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With My Own Hands - BIPOC Creative Retreat

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Hey y’all!

I’m Tshay. I’m a Philly-based filmmaker from Amityville, NY. I’m writing to ask for your support in my latest project: With My Own Hands.

With My Own Hands (WMOH) is an acting workshop + creative retreat for BIPOC artists in our community. 

At the start of quarantine I began writing my first narrative film—also called With My Own Hands—a story about a young girl whose family runs a gambling ring. I loved the world that I was building in my mind, but I found the process of writing alone to be deeply unnerving. At the same time the world around me began to shift in unprecedented ways. Like a lot of people, I spent the early days of quarantine locked in the house, asking deep questions about the who, what, where, and why of my practice. I remembered that my interest in film emerged out of a childhood dream to be an actor, a dream that was quietly dampened by shame, shyness, and discouragement. I imagined this workshop to address alladis: the isolation of writing, my natural inclination towards performance, and the power of an experimental, collective approach to filmmaking.

I reached out to my friends Farrah, Jordyn + Poe and, in a few short months, With My Own Hands grew into something more than just an acting workshop. WMOH is now a 4-day creative retreat taking place in Philly this September. During the workshop, a group of filmmakers, dancers, actors, photographers and musicians will gather in-person to co-create a screenplay. These 10 collaborators are coming together to engage the face, breath, body, and voice through a series of performance-based exercises. 

In this unsettled moment it feels impossible to be joyful. We have witnessed immeasurable loss and grief and, even as our world begins to open up, we are living in an aggressively anti-black state. With My Own Hands is an attempt to soften, reflect, and heal alongside one another. We’re creating an environment where artists in our community can release the emotional, psychic, and spiritual burdens on their creativity. We’re giving each other a chance to play around, experiment with our curiosities, and rest. 

This project is financially supported in part by the Philadelphia Independence Media Fund and Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. Still, we’re short of our budget goal. The money raised through this GoFundMe will help us close the gap on the largest and most important expense in our budget: paying the collaborators a stipend for their time and labor. Any funds raised beyond our goal will go to: 




-Black-owned vendors/spaces

-Black workshop facilitators

With My Own Hands is a labor of love by a small tribe of friends. We appreciate your support in bringing this beautiful project to life, and look forward to sharing this work with you! Help us fund BIPOC collective joy, rest, and creativity in Philadelphia.

In Solidarity,

Tshay, Farrah, Jordyn, Poe


  • Erika Tsuchiya
    • $40 
    • 3 yrs
  • Christine Pappas
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Lauren Holland
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Lauren Hunter
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Sarah Jacoby
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (4)

Tshay Williams
Philadelphia, PA
Jordyn Myers
Farrah Rahaman
Team member
Poe Browne
Team member

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