Visit BridgeTheGulfProject.org to connect with an active network of community leaders, experts, and media-makers sharing their perspectives on the places, cultures, histories, and challenges that define the Gulf Coast region. Derrick Evans of Turkey Creek and filmmaker Leah Mahan are among dozens of Contributors who post first-person commentary, essays and media on the site.
This video is a two-minute introduction to BridgeTheGulfProject.org, a community media project created by and for Gulf Coast communities working toward a just, healthy and sustainable future. The video was created for a presentation at Good Pitch in 2011.
The idea for Bridge the Gulf originated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when many endangered Gulf Coast communities felt their stories had been overlooked or misrepresented. Filmmaker Leah Mahan (Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek) worked with Derrick Evans of Turkey Creek Community Initiatives and the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health to realize the idea. With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a beta Website was designed at the Bay Area Video Coalition’s Producers Institute for New Media Technologies and launched in July 2010, in the midst of the BP oil disaster. A redesign of the site was launched in March 2014 with funds from the Independent Television Service (ITVS).
Through the involvement of the Gulf Coast Fund, the project has become a resource to a network of hundreds of community organizations across the region. Today, dozens of blog Contributors across the Gulf states provide commentary, photo essays and videos. Bridge the Gulf Media Fellows create original content for the Website, recruit new Contributors to the blog, provide Contributors with training and mentorship, build partnerships and help evaluate and improve the project at all levels. Media Fellow Ada McMahon has spearheaded Bridge the Gulf’s collaboration on several projects, including “Stories from the Gulf” with the Natural Resources Defense Council and StoryCorps, “Troubled Waters” with the Institute for Southern Studies, the interactive project “Land of Opportunity” with filmmaker Luisa Dantas and the “Deep Dialogues” series with New Orleans public radio station WTUL.
Stakeholders repeatedly call the project “trusted,” “honest,” and “authentic” for its on-the-ground, first-hand content and journalists from the BBC, Agence France Presse and NPR have used Bridge the Gulf as a source for reporting on the region.Bridge the Gulf Website