Help P.S. 8 Kids Fund Shakespeare Documentary

When I was in kindergarten, the 6th grade class at my school put on a production of MacBeth.  It was a big deal with a light show and everything – pretty impressive for lil’ ol’ P.S. 11 in Woodside, Queens.   I distinctly remember two things – it was really long and boy did that acting thing look like fun!  And, not for nothin’ but, it was totally better than when Kelsey Grammer tripped the light fantastic in Broadway’s ill-fated production of the play in 2000.  Which brings me to my point.

The kids at P.S. 8 are looking for your support via Kickstarter to produce a documentary, “McB”, about kids performing Bard’s classic.   Teacher Jenni Morello writes:

So many people are visual learners that connect all subjects through artistry. As communities continue to have financial cutbacks, the arts are often the first thing to be removed from today’s educational environment. This documentary is intended to be a refreshing reminder of the critical role art in education has in developing positive youth initiatives.

Mc.B is a short documentary that highlights the positive effect arts education has on children. Watch these third and fourth grade children, from a public school in Brooklyn, tackle the challenge of performing Shakespeare’s play MACBETH.

The students explore primal emotions of greed, envy, and how their decisions affect themselves and others around them. Observe as the students slowly become more and more engaged with what they are performing on stage, until at the end, almost every student is riveted to hear more. The back-and-forth between the adults and students seemed to be as an unfinished novel to them, as if they had read the first half of the book in their own families, and now were obsessed with seeing how the book might end. The “chapters” are endless: When are kids old enough to make independent decisions? What if a kid is involved in drugs or violence—when should an adult step in? What if you don’t? Might they die? What builds and destroys respect? What is conflict resolution?

As the documentary captures the real life experiences, it also provides an active school–family relationship that is foundational for a solid educational atmosphere.

What Will Donations Be Used For?

The filming took place over the course of 4 grueling months. Now is crunch time – that is, post-production. We are currently working towards a Fine Cut of the film. There are, however, lots of costs in post-production. These include: graphics, music, color-correction, sound edit, sound mix, and assistant editor expenses. If we go over our goal, the extra money will allow us more flexibility in all post- production expenses. Extra money will also be used to help cover distribution, festival costs and materials.

What Will You Get In Return?

Look to the right and see all the rewards, we’ve tried to make them creative and exciting!

Tax-Deductible Donations?

A Note: This project is fiscally sponsored. Our fiscal sponsor, the Visual Arts Foundation, can only process checks made out to the Visual Arts Foundation. If you would like to donate this way, in the check memo please write “MFA Soc-Doc Film- Jenni Morello-Mc.B” Checks should be sent to the Visual Arts Foundation. 209 E 23rd St., New York, NY 10010. Unfortunately, donations through Kickstarter cannot be used for tax exemption because they are credit card based.

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  • nabeguy

    Can’t get the video to play past the 2 minute mark, but, having seen the final production, I can fully testify that it was amazing…and I’m not just saying that because my daughter was in it.

  • Doug Biviano

    The subject matter the children tackle in this bold production and their conversations around it are incredibly poignant to the state of our union.

    It would do President Obama good to see this documentary and to reflect on the course he has chosen. I will mail him a copy.

  • Mickey

    Since when can’t credit card based donations be tax deductible? St Jude’s Hospital, MS, Autism Speaks and many other 501(c)(3) organizations have been using credit cards for donation collection for years,

  • Heightsman

    @Mickey – I am guessing but I think it’s because Kickstarter is a “for profit” and not a pass through organization. The organizations you mention above are getting the funds directly therefore they can be tax deductible hence why they ask you to send checks directly for that designation. Ideally the Foundation would have something set up electronically for direct donations but perhaps this does not exist.

  • epc

    If this is even vaguely related to the school they should have used which would pass through the tax deduction benefit. Kickstarter is primarily for commercial artistic endeavors.
    That said, if the receiving organization is a registered non-profit it should be able to issue a donation receipt, Kickstarter simply passes through the money raised less 5% (I think).

  • Heightsman

    @epc – it does beg the question as to why Kickstarter…I think the answer might be that they actually want to make money off it (for the school of course) when it’s all said and done. The $6k is just an investment with an ROI model behind it but I’m probably over thinking all this….goodnight.

  • Alana

    How can I see the final production done at p.s. 8?

  • Doug Biviano

    @ Alana

    Unfortunately, the play was last month. It was intense and I’m sure the documentary will capture most of it. Reach out to me down the road and we’ll find a way to get you a copy or a neighborhood viewing when it’s complete.