Highlighting Small Businesses
As a filmmaker, I am also a small business, and it’s been quite challenging getting through the last year with no guaranteed income. Luckily, video services are more in demand than ever and I have had some amazing opportunities to make videos during the pandemic that have enabled my clients to reach their audiences without in-person events.
Over the course of six months, starting in May, I worked with Amanda David of Rootworks Herbals and Bramble as she shifted her renowned herbal medicine program to an online offering as in-person learning became impossible. By filming plant videos over the course of the season, she was able to bring her students from around the country into her world, complete with drone shots of the BIPOC Community Medicine Garden and luscious close-ups of plants in all of their glory.
The videos were pivotal in ensuring the students of The People’s Medicine School could connect to the plants and to the land, and they have become a permanent part of the online course, which offers open enrollment for self-directed study as well as an option to go through the modules in Zoom community until in-person learning is possible.
From the website: “The People’s Medicine School was created to facilitate mutually beneficial healing relationships between people and plants. Its mission is to serve all, by centering BIPoC, Queer, Trans and those with an anti-oppression focus, in finding their roots in plant medicine; accessing lifelong support from the healing powers of nature, and in turn, becoming more connected to the earth and more invested in themselves and their community.”
Later in the year, I was contracted by Alternatives Federal Credit Union to create a series of ten videos about local women and/or BIPOC owned businesses and how they have benefitted from AFCU’s small business support services through the Business CENTS program. They had an all-day in-person conference scheduled for last May that had to be postponed and moved online, and they wanted to make the experience fun and interesting for participants by playing videos I created throughout the day.
While it was a challenge filming while following COVID-19 safety protocols, it was inspiring to learn more about a wide variety of local businesses and how they have managed to survive and even thrive despite the pandemic, in part because of the support and in some cases, financial aid, provided by AFCU.
I also had the honor to make a video for Business Leaders of Colors, which works in tandem with AFCU and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce to provide business services and networking opportunities for businesses committed to social and racial justice.