(Photo via facebook.com/BonfireMediaCo)
West Philadelphia-based media production, training and advocacy org Media Mobilizing Project recently spawned a sister organization two years in the making: Bonfire Media Collective.
As a media-making business, Bonfire aims to tell stories of humanity, community and social change.
As a worker-owned cooperative, it is committed to fair pay for its employees, democratic leadership and “respectful working conditions in an industry that is plagued by low wages, inconsistent income and long hours,” per its website.
Bonfire just met its crowdfunding goal to cover startup costs, including legal fees, marketing, rent, administrative salary, insurance and production software licenses. MMP Executive Director Bryan Mercer shared some info about the co-op via email.
Generocity: Why was Bonfire Media formed?
MMP: Bonfire was formed to generate more capacity for telling movement stories, as well as sustainable work for the growing pool of movement media makers trained by and connected to MMP. A group of people working with MMP to produce for-hire work, including current and former staff, freelancers, fellows and community partners, started thinking about what it would look like to create a cooperative of media makers.
The cooperative model was a natural evolution from our process of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and horizontal leadership within production at MMP.
Who are the people working for Bonfire? Are members of MMP also working in this new business, or have they done work with you before?
From our Partners
Bonfire’s members came together through their work with MMP. Many were Movement Media Fellows with MMP in 2016; others are former and current staff and freelancers with MMP. Part of what makes them a strong team is that they come from a ton of different personal and professional backgrounds — they are filmmakers, but they’re also educators, artists, musicians, organizers, facilitators, journalists and designers.
What need is Bonfire filling?
After MMP produced [the documentary] Groundwork in 2015, more requests for for-hire projects started coming in. It became clear that there was a growing need for high-quality video production with people behind the camera who really understood movement work and storytelling.
Bonfire formed to be an entity entirely dedicated to video production work, primarily for movement groups. But by being outside the non-profit umbrella (Bonfire is an LLC), Bonfire is open to a world of possibility to take their work in any direction that makes sense for them and the needs of their clients.-30-
From our Partners
Employee alleges DHS CAO office has ignored worker safety even after an employee tested positive for COVID-19
Power moves: Pew Charitable Trusts appoints new president and CEO
How do you help the helpers? PHL COVID-19 Fund addresses the critical role of nonprofits
During Tech in Action Day, all the participants teach and learn
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Officer, Philadelphia Research and Policy InitiativeApply Now
This year’s first Tech in the Commons is going virtual April 2
How Bethesda Project’s Church Shelter Program is responding to COVID-19
Lucy Minchoff is making her mark as a leader — even before graduating from high school
ECS has been tackling Philly’s social issues for nearly 150 years. Now, its new focus is intergenerational poverty
Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity