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Nelda Studios Launches A Media And Philanthropic Organization Supporting Art, Creativity, And Innovation

Nelda Studios is a media company and philanthropic organization that lifts, nurtures, and expands opportunities for creativity and the arts.

Today Nelda Studios, an Austin, Texas-based media company and philanthropic organization that lifts, nurtures and expands opportunities for creativity and the arts, announces its official public launch. Philanthropists Karl and Nelda Buckman began producing media content in 2018. Compelled by diminishing support for the arts, they founded Nelda Studios in 2022 with a broader mission to support art and creativity through original media productions, philanthropy, and community outreach.

The Studios' first philanthropic effort from The Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund establishes The Buckman Center at The School of Design and Creative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin. The Buckman Center provides a collaboration and research space for educators, students, artists, designers and technologists to innovate cutting-edge art, design, and technology. For a short video about the Buckman Center, please see here. For a video about The Buckman Fund, see here.

Karl and Nelda Buckman "In our educational and philanthropic work in schools and communities, Karl and I witnessed how essential creativity is for innovation, as well as for social and emotional learning," said Nelda Buckman. "That understanding inspired us to found Nelda Studios - to provide audiences and communities with media content, financial support, and direct access to the arts. We are thrilled to be investing in the next generation of creatives."

"Innovation and creativity are a catalyst for vibrant communities, quality schools, engaged students, academic success, civic involvement, and strong economies," said Heidi Marquez Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Cultural Trust.

"Over the past several years the social and economic value of the arts has been magnified. At the same time, many performing arts venues, visual art spaces, and artists have not recovered from the pandemic. By launching Nelda Studios, Karl and Nelda Buckman not only invest in creativity and innovation, but bring vital awareness, support, and access to the arts."

Prior to the creation of Nelda Studios, early media productions included performance projects such as the Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Prom and the original musical Half Time. Newly launched Nelda Studios produces original, thought-provoking content on multiple media platforms focusing on creativity and the human experience. Documentaries currently in production include Disbeliever, an investigation on the impact of technology on children with filmmaker Laura Dunn and executive producers Robert Redford, Terrence Malick and Nick Offerman and Beauty isn't Pretty, an exploration of the global pursuit of beauty standards with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Dori Berinstein. The team at Nelda Studios is also developing Life Unscripted, a television series that follows journalist Meredith Walker as she explores the stories of a diverse roster of women living life on their own terms; Journey Through Art, a visually immersive series showcasing impactful art that enriches our lives; Conversations, a quarterly interview series that shares the journeys of thought-leaders and creatives as they explore the intersection of art, creativity, and innovation; and The Artist Within, a podcast that dives deep into the minds, mediums, and techniques of artists, musicians, and change-makers.
Nelda Studios' philanthropic endeavors are supported by The Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund, which sponsors programs with educational institutions, cultural organizations, and nonprofits. The Buckman Fund creates accessible opportunities for participation in art and creativity in communities at a time when those opportunities are dwindling. The Buckman Fund honors Karl and Nelda's commitment to the arts through the establishment of the Buckman Center at The University of Texas at Austin, which encourages collaboration between artists, technologists, designers, and futurists.

Karl and Nelda Buckman "The Buckmans' gift to found The Buckman Center will allow us to develop a laboratory of immersive and creative technologies," said Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. "I can see a future where we are producing really top-level entertainment that is borne out of the laboratories of The University of Texas and the College of Fine Arts, but migrates and becomes crucially impactful entertainment and creative practice nationally and beyond."

Nelda Studios also focuses heavily on partnering with organizations in the community to promote hands-on events and thought-leadership initiatives to bring creativity and arts opportunities directly to communities. Nelda Studios has increased community access to the arts by collaborating with various creativity and innovation events in the Austin area including Austin Design Week kick-off, Buzzfest, and SoundQuest Fest. Additionally, the studio hosts panel discussions and conversations around the role of art and creativity in the world. Conversations include Grammy-nominated ambient music composer Steve Roach and President of The Joseph Campbell Foundation Robert Walter focusing on the role of art and mythology. Other community events and panels are in development.

"We have always recognized the importance of the role of creativity in innovation," said Jenn Freeman, Chief of Staff at Nelda Studios. "As we crystallized Nelda Studio's mission around creativity and art, we recognized the need to evolve into a multidisciplinary organization that combines producing inspiring content with sponsoring opportunities and participation in the arts."

Nelda Studios, founded by Karl and Nelda Buckman, is a media company and philanthropic organization that lifts, nurtures, and expands opportunities for creativity and the arts. The Austin-based studio advances this mission through original media productions, philanthropic support of the arts, and community initiatives and events. Signature media productions include Tony-nominated The Prom, original musical Half Time, and television series Life Unscripted and Journey Through Art. In addition, the philanthropic arm, The Buckman Fund, is partnering with the University of Texas at Austin to found The Buckman Center, a future collaboration space for creatives, designers, and technologists at the School of Design and Creative Technologies. Nelda Studios sparks creativity and provides inspiration and opportunity for current and future generations. For more information, please see neldastudios.com.



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