their work and their website attached to the articles, they can get business or other opportunities out of that sharing. 

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

Our latest collaboration is with Adobe Creative Cloud, we are working to create a series of events for 2021. The idea began with the NDGNS Hackathon's we hosted in 2018 and 2019. We hosted two 3-day Hackathons, inviting Indigenous artists to collaborate on a collective group art project highlighting the needs of the Native community. Our idea is to host 4 virtual events in collaboration with Adobe, or four 1-day NDGNS Hacks where we invite artists and community leaders to share their work, in hopes those talks inspire a discussion on a solution oriented project that can be prototyped in one day.

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Solution Team

 
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