Tag Archives: women

Kickstarter Launch – To Be Or Not?

Wendy-awards-kickstarter-still

“To be or not to be?” This has been my exact thoughts for the past 2 weeks. Crowdfunding is not the funnest thing to do but, at times it’s necessary.

This is the time and it’s necessary ūüôā

You may not know this but I’ve been working on making my exhibitions and film screenings accessible for people with disabilities. It’s literally a whole new world and I wish more galleries and museums were on board with it.

Why Kickstarter?
I’ve decided to launch a Kickstarter to cover the cost of accessibility for my presentations of photography exhibitions, film festivals and screenings and author talks.

To make the exhibitions and screenings accessible for the blind and low vision audiences, I also plan to use the funds to hire an Audio Describer to create the audio description (AD) for my film. AD is a service for people who are blind or low vision where a recorded narrator explains the artwork or what’s happening on screen in gaps in the dialogue.

To make my film accessible for deaf or low hearing audiences, I plan on using closed captioning. This allows the words to appear and show (on the screen) what is being said in the film. I will also hire a sign language interpreter during my artist talks for film screenings and exhibitions.

The Final Cut
The final cut is when the project is handed over to the sound department for final sound effects, audio mixing and color correction. AD and closed captioning is also created during this phase.

The feedback I receive from film festivals has been consistent. My film has a powerful impact but it needs to be a final cut. I have the professionals in line to do the job, but funding is needed in order to complete this phase.

What’s the launch date?
It’s not set in stone as yet but I will share the pre-launch page for everyone to view on¬†March 3, 2020.¬†If you’re interested in reviewing and providing feedback please¬†contact me.¬†If you have crowdfunding experience and interested in helping with my campaign I’ll give you one of the Kickstarter awards.¬†Contact me¬†for more info and to discuss.

I’ve also been connecting with and submitting my proposal to several family foundations for funding as well as the Arts & Humanities Council. In other words,¬†I’m putting my eggs in multiple baskets.

TWE-film-festival-laurel

Thanks to your support I’m headed to Sarasota!

I Am More Than My Hair¬†was awarded an Official Selection and will screen at the¬†2020 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival, taking place¬†place on March 6 – 8, in Sarasota, FL. If you’re in the area, consider attending the film festival.

I Am More Than My Hair screens on Sunday March 8th. Read more and purchase tickets

Donate $50+ & I’ll send you a copy of the book and a bookmark!

MTMH_book-bookmark

Your support is¬†appreciated!¬†Here’s a few ways you can offer¬†support:¬†

1.¬†Make a donation¬†–¬†Donate¬†$50 or more and I’ll mail you a copy of¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†book. As an added bonus, I’ll send you a bookmark!

  • Want a tax-deduction?¬†Donate via my fiscal sponsor,¬†Docs In Progress. Please note that it will take longer to ship as the¬†funds aren’t immediately available. I’ll keep you posted on the ETA. Please confirm your donation by¬†sending me an email.
  • Not interested in the tax-deduction?¬†Contact me¬†and I’ll send you an invoice via PayPal. Simply click the button below to send an email¬†letting me know your preference.
  • Prefer not to make an online payment?¬†Not a problem. Feel free to mail a check. Please include your reward preference (book, calendar, tote or mouse pad) on the check.¬†Contact me for the mailing address

2. Purchase a copy on Amazon. If you prefer to purchase a copy of¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†on Amazon, please purchase directly from me (AC Media). 10% of proceeds from book sales are donated to Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP).¬†Please note, I am only able to donate to CAP if you make a purchase via AC Media. I won’t receive payment for books sold via the other companies.

3. Interested in hosting a private screening? Contact me for more info.

Thank you for your continued support!

“I Am More Than My Hair” is an Official Selection in the 2020 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival

I Am More Than My Hair¬†has been selected to screen at Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival 2020 taking place¬†place on March 6 – 8, in Sarasota, FL. If you’re in the area, consider attending the film festival.

TWE is a fundraiser for the US National Committee for UN Women (USNC), an arm of the United Nations. UN Women works in more than 90 countries in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment. TWE is a volunteer-staffed festival and all net proceeds of TWE are donated to the USNC for advocacy programs and to support the work of UN Women worldwide. Read more and purchase tickets

Film Festivals

movie theatre marquee of I Am More Than My Hair

It’s a hefty price of $25 – $100 per submission¬†as well as travel/lodging expenses, if my film continues to be selected (a great problem to have). That’s an average of $1K per festival (give or take a few hundred $).

With that in mind…¬†your support is still appreciated!¬†

Here’s a few ways you can support:

1.¬†Make a tax-deductible donation¬†via my fiscal sponsor, Docs In Progress.¬†Donate¬†$50 or more and I’ll mail you a copy of my book¬†(please forward the confirmation email to Alyscia@momsinfilm.org).¬†If you’d like me to write a special message for someone, once you make the donation¬†contact me¬†and let me know who the book should be autographed to and the message you’d like to share.

2.¬†Purchase a copy on Amazon. If you prefer to purchase a copy of “I Am More Than My Hair” on Amazon, please purchase directly from me (AC Media). 10% of proceeds from book sales are donated to Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP). Please note, I am only able to donate to CAP¬† if you make a purchase via AC Media. I won’t receive payment for book sold via the other companies.

3. Mail a check. If you don’t care to make a tax-deductible donation, feel free to make a donation via check and mail it. Once again, if you make a donation of $50 or more. I’ll send you a copy of “I Am More Than My Hair”¬†Contact me for the mailing address.

4. Host a private screening. Interested in a private screening? Contact me for more info.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Transparency

This past Sunday, I attended Fresh Talk: MakeHer Summit, a panel discussion about Women in the Creative Economy, at¬†the National Museum of Women In the Arts. The four creative entrepreneurs on the panel, Rakia Reynolds, Dionna Dorsey, Virginia Arrisueno and Grace Bonney, spoke candidly about entrepreneurship, the beauty and challenges that come with it and the importance of…

Transparency. 

MakeHer-Summit-Alyscia-Cunningham

People often assume your success was an easy road if you never shared your challenges. I’m not sure if it’s the Pisces in me, but being up front about my feelings and experiences is a release. Whether it’s in a conversation, blog or article…

It feels good to let it go.

I’ve always been upfront about my ups and downs as a woman of color, an artist and entrepreneur. My struggles with funding to complete projects and good news of successes that come my way. It’s not easy, but I work very hard.

Here are 3 points that stuck with me:

  1. Being an entrepreneur isn’t sexy. You don‚Äôt wake up this way. The struggle IS real, and you need to make that real to the world, including social media.
  2. Sometimes success and financial freedom means undoing the narrative you’ve been telling yourself about what success looks like.
  3. Transparency and fearlessness can be powerful and protective. ‚ÄúYou don‚Äôt owe anyone anything‚ÄĚ on social media. Protect yourself + be real. You can do both..

On that note, I must admit…

The one area of my life that I choose not to be transparent with, is my family. It’s a rare occasion to post photos of my husband, children, grandparents (unless I’m referencing old photos), parents, siblings, nieces and nephews…

I’m sure you get the picture.

But I enjoy keeping that part of my life off of social media. And although my mom often shares posts about our mother/daughter connection on Facebook (as many times as I ask her not to), my relationship with her and our daily conversation is so much important to me than engaging on her post :).

Some areas I’m just not willing to compromise.

Although my life, both business and personal, has been full of trials and tribulations, overcoming the challenges has played a vital role in my determination to succeed.¬†Success does not come overnight (whatever success may mean to you) but the thing that always shows and proves is that….

Persistence seals the deal. 

I used to think it was cliche to hear celebrities give speeches and consistently say the same quote when wrapping up on their thanks and appreciation to the audience…

You can create anything you set your mind to.

Well, it’s not as easy as making the statement and expecting what you’ve had in mind to suddenly become a reality. But I know for a fact that setting the intention for your idea will be the beginning of a process that will connect you to those that will lead the way for open doors. It’s the powerful beauty of the Universe.

Honesty and transparency make your vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. ~Mother Teresa

You never know who’s watching and learning from your journey.

Film Finishing Funds

A few weeks ago, I was excited to share my idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign with iFundWomen. It is a great platform, but after serious consideration of the time involved to manage that campaign, I decided it’s best that I stick with raising funds through my fiscal sponsor,¬†Docs In Progress.

At first, the thought of crowdfunding, made me¬†think of just asking friends and¬†relatives for donations. But, it’s actually an invitation for others,¬†for YOU,¬†to join together to support me in the making of my film.

Over the next few months, I will send reminders and updates about my fundraiser to help bring my film into completion. In other words, Finishing Funds. If you’re interested in supporting me, please make a tax-deductible donation via the Docs In Progress project page for¬†I Am More Than My Hair. And don’t forget to share! Sharing is caring.


Feminine TransitionsIn honor of her birthday month & my coming ‚Äúout‚ÄĚ last year, Wendy Simon, has launched a fundraiser for¬†I Am More Than My Hair¬†on¬†Facebook. Wendy has not only participated in my project (both the film and book) but she has also been extremely supportive in consistently providing me with resources and ideas to help complete my project.

If you’re on Facebook, please join Wendy’s page, say hello and let her know how awesome she is for showing her support. She could have supported another non-profit in honor of her birthday, but she decided to contribute to the continuation of my work. Thank you Wendy!

Visit Wendy’s¬†Facebook event page.


The date is set! Please join me in celebration of I Am More Than My Hair book release. It takes place on Sunday, September 9, 2018 from 5-7PM at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD. Purchase tickets for $10. The book cost $39.95.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the event, you’ll receive a complimentary ticket. Please¬†contact me¬†and let me know.

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Coming to a close.

I can’t believe that the end of my 30 day campaign is almost near. Anyone who has ever launched a crowdfunding campaign, or a fundraiser in general, knows that you don’t get much sleep. You spend much of your time networking, doing outreach, organizing speaking opportunities, following -up, marketing, follow-up, follow-up and still follow-up.

After all, it’s worth it in the end.

Reaching my fundraising goal is my target of course. However, the connections made and awareness raised, about female hairloss, has been a truly rewarding experience.

To help recharge my energy, it definitely helps when I venture out and meet various women for filming and photoshoots. It’s also refreshing that each participant’s meeting place is usually located someplace differently each time.

Spontaneity is a beautiful thing!

Here’s a short video I captured, with my cell phone, during a brunch with Sisters with Alopecia Group (SWAG) at Bus Boys and Poets. Aren’t they gorgeous!

swag-screenshot

Please continue to help spread the word for continued support and contributions. 

I’ll make it easy for you. Feel free to copy and past the¬†post below:

Twitter: Help artist @AlysciaCPhoto produce her documentary #film & #book #IamMoreThanMyHair redefines female baldness- https://igg.me/at/MoreThanMyHair

Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc: Let’s support female artist, Alyscia Cunningham, and help raise funding in order to¬†produce her documentary film & coffee table book #IamMoreThanMyHair.¬†Through her project she is capturing the personal stories of girls and women who’ve experienced hairloss and redefines the beauty of female baldness. Donate via Indiegogo –¬†https://igg.me/at/MoreThanMyHair

To everyone who¬†has contributed by making a donation and/or sharing my fundraiser… Thank you!

On another note…

Freelance Journalist Christina Portilla, owner of Roam Free Writes, wrote an article about my project. I wanted to share my interview with you. See it at http://www.roamfreewrites.com/single-post/2017/04/03/Community-Call-Redefining-the-beauty-of-female-baldness

Much thanks to Christian for her interest women’s issues and passion to spread awareness about of female hairloss!

I Give Up

As an artist and entrepreneur, I’ve find myself questioning whether or not to pursue certain endeavors. When I first made the decision to leave corporate America in pursuit of my entrepreneurial path, reality kicked in when I first experienced hard times. When the lifestyle I was living based, pretty much based on a consistent paycheck, dissipated.

In the beginning I often had to remind myself why I left and what was most important. My children.

Although entrepreneurial and life challenges has periods of difficulty, I wouldn’t give up the freedom of peace of mind and time spend with my husband and children for anything.

As I continue my journey as a first time filmmaker, I admit that it hasn’t been easy. Not that I’m expecting it to be but I can’t help but notice and feel the challenge of being a woman of color breaking into a new industry, which has been pointed out to me multiple times on multiple levels.

I’ve tried my best not to let the lack of support for my fundraiser and opportunities that seem to not be a “right fit” (yes I’ve been told that), get to me. At times it’s hard. And during these times I’ve thought to myself…

I GIVE UP!

Then it hit me…

I thought about my mom yesterday. She was 25, married with 3 children (2, 4 & 6) and had an¬†aneurysm on the right side of her brain. The aneurysm caused her to have a stroke and left her paralyzed on the left side of her body. She told me she went through periods of “Why me?”, anger and bitterness about her diagnosis. But all¬†I remember about my mom is that paralysis on the left side of her body was never an excuse for her to NOT do anything.

She drove by herself, cooked for her family, went to and from work on the busy streets of Manhattan, NY, and was so determined to keep going, despite her stroke. My mom set the tone for me when it comes to determination.

If she never made an excuse, how can I?

In no way am I comparing my moms illness to the frustration I feel about my art. Instead I am drawing a comparison to the level of difficulty she experienced and what I feel personally about my art.

I have no excuse and giving up is not an option.

Despite the negative comments I’ve received from various women (yes women) about I Am More Than My Hair, there is an entire community of girls and¬†women involved in my project, that are not only counting on me but sincerely believe in the mission of my work. Of OUR work. And if I give up, we lose.

Today gave a speaking engagement and¬†presented my work to young ladies of Albion College (Albion, MI)¬†Women’s and Gender Studies. The positives responses and questions during the discussion about embracing who are are and learning to love ourselves just as we are, was another confirmation that I am on the right path.

Taken at Albion College (Albion, MI) during my presentation Embracing Your Natural Beauty, for the women of Women’s and Gender Studies.¬†

In the end, my lesson learned is what will be must be. What is for me shall be. What I am born to create, has no option but to be created. I’m allowing life to takes it’s course. Thank you for taking the time to read.

With just 15 days left for my fundraiser, your support is appreciated. Contribute via Indiegogo –¬†https://igg.me/at/MoreThanMyHair

Thank you,

Alyscia

Natalie’s View of Beauty

For the past few years I’ve been¬†seeking¬†to learn more about my family’s stories, wondering and questioning about their personal¬†thoughts and¬†characteristics. Including those in the midst of transition.

Although little-by-little I am connecting the dots, one thing that have become distinctively clear to me is my yearning to know the stories of people. Given my own experience¬†¬†with beauty, it’s a topic I tend to focus on but in general understanding the view points and backgrounds of others is incredibly intriguing to me.

Through the process I’ve learned that although our deepest personal experiences¬†shape how we see ourselves and others, we are ALL in the process of¬†learning. We are all on this journey called life simply doing our best to figure things out.

As I continue to work on I Am More Than My Hair and film interview segments, I am also capturing footage of various individuals asking one question.

“What is beauty?”

Natalie tells us her view.
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Interested in an interview? Contact me via my website.

I couldn’t stop with the interview. I¬†had to take her picture too.

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May Their Souls Rest In Peace

This week I received news that I wasn’t expecting. Ms. Yvonne Johnson, a participant in my first book, Feminine Transitions, passed away. On the same day, I received an email for a link to a blog post about the passing of Debbie Osarere, a participant in my upcoming book, I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me.

Images from Feminine Transitions
Sunrise February 10, 1941 – Sunset April 5, 2016
I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me
Sunrise August 1, 1984 – Sunset April 1, 2016

The culprit? Cancer.

For privacy purposes I won’t get into the details of their diagnosis, but I will say Cancer is an epidemic and it is taking the lives of too many of our loved ones.

We Can Stop the Cancer Epidemic, by educating ourselves, our families and knowing what to avoid. Although it’s hard to completely avoid all chemicals such as chem trails sprayed in the air by our government and pesticides in our foods, we can reduce our rate of cancer diagnosis by eating healthy (try growing your own food), exercising daily and doing your best to have a piece of mind (no stress).

I’m not a doctor, neither is this a diagnosis. Just like everyone else I’m fed ¬†up of the epidemic taking the lives of family and friends.

I ask to please keep Ms. Yvonne Johnson and Debbie Osarere’s family, any of your loved ones that have passed or holding on for dear life¬†and¬†those that are alive and well, in your thoughts and prayers. May these two beautiful¬†souls continue to rest in peace.

~Be well… Alyscia

 

I’m Featured In The Huffington Post!

Last week I received an email from an editor at¬†HuffPost Women. She asked if I would be open for an interview about Feminine Transitions photo series. I thought to myself, “But of course!” After the Huffington Post¬†article¬†“Unretouched Portraits Illustrate 19 Bare, Bold And Beautiful Women” went live, I received a handful of¬†emails and phone calls from other media outlets requesting an interview for their website. I am so grateful for this unexpected opportunity!

I would love to share a few of the articles with you. You can read¬†Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, and even IASK, a Chinese news source. You can also read the interviews on the media page of my website. ¬†Feel free to¬†leave a comment in the response section after you’ve read it.

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Continue reading I’m Featured In The Huffington Post!