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Support our Documentary: How To Feed An Artist!

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Howdee and Welcome to our Fundraiser! After working for over a year on our feature documentary: How To Feed An Artist, we are ready to take it to the next level. We need that vital SEED/STARTER $$$ to continue forward and we are asking our community to support this project. Be a part of getting it off the ground!

" This is a love story. A love story that started with a woman and a dream, and over the course of twenty years, grew between chef and artist, employer and employee, a restaurant and its community, art and food, inviting us, along the way, to rediscover the vital nature of human connection. "

This is a passion project. When Breakfast Queen-owner-for-two-decades-of-Diners-that-became-community-hubs Mary Haglund asked zap mcconnell to help her make a documentary, zap said yes. And it began.

zap asked her partner in intense-pour-your-art-soul-into-them-never-sleep-dance-for-film Cat Rider if she would co-direct this art documentary. Cat said yes. And it got bigger. Cooler and more real.

The story starts with Mary and the artists that worked and showed work at her farm-to-fork diner in Winston-Salem, NC. First Mary’s of Course, then Mary’s Gourmet Diner (a hot moment being called Breakfast of Course...) With badass-glass-ceiling-shattering-epic-biscuit-maker Mary as the spine of our film, we follow how her life is forever changed by the art and the artists that became part of her restaurant family.

But we don’t stop there. We are interviewing a core of artists that supported their art-making by working in front of the house or back of the house at Mary’s while pursuing their dreams. We are interviewing artists who had their first art show on the walls of Mary’s or their most epic one. Whether you were a musician who played there, a fashion designer who moved the tables aside for a catwalk, an entrepreneur sharing her story at Mary’s Mavens, someone who came to the clothing swaps or drag brunches, Mary’s was always more than just mouth-watering comfort food. It was about community.

And Mary’s Diner isn’t the only family-owned local spot that is a community watering hole supporting artists. Ask anyone you know who identifies as a creative and nine times out of ten, they’ve worked in the food service in order to have flexibility in pursuing their craft. So this story is bigger than just Mary’s. It’s a deep dive into the invisible economy that supports the arts and the under-appreciated art world that supports our communities.

We’re in love with this love story and we’re dedicated to telling it. Nuts and bolts, we are a small team in it for the long haul to make How To Feed An Artist and we need money.


zap mcconnell (emerging filmmaker): Producer + Co-director + art stuff + animation
Cat Rider (emerging filmmaker): Producer + Co-Director + DP + editor
Garret Ollish (via Storyocity): Creative Producer + GE
Kayleigh Lennon (via Storyocity): Logistics Producer
David Klingerman (via Storyocity): Executive Producer
Storyocity (Cincinnati, OH): Production Company
Mary Haglund (bad-ass biscuit maker): Core Research and Creative Consultant

If you want to learn more about us and this project, check out our website:

Also, follow us on social media

A big question in filmmaking today, especially in documentary work is, “Is this your story to tell?” We say “Absolutely.” This project was born out of Mary’s personal desire to tell her story and fervently express the importance of art and artists and how they have changed her life. Her passion for the relationships she’s formed over the years through her restaurant must be told. Mary and zap have been friends for over thirty years- before, during, and after the existence of Mary’s Diner. This relationship between them, and both of them to the community of Winston-Salem and the nationwide community of artists and small business owners, is crucial in telling this story on such an authentically raw and personal level. Cat works at a family-owned bakery in between film gigs. She’s been there for twelve years. In fact, her first photos ever sold were to the owners and still hang in the bakery. Cat and zap have been in artistic partnership for over three frenzied years of filmmaking. A deep love of art, food, service, community, and the major struggles associated with this lifestyle are baked into their alliance.

For us, and for so many artists, the somewhat financial stability provided by a restaurant job allows for the pursuit of artistic passions and development of skills. Both of the directors have extensive experience in the food industry and understand the culture of hustle, family, and trading shifts to go audition or shoot a film or make a dance. They've experienced the magic of connections made between workers that organically ebb into artistic collaborations, the philosophical conversations while washing dishes, making tea, marrying ketchups or chopping celery. Folks who work in the restaurant industry are resilient powerhouses with the ability to multitask, problem-solve, adapt, and exhibit incredible feats of strength including managing ridiculous amounts of time without eating, drinking or a bathroom break. These skill sets augment the different creative fields an artist working in a kitchen, behind a bar, or on the floor may have in their art career. The flexibility, the reality that you can usually get a restaurant job in any town in the USA, lends itself to artists who often have to move around to find support for their creative endeavors or get pushed out by gentrification. This is our story.


This is a three-year project, so we are doing several waves of fundraising based on the needs of pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. We are creating multiple GoFundMe campaigns to help out in each stage, applying for grants, meeting with potential individual donors and brainstorming quirky and unique fundraising events.

This first chunk of fundraising, our $55,000 Start-Up Seed $ goal, will go directly to:

Finishing Pre-Production
  • Completing our script/narrative
  • Reaching out to interviewees: meet and greet, scouting, scheduling
  • Completing storyline and scheduling shoots
  • Purchasing production tools/equipment
  • Gathering/organizing archival materials
  • Laying the legal/business/branding foundation for a multi-year project
  • Travel expenses/reimbursements
  • Completing several shoots, kicking off artist interviews or other content

Any $ over our goal will go directly into our full production mode.

Our fundraising philosophy is foundational to our strategy. We want any financial contributor to feel like they are not just supporting a film, but supporting the artists and communities involved. A main goal of this project is to support artists while inspiring the world to support artists. If you are interested in more detailed information about our overall budget for the whole three-year film project, please reach out. (on our website, there are many ways to contact us: howtofeedanartist )

We are finishers. We get it done. zap and Cat formed cazap a year ago and already have two projects under our belts. We create multi-thematic work with a “process is product” mentality. Our art is deeply influenced by the spaces in which we create and the collaborative spirit of those we work with. Always present is an undertone of feminine power and rhythmic movement that feeds the visceral nature of our work. Desert Psalm, a song film By Night Teacher/Lilly Bechtel, is how we met, and formed an epic artistic connection, starting the journey of collaboration that has led to this documentary. Check it out to get a taste of our style: Night Teacher - Desert Psalm

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! (Even just reading this.) And as Mary says, any amount donated will help move this project forward and help us make this heart-felt ambitious documentary. Just sharing this freely far and wide, spreading the word will be a huge help to us. We can’t do this without our community, YOU, and we wouldn’t want to!

Mary, Cat and zap

*Supporting the arts is most often a labor of love. As will be this documentary.*


  • Nancie McDermott
    • $10 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $4,351 (Offline)
    • 8 mos
  • Jenn Yun
    • $20 
    • 8 mos
  • David Mondeau
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Julie James
    • $50 
    • 8 mos

Fundraising team (2)

Zap Mcconnell
Pittsboro, NC
Cat Rider
Team member

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