Sustainability Labs

Applications open on Friday for U.S.-based creators, artists, directors, and producers looking to change their personal model of creative, financial, and business sustainability. There is a $35 fee to apply, however, if you feel like you need assistance please reach out directly to ben@pamcut.orgDeadline to apply is July 1st, 2023.

Preference will be given to mid-career artists, storytellers, and creative producers who have completed at least one significant project in at least two disciplines or mediums. Alternatively, applicants who have completed work on a project and are now in significant development in a new medium, form, or format will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Past mentors and speakers at the program include: Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin), Janice Williams (Pieces of Her), David Cress (Documentary Now!), Patty Brebner (Opinionated, Wieden+ Kennedy), Jillann Spitzmiller (Meow Wolf: Origin Story), Iyabo Boyd (Brown Girls Doc Mafia) Kisha Imani Cameron (The Hair Tales), Kishori Rajan (Random Acts of Flyness), Angela Lee (Songs My Brother Taught Me), Michel Reilhac (Venice VR), Bing Liu (Minding the Gap), Nate Bolotin (XYZ Films), Nico Fearn (Nike) Kasey Adler (Dark Horse), Alex Bulkley (ShadowMachine)

Successfully making cinematic art is challenging, and sustaining a career in the media industry continues to be difficult due to the lack of access to mentors, industry leaders, tools, and strategies necessary in communities outside of major cities. The Labs are a program that uniquely prioritizes holistic career advancement and sustainability, and were funded in 2021 and 2022 by the National Endowment for the Arts, and generous contributions from Joan Cirillo and Roger Cooke, the Reil Foundation for Arts and Creativity, and the King Family Foundation. Rather than focusing on a singular project, the Sustainability Labs act as a spark not only for select artists, but for our community and the ecosystem at large.

The Sustainability Labs program focuses on embracing artists’ multiplicities and de-siloing modes of storytelling to provide greater opportunity and access. Serving five mid-career storytellers working in a variety of mediums, the Sustainability Labs were created to help artists in search of guidance to harness and expand their creative and business talents across multiple platforms. 

This guidance will include individual, bespoke support on business plans, project and personal financial planning, creative brand expansion, growth opportunities, as well as small group sessions on mental health, balance, and personal sustainability. In order to provide the greatest access to artists, a $3,000 stipend will be provided, as well as travel and lodging in Portland during one week in October. 

Ultimately, the Labs are focused on improving equity, creative diversity, and sustainability in cinematic storytelling in all its forms. In PAM CUT’s ongoing commitment to inclusion, a minimum of half of the participants in the Sustainability Labs will be artists who identify as Black, indigenous, artists of color, women artists, trans/nonbinary, or disabled artists. The Labs will also bring together both Northwest artists and international artists, uplifting the region’s talent to a global scale and creating lasting interconnected cohorts that can support one another now and into the future. 

Working with professional mentors, life coaches, and guest presenters, participants will open doors to their own unique potentials and skills, establishing tangible short and long-term goals to ensure that their creative, financial and personal sustainability is maintained. Topic areas include: 

  • Individual goal setting and project management consulting for an existing, upcoming, or proposed project.
  • Personal brand building and audience engagement strategy.
  • Goal setting for career sustainability such as expanded access to job opportunities, meetings with key industry leaders, pitching and key marketing materials, improved connectivity within the Northwest and introductions to global marketplace leadership, agency, or gallery representation.
  • Financial forecasting and sustainability such as career coaching, goal setting, setting up LLC/business plans, and debt management. 
  • Present work to professionals and peers at the 2024 Cinema Unbound Awards as a culmination of the fellowship. 

PAM CUT screened 2021 Sustainability Labs fellow Angela Washko’s film Workhorse Queen recently as part of a documentary series. “Sustainability Labs for me was nothing short of incredible,” she said in an interview with Willamette Week. “There were actual tangible results from that lab, which I can’t say is always true for every professional development workshop I’ve participated in.”

The Sustainability Labs are made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and generous contributions from Joan Cirillo and Roger Cooke, the Reil Foundation for Arts and Creativity, and the King Family Foundation.