The commercial that started it all!
The project that brought Legendary Women, Inc. together. Co-founders Liz De Razzo and Margaret Bates joined forces after Ms. De Razzo's idea for a billboard in Los Angeles that grew to a commercial of epic proportions. The commercial highlighting both Chloe Sullivan as a role model for young career-minded women and Allison Mack's dedication to her role of almost a decade eventually led to the idea that an organization could grow to do highlight other women---real and fictional---who are prominent in the media and serve as examples of what strong women can achieve. The commercial aired on May 14, 2010 in Los Angeles and then, again, on May 20, 2010 in New York and Los Angeles both. Variety called it..."as amazing as a small-town girl from Kansas becoming pals with a boy from Krypton."
The first official charitable activity of Legendary Women, Inc. During "Operation Truth and Justice," the Chloe Sullivan fandom joined together to raise money in 2010 for The Reeve Foundation. Inspired by this tradition, Legendary Women, Inc. adopted this foundation as its signature charity. Every winter, we host a fundraiser for them with one hundred percent of the profits going to The Reeve Foundation. Last year, we were able to raise over fifteen hundred dollars.
We were even written up in there "The Daily Dose" blog here:
We were also able to surprise Ms. Mack at her play in New York to surprise her with our official CDRF letter, as well.
Our friends at the Across the Airwaves Podcast (www.acrosstheairwaves.com) were kind enough to invite Ms. De Razzo and Ms. Bates to participate in their podcast celebrating Chloe and Allison Mack's return to Smallville in the episode "Collateral." Ms. De Razzo provided an interview about our organization and the commercial, while Ms. Bates participated in the podcast discussion, commemorating all things Chloe, which you can check out here.
Every year, Ms. De Razzo's other charity, IBG, Inc. hosts the "All Things" event where The X-Files fans all over the globe raise money by watching the episode "All Things" and other Gillian Anderson-related movies and episodes. We formed the first online team with participants as far away from Scotland watching both that episode and the original The X-Files movie, The X-Files: Fight the Future. We were able to raise over two hundred and fifty dollars through our team for the eventual donation to the South African Youth Education for Sustainability (SA-YES).
For more information on IBG, Inc. and this event, please check out this link:
In June 2011, our president, Carolyn West, and our Public Relations and Media Contact, Morgan Glennon, attended the Wizard World sponsored Philadelphia Comic Convention. They worked with Emily Nussdorfer to help raise over two hundred dollars for Moving Creations, Inc. a Philadelphia-based charity that helps mentor young girls through dance and the creation of art such as decorated masks. Legendary Women, Inc. hosted a contest for convention attendees to vote for their favorite comic book heroine by placing a dollar in a bin by a picture of their favorite character. Wonder Woman won. We hope to be able to go back to the same convention next year and loved working with Ms. Nussdorfer and her organization!
For more information on Moving Creations, Inc. please see our listed links at the bottom of the homepage.
The second official year of Legendary Women raising money for the CDRF. That year, we teamed up with the gracious fans of Lana Lang at the community "Sweet," and together were able to raise over two thousand dollars for the foundation.
In May, our board members, including Morgan Glennon, Carolyn West, and Margaret Bates, attended the Wizard World Convention in Philadelphia. There, they again teamed up with Moving Creations, Inc. to raise money for their cause. We were able to beat our goals and raise even more than 2011. We also had a great time enjoying the fan groups, spreading awareness about both LW, Inc. and Moving Creations' missions, and interviewing individuals like Kristy Swanson of the original Buffy film.
We teamed up with Random Acts.Org in order to get people to donate used paperback books and school texts to The Minnesota's Women's Prison Book Project. Despite a hectic fall with Super Storm Sandy interfering with some of our giving, we were able to send over fifty books to the WPBP. Not bad for a first time out!
Legendary Women, Inc. hosted its first ever contest to promote the creation of positive media representations of women. In this case, we held a literary contest in which readers submitted a short story of up to five thousand words that featured a strong female protagonist. We received almost fifty entries from over five countries. We thank both Random Acts.Org and The Bitch Pack for helping promote our event as well as for helping with the final judging of our finalists. If you go to our Medium page where our current articles are posted, then you can find our list of winners as well as an enlightening interview with the first place winner, Michelle Denham, author of the story "From Her Tears Came the Sky."
As conceived by our staff writer and Awards Chair, Megan Hussey, the Lucindas started in 2015 as a social media-based alternative to the Oscars. We believe that not only do women in all areas of the movie industry need to be more widely recognized for their work but, also, that the spirit of competition undercuts the artistic value of their contributions. Our followers were encouraged to submit names of directors, writers, actresses, stunt women and others who distinguished themselves in the year in film in 2014. Everyone nominated was considered a winner and given a nod on our winners post. Some have also been profiled in depth with Megan Hussey's ongoing column. We look forward to expanding the Lucindas during the 2016 award season as a way to keep embracing the diversity and skill women all over Hollywood bring to films.
While we were able to previously attend Awesome Con 2014 as press, it was not until 2015 that we were able to host a panel and charity table. We allied ourselves with Ramona's Way, a D.C.-based non-profit that specializes in offering counseling and crisis hotline services to women who are survivors of domestic abuse and also struggle with substance addiction in their families. We were able to raise a signifcant amount of money over the convention (total to be announced soon), and to get new volunteers interested in working with a worthwhile charity. We'd love to thank their director, Jackie King, and a dedicated volunteer, Theresa for making that possible. Additionally, president emeritus, Carolyn West, and current president and co-founder, Margaret Bates, hosted a panel called "The Problem of the Strong Female Character Trope," which was based around this article from the New York Times about the problematic representation of women in action and genre films. The discussion was passionate, thoughtful, and we heard diverse and interesting feedback from a very knowledgable audience. It opened our eyes so we hoped it did for others as well!
Since April of 2015, we've also been hosting two types of twitter chats. The first, co-hosted often with the lovely women of The Bitch Pack, works to highlight films made by women and with women-centered or focused stories. Our innaugural watch was The Babadook by first time director, Jennifer Kent. In May, we watched A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, which was written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Coming up we'll be hopefully looking to more films, including the HBO original Bessie. The tag to join us on is #WomenWatchFilms so look to our twitter for updates on when our next watch-along will be. Similarly, bloggers, Katie Tabeling and Taylor Deblase, have started a young adult film themed watch-along series to highlight strong leading ladies of the YA film set. That tag is #LegendaryYAWatch and we started in May with Beautiful Creatures and in June of 2015 will be analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bone.
This year we had dozens of entries from close to ten different countries. We were excited to also have some amazing judges, including Carolyn West, Maureen Seaton, Amanda Rudd, Jennifer S. Atwater, and Dr. Stephanie Selvick. We had some stiff competition and were able to award "A Matriline," "Immunity," and "J.J. Jones" with the third, second, and grand prizes. This year, we focused on short stories that could pass the Bechdel-Wallace test, and we were glad to see so many intriguing and interesting conversations between women.