Short bio here. Photos of Jen by Bella Cirovic, shetoldstories.com
Jen and her husband followed their hearts and moved to Brooklyn, New York in 2007 with their two young daughters (3 years old, and 4 months old at the time). They had never been to New York City, but they loved it on TV and in the movies. The knew if they never tried living there they would regret it.
Now it's hard to remember her life before Brooklyn. Jen's creative life exploded. Soon she was creating journals for reluctant writers, exploring vintage-style photography and telling true stories on stage in front of standing-room-only crowds.
Since those early days, Jen has worked as a publisher and producer for her own multimedia works and those of other artists. She has hosted, taught, and been a special guest at creative workshops and retreats (Serendipity, Squam Art Workshops, Be Present Retreats), focusing on her core belief that makers are at our best when we are taking care of ourselves, we find ways to say what is ours to say, and we know we are not alone.
After her storytelling found a home on stages both in and out of New York City and on the radio (The Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour) it was a natural progression to take it to the big screen.
Making movies was another long-forgotten dream for Jen, rekindled when she walked up Broadway for the first time and stopped in her tracks under a banner for NYU Film School. "There was film school?"
Near the end of 2012, Jen had a new story to tell about independent artists working collaboratively and film was the best medium to capture each artist's music, visual art and stories with their own voices. She started production on her first feature-length documentary, Indie Kindred, that debuted in July 2013 at the World Domination Summit.
Immediately following the film's debut, Jen packed up her daughters and took Indie Kindred on a cross-country tour, where it screened in over 20 cities. International screenings were also hosted in Canada and Australia.
The Indie Kindred Creative Community was founded on Facebook soon after, and Jen turned her attention to helping creatives build the necessary supports for connection and collaboration. In May 2015 she shared a practice for the art of friendship: The 10 Letters Project. Together with author/illustrator Tim Manley, Jen released a year-long correspondence the two makers kept during careers highs, lows and everything in between, introducing the classic practice of letter writing as a modern container for friendship.
Jen believes the next step for connecting makers is finding kindreds closer to home. She's partnering with makers around the world to build local creative communities, providing resources and support for those who gather. All her work is done in the hope that creatives and makers will continue to make good work in the world, with care and connection to nourish them.