I was self-employed as an attorney, never part of the corporate world. I taught in the public schools for five or six years (teaching mainly third grade) before attending law school. I have an MA in Creative Writing, my BA was in history and philosophy.
I found I lacked real enthusiasm for the law and had philosophical as well as financial reasons for deciding to leave that adversarial world. I set out several years ago on a path to help in the ways I am best equipped to help, doing work I can wholeheartedly believe in.
I envisioned a non-hierarchic, creative program where children could work together to make their voices heard. I imagined the children in the Harlem schools where I taught having a place where their ideas would be listened to and supported as they demonstrate the depth of their imagination and desire to learn. Spent one year figuring out how to do all facets of stop motion animation in a way elementary school-aged kids could teach each other to do. I invented a portable animation stand that fits in a backpack and sets up in five minutes. The next two years I facilitated approximately one hundred workshops, the bulk of them in NYC public schools. It is very gratifying to see how it works immediately, exactly as designed, everywhere I set it up. Within minutes the room is a buzzing beehive of purposeful activity.
What I need now is help pitching, publicizing and selling the program. I’m looking forward to hearing your advice and ideas about the steps I need to take to find the people I need to help move this from great working idea to sustainable program.