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City of Tucson

  • Agency
  • Agency of Record
  • government

Making public access media relevant again.

After decades of funding a traditional public access television station, the City of Tucson put out an open call for proposals for a community partner to take the concept in a new direction. What was once a $3 million plus annual budget had dwindled to just a fraction of that, making the status quo of a large building with a full-time staff unsustainable.

BRINK won the contract after pitching innovative ideas to reframe the concept of a community media center in the age of social media and smartphones offering high definition video, effectively reinventing public access for the 21st century.

BRINK’s proposed solution would revamp and modernize the public access model while creating a much leaner operation in response to the new budget reality. This included:

  • Decentralizing the studios across a number of community partners, including our own BRINK studio, so the City could sell the large downtown building and take advantage of a downtown real estate boon.
  • Eliminating all of the old, analog equipment and purchasing a cache of new digital equipment that was more useful to learn and more efficient to stream and convert to on-demand content.
  • Transitioning off the expensive standard definition cable channel in favor of digital libraries, web streaming and social media sharing.
  • Pivoting the mission to focus on bolstering Tucson’s creative economy. Given the role the internet and social media have played in democratizing content and giving anyone a platform for speech, traditional access television no longer needs to fill that role. We saw the community media center as an opportunity to build professional media skills in a hands-on way and help open up career opportunities for creatives.

It was important we build a fresh brand that left the analog days behind and captured this new creative economy-focused mission. What was once Access Tucson would now be Creative Tucson, a brand that has since become more ubiquitous than the organization itself as hundreds of Tucson creatives proudly sport the merch around town.

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See the full brand guide: brandguide.creativetucson.org

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Tone Triangle

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City of Tucson

Along with the brand, we launched a sophisticated website at creativetucson.org that would facilitate streaming and on-demand video, equipment and studio rentals, class schedules and booking, and a web-based programming tool. Our streaming solution allowed us to go live from anywhere in the city on TV, on the website and on social media simultaneously.

The content operation we built helped support a community of creators making amazing content. Not only did we empower creatives; we generated a content marketing pipeline for the City of Tucson that helps attract and retain talent for our city.

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Creative Tucson grew to over 500 members. Because of the platform we’ve built that unites up-and-coming creative talent with opportunities within the market, Creative Tucson members have secured six figures in paid gigs and job placements.

And we continue to work with the City of Tucson government as a long-term partner to support and sustain a number of initiatives to make Tucson a better place to live and work.

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