Aymar Jean Christian (pictured above), head of development for Open TV and assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University answers some questions about Open TV!
What is your organization’s mission?
Open TV (beta) is designed to intervene in television and art worlds by developing artists whose creativity is too often overlooked, mainly queer, transgender, women and artists of color. We release pilots and original series by artists mostly based in Chicago, so we’re trying to do engaging public affairs and indie television in the digital age. We show comedies, dramas, docu-series and video art. The goal is to diversify not only the television business and its supply chain, but use art to diversity its modes of storytelling and ways of engaging audiences. All of our series have a Chicago premiere or screening. We want to bring together different groups of people around digital culture.
Still from Open TV
What is the best part of what you do?
Collaboration. Everything in creative industry takes collaboration, and I love introducing artists who may not know each well, have always wanted to work together or find in television a new way to express their creative relationship. We also collaborate on exhibition, partnering with galleries, museums, universities, bars, and artist-run spaces to bring new work to communities in Chicago. Getting to see the reactions people have to your work in real life is incredibly rewarding, and I love providing not only financial compensation to artists but also
Still from Open TV
How do you reach your audience?
Most of our audiences are watching TV on social media — Facebook and Tumblr, especially, but also finding it through Instagram and Twitter. We published on Vimeo, but our views come largely from elsewhere. We do the standard release of trailers and ancillary content — interviews, recaps of events. We spend most of our energy engaging our community in Chicago by hosting screenings and discussions in partnership with local organizations.
Anything else you’d like to tell the world?
Support indie artists!
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