I Can Still Say Happy New Year, Right??
I'm coming up for air to say hi to my friends and family!
I talk to you guys all of the time.... in my head. My close friends know this already about me. Sometimes I'll have a text only half typed out, not yet sent. Sometimes I feel like I need to say something super cool and wait for that super cool thing to come to me. Meanwhile, super cool things are happening all around me like:
2 year-old beams as he sees himself in Encanto
3 year-old poses as spider man in viral photo
I love these two photos. They show once again that there is a serious business case and moral imperative for allowing Black children to be at the center of media attention in a positive light. My WHY (why I founded Kidogo Productions) is hereby affirmed (again).
A word about December 2021: I was feeling all the things: excitement, anxiety, pressure, relief. It was a weird month. I felt compelled to plow full-steam ahead and, at the same time, to take a step back and reflect on the progress I made in 2021. I mean, I made a LOT of progress in 2021! In fact, here's a timeline for those of you who are new:
2018 (December): A YouTube search yielded very few results for culturally resonant children’s content for Black children. I complained to whomever would listen.
2019: I convened a small group of friends from Bethel AME in Boston and incorporated Kidogo Productions. We created the animated characters, Fortaya and Melody, and did a lot of work on an animated musical short, “The Wheels on the Bus—A Soulful Rendition.”
2020: Produced “Must Be Time for a Nap,” an animated short of a poem I wrote, and a Spelman Encouragement video featuring Dr. Joyce F. Johnson (a Spelman College legend).
2021 (February): I posted the animated musical short: “The Wheels on the Bus—A Soulful Rendition” to Facebook. The animation was selected by the Indie Night Film Festival for an extended run.
March: 3rd place prize with Innovation Studios Pitch Night competition.
April: Kidogo produced and sold a downloadable/printable coloring book, which featured six Black women musicians and their instruments.
May: Pitched with Innovation Studios again. Accepted into EforAll; I registered a trademark for Kidogo Productions.
June-July: EforAll helped me PIVOT from solely producing content to curating premium content and building a platform.
August: Launched Kidogo.tv, which included the premier of Kidogo’s second animated musical short, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat—A Soulful Rendition.”
September- October: Won 5th place in EForAll’s pitch competition and was chosen as class speaker; press attention from JP Gazette, and Babson’s Black Women Entrepreneurial Leadership Program began.
November: Conducted Kidogo's first interview of a content creator, Kymberly Stewart; Press from Western New England University School of Law, and Black Star News.
December: Press from Spelman College; listened to about 20 How I Built This podcasts; and a trip to the Berkshires for a little skiing :-)
I am proud of my progress and yet there is still so much to do! This is where YOU come in. Cue my word for the new year: COMMUNITY.
So far, this month has been about advancing community. Kidogo is happy to join Veronica Chapman and Black Baby Books in celebrating Black Children's Book Week! Veronica was sick and tired of complaining about Black History Month being so short, so she decided to do something about it. She has declared that BHM will be extended by a week-long celebration of our Black children and Black books. From 2/27/22-3/5/22, authors, readers, and just about anyone else who love Black children will host and/or attend events. As an official co-host, Kidogo has been behind the scenes helping to map out the week!
Kidogo is also jumping up and down for joy while it plans it first live virtual event on 2/27/22 at 2pm!! It's a KTV LIVE! RSVP here and soon you'll see the event on the BCBW site. Continue to stay tuned for more exciting details!
Hopefully, I have warmed and primed you guys up enough for my asks.
Our children's show will include a tribute song featuring a montage of our beautiful children. I NEED PICTURES AND SHORT VIDEO CLIPS OF YOUR KIDS. If you would like to see your baby's smile during our live program, please email me at email@example.com and I will reply with the google drive link. Please send your files, at the latest, by February 12, 2022 COB.
Our children's show will also include a segment when we ask your children to share an affirmation they love. We need children to step up to the virtual mic and say their affirmation loud and proud! Let them clear their throats ;-)
In the name of community, I would like to gather a small band of parents with whom I can interact on a monthly basis. These parents would give me their insights, opinions, and observations. I am also looking for a crop of content creators (educators, creatives, and parents) with whom to connect on a regular (don't read often, though) basis. One of those meetings for each group will be a formal focus group facilitated by Rosa Hunter (more details to come about that). If you are interested in getting involved, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also looking for people who are willing to serve as admins or moderators of a discussion forum I would like to build on kidogo.tv. If you are interested in getting involved, please send me an email at email@example.com.
Kidogo cannot succeed without you. I can't advance Kidogo's mission without you. Thanks so much for your support and helping me to form a Kidogo Community.
For the kids, for the culture,