Infrastructure

Operating our projects out of an office made a huge difference for the past 2 years! I am so grateful to community for what we were able to do together with the resources of a great space, equipment and especially the aligned collaborations.

whenwefree_office_2014_edited-med

We were able to complete When We Free in a timely fashion. It took 1 year from the start of filming to complete the film. Not only did we complete the film but we also 1) trained our community on acting for the camera, cinematography, set-design, wardrobe and many of the production crew roles necessary to create the kinds of films that are most necessary for us and our communities; and 2) created a Ritual Screening technology (beta) to share the film in the most resonant way we know how.

That is one film down and 6 to go. The 6 other projects are all in their final stages – the films all with more than 90% or more of the filming done and the Mobile Homecoming mix tape only needing to be mixed down. The projects are all a part of the Queer Renaissance vision of creating the world anew – have all benefited from private screenings and some have been screened at film festivals. However, we are ready to put the finishing touches on them so that they can live on their own and with you.

Toni Cade Bambara says the most effective way to do it, is to do it. So, we are not stopping and we are not waiting. However, editing is the type of activity that is most effectively done when you go in the editing studio and don’t come out until the project is complete. So, community support is essential.

Soooooo I say all that to say… we want to increase the transparency about what we are doing and how going forward. Maybe you have suggestions. Maybe there is something we are doing that you would like to try. Maybe you just want to know exactly what your time, energy, love, money and genius is creating and how. Well, we want to share. That is a part of growing our infrastructure. We want to be more efficient, organized and communicative.

What is infrastructure?

Click here to engage me geeking out over business jargon…

 

Areas where we are growing infrastructure:

Space

    • creating a dedicated space for editing, multimedia, administrative, etc. work
    • providing a space to collaborate with volunteers, partners and (one day) staff
    • building on what we create without having to dismantle projects in process because they are in the way
    • organizing files (paper and digital) and ephemera
    • establishing an ongoing learning environment
    • implementing processes in our space for things that we do repetitively (e.g. filming quick videos)
    • housing equipment and donations that we might otherwise not be able to receive or purchase
    • amplifying our stories, lessons and medicine with more space to create art and media to share with community

 

Money, Money, Money, Money

    • separating personal and organizational finances better
    • creating consistent nomenclature (names) between our fiscal sponsorship, paypal, banks, etc.
    • staying connected with ALL of our material supporters
    • paying ourselves vs. spending all our personal money on the projects
    • expressing gratitude and staying connected to our supporters (not just the ones we see regularly)
    • sharing the accomplishments, goals and desires consistently
    • planning our calendars and budgets way more ahead of the need for resources

 

Processes, Procedures and Paperwork

    • creating documents that communicate information that is needed regularly (e.g. bios, contracts, etc.)
    • placing documents and information online for easy access to us and others who need them
    • designing (virtual and physical) forms for information that we need to collect/remember
    • identifying best practices and repeating them rather than figuring some things out every time
    • organizing so interns have structure to fit into and don’t just float in our nebulousness
    • collaborating more by having more ability to know what we are doing when and how
    • sharing knowledge and tools through curriculum, tutorials, books, etc.

 

Transportation

    • maximizing the benefit from frequent flying and car rentals
    • acquiring reliable transportation
    • balancing car rental for very long distance trips and using our own (yet to be purchased) reliable transportation for not so far trips

 

Sustainability

    • obtaining healthcare homeopathic and allopathic
    • acquiring tools and support such as professional legal and accounting services
    • balancing the budget and saving toward long term goals and unexpected costs

 


 

February 2014 POST

Running several organizations including a multimedia studio out of one room in a small home was not going so well.

Office space and more infrastructure was needed to create the context for Julia/Sangodare to finish media projects and pre-production for When We Free in a timely fashion. The 7 existing projects in their final stages – 4 short films in progress, 2 features and the Mobile Homecoming Mixtape which are all a part of the Queer Renaissance vision of creating the world anew – have all benefited from private screenings and some have been screened at film festivals. However, we are ready to put the finishing touches on them so that they can live on their own.

Most of the funding from the various projects, programs, retreats and media that Julia/Sangodare and Alexis create comes from individuals and organizations making contributions when we make requests AND, primarily, from our own work with organizations that believe in the work we do. We are who we are doing what we came to do (Audre Lorde). We believe that because we are accountable to our community our community sustains our lives and our work and vice versa – because our community is who sustains our work we are accountable to our community.

Soooooo I say all that to say… we want to increase the transparency about what we are doing and how going forward. Maybe you have suggestions. Maybe there is something we are doing that you would like to try. Maybe you just want to know exactly what your time, energy, love, money and genius is creating and how. Well, we want to share. That is a part of growing our infrastructure. We want to be more efficient, organized and communicative.

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