YOU ARE NOT ALONE MURALS & FOLKTALE CREATIVE
SPECIAL PROJECT: Fundraiser for a veteran/artist to paint mental health-themed murals with troops on a US military base in Kuwait in Fall of 2023!
⭐ ABOUT ⭐
YOU ARE NOT ALONE (YANAM) is a public arts project that seeks to destigmatize mental health issues and offer a message of hope to those who are struggling. YANAM began in 2019 with three NYC murals and now includes 55+ murals around the world from a variety of artists.
FOLKTALE CREATIVE was immediately drawn to YANAM’s mission and created an award-winning short doc about the project in 2021. Now Folktale is going deeper with One Hundred Walls, a full-length feature that follows YANAM as they work towards their 100-mural milestone.
⭐ YANAM + FOLKTALE + CAMP BUEHRING ⭐
As YANAM has grown, so has their relationship with Folktale. No longer just an observer, Folktale has actively collaborated with YANAM on a special project to bring two murals to a US military base in Kuwait.
In the Fall of 2023, Camp Buehring will host YANAM and Folktale for a mural collaboration between soldiers and artist/veteran Jay Rivera (SSG, USA, Ret.) and his muralist wife Riki. (They work under the name Laced and Found.) Folktale will document the painting process while also capturing organic conversations between the artists and soldiers. Interviews will also be conducted with troops about how active-duty soldiers and veterans alike deal with mental health challenges.
⭐ LOGISTICS ⭐
-Murals will be painted on Camp Buehring barrier walls and seen daily by thousands of people.
-The first mural will be designed/painted in collaboration with the troops. The second will be created solely by Laced and Found.
-Footage will be included in One Hundred Walls. Additionally, select footage will be shared in May 2023 on social media for Mental Health Awareness Month.
-YANAM and Folktale will be hosted on-base.
⭐ FUNDRAISING DETAILS ⭐
$20,000 will cover the cost of five team members’ travel and per diems plus artist and film crew fees, supplies, and equipment. Lodging and meals will be generously provided by Camp Buehring.
If the $20,000 goal is not met, funds will still go towards the Kuwait trip, though the participants traveling will vary. Funds raised beyond the goal will be used to support both the One Hundred Walls film and YANAM.
If your donation is contingent on it being tax deductible, please email YANAM. YANAM is awaiting their 501(c)(3) status.
⭐ PROJECT IMPACT ⭐
“I am a medically retired, disabled veteran who has served 18 years as an infantryman in the Army and did three combat tours in Iraq. My goal in painting these murals is to encourage soldiers to speak to a counselor, friend, or family member about the challenges of living far from home, feeling alone, and being in a combat zone. I’m hoping that since I’ve been in these troops’ shoes, they’ll see my vulnerability as a strength and consider opening up about what they are feeling, too.”
--Jay Rivera, artist/veteran
⭐ JAY’S CONNECTION TO CAMP BUEHRING ⭐
“It is so meaningful to be able to bring the You Are Not Alone message to Kuwait. Since I have been through Camp Buehring personally. I am a medically retired, disabled veteran who has served 18 years as an infantryman in the Army and did three combat tours in Iraq. I know firsthand that this place can be both a scary pitstop and a rewarding one, too. It’s scary because when you arrive here as a soldier who will be moving on to a combat zone, it’s uncertain if you’ll ever make it back. That’s enough to break down anyone’s mental health. But Camp Buehring is also rewarding on the return end because once you get here, you know the next stop is home.”
⭐ JAY’S ROAD TO HEALING ⭐
“My time in Iraq was exactly what anyone would imagine. I saw and did things that I never thought I would. When I returned from my last tour of duty, I didn’t attend counseling. I thought since I made it home alive, I was perfectly fine. Just days after starting Ranger School in 2013, I had a severe panic attack and was immediately sent to Mental Health Services. It didn’t take long to be diagnosed with PTSD and begin the Medical Evaluation Board process. Through counseling, I began to peel back layers and layers of trauma that I had endured. I was officially retired in 2015 and had to figure out how to care for my mental health. Getting back into painting proved to be what helped me the most.”
⭐ CAMP BUHELING TRAVEL TEAM BIOS ⭐
Kelly Schaber - Director, Producer/Folktale Creative
Kelly is a documentary filmmaker with extensive experience in project management, problem-solving, strategy, and creative storytelling. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with a Masters in Human Dimensions of Organizations, a degree that draws on disciplines in the humanities and social and behavioral sciences to understand the behavior and motivations of people.
Jeremy Nelson - Cinematographer/Folktale Creative
Currently based in Duluth, MN, Jeremy is a documentary filmmaker and freelance camera operator, working on feature documentary films, short films, and corporate video. He has worked with non-profits such as Save Our Springs Alliance and Barton Springs University as well as the President’s Award for Global Learning through the University of Texas at Austin.
Matthew Koshmrl - Cinematographer
Matthew is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, cinematographer, and professor based in Minnesota. His work has played at The Jeonju International Film Festival, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, DocumentaMadrid, and True/False Film Festival. Matthew personally focuses on cinema vérité documentary films that explore the evolution of tradition, individual and national identity, and unseen processes.
Laced and Found - artists
Jay “Laced” Rivera (SSG, USA, Ret.) was born and raised in the South Bronx at a time when graffiti was in heavy rotation and an essential part of hip-hop culture in New York City. Riki Rivera was born and raised in Southern California and has been creating large scale murals since 2018. Since Laced and Found’s launch in 2018, they have painted over 400 projects including murals and custom graphics. All of the work is done primarily with spray paint, keeping true to the style and culture of graffiti artists. The duo has previously contributed two murals to YANAM in Austin, TX (2021 & 2022).
Kelly and Jeremy (Folktale Creative)
Sam and Annica (YANAM)
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