Last month, before I had a blog to write about it, I was honored by my alma mater, Minnesota State University Moorhead, with an Outstanding Young Alumni Award
I was nominated for the award by the faculty of what was the Film Studies Department, back in my day, and what is now the School of Media Arts and Design. I am lucky to still be close with these wonderful people and they have been amazing mentors to me throughout my education and my career. So it was humbling to say the least.
I believe one of the reasons I was nominated was because I helped start a non-profit filmmaking community group called Persistence of Vision. You'll read plenty about that rad little organization in future posts. Basically, the organization was created as a means to create community and for starters to give us MSUM alumni a place to check in with each other and encourage each other to create and grow. Persistence of Vision has grown in ways I could not have guessed when we started it in Ben's apartment community room.
You may have already guessed that community is kind of a big deal to me, and you are right. I take that priority with me into my work as well. Video and film shoots rarely happen with just one person and we need each other to make these crazy things happen. I have learned so much about being a community member, a leader and even a person through my time making films and videos and being exposed to so many wonderful souls.
Cripes, I was going to try to keep this short...
I have many feelings about what I do and who I do it with. I guess we'll be unpacking those more and more.
Anyway, I was told I was going to have to give a speech. Sort of an acceptance, sort of a reflection on my time at MSUM and what it means to me; and because I've learned the importance of a mic and a willing audience, I wanted to lay down a message as well.
I had written a speech prior to the day, some of that material remained. When my former professors took me around the campus with Nick, my partner in life/crime, (he hadn't been there before) I noticed that not much had changed.
Now, because I keep in touch, I know the department has grown in student size.
So, why in the hell don't they have more space and resources?
I was livid.
Seeing other unnecessary expenditures throughout the campus, it was obvious there was money. So, I went back to my hotel room and rewrote my speech.
And here it is, for your reading pleasure:
(It's important to note that I haaaate public speaking and have horrible stage fright, but I managed to suck it up because THIS IS IMPORTANT.)