a documentary by artists about artists in action

We are dedicating the next eight months to the last phase of Artists Engaged, which will result in three films: the feature length documentary, Artists Engaged: US 2002-23, as well as two off-shoots, The Murals Of Nani Chacon and The Story Of Curva Minore. All three are based on our experiences working and living within artist communities over the last two decades and about artists, organizations, philanthropists, editors and others involved in the arts to strengthen their communities, both large and small. Presented in 2024 around the country during a presidential election year, these three works are uplifting and informative. They are a testament to artists and organizations using their expertise for the betterment of others as well as an inspiration to us all in overcoming our challenges, locally, nationally, and globally. The films are deep dives into an overflowing spring of positivity, perseverance and empowerment.

Artists Engaged: US (2002-23) is an accumulation of our experiences within a wide array of artist communities gathered over the past two decades of perpetual touring around the US. The Murals Of Nani Chacon includes footage of this prolific artist’s work throughout the country over the last nine years as well as explanations and stories in the artist’s own voice. The Story Of Curva Minore is a celebration of the legacy of Lelio Giannetto and his irrepressible vision and energy in Palermo, Sicily, up until his untimely death at the age of 59 in December, 2020.

Artists Engaged: US (2002-23) will be shared with
educational groups as well as with others who express a desire and need, and to supporting members who are inspired to host viewing parties in their homes and community centers.
We will present the finished documentary throughout the U.S. in the leadup to the 2024 elections. As with our 2016 project, Who Are US, each presentation will evolve into a spirited discussion with the audience and further into direct action. Since one of the key intentions of this work is to provide strategies that individuals and communities can adopt, it can naturally lend itself to multi-day events. The Murals of Nani Chacon will be entered into film festivals and shared with community organizations before eventually being made public online. The Story of Curva Minore will be premiered at Solo Per Lelio in Palermo in December, 2024. 

ABOUT our duo as Thollem/ACVilla:
As artists, we have lived on the road with our work continuously since 2008 zigzagging the U.S. (except during the height of the pandemic), performing and participating in a wide variety of artistic centers from libraries to concert halls, independent radio stations, film houses, major museums, DIY spots, universities, jazz clubs, rock clubs, squats, art galleries and more. Without a home to return to, this lifestyle and creative practice naturally creates opportunities to spend significant time within a spectrum of artistic communities. We have utilized these opportunities to document and collaborate with artists across disciplines as well as all the people behind the scenes, creating a unique insight into inner workings, intentions and philosophies of the arts engaged in myriad ways. Throughout this time ACVilla has been documenting the work of others, both visually and through interviews, covering a wide swath of those involved in making things happen. Thollem will be scoring the three films using recordings he’s made in collaboration with great musicians in big cities and smaller towns throughout the U.S. and across the stylistic spectrum. 

We have created a crowd-funding page for anyone who would like to support and engage in the work as it’s created.*

We have decided to cut back on our own performances and other collaborations until we finish this work (on March 10th, 2024). It simply would not be possible to finish all of this work otherwise. Every membership or one time donation is pivotal to seeing these works to the finish line. Because we want this to be as egalitarian as possible we have decided to include a tier system that rewards larger donors with the satisfaction they are providing free memberships to artists and organizations who may not themselves be able to contribute financially. Those who can and would like to give more may do so because of their interest in seeing this significant work reach a larger audience. With a one time suggested donation of $20 (pay what you can), or by becoming a monthly member, you will get a newsletter update to the progress of the work as well as actual content as it is near completion along the way. Initially, The Murals of Nani Chacon, as a work-in-progress (present duration: 31 minutes), will be accessible to all subscribers. Once the films are finished, all subscribers will have full access to stream them at any time.
*It is not necessary for contributors to sign up for a Ko-Fi account.

Please consider subscribing and sharing this project with others.
The documentary, Artists Engaged: US (2002-23), is a unique focus on, and a celebration of, the best parts of our own humanity in the face of profound challenges.