Posted by:  Cathy

More good news for our fundraising efforts came from Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media (GFEM) which has accepted Threads for its online database.  The project proposal is here on the GFEM website.  GFEM serves as a central location for grantmakers and grant seekers to come together.  Having our project in the GFEM database puts it before a broad range of potential funders.  We really appreciate the quick turnaround by GFEM staff in reviewing and approving Threads for posting.

We are also thankful to the Puffin Foundation: a prerequisite for inclusion in the GFEM database is to have at least one foundation or corporate grant already.  Once we received word of the Puffin grant we were able to apply to GFEM immediately.  The next step, we hope, will be fiscal sponsorship so that U.S. donors to the film can receive a tax deduction.

Posted by:  Cathy

We were thrilled and encouraged today to open the mail and find a grant from the Puffin Foundation for our documentary-in-progress “Threads.”   Thank you!  We know that Foundation grants are very competitive and we are grateful to the Puffin Foundation for keeping the momentum going for the production of this film about a Bangladeshi artist – Surayia Rahman – and how she brought art into the lives of ordinary people, despite many odds.  The Puffin grant will go toward the making of our film trailer.  It is great to know that, even in difficult economic times, there are organizations like the Puffin Foundation willing to support independent films made by new film makers.

Surayia started a new career — moving from painting to nakshi kantha tapestry — after age 50.  A few years later she started her own organization, Arshi.  She was able to become a social entrepreneur before the term was widely used because of her strong commitment to art and the support of family and friends.  Len and I have been inspired by Surayia’s example to start film making after age 50.

We thank the Puffin Foundation for helping us to celebrate creativity – and we thank everyone who supports independent film making!


Posted by: Len

There’s a good article on “Blue Alchemy” in Hand/Eye magazine here.  Enjoy!

Posted by:  Cathy

The eighth Santa Fe International Folk Art Market starts July 8, and International Folk Arts Week has been in full swing since July 3.

The Market is an opportunity for craftspeople from around the world to showcase their work and expand their markets.  “Folk artists preserve cultures and create opportunities,” one of the Market’s press releases notes, something I could not agree with more.  The experience of seeing how women in Bangladesh have been able to not just survive, but thrive, as a result of the work provided by Surayia’s nakshi kantha tapestries has made me more certain than ever that we need to do as much as we can to make people aware of the art being created in developing countries and to support the people who make it.  That’s one of the goals of Threads.

Four documentary films relating to folk art and folk artists will be shown during the week, including Mary Lance’s Blue Alchemy, which I wrote about recently.

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since my previous post on the Market, but work on the film has kept Len and me busy over the last 12 months.  Time has flown, but we are making good progress: we have located nearly 100 of Surayia’s paintings and tapestry designs  around the world, finished a trailer and are working hard to raise funds for the next round of filming in Bangladesh, as well as editing a rough cut of the film.  Hopefully we will soon be able to show Threads at International Folk Art Week!