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Connecticut Association of Women Screenwriters (CAWS)

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The Connecticut Association of Women Screenwriters plans to create a 501 ( c) 3 non-profit or a 501 (c) 6 non-profit association dedicated to championing, informing, educating, promoting, connecting and showcasing Connecticut based female screenwriters.

The organization is co-founded by Lauren (L.C.) Cragg and Deirdre Doran both of whom hold advanced degrees and have a track record of successful non-profit experience and are dedicated and productive screenwriters. Both women are uniquely qualified to champion this organization.

Status of CAWS
After much back and forth discussion on June 12, 2015, Ms. Cragg & Ms. Doran sat down in Westport, Connecticut to brainstorm, delegate and determine the next steps for the creation of this organization. As long-term Connecticut residents (collectively over 50 years) and screenwriters across different platforms, they both understand the “oh so near,” but or so far challenges of bringing screenwriting to the screen, cable and/or digital platforms without a major metropolitan media empire from which to develop opportunities, attend seminars, and connect with producers and networks. As women, they both have felt the tough challenges of the entertainment environment and have been inspired and educated by their memberships in similar organizations such as PAIW, Professional Association Insurance of Women and NYWIFT.

Timeline
: Within the next 12 months, CAWS is planning to have applied for 501 (c) 3 and or 6 status, have secured an impressive list of Board Members, developed bylaws and Articles of Organization, created a Web site, and social media presence, scheduled a list of member events, started collecting membership dues, developed a list of member’s concerns/expectations, all leading to an annual fundraiser/conference in May of 2016.
They are planning to announce their efforts in conjunction with the New Haven Film Festival in New Haven, CT in late September of 2015.

Funding Strategies
Ms. Cragg and Ms. Doran have developed a list of potential individual, corporate and non-profit funding sources, as well as a list of member benefits all geared toward creating a recognized, organized, energized and sustainable organization. The goal is to use NYWIFT’s fiscal partnership to raise funds for obtaining non-profit status and to develop educational content, events and information to promote women screenwriters in Connecticut.
They also plan to meet with synergistic organizations that are public and private as well as non-profit, in order to focus on funding revenues, co-education event ventures, sponsorships, etc. These organizations include but are not limited to the CT Film Commission, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), NYWIFT, Connecticut-based educational institutions, foundations dedicated to female education and empowerment, and female-focused Venture Capital organizations.


Lauren (L.C.) Cragg
Ms. Cragg is an Executive Producer/Writer/and Director based in Connecticut with experience in numerous leadership roles. In addition to other degrees, she holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration specializing in Public-Private Partnerships from University of Colorado - Denver during which she served as the Graduate Fellow to the Center for Public-Private Partnerships. She has consulted and worked for industry leaders such as Bechtel and the Brookings Institution. She is an award winning writer and creator. She has served with non-profits such as Toastmasters International (Chapter President,) local and national political parties, and the Center for Public-Private Sector Cooperation. etc. She is also a member of NYWIFT and PAIW (Professional Association of Insurance Women). Ms. Cragg works one on one with Lew Hunter, (Professor and Chair Emeritus, UCLA Film School, Screenwriting Department), and a founding member of Los Angeles Women in Film & Television (LAWIFT). She has several feature films in pre-production and most recently has acted as Co-Executive Producer of the documentary film, Born to Lead: Jim Calhoun.


Deirdre Doran

Ms. Doran is a Screenwriter and Owner of The Write Mentor, a 20-year-old private tutoring company. She is a champion of non-profits dedicated to sustaining and improving the environmental quality of life in Connecticut and beyond. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at U.C. Berkeley, Ms. Doran obtained a Masters in Secondary Education and taught high school and college English. In addition to writing several other screenplays, New Year’s Day was chosen for a staged reading at NYWIFT and Maggie’s Table was chosen for a staged reading in Weston, CT.
Her civic experience has included Chair, Weston Sustainability Committee; Trustee, Board of Trustees, Weston Public Library; and Secretary, Board of Trustees, Friends of Lachat, a 501 c3 town farm based in Weston, Connecticut. She is also a member of Kiwanis International, a non-profit devoted to improving the lives of children in need.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts
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