‘Culture’ Archive

At the intersection of pop culture and social change

I’ve always been a pop-culture junkie. Growing up, my mom and I would watch Laugh-In together in her bed, and although my father warned me that my college degree in TV and film would never get me anywhere, I’m glad to say that at least on this, he was wrong.

portable-tvI never doubted the power of pop culture to influence the world around us. After all, I might not be working in the field of social change if I hadn’t been inspired to make a difference by The West Wing. I might not be running my own freelance writing business if it weren’t for the examples of strong, independent women I saw in countless TV shows and films during my formative years, or the seriously strong influence of singer/songwriters like Tori Amos.

But pop culture was always more of a personal obsession — until now. The whip-smart folks at AndACTION have created a super-cool project that uses stories from TV and film to elevate issues being championed by nonprofit organizations and foundations.

In their own words:

AndACTION is a pop-culture hub that gives nonprofits inside intel on upcoming and recent film and TV storylines on the issues they care about. We hunt down leads and suggest creative ways to use them and make a meaningful difference. By recognizing the power of pop culture, nonprofits can engage new audiences – and be a step ahead of what everyone will be talking about tomorrow.

AndACTION connects do-gooders with storytellers, raising everyone’s profile with the ultimate goal of driving positive change. Think about it: Would you rather tune into a political speech on C-SPAN or watch a couple episodes of House of Cards? Okay, some people love doing both, but the fact is that AndACTION puts to work the proven idea that stories have unparalleled power to change hearts and minds.

Pop culture, storytelling and social change are three of my favorite things, so imagine my delight when I was asked to begin contributing content to AndACTION’s blog and other projects. Every so often, worlds collide in the best possible way. Kind of like something you think only happens in the movies.

I’m thrilled for the chance to write about the intersection of pop culture and social change on a regular basis. Check out my first post for AndACTION, which takes a look at how pop culture is helping to topple one of the last -isms left: ageism.

And stay tuned. There’s much more on the way.

Champions of grace

After they won the gold medal for ice dancing at the 2010 Winter Olympics, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for Vim & Vigour magazine.

They were enthusiastic, humble and absolutely delightful, even though I was taking them away from their ice time. Virtue and Moir have every reason to be proud of their performance in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which earned them a silver medal. Their professionalism and genuine grace shine through — on the ice and off.

I congratulate them on their many achievements over the last 17 years, and wish them a fulfilling future.

You can read what I wrote about them here.

Bringing Shakespeare to life in Detroit

ShakespeareNothing makes me happier than telling good-news stories — especially when they’re about Detroit. It’s even better when one of these stories also happens to be about a friend.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sam White, the founder and artistic director of Shakespeare in Detroit. What was once just a dream became a reality for one midsummer night in 2013, with a performance of Othello in Grand Circus Park. Now the company hopes to present three shows in Detroit in 2014, if they can reach their fundraising goal.

Read about the dream, and how you can help make it come true, in my post at Eclectablog.

Photo credit: Brian White

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