Today, Nelda Studios, an Austin, TX-based media company and philanthropic organization that elevates, 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. Constrained by dwindling support for the arts, they founded Nelda Studios in 2022 with a broader mission to support art and creativity through productions original media outlets, philanthropy and community outreach.
The Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund Studios’ first philanthropic effort establishes the Buckman Center at the School of Design and Creative Technologies at the University of Texas at Austin. The Buckman Center provides space for collaboration and research for educators, students, artists, designers, and technologists to innovate in art, design, and cutting-edge technology. For a short video on the Buckman Center, please click here. For a video on the Buckman Fund, see here.
Karl and Nelda Buckman “In our educational and philanthropic work in schools and communities, Karl and I have seen how creativity is essential for innovation, as well as for social and emotional learning,” said Nelda Buckman . “This 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 excited to invest in the next generation of creatives.”
“Innovation and creativity are a catalyst for vibrant communities, quality schools, engaged students, academic success, civic engagement and strong economies,” said Heidi Marquez Smith, CEO of the Texas Cultural Trust. .
“In recent years, the social and economic value of the arts has been magnified. At the same time, many performing arts venues, visual arts spaces and artists have not recovered from the pandemic. By launching Nelda Studios, Karl and Nelda Buckman are not only investing in creativity and innovation, but providing vital awareness, support and access to the arts.”
Prior to the establishment of Nelda Studios, early media productions included performance projects such as the Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Prom, and the original musical Half Time. Recently launched Nelda Studios produces original and thought-provoking content across multiple media platforms focused on creativity and human experience. Documentaries currently in production include Disbeliever, an investigation into the impact of technology on children with filmmaker Laura Dunn and executive producers Robert Redford, Terrence Malick and Nick Offerman and Beauty is not Pretty, an exploration of the global pursuit of beauty standards with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Dori Berinstein. The Nelda Studios team is also developing Life Unscripted, a TV series that follows journalist Meredith Walker as she explores the stories of a diverse roster of women living their lives in their own way; 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 creators 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 changemakers.
Nelda Studios’ philanthropic efforts are supported by the Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund, which sponsors programs with educational institutions, cultural organizations and non-profit organizations. The Buckman Fund creates accessible opportunities for participation in art and creativity in communities at a time when those opportunities are diminishing. 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’ donation 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 Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. . “I can see a future where we produce very high-level entertainment that originates from the labs of the University of Texas and the College of Fine Arts, but migrates and becomes entertainment and creative practices of critical impact to the world. national scale and beyond.”
Nelda Studios also has a strong focus on partnering with community organizations to promote hands-on events and thought leadership initiatives to bring creativity and artistic opportunities directly to communities. Nelda Studios has expanded community access to the arts by collaborating on various creativity and innovation events in the Austin area, including the launch of Austin Design Week, Buzzfest and SoundQuest Fest. Additionally, the studio hosts panel discussions and conversations about the role of art and creativity in the world. Conversations include Grammy-nominated ambient music composer Steve Roach and Joseph Campbell Foundation President 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 the production of inspiring content with sponsorship opportunities and participation in the arts. “
Nelda Studios, founded by Karl and Nelda Buckman, is a media company and philanthropic organization that elevates, nurtures and expands opportunities for creativity and the arts. The Austin-based studio advances this mission through original media productions, philanthropic support for the arts, and community initiatives and events. Iconic media productions include the Tony-nominated The Prom, the original musical Half Time, and the television series Life Unscripted and Journey Through Art. Additionally, the philanthropic arm, The Buckman Fund, is partnering with the University of Texas at Austin to found The Buckman Center, a future collaborative space for creatives, designers, and technologists from the School of Design and Creative Technologies. . Nelda Studios stimulates creativity and provides inspiration and opportunity for current and future generations. For more information, please visit neldastudios.com.