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As a community media arts center, we facilitate the sharing of stories as part-social justice, part-creative collaboration, part-digital storytelling, part-historical documentation, part-listening, and part media & technology education. We help community members develop stronger stories, through training, technology, partnerships and collaboration.

Thus, we are proud to have offered two rounds of grants for the production of short original works, that can include narrative fiction or documentaries. We encourage individuals and organizations in Brookline to apply for these grants, as well as those who collaborate with partner organizations and residents of Brookline.

In 2015 we awarded $5,000 in community production grants for the following projects:

  • Hubway 66 by Daniel Jamous a local filmmaker, focuses on Hubway, Boston’s bike-sharing system, and explores the impact it has had on himself, other Hubway users, as well as the quality of life of the towns and communities participating in the program. The story is told from Jamous’ point of view as he is riding on his morning commute to work from Coolidge Corner to Harvard Square, with interviews, personal recollections, and music interspaced throughout the journey. View the teaser for Daniel’s project here.
  • Art Chat Brookline by Peter McDonald, a local filmmaker, visits Brookline artists in their studios as they discuss their methods, creativity, and what making art making means
    to them, while demystifying the creative process for us.
  • Women Moving Forward by the Women and Girls Thriving in Brookline grantee group, is a collaborative film created by a group of six Thriving women that focuses on their stories, struggles, and lessons learned about empowerment and work that can help other women in Brookline as they navigate their own journeys through work and life.

In addition to our filmmaking grants, in 2016 we created an additional community production grant for $2,000 for an interactive media project. The recipient is being given funding and training to create an interactive short video in 360 video, VR or in AR (augmented reality) that best represents stories of the community of Brookline.

All grant recipients regularly attend progress meetings where they interact with their fellow producers as a cohort to discuss their project’s progress, receive advice, learn tips from experts and each other, and help stay motivated to consistently work on and ultimately finish their project. Grantees are also given access to training and equipment at BIG, based on a first-come, first-serve basis, and a certification process. All content will be aired on BIG’s community cable and YouTube channels, and will premiere first on these channels, unless otherwise negotiated with BIG and the grantee.

Meet the 2016 Production Grant Winners

Yusuf M. Agha is a project management consultant and resident of Brookline since 1995. He contributes to the arts as a writer, a curator of international art exhibitions, and has been associated with BIG since 2001.

His documentary, Across the Miles: An Artist’s Journey, will focus on the life and work of his wife Lubna Agha, an internationally recognized artist who resided in Brookline from 1995 till her passing in 2012. Her work dealt with modern interpretations of Islamic design and capturing feminist issues of marriage, cruelty, and war.

Aynsley Floyd is a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience. She comes from a background in photojournalism, and now concentrates on portraits and annual report photography for corporations and non-profits. She has lived in Brookline with her family since 2010.

Her documentary, Beginning Again in Brookline, will take a look at the town’s first affordable housing property to open in thirty-five years and focus on the lives of several families who moved there looking to improve their situation. The film will follow their experiences since relocating to Brookline and the effect this has had on them.

Lilia Volodina has been a resident of Brookline since 2013 and became a member of BIG in the summer of 2016. A multidisciplinary visual artist, writer, and filmmaker, she is currently earning her BFA in Photography. Lilia is involved with several local community media non-profits and has had her work featured in exhibits around Massachusetts.

Her original narrative film, I’m Glad It Wasn’t Worse, is an absurd slapstick dark comedy that explores serious topics such as empathy and invalidation.

Sandy Orenstein has lived in Brookline for forty years and continues to be an active member of the community. Sandy is a retired manufacturer’s representative, and now works the polls on election days. He has been a member of BIG since September 2010, editing and producing his own community-based media projects.

Sandy is creating a 360 film with a Ricoh Theta camera, which will focus on Brookline and community media.