Meet a Few of Our 2017 Creative Changers

July 26, 2017

We have just returned from our annual Creative Change Retreat in Sundance, Utah. In times like these, gathering with so many creative minds and soulful people provides much-needed inspiration and hope for the future. Exploring the theme of Culture’s Power Over Fear, we watched our Creative Change attendees – artists, advocates, funders, and cultural strategists - describe the incredible projects they are working on and witnessed the seeding of collaborations that move us from resistance to future-building. We’re excited to share just a few of the projects our visionary 2017 Creative Changers have been working on, along with their extended Creative Change family:

2017 Creative Change alum and Director of Communications and Culture at the Dream Defenders, Steven Pargett, just wrapped up the Day of Dinners project, in which he collaborated with organizations such as the Women’s March and Color of Change to coordinate potluck dinners across the country on June 25. The dinners provided an open-table space to discuss political issues in an inclusive and meaningful way. Our Communications Institute Fellow and Dream Defenders co-director, Umi Selah (CI’14), also helped organize the event. In describing the vision behind Day of Dinners, Umi said: “There are so many reasons why every-day folks don’t go to protests. Some people can’t get out of work, some could get fired for being at them, some people are just scared to get out there. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t political… Day of Dinners [allowed] those people to get engaged and make new movement family.” So far, more than 10,000 people have come together to participate

Our 2017 Creative Change attendee Bridgit Antoinette-Evans, executive director of Pop Culture Collaborative, has announced that they just awarded over $700,000 in grants to seven initiatives. The awardees range from social movement visionaries, to groundbreaking artists, storytellers and entertainment industry producers, to cutting edge research initiatives with potential to set off ripple effects in culture change movements for years to come. See the full list of 2017 grantees, which includes several of our friends and partners. In addition to this exciting news, Pop Culture Collaborative has also launched its new website, so check it out!

A poster for the documentary film Whose Streets about the Ferguson, Missouri protests following Mike Brown's death

Creative Change alum Jennifer MacArthur’s (CC ’16) compellingly produced documentary, “Whose Streets?,” was named as an Oscar contender by The Hollywood Reporter. The documentary is an account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. Damon Davis directed the film, which was produced by Magnolia Pictures. “We're so honored to be on this list of Oscar contenders alongside so many other incredible films and filmmakers. Thank you to every single person who has supported us on this journey, especially the community of St. Louis!” the Whose Streets team said in a press release.

Mohawk artist Alan Michelson (CC ’12) unveiled a new public monument, Mantle, on June 24. The sculpture, located on historic Capitol Square in Richmond, honors Virginia's Indian nations. Lakota Olympian Billy Mills was the featured speaker at the event, which was attended by tribal chiefs, community members, governmental officials and the greater public. Read more about the project and its symbolism.

K-Town’92,” a new interactive documentary website that Creative Change alumna Grace Lee (CC ’14) created, explores the 1992 LA Riots/rebellion/civil unrest through a diverse cross-section of Angelenos from Koreatown and beyond. Grace was also invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Branch, a high and rare honor within the film world.

Hawaii passed legislation on July 6 that will provide working family caregivers with financial assistance to help in caring for their elders. Janet Kim, Creative Changer (CC ’16) and communications director of Caring Across Generations, which supported this campaign, points out that The Kupuna Caregivers Act is the first of its kind in the nation. Specifically, it provides qualified caregivers with a voucher of up to $70 per day that can be used toward services that they would otherwise perform themselves, including adult day care and assisted transportation. “We are so proud that our campaign in Hawaii helped make caregiver assistance become state law!” Janet said.