Category Archives: Announcement

The Oprah Winfrey Network’s In!

Anyone who’s worked hard and dedicated much of their time to creating and continuing on a path that they feel most passionate about, knows that failure is a part of the journey. And without the periods of falling, one would never know what it truly takes to withstand the many storms that comes your way and still and rise to the occasion.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.” ~Maya Angelou

I’ve reached out to several media outlets for licensing or collaboration in order to use segments of filmed footage in my documentary. Most (knowing their guilty of the not so positive imagery they’ve produced) have denied consent. But I’m very excited that my first “Yes” of approval was given by OWN TV!

FYI, it is not an endorsement (just to be clear) but it’s a blessing to know that my documentary was provided with permission after thorough review of my character and the work I create as an artist. Although it was disappointing to not reach my campaign goal on Indiegogo, the love and and support gained, is an affirmation.

Every no brings me closer to a yes.” ~Mark Cuban

Donate to Alyscia's fundraiser via Docs In Progress

See the list of everyone who supported my campaign. As I persevere with I Am More Than My Hair, I ask for your continued support to help raise funds for my project by donating via my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress using this link – https://docsinprogress.nationbuilder.com/hair

I Am More Than My Hair is a passion project that has honestly been an extension of Feminine Transitions. It is about the transitions we experience as women that we feel necessary to cover and remain silent because we face a tremendous amount of pressure within society to uphold to a certain “look”.

What I know for sure is…

Beauty has no dimensions and the definition of what it exemplifies does NOT fit in a box. With that in mind… know that you are beautiful (handsome)!

I’ve been in hiatus, with filming, editing and photo shoots. Here’s a trailer I put together. It’s a honor to keep you posted… and I continue with with my journey.

I Am More Than My Hair trailer from Alyscia Cunningham on Vimeo.

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I’m Launching a KCA Campaign!

A few weeks ago I received a Google alert about Alicia Keys and her stance on her #NoMakeup movement. In the recent past, a few celebrities spoke out against Photoshop manipulation but for the first time a celebrity has gained a significant amount of attention and admiration for a major lifestyle shift that is typically deemed as unacceptable in the Hollywood world.

Porait of of Alicia Keys
Photo copyright © Zoltán Tombor (for Fault Magazine).

Although our children learn about self-love and acceptance through their close family relationships (and in turn with themselves) public figures have a profound influence in the lives of our youth. This makes it so much more important that celebrities use their voice as positive platforms for much needed change.

Given that my focus as an author, filmmaker and photographer is about natural beauty, it was only natural that I reach out to Alicia Keys for an interview.

In the process of researching her agent and PR company, I found Keep A Child Alive (KCA), an organization, co-founded by Alicia Keys, that partner with grass-roots organizations to combat the physical, social and economic impact of HIV on children and families in Africa and India.

After diving into my research about KCA (I completely forgot about the interview and focused on the mission of the organization) I discovered the organization also encompasses youth empowerment. The youth-led peer support groups are helping young people living with HIV access support and confidence that they need to live healthy lives and build bright futures.

I immediately wanted to get involved. It’s all about empowerment… and that’s my focus.

About $1,000 covers a year’s worth of programming for a youth peer support group. With that in mind, I decided to launch a campaign that focuses on positive message for the youth in the youth-led support groups. My goal is to raise $3,000, which will cover programming for about 3 youth groups.

I will film 30-60 second videos of individuals voicing their message of encouragement for the children. Something similar to the recent video I filmed about beauty.

Here’s how you can help make this campaign a success…

  1. I need 20 individuals willing to volunteer a short amount of time (literally 5 minutes) to be filmed for the videos. Family members and friends… I will be calling you first.
  2. Donate to the campaign once I launch it. Instead of charging a fee to be filmed and edited, I ask that you please help fund the campaign and make it a success.
  3. Share, share, share! The more you can share on your platforms, the most it will gain more attention and go viral (that’s the goal).

It’s that simple!

KCA’s Black Ball will take place on Wednesday October 19, 2016. I will launch my campaign on Wednesday October 12, 2016, a week prior to the Ball. If happen to live or plan on visiting the New York City area, please considering purchasing a ticket for KCA’s Black Ball.

My campaign will end on World Aids Day, December 1, 2016 at approximately 11:59pm. No amount is too small and anything you can give is appreciated. Please be on the lookout for my newsletter about my campaign going live!

 

My First Grant Award!

After several years of applying on multiple platforms with various organizations, I am so EXCITED to finally have been awarded my first grant. The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD provided me with a $3,500 grant to help me develop and print 1,000 copies of my book I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me, a social-change coffee table book that tells the stories and celebrates the beauty of girls and women who have lost their hair due to medical conditions.

Although the many rejection letters I’ve received was disappointing, I must admit, I was unprepared for a grant before this. After comparing my previous applications to the one I was awarded, there’s no mistaking the growth between then and now.

Looking at my old applicators I wouldn’t have granted myself an award either. Don’t get me wrong, the art is beautiful, but the execution of it wasn’t planned out as I’ve organized it to be now.

Also, recently being selected as an art panelist, for another arts & humanities council, allowed me to view applications from the eyes of a judge. And of course I was able to give back to the community. For my next round of grant applications I will fully prepared.

With all of the excitement and appreciation inside of me, I’ve also had to recognize that I’ll need to come up with an additional  $25, 870 of my $29, 370 budget, to complete both the book and documentary. Yes it’s that much!

crowdfunding

For this reason I decided to apply for Fiscal Sponsorship (it’s another application process that has to be approved) and will launch a Crowdfunding campaign in January 2017.

I will send the details and status as I get closer to the dates. In the meantime, know that I’ve been working like a mad woman…and learning so much in the process. Thank you for your support and encouraging emails along the way!

I’m still looking for participants for I Am More Than My Hair. Know anyone? Let’s connect!

I’m Up To Something

I’ve been busy at work…literally. My Home Improvement business has grown significantly since the start of 2016. Due to the growth I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time on my art and writing as usual. Given that the past few years has been most challenging I won’t complain and most definitely grateful for the blessing.

I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me

I am still working on my project I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me (photo book and documentary. If can know a girl or women who has either lost their hair due to medical conditions or has cut their hair in support of a loved one please let me know. I am still looking for 20 participants.2016-Docs-Fellowship

Thankfully I was awarded the 2016 Docs In Progress Fellowship, which allows me the focus and support in order to produce my first film. I’m so excited about this! Now I only have to catch up with everyone (and everything) but no worries, I’ll get there.On that note, I’m seeking another intern. If you have someone in mind please send me your referral.

Also, this semester I started Screenwriting class and couldn’t be more pleased. Writing is a release and through it I’ve learned that I’m actually pretty good at it (Yes I’m patting myself on the back:). I wrote three scripts and will take a shot at shooting it, unless it picked up by a film studio. That will be later on once I’ve completed my project however.

I just wanted to reach out, say hello and let you know what I was up to since I haven’t written in a while. And if you’re free for any of my upcoming events simply RSVP and I will add you to the list.

Last thing… I found an article about my work on SoulPancake. How cool is that! I love SoulPancake and their message of delivering news that matters.

Until next time…

Alyscia Cunningham

Have You Ever Dreamed?

Bubbles Beyond Borders, a global campaign to support the dreams of women around the world, launches on August 16th, 2014.

To become a team leader in your state or province, contact Bubbles Beyond Borders. I will be leading the Maryland Campaign and would love to have many hands.

Join individuals, organisations and activists who will take to the streets on August 16th at 1pm local time to blow bubbles for a powerful purpose – to pledge an action in support of girls and women’s rights and dreams around the world. Why bubbles?

•the right to respect
•the right to an innocent childhood
•the right to an education
•the right to express themselves
•the right to independence
•the right to choose their own partners
•the right to equal pay
•the right to protection under the law
•the right to vote, and participate in government

Please get involved and help us take this to the next level!

You can participate NOW by taking a photo of yourself or your daughter, granddaughter, neice and/or friends blowing bubbles with a short written description of your dreams and post it on Bubbles Beyond Borders.

Please support our work by sharing posts using #bubblesbeyondborders and liking the Facebook page. There is also a list of things you can do to help and a list of ideas for a pledge.

Please share this post with everyone you know!

Need Gifts For The Holidays?

Feminine Transitions Gift Pack

Save $20 on 3 pack gift set

The Holidays are right around the corner but you still have time to purchase gifts for your friends and love ones. You can now purchase a 3 pack gift set and save $20 (regularly $134.85 now $114.85). Purchase as a gift for someone else or give one to three of your most favorite people.

Need gifts for the holidays? Order your 3-set gift pack here. Offer ends January 1, 2014.

My Daughter Has Skills

I am very proud to announce that my daughter, Serenity,  is the 1st place winner of FotoWeek DC Youth Photo Contest. She put it out in the Universe that she was going to win the prize of a $100 digital camera. I say it’s well deserved.

A model at Metamorphosis Fashion Show
A model at Metamorphosis Fashion Show

Her prize winning photograph is placed above but I’m also sharing the other images she submitted below.

Picture of trees outside my window.
What I saw through my living room window

Serenity’s creativity is versatile and I knew she took to the gene of an artist when she was a baby. She would use a crayon and scribble the prettiest colors and patterns. Unfortunately, my wall was her canvas. Once she got a little older I did purchase an easel  then a Vtech digital camera for her.

Baby with glasses
Baby with sunglasses

All images were shot with her kiddie camera. I say has definitely inherited the artist gene. Congrats to my beautiful and talented 2nd grader!