Dear Westar Members,

Westar Institute has commissioned a series of 12 videos featuring brief conversations with scholars John Dominic Crossan, Celene Lillie, Lane McGaughy, Sarah Morice Brubaker, Bernard Brandon Scott, and others, on topics related to religious literacy. These videos are planned for release in Fall 2017.

For more information about this exciting new project, see the announcement below that originally appeared in The Fourth R 30-1 (Jan/Feb 2017).

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From The Fourth R 30-1 (Jan/Feb 2017):

Donor Gift for Video Projects

Westar is pleased to announce that it has received an anonymous gift of more than $300,000 designated for a series of professionally made videos to promote its mission. The project, which is already begun and is slated for completion in mid-2017, will include a 15-minute video to introduce Westar to new audiences, as well as a 12-part series of brief clips for sharing on social media. Together they will tell the human story of why religious literacy matters and explore Westar’s role—past, present, and future—in that story. Westar will shortly begin leveraging this exciting gift into a challenge campaign to raise funds for operating expenses.

The videos are being produced by Butlerfilms, a documentary and multimedia production company that has successfully developed and produced factual entertainment on a wide array of topics from historical to current events. These include Journey of the Universe, a PBS film produced for the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, that was shown at the Westar 2016 Spring meeting. The total cost for Westar’s video project will be covered entirely by the donor.

As Westar expands its programs and reach, delving into new subjects and reaching new communities, its staff and operating budget are under pressure. We will soon be reaching out to members to increase giving over the coming year to enhance our use of this tremendous gift. You will hear more from us soon, and thank you in advance for your support.