Happy Holidays Kickstarter Family!
I hope everyone in the states has had a loving Thanksgiving! This year was so pivotal to our project because you helped it become a reality and we're on target to complete the documentary 2013!
I am so thankful for all of your support and I want to update you with some great progress we’ve made since reaching our fundraising goal this summer.
Being a part of this documentary from so early on, you all know we set out long ago to one day use our progress to honor my grandmother on her 90th birthday. Well, I’m happy to report the good news!
Photograph: Hasna (my mother), Muta'Ali (me), Ruby Dee (Gram Ruby), Nora (my aunt) (Photographer: Brahm Rhodes)
On November 14th, in celebration of Gram Ruby’s 90th birthday, we premiered a thirty-minute excerpt of “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee” at a beautiful, flower-, food- and drink-filled, live music accented, picture taking, gift-giving occasion in Harlem, New York (where Gram Ruby first began her career).
Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Susan Taylor, and Khephra Burns hosted the night. Kickstarter backers at the $500 level and above, as promised, were invited and, in addition to completing the film, we will distribute the rest of the rewards to you all in 2013.
For a peek into the evening, please watch this video we prepared for you!
We’ve been so busy shooting and editing during the past four months and I am happy to say we represented the documentary well. The crowd was extremely pleased and you, our Kickstarter Family, were a significant part of making it possible!
Photograph: Hosts Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance (Photographer: Brahm Rhodes)
Photograph: Hosts Susan Taylor and Khephra Burns (Photographer: Terrence Jennings)
Kickstarter backer listing in event program (we fit all 394 names!)
Photograph: Jevon "NJ" Frank (producer), Ruby Dee, and Muta'Ali (Photographer: Brahm Rhodes)
The evening was also made possible due to great support from the following:
Ambassador Andrew Young
LaTanya and Samuel L. Jackson
Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance
Billye and Hank Aaron
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The National Black Theatre
Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr.
Camille and Bill Cosby
Photograph: Muta'Ali, Khephra Burns, Susan Taylor, Henry Singleton of 1199SEIU, Gina Miller of 1199SEIU, Ruby Dee, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Billye Aaron, Dionne Polite of AARP, Angela Basset, and Courtney Vance (Photographer: Brahm Rhodes)
We’re well on our way. Much more work needs to be done and there will be much more progress and accomplishment ahead for all of us!
Once again, thank you for all of your love, support, kind words, and pledges that have allowed us to give you this wonderful update on Gram Ruby’s birthday celebration and energize us in completing the remainder of the documentary. Back to work for us.
Photograph: Muta'Ali, after the event (grateful!) (Photographer: Terrence Jennings)
Have a great week, everyone!