Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Anim8Nature: Building a Community to Explore Science with Art

I just spend two days in Washington, DC at Women in Film & Video events and when I want to celebrate the concept of community, WIFV comes to mind. I have been a member for over twenty years and it has changed my life in many ways. Most recently I am the recipient of the WIFV Seed Fund Grant for Anim8Nature. I am profoundly indebted to WIFV for the funds and the mentoring, additionally for the vote of confidence.

Now I need to build a community around Anim8Nature to ensure its success. How are I going to do that? 

I have been working on this project off and on for 15 years but most actively the last two years. I am realizing that as wonderful as these science animations may be, if there is no community to support the project, it will not be successful. That sounds pretty obvious, but hear me out. I often say my business model is the artist in the studio. One of the reasons I love being an artist is my work is selfishly exactly what I want to be doing. If it has no audience, well, so what.

That may have been good enough before, but now I feel so fortunate to be motivated to share this content with as many kids as possible and I am willing to put the work into building that community to ensure success. 

How Am I Building A Community:

1.Reaching Out to Teachers
Getting elementary school teachers attention and feedback is vital for success. We are working hard to make this resource valuable to teachers and something they will want to use in the classroom.

Anim8Nature.com is now live with the four life cycle animations that have been completed, an overview of the project, information about how to support us and an introduction to my wonderful Advisory Board. I am very indebted to their assistance and guidance.

3. Youtube
Anim8Nature has a Youtube Channel as well as this blog. As more viewers share these videos and we can document that interest, I will use that information to support my efforts in fund raising. Please subscribe to the Youtube channel if you haven't already.

4. Apply for Grants
Even if I don't get funding, I am spreading the word. Yesterday I submitted my application to A Blade of Grass. I am very happy to tell them about Anim8Nature and I learned so much in the process of putting the materials together. It made me think in new ways.

4. Talk it Up
I am talking to anyone who will listen, sharing links and animations with teachers and families. I responded to a Call for Proposals for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education in December and would welcome this opportunity to make connections with teachers.

How Can You Help
Watch the animations, preferably with the children in your life. Share the link to the website and Youtube with teachers, family, friends, neighbors, business associates, anyone who might be interested in our mission to spark curiosity, explore science with art and get kids outside inspired to be environmental stewards. Donate or learn about other ways you can support this work.  Let me know about grants that might be relevant. And thanks.

How have you successfully built communities?

Anim8Nature is a web-based resource built around animated documentary science stories, art-making and writing curricula to explore science with art and workshops to inspire kids and families to be environmental stewards. 

Learn more about Anim8Nature and my work at KristinHarrisDesign.com 

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