Empowering Media That Matters

The Center for
Media & Social Impact

The Center for Media & Social Impact at American University is an innovation incubator and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for social impact.

More about CMSI

The Center's latest report examines risks and resources for filmmakers challenging the status quo. 

Visual arts community launches Code of Best Practices in Fair Use!

Just Released! Public TV remains leading source of diverse programming.

“Stand Up Planet” Impact Evaluation Demonstrates Power of Comedy for Change

Our latest report takes an in-depth look at the range of media impact tools currently available.

Media That Matters

CMSI Leaders Featured as Speakers, Participants at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

For documentary filmmakers, strategists, funders, broadcasters, buyers – and of course, fans – November means the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the premier international festival celebrating the best of the form from around the world. CMSI leaders hit the ground running in Amsterdam this year, playing key roles as speakers and participants. 



Dangerous Docs Report Goes International

At the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), journalists and documentarians from around the globe shared stories of risk and reward in telling truth to power.


Museums Put Fair Use to Work

At the Houston Cinema Arts Film Festival, fair use was celebrated as a powerful tool for the arts. Indeed, museum practice is already changing, as a result of the creation of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts


The Community Voice Project is now a featured program within CMSI!

The Center for Media and Social Impact is proud to announce the Community Voice Project has now joined CMSI as a featured program. 

The Community Voice Project (CVP) is a community storytelling initiative led by American University Filmmaker-in-Residence Nina Shapiro-Perl that connects members of American University’s student population with communities in the Washington Metropolitan area to produce short documentary films and digital stories. The CVP partners with a local community organization to focus on a topic and tell the stories most important to that community.