The Active Voice Lab for Story & Strategy (AVLab) designs and road-tests innovative new models for using story – online, place-based and even globally – to advance social change movement building. Directed by Ellen Schneider since 2009, AVLab has been Active Voice's incubator for harnessing, measuring and sharpening the impact of character-driven media. Key experiments that moved to full implementation include:
How can a story make a measurable difference in social change efforts? What do you need to get started, and what would “sustained impact” look like? As of fall 2012, most Active Voice projects will use ACTivate, AVLab’s new online planning resource that helps our partners make informed choices about everything from core audience values to long-term distribution.
Can short films help people grapple with troubling trends that have dire social consequences? Working with acclaimed filmmakers, educators, young people, funders, policy watchers and parent groups, the Pivot Project is an initiative designed to help communities explore options for school discipline and community safety.
Who welcomed you, or your great-great-great grandparents, when they first came to America? Or were your forebears not welcomed at all? Welcoming Stories, produced in partnership with First Person America, evolved from an online AVLab experiment into a hands-on activity for high school students.
What if a story is “missing”? Active Voice's partners in the immigrant integration field needed a story about a community with a proactive response to demographic change, so AVLab initiated this character-rich transmedia documentary project. Weaving together our expertise in immigrant issues, our passion for intimate storytelling, our commitment to reach “Beyond the Choir,” our “Prenup” guidelines for “interdependent” productions and most of all, our Ecosystem of Change model, the project has been embraced by think tanks, grassroots groups and a host of diverse networks. Click here to learn more.
What should filmmakers and funders talk about before they “tie the knot”? The Prenups offer guidelines to improve communications and collaborations among filmmakers, funders, strategists and advocates—and help avoid the pitfalls that come with unmanaged expectations and incomplete understanding. Visit our microsite for a snapshot and download.
Beyond the Choir
Can some films tap into human values that transcend “red vs. blue,” “urban vs. rural” and other divides? Beyond the Choir is a process that offers resources and support for filmmakers who want to engage—rather than dismiss—hard-to-reach audiences. Read our case study to learn more.