Must See Live: Money Conversation - Fundraising

Watch the video on our Facebook Page Raising funds for a project can be daunting! We were lucky to be joined by Marlis Jansen, CEO of The Money Conversation, to discuss successful fundraising strategies and some of the internal work that us creatives must do before we even begin to seek donations for our projects. With money being the huge taboo it is in our culture, asking for it can be such a big hang-up for many of us, even when we know the cause/project/event we are raising funds for is more than worthy. Marlis gave us some straightforward tips that can help when it comes to asking and learning to receive. Our takeaways... 1) We're raised to think that inventions are more worthy of inves

Belonging Series Process: Trauma & Interviewing

At some point in most interviews, I am in the position of asking people to open up and talk about some kind of trauma. I am not a trauma therapist or any other kind of therapist. Luckily, I have a dear friend who is, and a good therapist of my own to boot. I also have the sensitive nature of an empath, which helps me feel my ways into these uncomfortable, painful places with love. For the pilot episode of our series, perhaps because I have Michael for so long I was less anxious about asking him things. For Episode #2, I had a tremendous amount of anxiety come up around what I was asking Alicia, Antonio and their family to talk about. Even though my logic brain was telling me, they’ve agree

Belonging Series: Casting Approach Revealed

Why Michael, Alicia, and Antonio? It’s so hard sometimes to get the ideas out of my head and onto the page as to why I am doing this series. It’s easy to talk about it to a receptive ear, and my passion has only grown stronger after a year and a half of working on it. I want to share today how I came to decide to feature Michael D. and then Alicia and Antonio in the first two episodes of the series. Michael and I had been talking on the phone about all the madness of what felt like the ever-widening chasm of us vs. them in this country. We had briefly talked about me one day telling his story, to help people be inspired by what he had lived through and how he had come to be his incredible

Four Questions

If you've had the chance to attend any of our live screenings, you know that it is not only a chance to view our work but also a chance to engage in deep, community dialogue. It is also a chance to engage in a reflective process with yourself. I ask all audience members to fill out (anonymously) a sheet of paper with four questions on it. Those questions are: --What does the phrase "Belonging in the USA" evoke for you? --What is freedom? --What brought you to this room? --What are you struggling with the most at this moment in your life? I thought I'd share my answers to these questions with you today. To me, the phrase "Belonging in the USA" is somewhat of a private joke with myself. I

Heather's Response to The Tree of Life Tragedy

I was a shy freshman at the University of Pittsburgh when I joined Best Buddies, an international service organization that matches a college student with a person with a developmental or intellectual disability. It didn't take long to fall in love with the people who were involved with the Pitt Chapter and their mission, and to this day, I spend time with my Buddy, Lynn, at least every few months. Best Buddies has a huge presence in Pittsburgh, both at Pitt and in the surrounding universities, and so I met countless wonderful people at the chapter socials and the community events. The organization attracts the kindest, most empathetic, most humble souls, and among the many I came to know

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