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Four local poets + four local filmmakers = 48 hour challenge
60 backers pledged $2,072 to help bring this project to life.

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What can happen when we match award-winning poets with cutting-edge filmmakers and give them 48 hours?

Our vision for Hothouse is simple: connect a local poet with a local filmmaker to create a short poetry film which celebrates that indelible spark of collaborative inspiration.

Taking a page from the 48-hour Film Project’s playbook, we want to challenge our Hothouse artists to capture the raw beauty of a poem and run with it. Of course the work will be lasting, but we are interested in what can emerge when time is of the essence. 

We also want to showcase the depth and breadth of the Twin Cities arts community through mentorship, access to state-of-the-art equipment at studios like Egg Creative and Motion504, and a national platform thanks to our friends at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Hothouse films will be screened to the public during their inaugural Wordplay Festival on Sunday, May 12, 2019 [Time/Location TBD]. For more information, please visit: http://loft.org/wordplay

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For our 2019 pilot program, we have selected four dynamic poets—Donte Collins, April Gibson, Heid Erdrich, and Hieu Minh Nguyen—and matched them with four cutting-edge filmmakers—D.A. Bullock, Free Black Dirt, Ryan Stopera, and Xialou Wang

This is where YOU come in! 

Your generous donation will go directly to our artists to fund their time, purchase needed equipment, and pay their casts and crews (1:4 / poet:filmmaker) to support their visionary work. As a small arts nonprofit, we have limited funds, but if the $2000 goal is met, Motionpoems will match that amount to give to our artists, essentially doubling the budget. At different donation levels, we are offering some fun ways to participate and be part of this amazing pilot program.

Hothouse Poets & Filmmakers
Hothouse Poets & Filmmakers

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MEET OUR 2019 HOTHOUSE POETS:

Donte Collins is a Black, queer American poet. Named the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Saint Paul, Minnesota, they are the recipient of the 2018 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Spoken Word and winner of the Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets. They are the author of the poetry collection “Autopsy” (Button Poetry, 2017) a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. Collins is the recipient of the Mitchell Prize in Poetry from Augsburg University and an alum of TruArtSpeaks, a non-profit arts organization based in the Twin Cities cultivating literacy, leadership, and social justice through the study & application of Spoken Word and Hip Hop culture. They wield poetry to collapse normativity and deliver work that is both alluring and challenging. Often centered around intersections of class, race, adoption, sexuality, mental health, and social justice, Donte uses stillness, observation, story, and the marriage between archive and repertoire to reimagine how poetry can be accessible to those who believe the form is dead.

Heid E. Erdrich is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She is author of eight books of poetry and is editor of New Poets of Native Nations from Graywolf Press. Heid's short films have appeared in group events at Whitney Museum of American Art,  Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and elsewhere. Her installations and films have been part of exhibits at Tweed, Bockley Gallery, and Plains Art Museum. Heid’s first feature exhibit will be at SooVac gallery in Minneapolis in May 2019. She teaches in the Augsburg University low-residency MFA program.

April Gibson is a poet, essayist, and educator. She is the author of the chapbook Automation (Willow Books 2015). Her writing is also published or forthcoming in PANK, Pluck!, Literary Mama, Origins, Naugatuck River Review, and elsewhere. She is a fellow of Callaloo and The Watering Hole, and a VONA alum. April teaches at The University of St. Thomas, The Loft Literary Center, and with The Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. She is at work on a poetry collection that explores performance, politics, memory, and Black womanhood.

Hieu Minh Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese American poet and performer based out of Minneapolis. Recipient of 2017 NEA fellowship for poetry and MFA from Warren Wilson College, Hieu is a Kundiman fellow and a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine. His work has appeared in PBS Newshour, POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed, Poetry London, Nashville Review, Indiana Review, and more. His debut collection of poetry, This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) was named a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the MN Book Award. His second collection of poetry, Not Here, was published with Coffee House Press in 2018. 


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MEET OUR 2019 HOTHOUSE FILMMAKERS:

D.A. Bullock is an award-winning filmmaker and social practice artist in the field of story-based organizing. His films have been featured at national and international festivals including Toronto International Film Festival & Chicago International Film Festival; winner of Best Film at Urbanworld Film Festival. In 2011 Bullock founded Bully Creative Shop, a feature film, documentary, media arts and digital content social enterprise. Bullock is a 2014 McKnight IFP Media Artist Fellow, 2015 MN State Arts Board Grant recipient, 2016 Intermedia Arts / City of Minneapolis Creative Citymaking Artist, and 2017 Bush Fellowship recipient. Bullock is currently a faculty instructor co-director of HECUA’s Making Media, Making Change course. His cinematography work can be seen currently in the ARRAY Releasing documentary film VANISHING PEARLS, available on Netflix.

Free Black Dirt is an artistic partnership formed by Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus-Nasah. They are committed to creating original theatre and performance, hosting innovative events, organizing local artists, and promoting and supporting the emerging artists’ community in the Twin Cities, Free Black Dirt seeks to spark and engage in critical conversations. They are currently working on "Sweetness of Wild" a web series themed around Blackness, queerness, biking, resistance, love and coming of age in Minneapolis. 

Ryan Stopera is a photographer, filmmaker, and educator. He has worked with community organizations for over 15 years including with individuals experiencing homelessness, children and families, and foster care youth, as well as in program development and affordable housing development.  Ryan is motivated by sharing stories of our truth and our vision of the future in order to build a more just and equitable world today.

Xiaolu Wang finds her natural state of being––on a train with a book in her hands or dancing in the middle of the street. She seems to be always looking for something, something tiny, somewhere deep, faraway places, magic that defies gravity, light that casts shadows, motion that slows down, a quote from a window display, a warm bowl to hold, mirrors in people’s hearts that reflect pieces of the world, and stories, always more stories. She has sought out these things for half of her life in China, and half of her life in the U.S.

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Since our launch a decade ago, Motionpoems has amassed over 100 films with a roster of thousands of poets, filmmakers, producers, cast, and crew, and we remain dedicated to our original mission to celebrate collaboration, inclusiveness, and the creative spirit through filmmaking and poetry. To that end, we want to keep pushing the boundaries of what poetry can mean and do through film, motion, and storytelling. For more information, please visit us at www.motionpoems.org or find us on FB, IG, and Twitter. 

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We'd also like to thank our sponsors for their generosity and creative support.

The Loft Literary Center 2019 Word Play Festival, Motion504, and Egg Creative
The Loft Literary Center 2019 Word Play Festival, Motion504, and Egg Creative

Risks and challenges

We're here because we've been unable to garner grant money to host what has been deemed an 'impermanent' art project. We wholeheartedly disagree! The initial moment of inspiration is just as essential as the final product. Taking risks and being challenged are key aspects to this pilot program. We have complete faith in our artists and look forward to their creative output.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Good Karma

    For the price of a movie ticket (matinee to full price + popcorn), you can DIRECTLY support amazing local filmmakers and poets. This is good karma for sure, which includes social media shoutouts. $5 and up donations will not go unnoticed by the universe. Thank you!!

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    Ticket: Season 9 Premiere at Mia

    In addition to good karma, you are cordially invited to Motionpoems' Season 9 Premiere at the Minneapolis Institute of Art on Friday, May 10, 2019. You will be the first to see these stunning poetry films! We will reserve two seats for you and a guest in our VIP section at the screening of your choice (6:30pm or 8pm). Although the event is free to the public, you won't have to register through Mia's website and you won't have to wait in line.

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    Meet artists + afterparty

    Tons of good karma, including the previous reward to Season 9 Premiere. In addition, you will receive a special pass to mingle with our artists in the green room at Mia between screenings, then join us for an afterparty at Black Sheep Pizza on Nicollet Ave for some snacks and conversation.

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    Ticket to Hothouse Screening at Wordplay

    Tons of good karma, in addition to the previous two rewards for the Season 9 Premiere at Mia, you are also cordially invited to attend the screening of the Hothouse films during a Loft's Wordplay Book Festival event on May 12, 2019. Location and time TBD. You will get to watch the fruits of our artists' labor while mingling with some famous writers to boot. Please note, this is a pass for the final event of Wordplay, not for the entire festival.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Associate Producer + Film Cameo

    All previous rewards including an Associate Producer title, but you will also get a walk-on role in a film--one person per film. This will be a cameo, non-speaking role but how fun! Please keep Saturday, May 11th open for filming, and screening on Sunday, May 12th!

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    Associate Producer

    Including all previous rewards, your generous donation will offer you an Associate Producer title and your name will be included in the credits of the Hothouse films for posterity.

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Funding period

- (35 days)