[infobox type=”success” clickable=”yes” boldtext=”Thanks, Secular Woman!”]Anne has received a partial grant from Secular Woman for $100![/infobox]
I was raised as an atheist and freethinker, and I have been actively involved in the atheist and skeptical communities for about three years. My initial involvement was with the online community and blogs like Pharyngula, Skepchick, and Blag Hag. I attended my first large event, the Oakland Rapture RAM, in May of 2011. I enjoyed the speakers greatly and made friends with Rebecca Watson and Amy Davis Roth of Skepchick and Greta Christina.
In June of 2011 I became involved with the 3rd Annual Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco, the first and oldest film festival of its kind. I originally signed on to help with advertising and promoting the festival but ended up doing a lot more than that. I stuck around for the 4th Annual Atheist Film Festival, which just occurred this past weekend. This year, I managed operations and communications starting in October 2011, helping to curate the film selection, coordinating with visiting directors, soliciting screening rights, courting and following up with sponsors and press, managing ticket sales, and running day-of operations. In short, I did most of the heavy lifting this year, and we pulled off the biggest and best Atheist Film Festival yet.
I attended Skepticon IV last year and was blown away by the programming. I was happy to see friends I had made at previous events and make new ones, but I also learned a lot. Far from being an echo chamber where everyone just patted themselves on the back for being smart, it was an intensely educational experience. Every single speaker taught me something new. David Silverman convinced me to make the trip to DC for the Reason Rally, which I attended with my husband and parents.
Following Skepticon IV, I became a writer for Mad Art Lab, a blog on the Skepchick network that explores the intersection of art, science, skepticism, and geek culture. I mainly write about the science of food and drink. I took my skills off the page and into the public this July at SkepchickCON, a mini con within Minneapolis’ sci-fi and fantasy con CONvergence. I sat on multiple science panels and also performed science-focused cocktail demos at the nightly Skepchick parties.
In the past, I have been thrilled to be able to support these events and other secular and skeptical organizations with my own money, paying full admission and making donations whenever possible. Now, my situation is changing. I am days away from starting a MBA program at Presidio Graduate School here in SF. I work only part-time right now, and I’m spending a lot on books and taking on debt. I hope to use my MBA to work for a national or local skeptical/secular organization, managing operations behind the scenes so that my organization can promote our values and make a difference in the world.
A travel grant would allow me to stay involved while I develop my skills and further my education to help further our goals.
Anne needs $330 to get to Skepticon. Help her out?