The Current Spring 2017

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04 06 10 FM90’s 40th | FM90 block shows

AC gradutates success stories

The end of Hastings Entertainment





20 22

Vinyl: The rebirth of a classic

Artist spotlight

Working for Google: The tech giant

Jim Livingston, I Am: The ultimate selfie

24 26 Victoria Taylor-Gore: Visual storytelling

Mark Morey’s art car: A motorized canvas

Women of color in the media

Social media | Caption your own meme

28 Poetry: The art of words




ordy, lordy look who’s passed 40. FM90, the Amarillo College licensed radio station, has passed the big four-oh. Hitting middle age has not slowed down KACV-FM, 89.9. Amarillo College’s cutting edge has changed quite a bit since its beginning, but the station’s commitment to students has stayed the same. FM90 started off as a progressive country station spearheaded by Andrea Baldwin, the station’s first program director. KACV-FM first aired at noon on March 15, 1976. A year later, Dean Taylor would take the reigns as program director and help the station transition from country to classical music and then again that same year to rock and roll. By 1983, metal was added as regular programming on the station. “We began every morning with Iron Maiden at one point,” said Mike Fuller, the seventh, and current program director for FM90. It was around this time that the station’s three longest-running block shows began, thanks to Program Director Chris Johnson. In the early 80s, the station would add “Dead End Street,” “Body and Soul” and “All That Jazz,” which all continue to air today. In 2005, after being an AC student, FM90 fan and DJ, Brian Frank, who now works as a video content producer for Panhandle PBS, became the station’s program director. He held that role for nearly a decade. “When I came in as a student, a change was going on in the landscape of rock and roll. There was really a push for college


rock and FM90 was a big part of that movement,” said Frank, noting that this was when the station converted from 30,000 watts to 100,000 watts. This boost in power allowed the station to reach the entire Texas Panhandle and made it one of the most powerful college radio stations in the United States. FM90 has diversified its programming tenfold in just 40 years. Today, the station not only plays rock, but also jazz, electronic, hip-hop, R & B, folk, Tejano and more. “We’ve always done new music first… that’s what people tune in to FM90 for,” Frank said. The station is also a working lab for mass media majors. Countless students have cracked the mic in the FM90 studio and gained hands-on media experience on the airwaves. Students who aren’t preparing for media careers can also take advantage of the opportunity to work as a DJ. “Radio announcing is a great way to build confidence and communication skills,” said Jill Gibson, mass media program coordinator and professor. Fuller said that in the next few years he sees FM90 becoming an even bigger asset to the campus and the Matney Mass Media Program. “At the end of the day, we’re here for the students,” he said. Although FM90 has passed 40, it isn’t getting soft or settling down in middle age. Instead, the station is seeking new ways to serve its listeners and help AC students. Getting older means continually getting better at Amarillo College’s cutting edge.



or more than 40 years, FM90 has offered a great variety of block shows that focus on a specific type or genre of music with playlists designed by each program host. Currently, FM90 has 16 block shows including: “Under the Radar,” “Radio with No Rules,” “The Power Punk Hour,” “La Dosis Perfecta,” “The Indie Show,” “The FM90s,” “When it Began,” “Dead End Street,” “Body and Soul” and “The Tejano Throwback Show.” Other block shows include “What the Folk,” “Blues Cruise,” “Acoustic Café,” “Tex Tunes,” and “All that Jazz.” For a complete lineup, check out the FM90 website at The block shows vary in length from one to four hours. “Most of the block shows are created by the DJs based on what they like or think the listeners might like to hear or on suggestions by the listeners,” Mike Fuller, FM90 program director, said. Each show appeals to a specific audience. “We have gained a lot of listeners since these block shows offer something they don’t hear anywhere else,” Fuller said.




“Body and Soul” is one of the original block shows from when the station started in 1976. “Body And Soul” is a favorite because we play a lot of the newest and hottest music. Also because there is no other station in Amarillo that plays this type of music,” said Jonathan Gibson, mass media major and one of the hosts of the show. It’s is on every Saturday from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

“The Indie Show” is a block show that plays music exclusively from independent artists and record labels. Bands that usually don’t get air time on regular rotations can find themselves being played on “The Indie Show.” All genres are welcome, but no big labels allowed. It’s on every Thursday night from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.

The “Tejano Throwback” show is about music from southern Texas--music that a lot of people don’t know about. Joel Beanes, host of the show and current mass media major said, “The show was started about 15 years ago by Steve Garcia, a former mass media student. It’s on every Saturday from 8 p.m. - 12 a.m.




“When it Began” is a retro block show. It has a variety of music such as punk, alternative and rock all mixed up. This show has aired for almost 20 years and is hosted by Karri Fox. “I bring new stuff to the table and I always try to include all the listeners,” Foxx said. It’s on every Friday from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

“Dead End Street” is a block show that plays a variety of the heaviest and the loudest music. This show features metal and harcore, with a great mix of old and new music. This show has gained a loyal group of devoted fans from across the area. It’s on every Friday from 8 p.m. - 12 a.m.

“The FM90s” is a block show that plays a mixture of indie pop and alternative music from the 90s, hosted by Kristy Fuller. “The show gives people a chance to remember music from the past and keep good music alive.” It’s on every Tuesday night from 10 p.m. - 12 a.m.





iguel Bedoy works as a weather anchor in the nation’s number one television market, but his journey to success began in Amarillo. Bedoy grew up in Mexico and moved to Amarillo to start chasing his dreams. “I didn’t have the chance to study in Mexico and I was looking for opportunities in life because I wanted to be somebody,” Bedoy said. “My idea when I arrived in the United States was to go to Amarillo College and learn English and go back to my country,” he said.


As he was developing his English skills, Bedoy began taking media-related classes, which led to an on-air job delivering the weather at the Telemundo station in Amarillo. One day a producer from a Denver TV station saw Bedoy presenting the weather on Telemundo Amarillo, which led to a job offer. From there he moved on to positions in Dallas and Houston. About a year ago, he landed a job in the New York City market at Telemundo 47. Wilson Guzman, Telemundo 47 community affairs manager, said he has enjoyed watching Bedoy embrace the cuttingedge technology that comes with working in New York City. “I’ve seen Miguel at work and I think he loves the fact that he can play with all these different tools and technology. He is like a child playing in the toy room with the Dopplers and the radars… all the different weather tools,” Guzman said.

Courtesy photo

Bedoy’s success does not surprise his friends and former AC professors. “When Miguel was at AC, he was an ambitious student but also extremely humble,” Mike Haynes, retired student media adviser and instructor, said. “His English was not good at first, but his instructors worked with him on that. I think all of us who knew him at AC have been proud of

each step he has made up the ladder in the media industry.” Bedoy attributes much of this success to the friends and faculty who supported him at AC. Bedoy’s classmate, Maddisun Fowler, who now serves as student media adviser at AC, said she is immensely proud of her friend’s achievements. “Maddisun would help me translate things and she would spend hours practicing my language with me,” said Bedoy. “I also remember my teachers telling me I could do it. I remember my professor Jill Gibson who always told me that she was expecting me to be in Los Angeles or doing something better than that. That really motivated me to believe in myself.” Reflecting back on his time in college, Bedoy said he is grateful for all of the opportunities he was given. “Amarillo College gave me the tools to continue growing and reach my goals. AC was the base of my education. It helped me understand the culture, the language, the preparation for my career. It was just a very important part of my life.” In 2013, Bedoy became a U.S. citizen and he said he seeks to inspire other immigrants and AC students. “I want to tell current students that they need to follow their dreams and do whatever is possible. Being an immigrant, not being able to speak English and adjusting to a whole new life means that I made it.” Bedoy described reaching the nation’s number one TV market as amazing and exciting, but also achievable. “When you set up a goal and you work hard and you believe in yourself, you can make it. When you have good people around you that help, like the way my teachers, friends and family helped me, you can reach that goal.”




rittney Richerson Hall has served as editor of the Amarillo College newspaper, worked as publisher and managing editor of two community newspapers and headed up marketing and communications for the Austin Opera. Recently, she moved into a public relations management role at Whole Foods 365. Hall’s journey to this career began when she discovered her love of communications in college. “I was never really sure what I wanted to do, so I took so many different classes,” she said. When she enrolled in a news writing class at AC and began working for the student newspaper, she found a focus.


Hall’s current job is working as a project manager for team member services and learning and development at 365 by Whole Foods. 365 is a new chain of concept grocery stores that launched in May 2016. The idea is to make the highquality products found at Whole Foods more easily accessible and affordable for the everyday shopper. Hall works on a team of about 40 at the company’s headquarters in downtown Austin. A large part of her job is making sure everyone is happy and communicating efficiently. She strategizes when and how to share information and then creates the digital and print communication materials. Hall writes articles, creates graphics, develops FAQ’s, shoots videos and builds presentations. “Anything necessary to get the word out. Then I monitor and respond to feedback, and it starts all over again,” Hall said. “365 is a Whole Foods Market company Courtesy Photo


and brand, but we function very much like a startup, so no two days are ever the same – especially now that we’re gearing up for several store openings. I own our intranet – anything from site development and maintenance to curating and creating content – and all of our in-store systems and tools for communicating with our team members,” she said. Working in the grocery industry is new to Hall, and she said she has had “a blast” learning about the business. While Hall no longer works as a journalist, she attributes much of her success to her journalism training and experience at AC. “Being editor of The Ranger was the perfect opportunity for me to practice for my career. I had to learn at least a little bit about everything that goes into producing a newspaper and digital content for a news website,” said Hall. “Working for The Ranger was such an immersive learning experience. That’s where I had my first exposure to most of the tools I now use every day. That’s where I really fell in love with what I do.” Hall encourages college students to explore careers related to media and communications. “If you’re dabbling in the journalism, public relations or communications world, don’t hold yourself back. There are so many crazy, exciting jobs out there.” She also urges students to take advantage of the opportunities that student media offers. “All those journalism tools, skills and tricks are beneficial in any job.” There is one significant difference between working for The Ranger and for Whole Foods, according to Hall. “It takes a heck of a lot longer to open a grocery store than it does to put out a newspaper... who would’ve guessed?”



ights. Camera. Action. Hollywood is known for its big events, famous celebrities and laid-back atmosphere, but behind the scenes is a world the public rarely sees. Chris Withrow, an Amarillo College graduate who now works as a set dresser in Los Angeles, shared his journey from Amarillo to the bright lights of Hollywood.

Withrow has worked on TV shows such as “Gilmore Girls,” “Man with a Plan” and the first season of “Westworld.”

Withrow graduated from Tascosa High School in 1993 and after high school decided to attend AC to study video production and mass communication. “I think more people should take advantage of AC to get their associate’s before moving on because it saved me a lot of money and gave me a really good education,” he said. Withrow’s memories of AC include spending time as a DJ on FM90 and working in the library. “It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

Despite having a career that allows him to spend time around big-name actors, Withrow said he rarely feels dazzled by celebrities. “I get to see actors as normal people who have their good and bad days too,” he said. “The one time I’ve been star struck on set was in a hotel in downtown Hollywood. The elevator door opened and Harrison Ford was in the elevator with me. All I could think about was that Hans Solo and Indiana Jones was right beside me.”

After graduating from AC in 1995, Withrow went to the University of North Texas and earned a degree in film. “Transitioning from high school to AC and then to UNT was good because AC provided me a steppingstone and a safety net. I was going to class, working part time and staying at home. After AC, going to UNT wasn’t as big as a transition because I’ve already done that on a smaller scale.” In 2002, following his graduation from UNT, Withrow moved to Los Angeles and has been a set dresser for the past 12 years. A film set dresser is responsible for selecting and arranging props to create each scene and ensure continuity.

Courtesy Photo

“My favorite part of my job is that it’s different every day. I get to see and do things most of the public doesn’t get to do. I get to go into mansions, historical buildings. I’m never going to the same office and desk day in and day out.”

“The first film I worked on in Hollywood was ‘Terminator 3,’” Withrow said. From there he went on to work on several blockbuster movies, including “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Iron Man 3.”

Withrow acknowledged that he is lucky to have a successful career in the film industry. “I plan on staying in this job probably for the rest of my life. I enjoy the diversity and have fun at my job. I would be hard-pressed to find a job like this that makes me as happy as I am.” Another thing that makes Withrow happy is living in Los Angeles. “LA is unique because we have the beach and then three hours away we have snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. I’m near the Mojave Desert, which is only six hours away from Las Vegas.” Plus, LA offers countless opportunities for culture, food and entertainment. Despite growing up in Amarillo, Withrow has adapted easily to the California lifestyle. “I moved to LA and I instantly picked up surfing. I also work in the movie industry. I am aware of how lucky I am to have the life I live and it has been a dream come true.”




one but not forgotten. Hastings Entertainment; the retail chain that rented movies, sold books, movies, music, novelties and video games; went out of business Oct. 31, 2016, leaving behind empty store fronts, fond memories and a lingering sense of loss. While growing up, AC graduate, Bailie Myers and her best friend spent every weekend at Hastings. “Hastings was somewhere we could go when there was nothing else to do. Most other coffee places would close early so we went to the Hardback Cafe for coffee and then browsed through the books and vinyl,” Myers said. As she got older and had a pocket full of disposable income, Myers would spend the majority of her paychecks on used books since Hastings


“had the best selection in town.” The end should not have come as a surprise. Hastings was essentially gone long before the company closed its doors. The teenagers who once would flock there for the latest music began downloading their albums. The moms who once stopped by the store to rent movies for their children turned to Netflix instead. Empty storefronts now brandish “for rent” signs. The familiar green and white video rental cards remain in former patrons’ wallets, a relic from an earlier time. Financial issues and new technology led to Hastings’ downfall. “Pressures from financial institutions as well as quickly changing products and media consumption did not allow for enough time in the end to make all the changes that were nec-

essary for Hastings to survive,” said Kevin Ball, former Hastings vice president of marketing and current director of station operations for KACV-TV and FM90. Ball worked as Hastings vice president from 2004 until 2013, then again from January 2016 until August 2016. Ball, like others in Amarillo, misses Hastings. “Many people have stated that they are purchasing less media, even online, because they cannot browse the store’s huge and varied selection. People tended to discover new things when they shopped the store. Online purchases tend to be more pre-searched and less a sense of discovering something new as you experience in a treasure hunt,” Ball said.

A reflection on Hastings Entertainment’s demise Taylor Gray, a biology major at Amarillo College, worked as a customer sales associate at Hastings for three months before the store closed. “My first day of work was when my boss told the whole store we were going out of business. I was very confused and disappointed at this, but at the same time I saw it coming. In the back of my mind I kind of knew that Hastings wasn’t doing too well financially,” Gray said. Nevertheless, he has fond memories of his short time spent working for the multimedia retailer. “The Hastings employees would always yell at me for my stubborn efforts at trying on their cool novelty animal masks. They claimed it was a health code violation, but it didn’t stop me for making a fool out of myself. RIP Hastings.” Maddisun Fowler, AC student media coordinator, grew up going to Hastings and said it played an important role in her life. “I can remember going to the two-story Hastings with my mom and dad when I was in third grade and picking up my first two CDs – Hanson and Spice Girls. I used to buy albums on iTunes and then turn around and go pick up a tangible copy of the exact same album from Hastings. I just wanted to have a copy to listen to in my car,” Fowler said.

to get books and vinyl for an affordable price and I didn’t have a place to go when I wanted to do nothing but giggle with my friend, drink coffee and look at the strangest books we could find. I have almost driven to the Hastings on Georgia Street several times since it’s closed.” According to Ball, the chain’s closing has impacted the entire area. “The local community will be ever more reliant on internet shopping for entertainment products and media. There is definitely a sense of loss of the entertainment value of shopping for fun things that is hard to replicate online,” Ball said.

“People were scavenging through the movie selection to see if there were any movies left worth getting. It was just so surreal.”

“When my family would buy a car, I would always check to see if there was a CD player and an auxiliary port.” For Fowler, and many others, new technology has created new habits. “I bought a new car this November and didn’t even realize there was no CD player until a few days later. I guess that shows how I’ve come to consume music. Somewhere I started to purchase songs strictly on iTunes or stream from Pandora or Amazon Prime,” Fowler said.

Hilary Hulsey, film studies instructor and digital communications coordinator for Panhandle PBS said she misses the Hasting’s of her childhood but loves the convenience of streaming services. “This is something we’ve seen before in film history and it’s something I try to teach in my classes. Technology has consistently determined how audiences act as consumers. When television drew audiences out of theatres into their homes, the film industry struggled. It happened again when multiplexes were built, and many downtown theatres with one screen met their demise,” Hulsey said.

Myers said she was “nothing short of devastated when I heard Hastings was closing. I mourned for several reasons. I would no longer have a local place

“The Paramount Theatre on Polk is a prime example. And now, consumers are able to access films anywhere, so they no longer need rent from places like

Hastings or Blockbuster. Now, we just have to wait for the next big thing to oust streaming services,” Hulsey said. Gray said the “death row” period of Hastings was melancholy. “Employees as well as customers would seem depressed about the financial state of our company. What was once a fun and thriving store, over time turned into a lifeless ghost town,” he added. For Fowler, the melancholy feeling lingers. She said she wonders if she had some responsibility for the chain’s demise. “If I would have bought more albums there or more movies, then maybe they’d still be open. I remember walking around the night they announced they were closing. There was a man near me and I overhead him say, ‘I just never thought this day would come – that Hastings would ever close. I’ve been coming here every Friday night for years.’ I think that was the general consensus with everyone. Hastings was just supposed to always be there – we definitely took it for granted.” Fowler was at one of the Hastings stores the night it closed forever. She said it looked as though it had experienced an apocalypse. “I walked in and looked to the left where the rental movies once were and saw nothing but shelving and caution tape to keep people out of that area. There were people grabbing posters and tucking them by the dozens under their arms. People were scavenging through the movie selection to see if there were any movies left worth getting. It was just so surreal,” Fowler said. Gone are the days we can swing by Hastings to flip through CDs but that does not mean the memories will not stay with us. Like an old friend who has moved away, Hastings Entertainment, you will be missed.



hysical media is dead. Try to think back to the last time you purchased a CD, DVD or Blu-ray. If you’re under the age of 60, it’s probably been quite a while. Portable devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have taken over our lives, quickly becoming the central point of all media consumption. Gone are the days of thumbing through shelves when you want to watch a movie - now you just check out your “list” on Netflix. You no longer go to the store on the morning your favorite band drops a new album - you just press “save” on Spotify or Apple Music. This level of convenience is incredible, but sometimes it feels like something is missing - the physical element.

The Rebirth of Vinyl DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK

BY: JONATHAN GIBSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: DENISHA KRANTHOVEN This lack of a physical connection between consumers and their media has led to a massive revival in a format that was originally declared “dead” decades ago - the vinyl record. The “vinyl revival” isn’t solely nostalgiamotivated, many record buyers didn’t even grow up with any kind of physical media. Vinyl sales have been rising every year since 2006, reaching a 25-year high of more than 3.2 million LPs in 2016, according to industry experts. Now, you may be asking yourself, “What makes records so desirable?” Technically speaking, vinyl is the highest quality format in existence. Ideally, the grooves pressed into records come from the original masters of the album. There is no compression or loss of quality whatsoever. This lossless format rivals “lossy” digital music files like mp3s or wavs that require compression, which results in a loss of quality. But remember, perfect sound reproduction is not a cheap goal to achieve - your Lana Del Rey albums aren’t going to sound better than mp3s on a cheaplymade plastic turntable. Another aspect that attracts vinyl buyers is the size and displayability of the format. When looking at records (as opposed to CDs or digital music) you tend to take more notice of the details of the cover. What was once 2 x 2 inches is now 12 x 12 and can be displayed for all to see. Art alone is great, but functional art is even better.


Yet another aspect that draws a lot of buyers to vinyl is its collectability. Limited and/or exclusive pressings, colored variants, pre-order bonuses and other unique aspects designed to draw the buyer in are more popular than ever right now. Although these things can be (and usually are) gimmicky, they give the consumer yet another reason to purchase music in a physical format. A final reason why LPs are also appealing is the way that that they force the listener to form a more intimate connection with the music, to sit down and listen to the full album in the order that the artist intended. Much too often the modern music enthusiast listens to only some of the songs on a new album, skipping through to locate the tracks with the most immediate appeal, putting those tracks into playlists and playing them over and over. Albums such as “The Wall” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” were written for the vinyl format and intended to be listened to in order. Though the limitations of the format ended, the artist’s desire to create a full experience did not. (See: “To Pimp a Butterfly,” “Blonde,” “Carrie and Lowell” and the list goes on.) Vinyl forces the modern listener to slow down and pay attention in a way that digital formats do not. Physical media is gaining a new and devoted audience. As record sales continue to climb, I hope that the average music fan becomes closer to this beloved art form.




ave you ever wondered what it’s like to work for Google? Aaron Yonas is a software engineer and manager at Google. He has worked there seven years. Yonas’ work involves building software that processes the images used in Google Maps and Google Earth. Before joining Google, he worked at EA Games and Lucas Arts developing video game software. Yonas answered some of the common questions about working for the tech giant known as one of the country’s best places to work. Describe the Google campus and culture: Google is a whole small city. There’s endless free food. There are gyms and dance classes. Pick any hobby and there’s a group doing it. I’m planning an off-site meeting right now and we’re probably going to go kayaking. It’s a multi-building campus with many different kinds of buildings. They tend to have funky architecture. There are nap pods—some are dark rooms with cushions, others look like dentist’s chairs with big spheres that come down over your head. People there tend to be pretty self-motivated and ambitious. Of all the places I’ve worked it’s the one that gives the greatest trust to its employees. There’s a big thing about being “Googley” -- this is a whole set of expectations about being kind of a mensch, which is a Yiddish word that means being a person of integrity and honor. The whole company has a neat dose of being a do-gooder. The company’s official motto is, “Don’t be evil.”

Describe your work: I spend a lot of time helping folks. As a manager, I spend at least half my day in meetings, making team efforts work, and that’s a lot of fun.Making images look good and achieving spatial accuracy are also big parts of the job. We create a mosaic of many, many images lined up to create a continuous image. We are researching a bunch of interesting developments in augmented reality and machine learning that let you look at problems in which traditional computer science has not made a lot of headway. What advice would you give someone who wants to work somewhere like Google: Don’t think about what you want to do when you grow up— instead, think about what kind of problems you want to solve. Then figure out what you need to learn to be able to solve those problems.

“Don’t think about what you want to do when you grow up instead think about what kind of problems you want to solve.”





The Invisibility Crisis in the Media

t’s an age-old question. “If you could choose a super power, what would it be?” Many people choose invisibility--to pass by without detection, without notice, to remain unseen. For some, however, invisibility is not a super power. It is a mask of shame. It is a constant battle to be seen and heard. We are facing an “invisibility crisis” in media - minority women have to fight to be seen or heard. The most recent example of invisibility in the media is exemplified by what the late Gwen Iffil described as “missing white woman syndrome.” According to The New York Times, recently, 10 young black women disappeared over a two week period in the nation’s capital. Despite a massive influx of tweets, the missing women have received minimal news coverage. Often, missing white women will receive a disproportionate amount of news coverage compared to missing minority women. Due to this discrepancy in reporting, missing African American and Hispanic or Latino youth are often the targets of sexual and work trafficking. The media is failing them. In 2016, Twitter activists took to the web with their hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in retaliation for the marginalization of women of color and LGBT actors and film directors. Researchers from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism said the hashtag should have

been #HollywoodSoWhite. Similarly, students at the University of Southern California created the Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment (CARD).

ty crisis. The Women’s Media Center said, “The media is the single most powerful tool at our disposal; it has the power to educate, effect social change and determine the political policies and elections that shape our lives.” In order to realign the nation’s most important tool to effectively and fairly reflect the nation’s diverse demographic, a dialogue needs to be opened. To be inclusive, the media has to embrace new approaches.

This study assessed the inclusion of on- and off- screen workers involved in the production of thousands of pieces of digital content from 10 major media companies. This report noted that only 7 percent of the films analyzed had a cast that was racially balanced. While the numbers of women working in media seem to increase every year, we are still a long way away from accurately representing the nation’s demographic. According to the Women’s Media Center, in 2017, women working for news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal earned less than men. Minority women were paid significantly less. They’re underpaid. They’re underrepresented. They are suffering at the hands of the invisibili-

The CARD report recommends building a system of checks and balances that “requires careful processing to override cognitive biases” and creating target inclusion goals to “allow for external accountability.” The growing conversation about this issue does reflect progress. “It’s vital that people are finding their voices so much more,” Corrina Antrobus, director of the Bechdel Test Fest and women’s rights activist, said. “The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago, and now we have this open forum to express dismay.” Now it’s time to take the next step. Holding big media accountable and taking a stance against the exclusion of women of color and other minorities is a significant move in a different direction. Transparency, evaluation and advocacy can convert invisibility into inclusion.









we’ve got your monsters



‘TASCOSA POSTER’ SERIES 1999 dumas dr. amaRILLO, tx. STEPHEN ZALLAR gates open at dark


drive in theatre












n the words of Amarillo College photography program graduate and soon-to-be published author Jim Livingston, “I’ve lived a very adventurous life.” Most people would call that an understatement. The Wichita Falls native has studied to be a Jesuit priest, worked as a social worker, dabbled in the legal field, was shot, experienced homelessness, survived a bombing and worked as a photojournalist during El Salvador’s civil war. Now he’s publishing a book. Livingston’s new book is based on a photography project he began while attending AC. The concept for the “I am” project came from hanging out at The 806, a local coffee shop on the famous Route 66. “You might have a biker touring Route 66; you might have a soccer mom; you might have a lawyer; you might have a tatted-out artist kid from AC,” he said. “When you are sitting at The 806, you never know who is going to be there.” Livingston decided to ask the store’s manager if he could do a photography show to capture the diverse people who passed through the coffee shop. He began photographing The 806 clientele, but, as he was looking at his portraits, he realized, “A portrait of a stranger is still a stranger.” How do you get the person looking at the photo to identify with the person in the photo? How do you get them to connect? Livingston realized that, “Just having portraits of a soccer mom and a biker side by side wasn’t enough.” He wanted to tell their stories, but was not sure where to start. Then, one day he met two people who shared comments about turning points in their lives in which they made decisions that they now regret. One man chose a scholarship to a prestigious school over his girlfriend with cancer. The other chose his six-figure job over his wife. Learning about their regrets helped Livingston realize that he should let the people in his portraits tell their own stories. From there, “I am… I regret… Before I die…” was born.


Each portrait includes hand-written comments from the subjects describing how they define themselves, what they wish they could do over and what they hope to accomplish with their lives. “Those three questions happened organically,” Livingston said. David M. Lovejoy, Livingston’s friend, fellow AC student and radio personality and newscaster, welcomed the chance to be part of the project. “The thing that intrigued me about this whole project was it is not only a voice for the artist, it also gives a voice to the participants,” Lovejoy said. “This project allowed the participants of the art to be a part of the art.” As the project progressed, it developed a following. When Livingston would introduce himself to people, he would say, “Hello. I am Jim Livingston” and they would respond by automatically answering the three questions. People were eager to share their answers to “I am… I regret… Before I die….“ Some came to him with their answers already written out. It wasn’t easy for others. “I have seen folks go through several sheets of papers and ponder for an hour or more,” Livingston said. “This is the ultimate selfie. Not only a chance to pose, but a chance at self-revelation.” By the end of the year, Livingston had 500 photos and decided to turn it into a book. He looks at his book as an autobiography. Livingston said after everything he has been through, he still asks himself, “Who am I?” “I want to know who you are because it makes me ponder who I am,” Livingston said. Lovejoy said he is looking forward to the publication of the book and excited to see his friend realize his dreams. “It is great to make a living and even greater making a living doing something you love,” Lovejoy said. “He is able to go out and be a working photographer and work on his art.” Livingston said before he dies he wants to take everything he has been through and do something meaningful with it. “What they regret is what they did not do,” Livingston said. “At the heart of people we are all very, very similar.” Local publishing company Barbados Books will publish Livingston’s book titled “I am.” It will be available in September through Amazon.

“This is the ultimate selfie. Not only a chance to pose, but a chance at self-revelation.”

Courtesy photo


More than a meme:



ollege students often face criticism for excessive use of social media, but social media represents much more than a good way to share your favorite memes or pass the time in between classes. Social media has become a critical part of the marketing operations of every company. An in depth understanding of and experience with social media can lead the way to a lucrative career. Sadie Newsome, Amarillo College’s digital communications coordinator, runs all the campus’ social media accounts. Her role reaches beyond posting a tweet or sending out an update on Facebook. She sets her sights on making sure the followers on each of the college’s social media apps are satisfied with the content and will continue to come back. “I take the time to edit the videos being posted to these accounts. I scan through each account to list out improvements that may need to be made to keep the public happy,” said Newsome. “I spend most of my time working toward demographic targeting to make sure certain groups inside our viewers/readers see the posts that pertain to their interests.” AC graduate Wendi Swope, relies heavily on social media in her career. Swope, who founded an Amarillo agency called Double U Marketing, uses social media to promote her clients. She draws heavily on her background in television news since she worked as an editor, producer, reporter and anchor before transitioning into marketing and public relations. “The media changes every day, which is a very exciting atmosphere for some people. No day is the


same,” Swope said. In response to the increased importance of social media in marketing, public relations and other careers, Amarillo College has added classes in social media tools and digital marketing as well as a new certificate in online marketing. “The online marketing certificate can be finished in just two semesters and all of the classes can be taken online,” said Jill Gibson, Matney Mass Media Program coordinator. The social media and digital marketing classes teach students to leverage social media skills to market products and share information using online outlets. They cover how to use social media platforms, blogging, search engine optimization and other aspects related to web-based promotions and communication. The classes are an ideal option for professionals seeking to update their knowledge of new media as well as for students considering social media careers, according to Gibson. She pointed out that understanding social media represents a key part of communication. Swope advised students pursuing social media careers to get a wide variety of media experience while in college. “Get involved in your media groups at school,” she said. She also stressed the importance of getting a variety of media-related work experience as soon as possible. Career opportunities in social media are continuing to grow and evolve steadily. “Getting your foot in the door is the hardest part. After that...just work hard...and you will work your way up the ladder,” Swope said.



#Salt Bae is a nickname given to Turkish chef Nusret Gรถkรงe, who was widely discussed on social media following the circulation of a video in which he flamboyantly sprinkles salt on a carved steak. THE CURRENT 23




moke drifts as the statuesque deer gazes out at a jewel-toned horizon. A miniature landscape of periwinkle, copper, purple and turquoise unfolds slowly from above. Motionless people silhouetted against a moving background capture a sense of isolation, contemplation and despair as haunting and ethereal music plays. Welcome to the world of the Amarillo College School of Creative Arts dean, Victoria Taylor-Gore. When she’s not attending meetings, juggling budgets and planning schedules, Taylor-Gore immerses herself in a world of surrealistic vistas, vivid colors and miniature dream scenes. She contributes to the world of art both as a teacher and as an artist herself. In addition to her administrative role as dean, Taylor-Gore has taught online classes in design, art history and art appreciation at AC, but in her personal time she is a full time practitioner of creativity. For the past 30 years, she has created vivid impressionist paintings and pastels and has crafted digital videos that display how she sees the world. Undoubtedly creative, Taylor-Gore is also a reserved woman, reluctant to talk about herself but comfortable discussing her artwork. Her work has been displayed in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Dallas, China and Amarillo. As a true creator, Taylor-Gore does not confine herself to a single artistic avenue. When she is not painting, she creates short surreal films, photography and digital collages involving symbolic characters set in miniature interiors and landscapes. “All of my work shares the same surreal and symbolic quality and the same essential design components…composition, light, color, emphasis…it’s all part of visual storytelling,” she said.


Taylor-Gore’s stylized soft pastels and miniature paintings depict simplified architectural and landscape scenes with a dynamically distorted perspective. Smoothly blended color transitions add richness and variety to the surface of the work. “Soft pastels have proved to be a very fluent medium for me.” Taylor-Gore’s paintings and pastels often feature some aspect of a house in an imagined landscape, with a touch of surrealism as objects and forms tend to take on an implied meaning. According to Taylor-Gore, a house can be thought of as a symbol of the self, and often a glowing colored light gives life and spirit to each house. Each piece is unique, vivid, simple in its complexity, and yet emotionally charged. No two of her creations are identical, but all evoke certain responses and create a similar mood. “The technique is subordinate to the content, so I can visualize an idea and bring it to life in my own simplified style,” Taylor-Gore said, adding that she enjoys exploring new approaches. “Recently I have also been creating miniature paintings in Holbein Acryla Gouache paint. The acrylic gouache medium allows richly saturated colors that dry to a wonderful matte surface.” Taylor-Gore began her career as a professional artist at the University of California in Santa Barbara. “While working toward my master of fine arts, I discovered my own simplified geometric style – it just appeared to me, and it has been a very intuitive part of my work ever since. Exaggerated perspective and geometric shapes define my work, and I derive my dreamlike imagery from memory.” Taylor-Gore has exhibited her work professionally for 20 years, displaying and selling her pieces primarily at the Alexandria Stevens Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico, and the Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo. She has also exhibited in Dallas and Los Angeles and has had a traveling exhibition in China. Her public achievements include 15 group exhibits, four solo exhibits and nine multimedia productions. Victoria Taylor-Gore’s work serves as an inspiration for students and shows there is no limit to creating art. It comes in all shapes and forms. Create what you dream and don’t let anything hold you back.

“All of my work shares the same surreal and symbolic quality and the same essential design components composition, light, color, emphasis it’s all part of visual storytelling.” THE CURRENT 25




f you have ever seen Amarillo College art and humanities instructor Mark Morey’s car, you probably remember it. That’s because the car is covered in more than one hundred stickers. His current stickered car is actually the fourth vehicle he has decorated this way. Morey started covering his first car with stickers during the 1992 election season. “Really crazy political stuff was starting to materialize on people’s vehicles that just kind of rubbed me the wrong way,” Morey said. His response was an art project. “I deliberately put weird stuff on the back of the car I was driving at the time,” he said Although Morey’s current car has less of a political message than his first “art car,” it still attracts plenty of attention. “People have come up and put stickers on the car while I’m waiting at the light,” said Morey. “Sometimes people will laugh, or give me a thumbs up.” But not everyone reacts positively to Morey’s vehicle. “A lot of times you get scowls, like a car is some sacred object,” he said. At least he never has trouble finding it in a crowded parking lot.

The Art of Words “The appreciation of poetry is the appreciation of life.” BY: MACEY GIBASZEK

Take me away Take me to a place in which is far A place in which is uniform like mars A place without scars A place white and clean Where none act mean Where I can release my fears in screams A place where there are fields of nothing but green Pastures, hills, mountains, valleys A place where I am set free A place where I can escape reality A place without the chains of limitations on me This desire is one of me To be free, off in a dream Where no pain is felt but the pinch of reality Why must I leave But worry... I shall soon return And to resume what I’m compelled to do - SENTORA RODRIGUEZ



he art of expression is and always has been, the heart of every single thing we do. So much of the connection we all share with each other can be attributed to creative expression. How someone dresses, moves, what they create -- everything a person does is an art form. This is why human nature and human connection are completely inseparable from poetry. The most tragic thing a person can do to poetry is to compartmentalize and shrink it into something that it is not: the lifeless works of long gone thinkers that people are forced to study in English class. Poetry has not died with the classic, genius poets that elevated it. Poetry was alive long before them, and will live on after the names of Whitman, Frost or even Shakespeare have been forgotten. Poetry, at its most honest and divine function, is the translation of powerful human emotion and human nature into a tangible work. To a degree, all art stems from poetic thought translated and brought to life through a specific medium. It reminds us of our humanity, and the fact that throughout the world we are all connected through our love and our art. The appreciation of poetry is the appreciation of life. Life is brighter when you are dancing with the warm lyrics of Marvin Gaye in your ear. Life is more interesting when you can appreciate the beauty of an Ansel Adams image. People are more precious when you can see poetry in them. Look for it — it’s there.


The Current staff would like to dedicate this edition to two men of The Current. Freeman remembers every Current--all the who have made significant contributions to this magazine way back to his first edition in 1972 and goes out of his way to The Current staff would like to dedicate this edition to two men who have Retired student media adviser, instructor and self-proclaimed Beatles throughout its 45-year history. It’s safe to say The Current support student learning and success. More importantly, he made significant contributions to this magazine throughout its 45-year fanatic, Mike Haynes, dedicated 25 years of his life to leading AC Student would not exist without them. has taken the time to advise and mentor every Current staff history. It’s safe to say The Current would not exist without them. Media. With patience and humor, he helped many students discover member and provides generous support for the magazine, their passion for journalism. Not only that, but Haynes continues to Retired student media adviser and instructor, Mike Haynes, always encouraging new approaches and experiments and Tony Freeman, general manager of Cenveo Printing, has published advise us and answer any AP style or design questions we have, even dedicated 25 years of his life to leading AC Student Media and making sure that every new staff member gets to tour the every single issue of The Current. Freeman remembers every Current- though he has retired. He makes a point to visit the newsroom frequently helped many of our staff members get their start in publication Cenveo printing press and learn about what it takes to print a -all the way back to his first edition in 1972 and goes out of his way to and is The Ranger’s most devoted reader. From his expertise with AP and design. Not only that, but Haynes continues to advise us four color magazine. support student learning and success. More importantly, he has style to his ability to spot a typo from across the room, Haynes remains and answer any AP style or design questions we have, even taken the time to advise and mentor every Current staff member and an intergral part of the Matney Mass Media program. though he has retired. We thank both of these men for their wisdom, patience and provides generous support for the magazine, always encouraging new kindness. We look forward to a close working relationship approaches and experiments and making sure that every new staff We thank both of these men for their wisdom, patience and kindness. Tony Freeman, general manager of Cenveo Printing and AC between them and AC Student Media for many years to come. member gets to tour the Cenveo printing press and learn about what it We look forward to a close working relationship between them and AC adjunct faculty member, has published every single issue takes to print a four color magazine. Student Media for many years to come.




In conjunction with the formation of Amarillo College’s new School of Creative Arts, The Current staff decided to focus this semester’s magazine on arts and media. Over the past two months, we have worked together as a team cooperating, collaborating and corresponding as we discussed different ideas to produce the best magazine possible for all of you. We spent a great deal of time focusing on the overall aesthetic of our publication, making sure everything from the size and weight of the paper to the color scheme communicate continuity. In these pages, we have introduced you to some colorful characters and their even more colorful vehicles. We have taken you from New York City to Los Angeles to meet AC alumni who have found success



in television news, the motion picture industry, public relations and photography. We have discussed the importance of poetry and art and have taken a closer look at the unusual artwork of our own dean of creative arts. We have explored the reasons why social media represents more than our addiction and we have mourned the end of a media-lover’s mecca. More than anything, we hope that in reading this magazine, you have been reminded not only the importance of the arts and the media, but the need to nurture your own creativity. We are all, in our own ways, artists. As the Indian mystic Osho said, “When I say be creative I don’t mean that you should all go and become great painters and great poets. I simply mean let your life be a painting, let your life be a poem.” We hope our magazine will inspire you as you continue painting on the canvas of your life.




THANK YOU: Derek Weathersbee Jill Gibson Maddisun Fowler Regina Black Tofino THE CURRENT 31

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