Every Sunday since late September, a large conference room in the Wexner Center's administrative offices has been repurposed as a classroom for a new learning program that feels more essential with each passing day. 10 Girls/10 Weeks connects young women ages 12-18 from the Columbus area who aspire to be writers with Chinonye Chukwu, founder of the groundbreaking initiative Pens to Pictures, and Jean Pitman from the Wex's Education department. Together, they cover the basics of developing an original screenplay through class activities and visits with professionals in the field. We're so proud to be part of something that works toward a future with greater gender equality in the film industry—and we're seeking support to ensure that the program thrives. Throughout November, donations are being accepted for 10 Girls/10 Weeks through Buckeye Funder, with a goal of $7500 by month's end. To share a sense of the program's impact, the fundraising page offers some eye-opening statistics on the current place of women in Hollywood, along with a series of short testimonials from some of the women involved. Here's the first, from Estefany, a 17-year-old from Whitehall-Yearling High School who was among the 10 girls chosen from a large, competitive pool of applicants. Head to the project's Buckeye Funder page to donate and for more info.
"My experience so far has been truly amazing. All the girls involved are so talented and creative. This experience is one that I will never forget.
"Some difficult parts in the program so far have included deciding what I wanted my script to be about, there are so many options. I finally figured it out when Jean and Chinonye told us to write about something that mattered. That really made the decision easier.
"This experience made me realize how different screenwriting and prose writing is; it's all about action and showing emotion rather than describing how a person feels or thinks. It's about drama and keeping the viewer engaged. It's very difficult but a lot more fun!"
Images: The 2017 class of 10 Girls/10 Weeks with educators Chinonye Chukwu and Jean Pitman; Estefany during a weekly workshop session. Photos by Sylke Krell.