I've just returned from my first Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit. It was an intense weekend at the Sundance Resort where producers and independent film executives gathered to discuss the state of the industry and more importantly meet the brilliant and eager filmmakers who just participated in several weeks of Sundance Institute's signature labs.
At the Creative Producing Summit, I discovered a way to translate what I do as Director of External Affairs into film industry terms. I hadn't realized it before, but I am a producer. Much like film producers raise funds and keep projects on track, I lead a passionate and talented team that raises private equity and public funds (we also do a bit of corporate product placement which you may have noticed at the Festival) to invest in the development of independent film and theater. And, as many independent film producers know that they are often called on to be publicize their good work, similarly, my team and I raise awareness of the accomplishments of our programs and the artists we work with. On a larger scale, we're working to advance the interests of artists, projects and cultural diplomacy, and to raise awareness of the need for greater advocacy and support of the arts.
All of us at the Institute are pretty much over the moon about the new #ArtistServices program. It is the realization of a year of visioning, research and negotiations. And really, it was the "producers" on our team who brought it to life. A project like this requires support from individuals, foundations and companies that recognize that we, as a nonprofit organization, cannot remain responsive to our community of artists and the constantly evolving landscape of film and technology without having adequate financial resources to jump head first into the pool of endless options.
The Bertha Foundation stepped in to provide support for the #ArtistServices initiative. It was a perfect partnership for both organizations, and we feel they're a kindred spirit. They believe in taking risks and supporting innovation. They believe that passionate individuals and projects can affect change on a local or global scale. They, too, are renegades - like the many artists they help us support each year.
I think The Bertha Foundation deserves at least an Executive Producer credit for that.