IMPACT METRICS DASHBOARD
Level Forward’s mission is to expand the opportunity and influence of creative excellence in pursuit of equity and economic transformation. We do this by elevating new voices behind still-invisible narratives and reshaping systems to vest a broader group of multi-faceted stakeholders in film, television, live, and digital entertainment.
In guiding our continued growth as a Public Benefit Corporation, we are proud to launch this beta version of our Impact Dashboard. A work-in-progress snapshot of our impact activities, the dashboard includes quantitative and qualitative details related to our production slate, active development projects, select non-profit partnerships and initiative highlights. We will continue to develop this resource, growing its depth and detail for our collaborators, observers-at-large, and anyone curious about our work.
We share this with you so that you consider the dual value you can create in your own work. We share it so that it will become the norm.
TRACKING THE ISSUES
Below you will find a measure of focus that illustrates the allocation of more granular issue areas spread among Level Forward creative projects, both produced and in development, as well as focus areas of our partners. These are dynamic charts that will change with each new project and each new partner, and provides us with a real-time, albeit high level, gauge of our efforts.
Areas of Impact
Measured Through Projects
Measured Through Partners
IMPACT FUNDING THROUGH CREATIVE WORK
has been paid to a variety of non-profits, NGO's and aligned advocates and initiatives that we have connected to our stage and screen properties. Funds are paid through both direct fees and backend participation. These funds have been directed to organizations in the following primary areas:
SELECT IMPACT HIGHLIGHTS
Below we highlight select collaborations between Level Forward’s creative and community partners, working in alignment towards common outcomes.
50 MOMENTS is an interactive art project from filmmakers, Celine Held, Logan George, and Level Forward, and was a part of both their inspiration and research for their film TOPSIDE.
Through interviews with people living without housing in New York City, Celine and Logan gained a better understanding of what lives are like living in the margins, adding to the authenticity of their final feature script.
Each image strip represents a different story. When installed, the viewer can select a story by touching the corresponding image. Viewers also have access to an information and resources page where they can learn more and discover ways of supporting various communities living without housing.
The installation will be available as TOPSIDE finalizes premiere plans in 2022.
Youth Activist Toolkit
In partnership with Advocates for Youth (AFY), Level Forward created a Youth Activist Toolkit inspired by the film AMERICAN WOMAN.
The toolkit was developed in partnership with youth writers and activists and has been distributed to AFY’s network of 75,000 young people, on 1,200 campuses throughout the country and served as a social action companion to Semi Chellas’ first feature film. AFY is the non-profit partner of AMERICAN WOMAN.
Download the toolkit HERE.
In September of 2020, Level Forward produced Transformation 2020: Popular Democracy Defined, an interactive virtual event that included more than 40 different sessions over three days of programming, and offered participants innovative ways to defend and advance democracy. Hosted by the Center for Popular Democracy, the event gathered some of the world’s most influential artists, community organizers, and social change leaders for an historic series of events.
Anchored in the vision for a more just world, and the power of the arts to create building blocks towards empathy, films, theater, music, dance, visual art, and spoken word mixed with policy-makers to support sustained participation—by all Americans—in our country’s governance.
Beyond the Ballot
In partnership with the national, youth-focused non-profit Generation Citizen, WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME and Level Forward launched #beyondtheballot, asking Americans: How would you amend the Constitution? and gathering responses from around the country which were then published online.
More broadly, Beyond The Ballot provides resources to young people that help illustrate the connections their actions can have on our country’s governance. Actions such as how to lobby a congressperson, write an op-ed, and host a political event are explored in detail.
Impact Advisory Board & Social Responsibility Series
The Broadway musical JAGGED LITTLE PILL and Level Forward collaborated to create a unique Impact Advisory Board comprised of experts in various thematic areas including transracial adoption, addition, sexual violence and consent, and gender expression. The Board provided feedback to the producers and supported cast and crew trainings. By raising awareness, fostering community building, and providing support for the cast and crew in both group conversations and one-on-one meetings, the Board has cultivated a talented and engaged cast of burgeoning activists, using their platforms to amplify issues and positions that are important to them. Additionally, a television series of “Social Responsibility” episodes, was produced and distributed in partnership with New York City to further amplify some of the pertinent issues raised in the show.
Elmcor Short Films
Level Forward partnered with filmmaker Basia Winograd to produce a series of short videos for Elmcor in support of their mission and to help the East Elmhurst/Corona Queens community, one of the hardest hit areas in the nation during the Covid pandemic. Escalating costs, cancelled fundraising events, and a community of frontline workers desperately needing Elmcor’s food bank, PPE, and counseling services, were Elmcor’s immediate concerns. In partnership, $90,000 was raised to service some of Elmcor’s immediate needs. Amplifying the central role Elmcor plays locally, and as a behind-the-scenes advisor to larger organizations, is a desired goal of our collaboration.
Elmcor was started in 1965 and has grown into a major provider of human services and is one of the largest non-profit community-based service agencies, servicing youth, young adults, and seniors.
Slave Play Black Outs
National Black Theatre (NBT) was founded in 1968 by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, an award-winning performer, director, visionary entrepreneur and champion of the Black Arts Movement. NBT is a space for Black artists to express the beauty of their authentic experience through theater.
NBT was instrumental in the successful production of Slave Play Black Out nights. Twice during the show’s Broadway run, 804 seats of the Golden Theater were filled with Black identifying artists, writers, and students in celebration of a space that did more than welcomed Black audiences, it invited them in. In recognition of Broadway’s rich, diverse, and fraught history with Black work, the production aimed to create an environment through which Black audience members could experience and discuss the play.
Sexual Harassment Prevention PSAs and Trainings
Level Forward has produced two different PSA campaigns and training videos for the City of New York. The first, produced in 2018, included actors reading real letters sent by survivors of sexual harassment to the NYC Commission on Human Rights. The second, to be released, includes clips from filmmaker Kitty Green’s The Assistant.
PeaceJam Youth Summit on Gun Violence
The PeaceJam Foundation uses stories and mentorship of 14 Nobel Peace Laureates to inspire over 1 million young people around the world to take action for peace in their communities. Over the past 25 years, TPJF has organized hundreds of youth events with Nobel Laureates and has had programming in 40 countries around the world.
In April of 2019, the PeaceJam Foundation held a two-day Summit at Florida State University that convened their coalition of youth leaders to address gun violence in the United States. Level Forward joined the activists in a discussion on how the Gun Neutral Initiative could be spread throughout the Peace Jam network and beyond.
Screen Forward Theatrical Distribution Network
In November of 2019, Level Forward joined with four independent movie theaters to create and launch “Screen Forward,” a new theatrical distribution network designed to build stronger connections between independent films, social purpose and diverse communities. The founding cinemas include: The Loft, in Tucson, AZ; Montclair Film, in Montclair, NJ; Denver Film in Denver, CO; and Jacob Burns in Pleasantville, NY. The Roxie Theater in San Francisco joined the Screen Forward network in January of 2020.
Screen Forward gives community-based programmers greater access to diverse films and new infrastructure to curate both on and off-screen programming. Through film screenings, festivals, series, special events, co-presentations and educational programs, Screen Forward theaters help people of all ages and backgrounds gather and learn about one another’s experiences in an accessible environment. Since the onset of the Covid pandemic, Screen Forward theaters and other independent cinemas have been especially hard hit by the economic downturn. We continue to look for ways to support this lifeline to culture and diversity for many smaller cities around the country.
Level Forward and Prinkshop partnered in support of the Third Wave Fund which champions young people speaking truth to power on the frontlines of gender justice movements. Third Wave Fund's grant-making and donor mobilizing advances the community power, well-being, and self-determination of young Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) most directly impacted by and best positioned to end gender oppression. They specifically resource grassroots movements that are 1) multi-issue, 2) community-led and 3) unapologetically queer, trans, intersex, and sex worker-led.
The collaboration created #YouOughtaKnow merchandise for the hit musical Jagged Little Pill, inspired by the groundbreaking album from Alanis Morrisette. For every JLP product sold Prinkshop and Level Forward donates 10% of the proceeds to Third Wave Fund.
Unspoken Visual Art
UNSPOKEN was a collaborative exhibition between artists Ann Lewis and Jacob Fisher and was born out of Level Forward’s project, Kill Me. Kill Me explored death with dignity and served as inspiration for the interactive experience, derived from Ann Lewis’ prior work reflecting on the fragility of human mortality.
Through the use of toe tags and 115,000 feet of reflective string, this immersive installation gave viewers an opportunity to explore and deepen their own appreciation of transitioning from this world. UNSPOKEN invited viewers to contemplate existence by answering questions on the toe tags. The tags were then arranged and attached to reflective strings throughout the space. As days passed, the installation evolved into an immensely personal collection of the participants' explorations and ideas.
Unspoken exhibited in New York and Los Angeles.
The Instrument of Hope
Shine MSD founders Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Pena, along with their families and classmates are forever a part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas community. In connection with Level Forward’s Tony-winning Broadway show Oklahoma!, Shine developed the Instrument of Hope trumpet made from spent bullet casings like the ones used in the Parkland shooting, thus turning destruction into hopefulness. The music shared from the pipes of the Instrument of Hope have traveled around the country, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, and on the Broadway stage of Oklahoma!
Explore our partner organizations by cause.
Level Forward is always developing new creative projects. Below you will find a breakdown of format and spending for those projects in active development.