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The Storymakers 2016 campaign surpassed all of our expectations. We received more than 600 submissions from 35+ countries, including mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for the first time. And our Twitter chat was more global than ever before, with people from 20 countries participating!
Now, without further ado, here are the winners of Storymakers 2016.
Our Best Video winner hails from the proud city of Detroit and is the unanimous top choice. Learning to Improvise Can be Life-Changing, from The Detroit Creativity Project, demonstrates the highest level of technical production and takes the audience on a stirring, heartfelt journey into Detroit's schools. There, we see hearts, bodies, and minds coming to life through improvisation and the creative arts. TechSoup is particularly proud that Adobe products, available through our donation program, were used in the video's production.
Imagine children around the United States learning mindfulness. Then imagine how this teaching can impact children's lives, transforming their journey through life. This is a powerful idea. Our Story of Tomorrow winner, Seeds of Awareness from Seeds of Awareness, succeeds in filming youth at this moment of awakening. The viewer is left imagining the future, wondering what stories these children will tell themselves someday.
Rolling Ridge Riding from Rolling Ridge Riding is our Audience Choice Award winner. This organization creates special, therapeutic experiences for children through riding horses. This is an example of a community using video to capture the inspiration inherent in its nonprofit mission.
This five-photo Flickr submission presents a compelling visual narrative and tells a great story. Learning Tree Farm is an organization that provides hands-on learning experiences in a traditional farm setting. Its photo story is extremely powerful and highly shareable.
And now, here are some notable honorable mentions. We are proud to award a free, one-year Boost subscription (where available) to these winners. Boost gives members access to special products and discounts offered through TechSoup.
How do you get folks to volunteer their time? The nonprofit The World is Fun shows us a great option: make volunteering fun and easy. Then, it uses humor in its video, The World Is Fun: Do 1 Thing, to demonstrate it.
The video Join the Breakthrough Generation from the organization Breakthrough utilizes animation (and celebrity) to a dynamic effect. This is storytelling at its most sophisticated as we see animations and voices come to life.
Libraries have fans, tons of fans. But how to activate them? Digital storytelling is a powerful tool for libraries to let their audience know, "Hey, we're here, and we do amazing work!" That's what the Daviess County Public Library shows in its Libraries Transform Teaser. This effective fundraising video inspires not through the hard sell, but through inspiring the audience to want to give.
Stories and advocacy go together like peas in a pod. What Is Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBT) Hotline Association?, submitted by Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBT) Hotline Association, shows us gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer advocates in Taiwan working with various services. Those services include groups for hotline calls — the elderly, youth, people with disabilities, and education — to provide an ear and home for those in need of support.
All of these videos create a lasting impact. Together, they are wonderful examples of the uses of digital storytelling for advocacy and fundraising. We encourage you to explore them for inspiration. Check out our Storymakers 2016 YouTube playlist for even more inspiration.
Thanks are due to many people involved in Storymakers 2016. First, we want to thank every nonprofit and NGO who submitted. We are pleased to see that 75 percent of our winners used Adobe products in their entries. Check out how you too can get significant savings for nonprofits on Adobe Creative Cloud.
Thanks to our judges: Bryan Breckenridge, executive director of Box.org; Tyler Butler, director of corporate social responsibility at GoDaddy; Janet Naumi Mawiyoo, CEO of Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF); Mark Murrmann, photo editor from Mother Jones; Mark Ruskamp, public access coordinator at Portland Community Media; and Carol Varney, executive director of Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
We could not run Storymakers 2016 without our own fundraising. Special thanks are due to Platinum Sponsors — Microsoft and GoDaddy — and Gold Sponsors — GrantStation, Box.org, and Tint.
Lastly, thanks to everyone on the Community Engagement team at TechSoup for their support.
Until the next Storymakers adventure, thank you:
Ale Bezdikian and Lewis Haidt, your partners in storytelling.
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Lewis Haidt Senior Manager, TechSoup Online Community and Social Media @lewisha
Wow. These are all so uplifting and inspiring. Really touched my heart and moved me to tears and laughter.
Tech Soup is such a wonderful resource. Hats off to you. So wonderful to see videos from different cultures and groups, ultimately so clear that there is just one race: the human race.
Did the popular vote go to the Audience Choice Award winner? If so the current winner listed was in second place just prior to the voting deadline.
Our judges followed both the rules in our Terms and Conditions and the audience voting when deciding the Audience Award winner. The announced winner is the correct winner.
Is there still a place to view all 2016 entries?
We will be creating a YouTube playlist with our winners plus other videos. It won't be all of them though and we'll post the link here, so you're notified.
In the meantime, here's the link for some of the video submitted to the contest made with Adobe products - www.youtube.com/playlist
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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