Filmmaking with Social Impact – strategies for funding and partnering

I was recently reading a blog post by one of my favorite filmmakers, Patrick Shen, who founded Transcendental Media. His post has links to other sites which socially-conscious-driven filmmakers would find incredibly useful. Instead of writing much today, I will simply pass you on to this informative and thought-provoking post

http://www.filmcourage.com/content/making-your-film-matter-introduction-social-action-campaigns

I followed a few of the links and found three others which you should check out if you are an artist looking for collaborators to create social change

http://www.loveinstereo.com/

and if you are a charitable organization looking for other places which might promote your work

http://www.takepart.com/

and lastly if you are interested in how filmmakers are meeting in a new forum called The Good Pitch which has the potential to work worldwide on the TEDx model as a way to specifically ask for funding (TEDx doesn’t allow for this) from the organizations who need filmmakers to make films that help them as well. The stories we tell can make the world better, but as we all know, it takes money.

Naturestage is ready to benefit from all of the above. If you have any ideas along these lines to share to help our work, please drop a line to miranda@naturestage.org

On another note, we have been fine-tuning our vision and sending it as part of our project proposals to various foundations and want to share it with you!

Mission:

Through multi-media performances, stand-alone films and educational arts-based curricula Naturestage uses the emotional power of art and film to explore our relationship with other species and inspire action to become global stewards.

Vision:

Within the next five years, Naturestage aims to become the platform for creative collaboration for developing arts-based projects which highlight the complex human role in global stewardship taking the needs of other species into account.  The collaboration between artists –visual artists, animators, installation artists, filmmakers, composers, choreographers, musicians and actors–can be brought together with partnerships through organizations which are looking for more potent ways to achieve their own mission, whether in conservation, animal protection, and natural resource protection. With adequate funding and a designated studio for rehearsals and meetings, Naturestage can develop timely, innovative and art-centered projects that can be used in a variety of settings and by teachers across disciplines to engage students with their emotions and their creativity to explore and develop solutions to how we interact and care for other species.

Why Naturestage is Vital:

At this point in human civilization we have the technology, funding and knowledge to make life much better for more people on the planet in addition to the miraculous other species alongside us that depend on us to take their needs into account. On the flip side, we have the technology and capacity to make life worse for other beings as a by-product of our out-dated systems of consumption and energy use.

Naturestage is at the vanguard of a growing awareness that we need to help foster imagination and out-of-the-box thinking in tandem with understanding and caring about the sensitivities of other species as part of our successful flourishing as a human species. Although social change is enormously complex, it can only happen when the values of global stewardship are made real in what we teach the next generation of leaders – those students and audiences who will either create new systems or reconfigure old ones. There is a balance we need to find between unnecessary consumption and consumption based on the essential needs for healthy food, water, beauty, safety, and meaningful relationships, not only with one another but with the natural world.

The arts are essential in education. They help build empathy, self-knowledge, and this vital out-of-the box thinking that will make the world better. Creating and experiencing ideas through an artistic lens gives gives us tools to handle the emotional complexity of today’s world. Education is still very human-centric, yet surprisingly unfocused on teaching students about human nature.

Naturestage addresses this need to focus on the richness of the arts in education in educating tomorrow’s leaders. Our projects create spaces for connection, communication and deeper listening to one another and to the natural world.

About naturestage

Miranda Loud is the Founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit NatureStage based in Waltham, MA, and is an interdisciplinary artist - classical singer/organist/filmmaker/photographer and environmentalist. She writes about the vital need for education to include a more heart-centered approach to studying other species that leads to a sense of stewardship. Naturestage creates works that foster empathy and kinship with other species, using the emotional power of storytelling in different art forms, mainly film, photography and music. She is also a public speaker on art and social change. Her current projects include The One Language Project, Park Dreams, The Elephant Project, and Elephantasia which all use different art forms to encourage a mind shift in how we relate to other species by asking "How would the world be different if we viewed other species as someones instead of somethings? If, instead of drawing lines, we drew circles?"
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