Philanthropy in Phocus

Friday, November 10, 2023
Facebook Live Video from 2023/11/10 - Why we choose to work Internationally and the impact that has on our work

Facebook Live Video from 2023/11/10 - Why we choose to work Internationally and the impact that has on our work


2023/11/10 - Why we choose to work Internationally and the impact that has on our work

[NEW EPISODE] Why we choose to work Internationally and the impact that has on our work

Fridays 10:00am - 11:00am (EDT)


I hope the audience will understand that it is possible to take your passion for something, your hobby, your joy and put it into something wonderful and positive. Chances are if you have found a way to fill a need, fill a void, your community needs that too. We all have expertise that can we can use to impact social change on a larger level.

I was born and raised in Queens in NY. I spent my whole life in theatre, I attended Frank Sinatra High school and then followed my love for theatre and performance to the University at Buffalo. After that I was working in NYC doing theatre auditioning, but also working as a teaching artist. After a trip to Thailand with a college friend Jacqueline Raymond Wegman we knew we needed to take our love for theatre and education and use it as a source for good. International Girls Ensemble was born, now I had to figure out how to run a non profit, I went back to school got my Masters in Arts Administration and have been working at IGE every since.

#changemakers #changemakerson

Tune in for this sensible conversation at

Show Notes

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Segment 4


00:00:36.840 --> 00:00:43.890 Tommy DiMisa: your voice back to non-profit sector. connector, the kid's back, baby. We're back philanthropy in

00:00:44.150 --> 00:01:07.019 Tommy DiMisa: focus. Every single Friday morning I come up to the attic. 2 flights up from my kitchen. I hustle up the stairs, I grab some coffee, I go down. I get another Mason jar full of agua. That's water in Spanish for everybody who didn't know that I have to be prepared because we're having important conversations on the program every single week, so I gotta be ready. I'm inspired. II got a lot of ideas in my head. I

00:01:07.320 --> 00:01:17.699 Tommy DiMisa: Oh, my God! Where my guest went to high school popped into my head, and I feel like I'm gonna have to do some lyrics from the guy who the school was named after. We'll get into that in a second.

00:01:18.680 --> 00:01:23.009 Tommy DiMisa: I'm down, kid, relax. You got 60 min mellow out, baby.

00:01:23.050 --> 00:01:44.089 Tommy DiMisa: I am so fired up because the nonprofit sector to me, is it? And nonprofits change our world each and every day they make incredible impact. It's those on the front line. It's those lead organizations. It's those that do the work for organization. They'll work. We call it that a lot in the nonprofit sector, the work we're doing the work. That's the work because it is. It's changing the world.

00:01:44.320 --> 00:01:50.770 Tommy DiMisa: however. all the work. I see so many smiling faces. So you know not a lot of

00:01:51.550 --> 00:02:13.039 Amanda McDowall: how do I say it? The work is play, I think, for some people, and I think we'll get into a little bit of that today with an organization called International Girls Ensemble. My friend Amanda Mcdowell, hanging from my favorite borough. Sorry everybody shout out to Queens, we're not queens. That's right. Let's go mess the whole. Are you a midfield.

00:02:13.540 --> 00:02:38.859 Amanda McDowall: You know, I'm not really a huge sports fan, but I have to be a mets Fan, just because we're we're all queens folks right on, you know, the orange and blue actually comes from like II had gone through a mets game with somebody a long time ago. So the orange, blue Syracuse, the orange and blue with the mets, I mean even the nets, you know, had orange blue that down the Brooklyn nets, but they were in Jersey. Whatever point is that orange and blue is New York colors.

00:02:38.860 --> 00:03:03.589 Tommy DiMisa: you know. No offense to any baseball teams that might play up in the Bronx, Mick Collins, I'm talking to you if you're listening. By the way, neither of our teams did very well this year, Mick. Both my team didn't, and your team didn't. So, but there's a lot of cool stuff going on in Queens. We'll get into some of that, maybe on another show. Have. I have a lot of friends at Queen's Chamber of Commerce. But around city field they're gonna be doing a lot of development and super exciting stuff. They're building soccer stadium. So

00:03:03.920 --> 00:03:19.479 Tommy DiMisa: lots to do in a borough queens. And one of those things is connect with an organization like Amanda's, who who is doing really really special work. So, Amanda, before we get into it. Let's just say I want to say good morning, good evening, and good night, like in the Truman show, just in case I don't know when people find us, but to you and you and I it is morning. So good morning.

00:03:20.100 --> 00:03:33.379 Amanda McDowall: Good morning, Tommy. Thanks so much for having me on talking about international girls ensemble. I know you and I have met at a couple of different networking events, and it really just goes to show you that this whole.

00:03:33.380 --> 00:03:55.950 Tommy DiMisa: you know, Sector, it's all about relationships and meeting folks and just getting these opportunities to talk about the work we do. So thanks for the platform. You're welcome. This is a platform. It's a journey. It's a mission for me, really. I I'm on a plan to do 5,000 episodes of philanthropy and focus. Don't know why I came up with that number, but you know, once I hit 100, I figured I was almost there. So

00:03:55.950 --> 00:04:06.729 Amanda McDowall: that's that's math. Yeah. How did we really connect? What was? I'm trying to remember what the first event we ran into each other because you've reminded me. And now I forgot again.

00:04:06.930 --> 00:04:15.140 Amanda McDowall: I think it was nonprofit, one of the nonprofit cons that happened

00:04:15.140 --> 00:04:40.109 Tommy DiMisa: yeah in Manhattan. And then we saw each other again at a lead tucker. Event! Yes, he took us to you up. Made the museum right at the the Taylor Swift Museum I was. I was. Yeah, wow! There's a great picture. I don't know if I share this great pick. Shout out to lead Tucker. He calls himself the nonprofit. Guru, your boy is a nonprofit sector, Connecticut.

00:04:40.110 --> 00:04:53.170 Tommy DiMisa: There's a really cool picture he's got like a red cowboy hat on at right in front of the. And again, I'm becoming a Swifty. I have 2 sons and 2 daughters. My girls are definitely into Taylor and

00:04:53.240 --> 00:04:58.540 Tommy DiMisa: My son, one of my sons is like is like angry at

00:04:58.820 --> 00:05:24.469 Tommy DiMisa: Kelsey because he's dating Taylor because he he's an 8 year old boy, and he's supposed to like not like that kind of stuff. So it's it's very funny around here. So. But I have become a swifty. We got enough. Swifty, I III have some friends who will. Big. Actually, Christine Desca, who you and I think, have in common my buddy. We collaborate on a lot of stuff she has been into Taylor Swift since Taylor was like a country singer.

00:05:24.470 --> 00:05:46.919 Tommy DiMisa: So Christine was with us that day at the time, but there's a picture of me in a pink linen suit and a straw hat, and my Guy Lee Tucker in in this red cowboy hat. It was in in the Museum, the Taylor Museum. Very funny picture, and I'll put it on Instagram later on. Maybe you guys will think it's funny. Maybe maybe one. It's up to you. It's a I'm just. We're just doing it to enter to entertain. But that's one of the things we got to hang out at. And that's funny, because

00:05:47.090 --> 00:06:00.490 Tommy DiMisa: to me, it's, you know, networking, connecting relationship building. You know, I look at this show. I wrote this down and made it up like, right before we started the show. The the the new tagline for philanthropy and focus is

00:06:00.530 --> 00:06:16.550 Tommy DiMisa: 2 friends having several cups of coffee. That's with the new. That's what the show is. 2 friends having several cups of coffee. That's a lot of what it is, but we don't only sit and meet and have coffee and sit in boardrooms when you're networking when you're connecting. When you're building relationships, I'm gonna drop a little on you. Everybody, little knowledge.

00:06:16.550 --> 00:06:41.250 Tommy DiMisa: get out and share different experiences with people. I've been telling that story and that picture of Lee, Tucker and I, for like 3 months now and and then, I've subsequently Lee invited me to another event at his company. Cla shout out to Clifton, Larson Allen, they have new space in the city, shouts my friend Genevieve Sapp, who also is our friend of ours over Clifton Larson Allen was with us that day at the Taylor Swift Museum. It's all that folks. It's it's relationship building.

00:06:41.250 --> 00:06:47.160 Tommy DiMisa: It's nurturing. It's connecting. It's it's building relationships it's learning about each other.

00:06:47.530 --> 00:07:01.159 Tommy DiMisa: and then it's making an impact for each other. And again, if you wanna drink coffee, salute, drink some coffee while you're doing it, Amanda. I wanna get into your background. I mean, I'm looking at my notes. I did mention this earlier, so I will say this

00:07:01.270 --> 00:07:03.070 Tommy DiMisa: regrets. I've had a few.

00:07:03.140 --> 00:07:26.780 Tommy DiMisa: but then again too few to mention, I did what I had to do. I saw it through without exemption. Now I'm still in the middle of this Frank was singing this song towards the end. I'm in the middle of it, so he says, I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this. This is the Tommy d thing. I did it.

00:07:26.780 --> 00:07:32.499 Amanda McDowall: I did it my way. I was gonna sing today. I did.

00:07:32.500 --> 00:07:57.439 Amanda McDowall: I'm gonna give you snaps for that one. Well done! That was a great entrance. Thank you for that Frank Sinatra High School. How cool is that now, you know Tony Bennett from Astoria. Right. He and he. He has something to do with that school, too. Right? Isn't there story there? Did he name it after Friday. Yeah, so just real quick before I jump to Frank Sinatra High School. I did grow up in

00:07:57.440 --> 00:08:08.810 Amanda McDowall: queens. Yes, love, appreciate the shout out, love wrapping queens and now servicing queens with international girls ensemble. But I was one of those kids who was lucky enough to

00:08:08.810 --> 00:08:32.039 Amanda McDowall: have the arts like around me in school, available like I was the kid like Tommy singing my heart out wherever I was, and and doing all those theater things. And then I was given, you know, this great opportunity to go to Frank Sinatra, and, like you were saying so, Tony Bennett actually founded Frank Sinatra High School, and named it Frank Sinatra.

00:08:32.039 --> 00:08:34.010 after his good old buddy

00:08:34.010 --> 00:08:47.950 Amanda McDowall: and when I went there we were. It wasn't the beautiful building in Asturia. It is right now it was half a floor in Laguardia Community College and Long Island City. But that experience, that Frank Sinatra

00:08:48.200 --> 00:09:02.699 Amanda McDowall: literally showed me what at the Arts community. How amazing it is! I was like in this school a a young person who'd love to express herself in the arts through theater and singing.

00:09:02.700 --> 00:09:20.209 Amanda McDowall: and everybody else in the school. Was just like me. Was it like that? Show fame? Remember fame right? Was it like that? I was not a theater kid? Truth. Truth, truth, truth be told, I always wanted to be a game show host which

00:09:20.210 --> 00:09:34.159 Tommy DiMisa: Shocker, I'm just like, right outside I'm knocking on the window. I'm looking in. I see the game show. The only show I actually ever did was in sixth grade. And this will be telling because it was

00:09:34.160 --> 00:09:42.230 Tommy DiMisa: disability awareness week, and every year or disability awareness month and every year in the sixth grade shout out to Washington Street School in Franklin Square. That's where

00:09:42.230 --> 00:10:06.280 Tommy DiMisa: shouting out my elementary school. I don't think I've done that one before, but it was I didn't realize until recently. Look looking back, it was disability, awareness, week or month, I guess with the we did the the Wizard of Oz. I grew up on the wizard bars. I grew up on the sound of music. I grew up on Mary Poppins like my Nana had us like in that world. Right? Later on we did a lot of going to Broadway stuff, but the only performance I've ever done in a a show

00:10:06.360 --> 00:10:26.349 Tommy DiMisa: was I was the tin man in the sixth grade play during disability. We'll call it month, because I think it was month disability, awareness month, who knew all these years later how I involved I'd be in the community of organizations that work in the intellectually developmental, disabled population, which is the, you know, just so special that I spend time there.

00:10:26.620 --> 00:10:51.899 Tommy DiMisa: But that was the only show I actually ever did with, and I don't know why I just didn't. It didn't happen for me, so I was not a theater. Kid. Shout out to Yolanda, who I want you to know my friend Yolanda, who is a theater kid or adult now, but her daughter is up at Maris. The daughter is a theater kid, and Yolanda is all about that you need. I told you, when we first met that I gotta connect you with Yolanda. She often listens to the show. She runs options with community living

00:10:51.900 --> 00:10:57.409 Tommy DiMisa: out in Suffolk County. Here on Long Island, helping individuals. Everything is a commercial for me, helping individuals,

00:10:57.620 --> 00:11:21.120 Tommy DiMisa: living with HIV and Aids, experiencing homelessness, and also who have substance, abuse challenges. So that's a really special organization. And I always see Yolanda going in to see shows in the city and things like that, Broadway and and otherwise. So I. To tell you the truth, I was not like I didn't do what you did I? That seems like so fun for me, like what an experience everybody's performing! We're done. Let's go.

00:11:21.120 --> 00:11:46.069 Amanda McDowall: It was pretty amazing and going to high school and experiencing, I think, for me. It's not, you know, not every person needs to be a theatre kid like you were saying like it's about. It's about buying into something right and like, whether that's a visual art, whether that's writing, whether it's directing like there's an avenue for you within that. And I think that's also part of it that the arts are a part of every

00:11:46.070 --> 00:11:56.249 Amanda McDowall: I mean, you are a showman like you are theatrical, and what you do. So that's theater right? And this is theater right now it's happening

00:11:56.250 --> 00:12:11.499 Amanda McDowall: but just being seeing what that community is, and how unapologetic it is, and how brave it is, and how bold it is and how it's a space for everyone to occupy right? Like, maybe you're a learner who's not great at taking a test.

00:12:11.650 --> 00:12:22.320 Amanda McDowall: Maybe you're a learner who really struggles in getting up in front of a group of people right like the arts, are such a great avenue in for everyone.

00:12:22.380 --> 00:12:41.529 Amanda McDowall: Again, II mean, I was sold. I was a theater kid my whole life, and then I went to college and I got my Bfa. In theater. I went to University of Buffalo, and that's where I met Jacqueline Raymond Wegman, who's my co-founder and co-executive director, and we run and founded international girls ensemble together. And we both got our bfas in theatre there.

00:12:41.640 --> 00:12:59.069 Amanda McDowall: And we, you know, continued, you know she's also a theater kid like me has been doing this forever, and we came back to New York, and we did that New York after thing where you're auditioning, and you're piecing it together, and you're trying to pay rent, and.

00:12:59.070 --> 00:13:23.149 Amanda McDowall: you know, get to the audition on time and get to the job that's paying you, and to do all those things, you know, like, actually, II forgetting this, I had tried out in like the early 90, like late nineties, early 2 thousands I tried to like send out like head shots and resumes. And I played around with this right cause. I you know, and I remember. And it reminds me, a couple of weeks ago I had story film festival on on that.

00:13:23.150 --> 00:13:40.720 Tommy DiMisa: A story a filmmakers group on the show. I don't know if you know those guys. I don't know if you know, Phil, got to get you connected, certainly, for the the connection of obvious connection, but also for the geographic connection. But III was doing. I was a bartender at the time, and II which probably shocks a lot of people that I was at a bar right.

00:13:40.720 --> 00:14:04.580 Tommy DiMisa: But I was behind. You know, I was at a movie. They were making a movie. It's called Monday Night mayhem. And it was about Howard Cosell, the Monday night football guy. I was like an extra like 75 bucks, or whatever was right. So like 92,000. Something like that, right? And I was, I was like supposed to tend bar that Tuesday night. I gotta call the bar and go. Yeah, I've been in the city at this thing for like since 70'clock this morning, and I

00:14:04.580 --> 00:14:33.469 Tommy DiMisa: I'm not gonna be able to get to the bar by 70'clock tonight like that. If so, and I was always doing. We're sitting in an auditorium while they did this. Take after. Take it. So like I get, I could imagine this, the the toughness of like I'm trying to make it. I'm trying to make a living to, to pay my rent, or wherever I'm living or whatever. But at the same time I gotta be at this audition. But I can't get to the job, you know, making certain cheeseburgers, because right? So that's a tough gig.

00:14:33.470 --> 00:14:50.680 Tommy DiMisa: I'm sure I'm sure we will go a quick break in a second, but I wanna make sure when we get we'll pick up the story right where we are. So you know you. You went to Buffalo, you and Jacqueline become friends. You come back now you're gonna try. And you know I don't know what you're gonna try and do, because that's the teaser. We will be right back. You're gonna tell us what happened next forever in focus.

00:16:52.280 --> 00:17:05.769 Tommy DiMisa: Given a rough moment. Just think about that song. Just think about a guy singing about another guy doing a radio show from his attic, you know. That's my Uncle Brendan Levy shout out to Brendan, Levy, my friend, Lead, singer of

00:17:05.770 --> 00:17:27.850 Tommy DiMisa: of the band, damaged goods, had a opportunity to see Brendan and the boys a couple of weeks ago out on Long Island playing in fact, I had introduced you, Amanda, to Brendan's daughter, who's the photographer who also went to Frank Sinatra, when we were all at the Career Day event at West Hampstead High School couple of weeks ago, shout out to Beth Bucher, career day Inc. Really changing the world. December first. That event will be at Roslin High School. and

00:17:28.417 --> 00:17:36.079 I'm wondering if I might do. That is a Friday morning, and I'm wondering if I might do a live like show from Roz in high school

00:17:36.080 --> 00:17:43.300 Tommy DiMisa:  interviewing sort of some of the the career folks that folks that are coming in and talking about what their careers are.

00:17:43.300 --> 00:18:08.230 Tommy DiMisa: Anyway, not fully thought out. Which is why I'm fumbling with the idea, as I tell you. All right now live on the show. So so. But that is Uncle Brendan singing that song we wrote the lyrics together. You know I've seen I saw my cousin Danny a couple of weeks ago. Who used to be a rapper. And I also had this group I listen to call revolution, and I wanna play around with. So gang if you're out there and you have some ideas around this. I don't know how to use any of these electronic devices

00:18:08.230 --> 00:18:27.250 Tommy DiMisa: to make music. But I want to make like kind of a Reggae song, you know. Good vibes kind of song, island vibes. You know what I'm saying. You see, you can't see me if you can. Everyone listen, but I'm like waving my arms, my eyes closed, but something like that for for the show. For, like a new song, a new version of it, probably the same lyrics. But just something like.

00:18:27.270 --> 00:18:27.990 Tommy DiMisa: you know.

00:18:28.000 --> 00:18:49.120 Tommy DiMisa: like makes you feel breezy, man like we're in Aruba, anyway. Let's get back to the show, Tommy D, cause we're not in Aruba. We're on Long Island and Amanda's here. Let's get back to add it right so. But good vibes right good vibes bring in only good vibes, that's what it's about. Good weekend vibes. Let's do it. Queens to Buffalo, back to New York City.

00:18:49.210 --> 00:19:08.710 Amanda McDowall: Where would you and Jacqueline? Okay, cool man. Now we're gonna go do it, man, we we study it. Now. Now, what? Yeah, I that was, that's exactly what it was, you know, trying to piece this actor life together, which was great, and we were loving it. But in that, after life we started working as teaching artists

00:19:09.090 --> 00:19:22.090 Amanda McDowall: and for those people who don't know what a teaching artist is, there's somebody who is tends to be an expert at what they do, what whatever that discipline may be for us. It was theater, musical theater, things like that.

00:19:22.090 --> 00:19:45.860 Amanda McDowall: and we would work for organizations kind of like what we do now for international girls ensemble community based organizations who go into schools and community centers where there might be a deficit. Maybe you don't have a theater teacher. Maybe you don't have a dance program. Maybe you wanna bring some arts enrichment into your school and your programming. But you just maybe don't have it in your budget to have that full time person.

00:19:45.860 --> 00:20:09.590 Amanda McDowall: So with teaching artists will supplement a lot of that work. And so we were doing that for other organizations and auditioning, and we were going into lots of rooms that were all you know, male dominated male. The parts we're auditioning for whether they were written for black and brown folks, or for women or anyone, they were all written

00:20:09.590 --> 00:20:36.849 Amanda McDowall: by the same kind of person. They're all written by white Cis men. And and now we're seeing this shift that's happening in in our storytelling, where we're getting more accurate voices to tell their stories. So Jacqueline and I were like what we're we're our female playwrights. Where are these women that are are telling our story or representing our voices? So we said, we need to do something about this. And we actually

00:20:36.850 --> 00:20:54.570 Amanda McDowall: created a female playwright festival. And that's how this is the start of Ige of international girls ensemble. We started this festival where we were, you know, promoting and highlighting the voices of new and up and coming female identifying playwrights through this one act festival.

00:20:54.750 --> 00:21:12.749 Amanda McDowall: And we did this for a couple of years. And we're doing this teaching artists work. And all of these things are starting to become more of like, oh, this is more feeling like what we're gonna do. And then we were given an amazing opportunity to go to Thailand.

00:21:12.750 --> 00:21:31.940 Tommy DiMisa: where we were able to volunteer at a migrant learning school called. Isn't life interesting when you can sort of? And tell me if this is is an experience for you? And Jacqueline

00:21:31.940 --> 00:21:55.090 Tommy DiMisa: like looking back now. Oh, well, it all makes sense right like you're in it still. But now oh, now we have an organization that we created. So like as you're telling the story, I'm seeing these programs right? Like the the female playwright festival. Right? The work you're doing as like. Look back at my notes as teaching artists right? Like all these are like programs now that

00:21:55.320 --> 00:22:04.810 Tommy DiMisa: oh, my God, there's like a whole thing here like we're the need. Right? So do you feel that way like looking back when you can? You know when you have your time, and you guys can sit there and go.

00:22:05.130 --> 00:22:23.060 Amanda McDowall: Oh, my God, like that makes sense. How that will happen. Right? Yeah, I mean, it's it's really an amazing feeling. And I work with so many young people still, and it's something I always say to them like you don't have to have it figured all out at 17, when I was at the career day that I that you had introduced me to Beth and I attended that career day.

00:22:23.060 --> 00:22:41.900 Amanda McDowall: I was like, it is okay to not know what the next step is, it's all right. As long as you're you have something that you care about, and you can work towards that can become the thing right. I never thought I'd be a nonprofit owner, co-executive director. I never thought I'd even find this, but

00:22:42.410 --> 00:22:51.889 Amanda McDowall: when Jacqueline and I were doing the work we were like, wait. We've worked for other organizations. We see what the need is. We see what the deficit is.

00:22:51.890 --> 00:23:17.449 Amanda McDowall: And for us it was really working with girls and women working with young people, amplifying their voices and using theater to do it, cause we know that theater is the best tool to do. That's telling your story is the most valuable thing that you can do as any kind of person, whether you're female, identifying a or other, or a man, or a a wherever you're from in the planet.

00:23:17.450 --> 00:23:34.520 Amanda McDowall: So we wanted to just really make sure that we took what we know right. And that's why I think you have so many nonprofits because you need people who are experts at what they do 100. All right, let's close our eyes, everybody. Yes, let's go to Thailand.

00:23:34.680 --> 00:23:43.890 Amanda McDowall: Oh, let's go right now, can we, please? I don't know how long is the flight man. I don't know. I'm not good on playing for that, but it's like about a day

00:23:44.710 --> 00:23:52.079 Amanda McDowall: about a day. Yeah, let me, can I tell you about this incredible community that we worked with in Thailand?

00:23:52.260 --> 00:24:04.600 Amanda McDowall: So there are a sub-ethnic group from Burma, called Karen, the Karen people. They've been living in refugee camps, many of them. Not all of them have been living in refugee camps along the tie

00:24:04.630 --> 00:24:17.640 Amanda McDowall: Burmese border for many years, and we had this opportunity to go to Thumway Key, which is the school and work with the community there. So we used theatre to teach English

00:24:17.940 --> 00:24:24.660 Amanda McDowall: so we were doing doing these Esl classes, using theater as our as our vehicle to teach English.

00:24:24.780 --> 00:24:40.169 Amanda McDowall: And remember, this is like before Ige has started. This is just Jacqueline and I, working as teaching artists running this playwright festival before international girls ensembles happening. So are you there as

00:24:40.240 --> 00:25:03.429 Amanda McDowall: I don't know an internship. Are you there for holiday, or are you there? Are you getting paid to be there like, what's that logistical setup? Yeah, no, that's a great question. It was a. We had a friend from Co. From college, who had worked with this community before, and she was heading back, and she saw the playwright work we were doing, and knew that we were working as actors. And she's like this. Community loves

00:25:03.530 --> 00:25:25.710 Amanda McDowall: the arts, and I think that we can bring something. So there was 4 of us that went total, and we volunteered for about a week or 10 days or so to teach these classes and just feel like get an experience. And then, you know, got to have you great opportunity. Now we're in Thailand, and it could be in Thailand part of the world which isn't too shabby, either. So you know you you took it as

00:25:26.100 --> 00:25:30.900 Amanda McDowall: as this volunteer trip, and then and then a little trip along with it.

00:25:31.030 --> 00:25:46.619 Amanda McDowall: And working with this community. We we did this, these English classes. But then we also did a girl circle. And we worked with a group of young women, and we were using theater for some leadership skills, some confidence building, some empowerment

00:25:46.790 --> 00:26:00.550 Amanda McDowall: and it was incredible. By the end of our time there we put on a huge community performance for, like hundreds of people of the current community came, put on the shows.

00:26:00.650 --> 00:26:28.530 Amanda McDowall: And we were like, oh, this is this is what we do right? Like. We love producing plays. But we're not commercial producers. We're not gonna produce commercial theater. We don't have, like the deep pockets or the love or the passion to do as much of that. But the theater making the story, telling the working with young people, and like infusing that confidence in that team building and all of those great things.

00:26:28.530 --> 00:26:32.729 Amanda McDowall: That's what we do. So we came back from Thailand and went.

00:26:33.020 --> 00:26:40.450 Amanda McDowall: Thank you. Playwright festival. You have been wonderful. We're applying for the 501 c. 3.

00:26:40.620 --> 00:27:00.730 Amanda McDowall: We are now international girls ensemble. And we're gonna do all this work we've been doing for other organizations. We're gonna do it for ourselves. We're gonna build the curriculum that we know we can build, using theater and the arts for social advocacy, for empowerment, for confidence, for all of these things, and making all of our work participant, driven

00:27:00.860 --> 00:27:15.140 Tommy DiMisa: all of our work participant driven so co authoring. Or maybe, you know, just really letting them drive the bus, so to speak, right or drive programming. Well, that's incredible. Because you, you know.

00:27:15.950 --> 00:27:32.840 Tommy DiMisa: III deal with a lot of organizations, and I know you look at you, watch some of the episodes of the show, and I think it was. I try, was an organization that you had watched that episode. And you know there's so many opportunities for for young people. And I know it's there's a special focus with your organization and others on on young females.

00:27:32.950 --> 00:27:34.120 Tommy DiMisa: And

00:27:34.470 --> 00:27:48.540 Tommy DiMisa: you know, to utilize some thing, some behavior. Some it may, whether it be a triathlon, whether it be theatre right? You know. There, there's different things to build confidence. I you know I've had. I have a lot of friends

00:27:49.030 --> 00:28:09.059 Tommy DiMisa: involved with Girl Scouts, you know. Girl Scouts is self accounty but short, Tammy said. Reno's been on the show, my friend Nyiki White one's development. You need to know them. We'll get to work that out. I can barely help myself. I forget these people watching this people listening, Tommy, it's not just you and Amanda having a cup of coffee. Well, it is. You all are just watching us have the cup of coffee. So so the thing is

00:28:09.060 --> 00:28:25.509 Tommy DiMisa: they are. There's so much to the confidence building and the work that is done behind the scenes. Yes, we're having fun. Yes, we're doing this stuff. However, we're building character. We're building confidence. We're becoming more and more empowered. Right? Isn't that such? The key tenant to what what it's about

00:28:25.660 --> 00:28:51.210 Amanda McDowall: absolutely. I mean, you could be the smartest person in the room. But if you're afraid to raise your hands and put your voice into the space, how are we ever gonna be able to see you reach your full potential? And that's why you know, the work we do is obviously geared to empowering girls and women. But there's it's there's a need for it for everyone everywhere. And I know we have to go to a break in a moment. But I wanted to

00:28:51.210 --> 00:29:10.430 Amanda McDowall: just make sure that we get back to talking about. You know the people that we serve and how we've expanded our our reach to. We're gonna do all that. And I love that. You're watching the show notes. You know, we gotta go to a break. You are in the work, you know we're we're big, you and me right? We're performers that we know what it is. But II do appreciate

00:29:10.690 --> 00:29:29.719 Tommy DiMisa: all that you're doing, and as we go through the show coming up. When we come back, we're gonna dive right into what does it look like? Day in and day out. What is the programming. What is the work that gets done? How are people impacted? But then, as we, you and I've talked about, and anybody who's ever paid attention hanging out with me or paid attention to this show. Knows it's always gonna be about.

00:29:30.030 --> 00:29:31.360 Tommy DiMisa: What's the ask?

00:29:31.570 --> 00:29:44.839 Tommy DiMisa: How can we help? What are you looking for? And I'm talking to everybody. It's gonna be Amanda and I. But I'm talking to you all, because when you're in your relationships, when you're in your networking, when you're working with like couple of weeks back, we had

00:29:45.010 --> 00:30:14.600 Tommy DiMisa: my friend Michelle Blondheim, who is the director of corporate social responsibility for Aprio, and she's also the executive Director of the Apprial Foundation. And it was talking. We talked a lot about what you should go when you how you should act, and how you should interact when you're speaking to potential donors. All of this, what is your specific? Ask, what's the impact of what you're gonna make? We'll get into that today? You know certainly how that affects Ige, how it affects Amanda and Jacqueline, and what they need, and how you all could help. So

00:30:14.600 --> 00:30:24.750 Tommy DiMisa: we are. Gonna take that break, even though I just use an extra 2 min on that rant. But I think it's important. Take these tidbits with you again. When it's a quick break we come back. Let's get into the program and let's get into what it looks like. Day in and day out.

00:30:25.740 --> 00:30:29.900 Tommy DiMisa: Take a breath. Tommy Amanda Mcdowell, Tommy D. Glad to be in focus right back.

00:32:31.920 --> 00:32:52.499 Tommy DiMisa: That's just the thing. It's a song like there's not enough room for all of us up here in the attic. Just only my attic. The website is, INTL. Girls ensembleorg, INTL. Girls ensemble. These words have meaning international

00:32:52.500 --> 00:33:05.900 Tommy DiMisa: girls ensemble. I saw it on the website before. Ii just I wanted to read one other piece, but I wanted to really get let me just read this piece. And then I'll ask you, international girls ensemble believes that the skills that theater can provide

00:33:05.960 --> 00:33:07.030 Tommy DiMisa: empathy.

00:33:07.290 --> 00:33:31.050 Tommy DiMisa: confidence, leadership skills, public speaking skills are skills that everyone can benefit from in a world where girls and women have always fought to be part of the conversation. We want to help elevate those young women and give them the tools they need to be community leaders. And and as all the way to the top of their potential we work all over New York City as well as Thailand Kenya.

00:33:31.050 --> 00:33:38.520 Tommy DiMisa: and now South Sudan, and we hope to continue to grow the ensemble and create a group of fierce, unstoppable women

00:33:38.520 --> 00:34:01.830 Tommy DiMisa: who are fearless change makers. I love all that. I again. I'm a I'm a girl, dad, but I'm also a boy, dad, but I'm both. I'm not, but and I guess is about let's get. We said it before. Yes, and right we're talking about. Maybe we gang. I wanna get out and do a little improv. So we gotta figure that out. Love to. If you, if you're connected to some improv world reach out, let's do it, Tommy Dott, Nyc. On the Instagram and

00:34:01.830 --> 00:34:08.530 Tommy DiMisa: timeid philanthropy and focus. Pho cus is how you spell Tommy d philanthropy and focuscom Alright Amanda.

00:34:09.380 --> 00:34:13.909 Tommy DiMisa: Oh, international girls ensemble that those words? Why, those words

00:34:15.060 --> 00:34:36.789 Amanda McDowall: the great question. You know, girls and women, as you know, the the gender gap closes. We're still a hundred years away to pay equity. I mean, it's it's unfortunate, and we're all working hard to make it better. But we're not there yet, and there's still lots of places and lots of communities

00:34:36.790 --> 00:34:46.699 Amanda McDowall: where girls and women, you know. When the boy puts his hands up in class, the girl put her, puts her hand down, you know, and there's lots of places where we want

00:34:47.790 --> 00:35:05.900 Amanda McDowall: girls just to be leadership leaders in their community to reach their full potential to have the self advocacy and self awareness to put their put their voices out into the space, and to have all the confidence that we know they're all totally 100% capable of

00:35:05.960 --> 00:35:18.890 Amanda McDowall: and international. After that trip to Thailand we went. Wow! You know the stories that the girls here are telling are not very different than the stories that our girls in New York City have to tell. And

00:35:19.040 --> 00:35:37.689 Amanda McDowall: each community that we serve like we said, it's all participant driven. So each group of girls that we work with, whether it's a group of eighth graders in the Bronx, or a group of 20 year old women in Thailand, or whether it's a group of young mothers in Kenya. The story is gonna come from them.

00:35:37.720 --> 00:35:53.209 Amanda McDowall: But a lot of the times the stories have very similar threads and through lines those threads are wanting to have a space to put your voice in wanting to be confident, right? Wanting to have all of the things to properly take care of yourself.

00:35:53.740 --> 00:36:16.450 Amanda McDowall: And so, having those international connections having the girls in the Bronx see the girls in Thailand and get a snippet of the work that they're doing. And it's all this, you know the similar curriculum that we're all running. They're having this shared experience in building this global ensemble. And we like to define, ensemble as a team on the stage.

00:36:16.610 --> 00:36:41.210 Amanda McDowall: a team on the stage. And right now our global ensemble could be a team on Zoom or whatever it is. But it's your stage in whatever community you're in, and I'm so happy that you brought up improv because it's such a cornerstone of what we do. Yes, and it's such a tool that we use in all of our programming cause. It really can help you navigate almost every and any situation.

00:36:41.510 --> 00:36:48.589 Amanda McDowall: Not just in an improv scenario, isn't it? Doesn't it create? I don't know if this is the right word.

00:36:48.610 --> 00:37:11.709 Tommy DiMisa: an openness. It it creates creativity versus like. Yes, but it's like, Oh, continue the conversation and or the scene depending on what? What I'm trying to be, you know II don't want to be self deprecating, so I'll just say it this way.

00:37:12.050 --> 00:37:25.330 Tommy DiMisa: I'm trying to figure out how to be a better parent. My wife and I are trying to figure that out only like every day, only every day, and then the next day and the next day, and I think if you we can use more curiosity because I realize every single day

00:37:25.330 --> 00:37:43.659 Tommy DiMisa: how little I actually know. And if my kids hear this, they're gonna remind me that I said that, because they tell me how little I actually know. But I mean that wholeheartedly, like we. There's so much we don't know. We don't understand that if we can approach it with this curiosity and question versus like, as if we know the answer to stuff like, you know that that's I. I'm trying

00:37:43.800 --> 00:37:53.369 Tommy DiMisa: as a human, but as a father is to just have more of that dialogue. Tell me about that. Why do you like that? Why do you feel that way. And I think that yes, and is also

00:37:53.920 --> 00:38:01.500 Tommy DiMisa: an opening. It feels to me open versus closed. If II don't know like I haven't thought about it too much to define it. But that's what I'm feeling.

00:38:01.560 --> 00:38:30.040 Amanda McDowall: Yeah, that's I mean, that's exactly what it is. The yes, yes, I hear what you're saying, I agree with what you're saying. And now I'm gonna contribute new thought. I'm gonna contribute myself to this thing that you've approached. So I'm not leaving you out to dry. I'm collaborating with you collaborative. And we love that right. And I think, tool. I love it. I love that. I wanna ask you this. And I don't wanna take you off track because I don't.

00:38:30.040 --> 00:38:44.969 Tommy DiMisa: You want to tell me about the programming or what it looks like. Wanna know that in a global world which we are. And this is an international I used air quotes, I'm not sure why it is an international. And it really meant it. Tommy didn't need the quotes, anyway.

00:38:45.970 --> 00:38:47.540 how connected

00:38:47.780 --> 00:38:55.939 Tommy DiMisa: are these girls from Thailand to Kenya, to South Sudan, to the boogie down Bx up in the Bronx. Like, how, what does that community look like?

00:38:56.600 --> 00:39:05.489 Amanda McDowall: Yeah, that's a great question. So the community is built in like a couple levels. Right? So one level is everybody's experiencing the same curriculum.

00:39:05.490 --> 00:39:28.839 Amanda McDowall: So we're going through the same program together. Of course, we're going to like, use our female ambassadors who run those programs in Thailand and Kenyan, South Sudan, as the experts on the ground for their communities, so that they could help inform our curriculum to make it more appropriate and accessible for their group of girls.

00:39:28.960 --> 00:39:51.380 Amanda McDowall: However, it is still the same tenants of what we do in our theater curriculum. So that's one aspect of it. Another aspect is, we're gearing up for our performance troop. We just got a wonderful grant from Hb. Studios in Lower Manhattan, and we're gonna be putting our performance group together, and aspects of the live performance will be

00:39:51.380 --> 00:40:01.500 Amanda McDowall: scenes and aspects that have been contributed from our girls ensembles internationally. We will have a piece of theater that's representative

00:40:01.500 --> 00:40:05.129 Amanda McDowall: of all of the girls voices that we work with.

00:40:05.130 --> 00:40:28.050 Amanda McDowall: Over the last, I would say. 2 or 3 years we'll we'll sort of be involved with this project. So we're really excited about that, because it's taking. It's kind of taking all of this workshop work that we do in the classrooms, our in school programs, our after school programs, our international programs. And it's kind of putting it all into one platform that we're able to

00:40:28.050 --> 00:40:55.729 Amanda McDowall: share at upcoming events and hopefully have this performance. Troop be the the beginning of us, nurturing some of the girls who have more of a need or want to be more serious performers, because you don't have to. You don't even have to be a theater kit to do our program right. Our program is a leadership program. Our program is a confidence building program. It happens to be theatre. And if you're like me and you're a theater kid. And you're like, Oh, I want more of that.

00:40:56.020 --> 00:41:03.429 Amanda McDowall: We're now creating another space for those kids to have a more opportunity to amplify their voices

00:41:03.440 --> 00:41:15.249 Tommy DiMisa: as more professional actors. I love that so. So I hope everybody caught that. So you know, I don't want to use like a baseline program, but the program itself is for everyone

00:41:15.310 --> 00:41:18.670 Tommy DiMisa: super inclusive, right? Like every you know.

00:41:18.810 --> 00:41:41.209 Tommy DiMisa: And then everyone who's involved in the program, however, and then you're saying, if somebody raises their hand and says, I really dig this. I want more. I want this at a higher level, right? It's it could be. They can advance right? They can. They'll get more access, I guess, is the right word to to this. Yeah, wow, how cool, man, and how many years is the organization been around?

00:41:41.640 --> 00:42:08.530 Amanda McDowall: So in the world of the nonprofit sector. We're still very new. We're I got our 501 c. 3 in 2,018. It's very exciting, and we're in we're in all kinds of schools like our we have in school. And after school programs, where we'll meet for a minimum of 8 weeks where once again, what we do is called devising theater. So that means

00:42:08.530 --> 00:42:23.440 Amanda McDowall: we don't come in with the script. It's not. Here's an Ige script. We're gonna read this script. And this is our performance. It. Like we said, it's participant driven. Come in. We're gonna use these theater tools that we have. And we're gonna build from scratch

00:42:23.530 --> 00:42:45.919 Amanda McDowall: an original place. So by the end of those 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, that community will have an original piece of theatre based on the story that that group needs to tell. So our school groups will have in school and after school programs. Then we also have a drama mama's program, which is for like mothers and caretakers.

00:42:45.990 --> 00:43:07.450 Amanda McDowall: Because, you know, being a mom is so many different things, right? So many to raise children. So that's for them to experience theater in their storytelling. Then we have this female ambassador program that we were talking about where we're training women within their communities globally to run girls circles.

00:43:08.040 --> 00:43:21.209 Amanda McDowall: So right now, that's where we have 2 girls in Thailand running a program together. That's from the same school. And that's Elapa. Ellipa was our students. So after that first trip to Thailand we went back 4 years in a row

00:43:21.510 --> 00:43:46.000 Amanda McDowall: and worked at that same school at Zoom, Waiki, and Ellipa, who was one of our students for 4 years, has graduated and has become a teacher at Zoom Waiki. She's a full time teacher there now. And she, we continued our relationship. And she was like, II wanna run a girl's circle. I wanna run a girl circle here. It was so beneficial for me. I think it'd be so wonderful for our girls here to have this.

00:43:46.000 --> 00:44:13.990 Amanda McDowall: and we were so excited, so we trained her, and we pay her as a teaching artist to run programming there. And now, within this year, we've expanded to a a group in Kenya, and then 2 groups in the South Sudan through the Women's Relief Aid organization. So we're very excited about the growth and the expansion. And then we have some upcoming things that are happening in queens that we can invite folks to talk about that. When we come back we'll take a break. That's always at that segment. What's coming up. How can we help?

00:44:13.990 --> 00:44:34.369 Tommy DiMisa: I just I. It is an international organization gang, but it's doing work here in New York City. As we speak, so shout out to. I just wanna say the the Long Island imagine awards applications about. I'd love it if you want to come. And and Jacqueline wants to come as well as my guest today. Long Island. Imagine awards which is happening may first 2,000 and that's weird to read

00:44:34.370 --> 00:44:54.540 Tommy DiMisa: 2,024. That's the part that's W. We're we actually stopped myself because I go. Oh, yeah, that actually, it would be 2,024 next year. But we just have the New York City. Imagine wards! And I would look for you as I say, Amen, you and Jacqueline, if you guys wanna come out to the Long Island event. But gang the there's 17 days left

00:44:54.540 --> 00:45:22.109 Tommy DiMisa: to apply for a Long island. Imagine Ward, go to imagine awards the deadline is midnight on Monday, November 20, seventh, right after Thanksgiving. Make sure you do that. If you wanna find out more about that. Go to imaginewards, We'll reach out to you, boy. Tommy d at philanthropy and, and I'll help you out. Get you sorted out. With that we come back a minute in a second. When we come back we're gonna talk about what you have upcoming queens. I wanna be there. Figure it out right. So I maybe get some love from the Queen's Chamber Commerce

00:45:22.110 --> 00:45:33.740 Tommy DiMisa: Valerie Green from Entropy Theater. Who, I think you watch one of the episodes. She's also open a story of Long Island City area. So probably some collapse there. II wanna one other thing you brought up

00:45:34.130 --> 00:45:44.420 Tommy DiMisa: was how you're collaborating with some other organizations on an international level. I learned this when we had Michelle Blondeheim on the show last. I guess it was 2 weeks ago, and it was about funders want to know.

00:45:44.960 --> 00:46:00.070 Tommy DiMisa: Who are you collaborating with? Who are you working with? Tell us the story. How are those relationships going to continue to help you to be sustainable throughout these programs gang. I'm dropping in these little nuggets, these little facts, these little ideas. And I think, as nonprofit leaders. We can benefit from them. And oh.

00:46:00.140 --> 00:46:08.810 Tommy DiMisa: disconnect because we're doing these nonprofit executive leadership roundtables. So connect with you, boy, the kid the one and only Tommy, the philanthropy and focus will be right back.

00:48:07.500 --> 00:48:18.179 Tommy DiMisa: Tommy, welcome back, everybody! Radio guy, boys love it alright. Let's get into it. This is the lightning round. This is the time when we make sure to leave it all on the field.

00:48:18.200 --> 00:48:32.090 Tommy DiMisa: get it all out, get all the ideas out, get all the stories out, get all the upcoming events out, and get all those asks that might be out there for you as an organization, Amanda, and and you know what I mean, just you as a person. Maybe there's certain things you need and connections or relationships you want.

00:48:32.450 --> 00:48:33.929 Tommy DiMisa: So now I will

00:48:34.210 --> 00:48:40.620 Tommy DiMisa: rest. Namaste. No mistake, Namaste, in the attic. Alright, let's go. Let's do it. What do you have?

00:48:40.620 --> 00:49:08.560 Amanda McDowall: So in regards to upcoming events, we do have a program. The dates are. Tbd, so this is where I'm gonna need part of an ask and a share for you all to tune in. Join our mailing list. Look at our Instagram subscribe, follow all those things. How do they get to the Instagram? Is there Facebook like, what do you want? So it's all of the social media's our at. I girls ensemble.

00:49:08.840 --> 00:49:33.910 Amanda McDowall: That's for Facebook and and Instagram. So please make sure that you follow us and get on our website and join our mailing list, cause you can really learn more about how you can join and make a deeper connection with international girls ensemble and hear about the work that we're doing and what's upcoming and things like that. Speaking of what's upcoming, we have a partnership. We got a grant through the Parks

00:49:33.910 --> 00:49:41.399 Amanda McDowall: foundation, and we are going to be doing a work free theater workshops for young

00:49:41.600 --> 00:49:54.249 Amanda McDowall: elementary school age kids for in Socrates Park, in Astoria. So we will announce those dates. They're not up yet, but we will definitely announce them. So make sure that you tune in to us.

00:49:54.280 --> 00:50:23.999 Amanda McDowall: We also have something coming up at King Manner for International Women's History month in March. I was just talking with programming over there. So we're hopefully, we'll do one of their workshops that's free for the community to celebrate International Women's Month so definitely invite folks out for that. And then March, we're actually gonna be having an event once again. Location details. Pbd, so you have to tune into us to find out what's happening.

00:50:24.090 --> 00:50:50.310 Amanda McDowall: But as sort of celebration and a thank you to our community, Tommy, you'll be hopefully you'll be able to attend this. But we're gonna share with some of the performances that our girls have been working on some of our theater family and friends will do some sharing. And it's really just for us to say thank you to everybody who supports us. Or maybe you wanna learn a little bit more about us, and you wanna come check out the work we do. You'll get to kinda see it live in action. That's coming up in March.

00:50:50.310 --> 00:50:54.539 Amanda McDowall: And we have lots of, you know, programming still going on. But it

00:50:54.540 --> 00:51:18.580 Amanda McDowall: so now the ask that I have, for folks are if people are looking for collaborators. If you're looking for an arts program, if you're looking for a girls based program, you know, if you're looking for theater in your school. We're here. We're able to do those things. We've also started doing corporate workshops, using these improv yes, and tools that we were just talking about Tommy, and how they're applicable

00:51:18.580 --> 00:51:26.630 Amanda McDowall: in every scenario on how to make those difficult workplace conversations and interactions a little more palatable.

00:51:26.870 --> 00:51:45.330 Amanda McDowall: and we also, it's very exciting. We actually have board applications open right now. So we have this incredible Dynamic Working board and International Board of Folks. That's such a cool thing, too, because you're representing your board is represent represent Tate. Forget it.

00:51:45.330 --> 00:52:15.260 Amanda McDowall: Your board is represented by people that in different populations that you're serving exactly so it's important. And so, you know, in our board application, we're looking for people all over the world. Obviously, wherever you are is fine, we meet over zoom. But we're definitely looking for folks who wanna you know our, our, our hardworking and and can relate with the mission of champion championning. I never get that word right? Girls and females voices both on stage in the community. And you know what you don't have to be a theater person

00:52:15.400 --> 00:52:21.970 Amanda McDowall: to care about leadership and autonomy and self advocacy for girls and women. Right?

00:52:22.400 --> 00:52:47.340 Tommy DiMisa: But II bet I'll make you a theater person, though by the time by the end of it, I promise you about that. I gotta just be selfish here for a second and and selfish, not on my behalf, but on behalf of you know NASA and self accounty here and say, how do we draw the work you're doing out here? I mean, I know you're you know you're doing work in the boroughs. Have you done stuff out here on the island? And are you looking to do more?

00:52:47.340 --> 00:53:10.739 Amanda McDowall: I absolutely. I think we know that there's a need everywhere for the work that we do, and we would love especially more like that's part of why we wanna service Queen so much right now there's a more of a deficit in Queens than there is in Brooklyn and the and in Manhattan right now, programming. So we're going. I'm from Queens Jacqueline lives in queens in Astoria now

00:53:10.740 --> 00:53:22.429 Amanda McDowall: she's she's been there for many years. So we're trying to be like, how do we service this community that that we have deep roots in, and Long Island, too. II think we would love to service the people of Long Island. It's about

00:53:22.430 --> 00:53:46.569 Amanda McDowall: once again getting those connections. So I sit on the board of an organization which and many have heard me talk about called the Spirit of Huntington Art Center. And I think what you're doing here. So on, Brand, although you know it's we gotta get in a car. We gotta get you out there. It's a matter if it's not around the block. However, it's not that far, either. So, this is where we would. We would

00:53:46.570 --> 00:53:55.040 Amanda McDowall: implement our in our female ambassador program, and we can train a young person from that community to run the program

00:53:55.040 --> 00:54:07.679 Amanda McDowall: right? Like it doesn't have to necessarily be myself or my Tas, who are in New York City or jackine it can be who's young and hungry and wants to serve their community. This is a great way in

00:54:07.710 --> 00:54:32.029 Tommy DiMisa: I wanna do something else. And I just I put I put this out there. And because you're a performer, and because you're so involved in this craft and things like that, you'll probably have people in your community, Amanda, and you'll probably have some ideas for me. We don't have to solve this right now, but I want to do a thing. So over the last few years I did something called 60 days of service, and I would go out and I'd volunteer with a nonprofit, and I would take some video. And you know, do kinda like selfies and do stuff on my phone

00:54:32.030 --> 00:54:46.009 Tommy DiMisa: phone and that sort of thing. I wanna do this in a different way. I wanna actually go on location with an organization for like the whole day, and have, you know, have a videographer with me and the whole thing, and be able to tell that story, and maybe it turns into a 40 min

00:54:46.050 --> 00:54:56.120 Tommy DiMisa: show right? Or maybe it's an hour. I don't know. II don't know the answers yet, but I see it as maybe I do. Once a month I go out on location work with an organization. And then we have all this

00:54:56.380 --> 00:55:06.450 Tommy DiMisa: content that we can play around with. That really dives deep cause. I would spend half a day or a day with an organization and have like 6 min of video that I took with my phone because I was actually doing this stuff.

00:55:06.540 --> 00:55:34.650 Tommy DiMisa: you know. So I wanna so I would love to do that with you all, if it's something that I'm not putting on the spot. But I'm saying that could be fun to just feature, you know. It's like Tommy D on location, philanthropy, and focus on the road. Something, you know, something that would be. I think that's great. And we have this in February. We'll have to talk. Offline, Tommy. But we have this this grant where we're gonna be collaborating and devising an original piece of theater with a group of girls at Hb studios. So we're really excited about that.

00:55:34.650 --> 00:56:02.240 Amanda McDowall: And that could be a really fun thing. And you know, mutually beneficial cause. What? What? Nonprofit, what organization doesn't want, you know, footage and material of the work that they're doing. So I think that'd be wonderful. And that would be awesome for me as well. And and again, it's not a documentary per se, but it's just I don't know what you call it real, you know reality, show type, thing, or whatever. We'll talk more about it, you and me. But gang, if you have feedback on that, you have ideas about that, let me know, because.

00:56:02.240 --> 00:56:05.110 Tommy DiMisa: you know, I've I've connected with a couple of folks that

00:56:05.110 --> 00:56:22.400 Tommy DiMisa: don't ever strike it. Let's say differently. Always connect with people, always build relationships. I met a young man who who works at the gas station near my house, and he's actually from queens, but he works this gas station over here. He's in film school.

00:56:22.400 --> 00:56:45.170 Tommy DiMisa: connected me with another colleague of his who's in film school. And he, you know, guys, we have so many interests we have so many connections was connected to so many things. He's become a friend. I see him on the weekends when he's here pumping gas and he's putting himself through film school, and I've talked to one of his colleagues who's gonna do some of this this film work for me. Then it's like, you know, we're gonna make a you know, a situation, a relationship. There's it's always there.

00:56:45.220 --> 00:57:15.099 Amanda McDowall: Peripherals, wide gang. You could always meet. People just gotta pay attention. Stay curious, Amanda. We are running out of time. We probably did already. But what else you wanna say to me before we get out of here? No, I just wanna say Thank you, and you know, encourage everybody to reach out to us. We love to meet and collaborate and work with folks. And even if you just have an idea, or you know, another school, or another person who might wanna be a board member or a school that might benefit from the work that we're doing, or you wanna bring the work we're doing to you.

00:57:15.100 --> 00:57:34.289 Amanda McDowall: So please reach out. We. We love expanding our reach and expanding our ensemble and just impacting as many young people, young women that we can, anyway. Thanks for being here. How do they connect with you or the organization? What's the best way to do it? Yeah. So if you go, you can email me, it's Amanda at

00:57:34.290 --> 00:58:03.480 Amanda McDowall: IN tl, like the website, girls ensemble but definitely get to our website definitely, get on our Instagram. Those are gonna be great ways to to keep up to date with what we're doing and to learn about upcoming opportunities to be involved. I love it. I love that we connected a bunch of times. We're friends now and amplify their message. Your boy, the nonprofit sector connector. We got a role right now. Make a great day. Make it a great weekend. I appreciate. You all. See, you

download this episode of