UNM-Taos DMA Steps Into Spring

Spring is in the air and the UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts (DMA) Program is something fresh and cool to get excited about.

DMA in Taos is creating groundbreaking and thought-provoking work under the direction and tutelage of Peter Walker and his colleagues at UNM-Taos.

I have talked with  Louis Moya (who initiated the Program at UNM-Taos), along with Enrico Trujillo, Dean Randi Archuleta and the CEO of UNM-Taos, Dr. Patrick Valdez, and they all are excited by the enthusiasm generated by the Program, as well as the great Canon Sponsorships currently getting underway.

A UNM Taos Dual Credit team of four beat out 10 other college media programs to win the Canon Filmmakers Challenge at the 2016 Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, which led to a workshop with Canon last Spring with another set for April 21 and 22nd.

The team included students from both Creative Media and Animation Dual Credit courses and combined live action with animation in their film. The storyline, video shots, animation, and editing were produced in 96 hours. The story won first place.

I asked Peter to tell us just a little about what that meant to him.

“The UNM Taos Media Arts Program was invited to participate in the Canon Filmmakers Challenge in the fall of 2016 at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival.” He explained.

“I took four of my best dual credit high school students to compete. There were ten or eleven media teams from around the state.” He remembered.

“Winning was a thrill.” He says, “but the relationship and networks that we built with the Canon team meant even more than the festival itself.”

Canon will be Sponsoring six UNM-Taos DMA students this year.

For a small town community college like UNM-Taos, landing this giant corporate sponsorship is huge. If one goes to the Canon website and searches for Sponsorships, one is directed to a page filled with rules, regulations and requirements. Canon notes: While we are unable to fulfill the many requests received from schools across the country, Canon USA’s growing commitment to education allows us to offer special pricing to K-12 and higher learning institutions on imaging products that will help enhance the learning process.

You are then directed to yet another website. 

Clearly these Sponsorships are not easy to come by, and UNM-Taos DMA is very fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Canon’s team of specialists in these workshops, along with the prestige and benefits of the Sponsorship itself. Canon’s continued partnership with the Program also speaks to the quality of the work coming out of the class, along with the instructors..

“The Canon sponsorship has been in the works for a year, and the applications open up on March 21st.” Peter told me when I visited him recently at the new DMA studio space on Civic Plaza Drive.

The expanded studio and classroom space downtown includes a Green Screen room, and is the home base for a growing number of students. Currently there are twenty-one students in the Video Production Class taught by Dave Mansfield which follows the Beyond Hollywood film screening course taught by Kelly Clement. This is where students produce the extraordinary works that have gotten them the attention of Digital Media Giants like Canon.

The students I have talked to say they are psyched to be part of such a cutting edge and exciting opportunity right in their backyard.

“I feel so fortunate to have signed up for this class,” one told me. “It opens up so many more opportunities than I thought I would have.”

The Canon workshop especially excited the students.

“During the workshop, we had panel discussions on technology and social media, and had lots of opportunities for shooting around town within walking distance from our studio and Bataan hall.” Said Peter.

The dual credit program at the area High Schools is a fabulous way to introduce High School Students to the exciting new dynamic of college, while at the same time, creating a career pathway. For the students who for whatever reason, choose to stay in Taos after graduating from High School, it’s a great segue into a variety of UNM Taos Associates programs.

“Students in the media classes easily transition into the College Cohort and can get their Digital Media Arts Associates degree in two years.” Peter said. “This program is designed to transfer seamlessly to UNM Main campus for students who want to continue on and earn their Bachelor’s degree.”

A Bachelor’s degree in Digital Media Arts will prepare you for a career in broadcasting fields such as radio, television, film, acting, web media, and animation while providing an opportunity to make an impact on culture through the creative arts.

The UNM-Taos DMA Program includes knowledge of equipment (Canon workshops), writing, communication and creative production, visual communication, print and broadcast journalism, film production, audio production and editing.

It’s a great springboard to an exciting career in a creative field.

Meanwhile the UNM-Taos DMA Program is creating today like there’s no tomorrow! A collaboration is ongoing with the Taos Land Trust which I’ll have more on here in the following weeks. 

For much more on the UNM-Taos DMA Program and Canon Sponsorships and Workshops, please visit the site linked below this post.


All Photographs from the Fall Canon/UNM-Taos DMA Workshop (inside and out), thanks to Peter Walker and Enrico Trujillo (for the shot of Peter Walker with the giant lens.)  Photographs were taken during The Canon Video Creators Weekend, taught by four Canon Trainers from Albuquerque. Canon shipped out 20 DSLR’s and microphones for participants to use during the Workshop.