The COVID-19 response art film, “EXCELSIOR,” created during the quarantine, and inspiring song “Aim Higher,” will announce with fanfare new nonprofit The Free Hand.
The Free Hand’s mission is producing experiences, artists’ residencies and productions that connect artists and audiences to important social issues and each other.
“We intentionally pursue our core values of creativity, community and justice through multi-disciplinary and fiercely collaborative work,” said Executive Director Bobby Miga, who directed and produced both the artist residency and the film. “We believe that creativity and the arts can be a catalyst for significant, quantifiable, positive change in the world.”
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The one-hour, 45-minute art film was produced in four segments with 22 scenes, and will premiere exclusively on thefreehand.org on March 15, 2022.
Also on March 15, 2022, “EXCELSIOR’s” theme song, “Aim Higher,” by guest artist Damien Horne, will be released. The noted Nashville and Los Angeles musician and life coach co-hosts the TV show “The Song,” and has an inspirational trio called The Magi.
“EXCELSIOR” is the cumulative work of The Free Hand’s Coronavirus Artistic Response International Online Collaborative Residency. Announced on March 15, 2020, and commencing on April 1, 2020, the program was conceived with three goals in mind:
- To allow artists and creatives around the world to respond to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in real time;
- To foster authentic community between artists and creatives in isolation;
- To create inherently historic and important work that artistically documents the moment through quarantined collaboration.
I was really excited by the globality of the residency and what that could mean for constructing a view of the world, ” Uzoma Orji, a Nigerian photographer said on his initial reaction to his participation in the residency.
This experience gave me something to hold onto, something to look forward to, and something to respond to. If not for this residency, I wouldn’t have had any reason to pick up my camera,” said Lisa Praster, a photographer in the Netherlands.
It was a catharsis for me,” Pakistan painter and curator Mehreen Hashmi said after taking part in the program.
A putting down in words, feelings and graphics, the feelings of us artists from all over the world…is a piece of history. The world must look and watch and listen. It is an important document of our times,” said Sabera Shaik, Director of Malaysian shadow theater group, Masakini Theatre Company.
The Free Hand will also launch PROJECT BENEFACTOR, a fundraiser for the next “EXCELSIOR.” The sequel is envisioned as the cumulative work of The Free Hand’s INTERNATIONAL CREATIVE CLIMATE RESPONSE, a multi-disciplinary, collaborative work filming on all seven continents.
PROJECT BENEFACTOR will give both art collectors and supporters the opportunity to sponsor a multi-artist residency experience or production through a tax-deductible donation. Benefactors can choose to fund an existing or upcoming program and will also receive an honorary producer credit on the work.