Six Questions with Madison Thomas

1. What motivates you?

For me, like most artists I think, motivation can sometimes be a difficult thing to find. We don’t have clear markers of success and progress like a lot of professions do. From within I think it comes from a place of wanting to share unique stories through film that might not be told otherwise. Externally I find motivation from my communities, friends and my students. When I see my colleagues making cool films and art it motivates me to do the same. My students motivate me with their energy and willingness to learn which motivates me to be the best role model I can be for them but as an artist and as a person.

2. What do you do for a living and what do you love about it?

I’m a professional filmmaker and an educator. In film my main fields are Writing, Directing and Picture Editing but I have experience in many crew positions as well. I love the flexibility film gives me in my storytelling and the collaboration it allows me to have with so many talented artists. As an educator I teach film for various organizations. I love sharing my love for the medium with young people and hopefully inspiring those who want to pursue it to do so in the same way I was.

3. Why are you excited to speak at Tedx?

I’m excited to share my unique take on the benefits of arts programming for inner city youth because it’s a topic I think a lot of people outside these communities have given thought to but not delved into fully. Once you get into some of the social and mental health applications it’s truly remarkable how connected it all is.

4. What Ted Talk (or TEDx Talk) do you think everyone should watch?

I was really inspired by Jeff Duncan-Andrade’s talk “Growing Roses in Concrete” which talks about people returning to the hood after becoming successful to raise communities up

5. Why is your idea worth spreading?

On it’s base level it’s about giving disadvantaged kids a fundamental tool to help them face obstacles that stand between them and success but on a larger scale it’s about giving communities and individuals the power to change the arts scene as a whole.

6. What do you do with a completely free weekend?

Either going to see live music with friends or going on a hike out in nature. It’s all about those two extremes for me.

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