by Maria Webster
Vox Siren came to be because our team wants - above all else - to elevate the stories of women. We are a creative change agency that believe all people benefit from the stories, skills and safety of women. This summer, we’ve prepared a unique way to do exactly that.
Vox Siren’s Zoe Piliafas has been working throughout this year to bring the right partners together for this special project. So this summer in partnership with Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest, NW Documentary, Metro, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Cycle Oregon, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Upswell and Travel Portland, Vox Siren is presenting “Produced By Her,” a summer program designed to broadcast the voices of young women in Portland.
Twelve young women at De La Salle High School will spend five weeks exploring the importance of women's stories. They will work in groups to produce short documentaries which will premiere at the Hollywood Theater in August of 2016. The Produced By Her girls will also get to go on a historical bike ride and work with Metro to create an exciting bicycle map that highlights the stories of women in their films.
These young women will learn practical skills from videography to bike safety, practice leadership and public speaking, and finally, see their own work on the big screen. They will explore the history of Portland and learn about the women who helped shaped our city.
Kerri Lynne Thorp, Vox Siren’s Creative Director, will be the Program Director, and Kalimah Abioto will partner with Girls Inc.’s superstar facilitator Abby Lucero to guide the young women through the program. Abby Lucero is a seasoned Guide at Girls Inc., and she works hard every year to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Kalimah Abioto is a writer, filmmaker and a recipient of the Hollins University Nicole Kohn Film Award for Exceptional Filmmakers. She is a co-creator, along with her four sisters, of The People Could Fly Project, a multimedia project documenting the dreams and stories of people in the African Diaspora. Vox Siren’s own Kelly Hansen and Zoe Piliafas will be leading special professional development workshops.
As part of the program, Melissa Lowery will host a VIP screening and workshop of her film, “Black Girl in Suburbia,” an official selection of last year’s International Black Women’s Film Festival. This eye-opening documentary explores the experiences of young black girls growing up in predominantly white communities. The Produced By Her girls will have the opportunity to ask Melissa about the process of making the documentary, and her experience as a female filmmaker.
Other exciting activities include bike education with the BTA, a VIP photoshoot and interview session with Intisar Abioto of Black Portlanders, professional editing experience at NW Documentary, a blog workshop with Margaret Jacobsen as well as special guests and field trips.
Throughout this exciting summer, Rachel Bracker will join Kalimah Abioto and Kerri Thorp in collecting footage for a documentary about the girls’ experience. Our goal is to help these young women give voice to their own stories, and to demonstrate the community value of their work by screening it publicly!
On Sunday, August 28th, 2016, Vox Siren, along with our partners, will host a public screening of all of the Produced By Her short films, as well as the all-encompassing documentary, to share the voices of these talented young women and bring them to the attention of the community at large.
Stay tuned for more updates. This is going to be an exciting summer!
We want to thank all of our partners for making this possible. A special shout out to Yeruwelle de Rouen at Girls Inc of the Pacific Northwest for all of your hard work launching this project!
Follow @voxsiren and #ProducedByHer on Twitter and Instagram to follow the girls on their journey.
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