DBI Invited to Share Hyperlocal Storytelling Platform at International Downtown Association’s 2022 Annual Conference


Local nonprofit Downtown Bentonville Incorporated (DBI) is poised to bring the story behind its hyperlocal storytelling platform, DWTN Media, to a much wider audience.  DBI has been invited to present Become Your Own Hyperlocal Media Outlet at the International Downtown Association’s 68th Annual Conference, themed Reinventing: The Communities of Tomorrow, in Vancouver, British Columbia, September 21-23, 2022.  

The International Downtown Association (IDA) is the premier organization for urban place professionals shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. The 2022 conference will re-examine what it means to be a vibrant, inclusive community while delving into opportunities for transit, tech hubs, tourism, retail corridors, entertainment districts, sustainability, and public safety initiatives. 

Downtown Bentonville Incorporated will present a session focusing on its unique approach to community communications.  Its storytelling platform, DWTN Media, produces original, high-quality video content distributed via a weekly television show every Saturday at 5:00 pm on KNWA-TV, at Skylight Cinema in Bentonville before movie showtimes, and on all social media platforms. 

DBI Executive Director Andrew Heath and DBI Communications Director / DWTN Media Executive Producer Dana Schalgenhaft will lead the panel alongside representatives from Midtown Alliance (Atlanta, Georgia), a business improvement district that operates a news gathering platform. Both organizations will provide insight to attendees on creating authentic hyperlocal content and stretching beyond traditional media to gain trust and better communicate with residents.  

“It’s an honor to represent Bentonville and share the storytelling project that our nonprofit launched two years ago. We are excited to join representatives from Atlanta to showcase a unique approach to communications to conference attendees from all over the United States and Canada,” says DBI Executive Director Andrew Heath. 

Downtown Bentonville Incorporated / DWTN Media is additionally campaigning for votes for a proposed hyperlocal storytelling discussion panel in the SXSW 2023 Panel Picker. Selected panels will present at the 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas, from March 10-19, 2023.  The proposed panel discussion can be found here, and voting will continue through August 21, 2022.  

“We believe Bentonville can become the most welcoming city in the Heartland. DWTN Media is an ideal platform to help tear down barriers and provide all residents with a better sense of understanding and belonging in our region,” Heath says. “Bentonville is a rich community; rich in history, rich in culture, rich in diversity and inclusion.”