April 27, 2018Dear Mr. Howard,
I have started this letter to you ten times over the last many months. I know you’re bombarded with requests. Hopefully, this one will speak to your heartstrings. For this request, you do not need to be present, nor are there financial commitments. Please consider sending a pre-recorded video, offering an Imagine Entertainment commendation to high school student and Big Picture Foundation member, Joey Montalto. Joey uses movie-making for the betterment of the world. My goal is to give Joey an award that will help nurture the start of his movie-making career, in order to thank him for all he has contributed to the nonprofit. Our awards ceremony, in the first week of June, will honor young humanitarians. Please consider sending us a prerecorded video.
In addition to being a budding filmmaker, Joey happens to be thoughtful, humble, kind, quiet, responsible, and someone with whom it’s easy to collaborate. Currently, he is working on a major Big Picture Foundation project that will make an impact on the emotional well-being of children in 18 countries, including kids living in war zones, refugee camps, slum areas, and places that have been destroyed by natural disasters.
Big Picture Foundation has the temporary rights for our global groups of kids to make “We Are the World” videos. Joey has volunteered to take all the videos, as they roll-in over the next few weeks, and create one final video that will include parts from every group. Hopefully, we will post the final version on the Big Picture Foundation website on May 31st.
We’re expecting video submissions from kids’ groups from 10-15 countries. Over the past year, our members have come from 18 countries and range from rich to poor. Most of the kids abroad live in war zones, refugee camps, slum areas, or places that have been destroyed by hurricanes. This is such an important project for the kids to be able to see each other and speak to each other through music.
Last summer, the summer between Joey’s eighth grade and freshman year, he made his first video for Big Picture Foundation. Please click on the big BPF logo on our website to see the video (https://bigpicturefoundation.
Last year, our presenters included leaders in diplomacy, in education, and in the arts (please see attached examples: commendations were given by Metropolitan Museum Education Director, Sandra Jackson-Dumont and by Greenwich Media Strategies CEO, Hagar Hajjar Chemali, who was also the former head of Syria and Lebanon for the National Security Council, as well as former Speaker for the Treasury. Commendations were also given by United Nations Association Executive Director, Ann Nicol, and by several others).
Where have you and I met?…
We first met around 20 years ago, when I was 24 years old. You spent 2 or 3 hours speaking to my students in the office of the headmistress, at Greenwich Academy. The kids and I were all blown away by your kindness and animated stories about growing up in the limelight.
A few years ago, I started Big Picture Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that empowers children from a range of circumstances to use all forms of the arts for local, national, and global community service. We started in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and developed into a global organization. Big Picture Foundation also empowers kids to use the arts to break down racism, and to build understanding and friendships among kids from different backgrounds. Our members come from 18 countries and from a range of religious, economic, and cultural backgrounds.