The Community Foundation’s Blue Water Arts Committee (BWAC) recently awarded a $5,500 grant to Port Huron Civic Theatre (PHCT) and Huron City Radio in support of an effort to create a web series pilot that will be featured locally and entered into film festivals worldwide. The grant provided the production with early financial support, helping to offset costs and compensate its cast and crew, who are all from the area.
“The project is a great way to build upon and utilize the talent in our community while offering local creatives a unique opportunity to showcase their skills or possibly explore a new career path,” said Jody Parmann, vice-chair of the BWAC.
Huron City Radio’s creator Daniel Williams was writing a screenplay for a movie when the COVID-19 pandemic began. With filming on hold, Williams took to writing, recording and producing audio dramas and, bit by bit, Huron City Radio released podcasts designed to entertain and amuse during a difficult period.
Twenty hours of original content later, Huron City Radio had included over 60 actors, musicians, writers, sound engineers, composers, graphic designers, producers and directors in making three shows that have now been downloaded in 35 countries and 46 states. One of the shows, “Uncle Walter’s Year of Wonder,” was selected for the New Jersey Web Fest’s inaugural podcast section and went on to win “Outstanding Drama Fiction” and “Best Writing/Script Fiction.”
Emboldened by the success and inspired by the other creators, Williams came back with the idea to make a web series, a filmed story released in segments on the internet. He set about recruiting talent from the Blue Water Area with the goal of producing something that could be sent out to festivals as well as stand on its own as a web-based production.
Williams applied for a grant from the Community Foundation in order to make a 12-15 minute pilot for “The Homecoming” web series and was awarded the $5,500 grant, giving the project its first financial backing. The Charles & Margaret Anderson Foundation Endowment through the BWAC provided funding for the grant to help with the cost of creating the series including compensation for the actors, filmmakers, writers, make-up artists and many other creatives involved in its production.
“This grant from the Community Foundation is a huge boost and validation for the hard work I’ve put in trying to make original shows within the area,” Williams said. “I look forward to being able to develop what I’ve learned and having the funds makes the difference in being able to do it or not.”
The Charles & Margaret Anderson Foundation Endowment supports the work of the Blue Water Arts Committee and other efforts promoting the arts and culture throughout the community. Since it was established in 1994, over $1.34 million has been granted to organizations and programs in Blue Water Area from the fund. Discover more funds and philanthropic opportunities supporting the arts and other important causes in our community at stclairfoundation.org/giving-center.