Funders are Listening

Dear Friends,
Now that we’re pretty sure there will not be a white nationalist/anti-government extremist coup on the federal government this month, and that the vaccine supply will continue to drip, if slowly, into the arms of our most exposed and vulnerable neighbors, here’s a partial snapshot of what we’ve been up to at Active Voice Lab.

Is anyone really surprised that former Active Voice pioneers are now advising funders? 
Like many of you, we celebrated everything via Zoom and blogs this yearCheck out our 20th anniversary interviews, which reveal, among other things, what Sonya Childress thinks about applying impact strategies to scripted series and films; why Sahar Driver thinks twice before using that word: “impact;” and how Shaady Salehi borrowed tactics from a garment workers campaign at Active Voice to help spearhead a philanthropic initiative.




How are creative advocates contributing to the entertainment industry?
Through interviews with innovators at Define American (Superstore, left), Color of Change (The Red Line, right), and other groups, we’ve identified four A’s: Accuracy, Authenticity, Advocacy, and Accountability. We’ll introduce our new framework soon, thanks in part to our client, OKRE.

Are people of the Book now “people of the screen”?
Hartley Media Impact Initiative at Auburn thinks so. Our customized Prenups for Filmmakers and Faith-Rooted Partners will be out soon, including stories from The New Black (left) and The Feeling of Being Watched (right).





Remember sitting side-by-side at festivals and workshops?
Above, left, Laura Longobardi announces our partnership with Impact Day at the 2020 International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva, just days before the pandemic lockdown was announced.

What’s next? As health and economic disparities soar, as the climate crisis accelerates, and as a new presidential administration tries to pick up the pieces of their catastrophic predecessor, our work is cut out for us. This includes consulting with philanthropic leaders who are actively challenging systems that perpetuate inequity (new clients welcome), and initiating a group of progressive creatives striving to become better allies to our BIPOC peers.

Thank you for being part of our ecosystem. We hope that you and those you love are safe and healthy and that 2021 is off to a spirited and bold start.

Ellen + Active Voice Lab