POWER UP - Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching Up - is the only 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Film Production Company & Educational Organization for Women and the GLBTQ Community.
History & Mission
Originally conceived & founded by Stacy Codikow in October 2000 with the mission "to promote the visibility and integration of gay women in entertainment, arts and all forms of media, "POWER UP has been challenging perception through film" ever since. POWER UP believes this is one of our greatest accomplishments and gifts.
Today, POWER UP is the only 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Film Production Company & Educational Organization for Women and the GLBTQ community. POWER UP develops, finances, produces & distributes award winning films AND conducts unique advanced educational programs through our hands-on filmmaking mentorships, classes, workshops and seminars. Additionally, POWER UP offers career, script, television and film counseling; Awards notable contributors to the arts, entertainment and our community. POWER UP continues to unify and validate women and the GLBTQ community worldwide by "challenging perception through film."
For more then a decade, POWER UP, its films and Awardees have garnered much respect and media attention and POWER UP's‚ "10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz." Awards were even spoofed on Saturday Night Live by host, and POWER UP Awardee, Ellen DeGeneres. Moreover, the Awardees were even congratulated directly by Governor Howard Dean while he was running for the Presidential nomination for the Democratic Party.
Why is POWER UP essential?
When Codikow started POWER UP over a decade ago, her mission was to support the integration and visibility of gay women in entertainment, as women have been, and remain, terribly underrepresented in all levels of the industry; lesbian content is the least financed entertainment product; and we can't forget that women have never been granted legal equal rights in this country.
Over the last couple years, we have watched ourselves, disappear from the mainstream media as‚ "Ellen," "South of Nowhere," "Queer as Folk," "Will & Grace‚" and‚ "the L word" have left the small screen and almost all GLBTQ films have disappeared from prominent Film Festival programming and from the big Entertainment Studios‚ film line-ups.
All of us in this industry realize the power of communication via film & television; we realize the necessity of our equality & acceptance in our country; and we also realize that the film and television industry is influenced by those groups that do not support gender or racial equality. These same groups base their decisions on one’s sexual identity as well. Where does it say they can do that in the Constitution? We as a community, we need to come together and make the change for ourselves and our legacy.
Corporate & Community Responsibility
Please know that as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, POWER UP takes great pride in the fact that we are "arugably" the fiscally leanest film production company and GLBTQ organization in existence with more monies going into our educational programs, films and member services than into salaries or operational costs.
Stacy Codikow, who has run POWER UP as a fulltime volunteer since its inception in 2000, chose to step away from her successful career as a Television Writer and Film Producer to construct a safe haven to educate Women and the GLBTQ community. POWER UP continues to unify the community through it's educational programs and production of quaility films for a worldwide audience. POWER UP's programs are run by volunteers and/or people working for a very modest stipend to make this all happen. We choose to continue to run POWER UP in this efficient manner out of respect to our donors and in service of our Community.
POWER UP runs entirely on the tax deductable donations of corporations and individuals, like you! As POWER UP is dependent on you, we are grateful for your financial support, no matter the size.
Members, Donors, Supporters & Friends
Although POWER UP's mission is geared towards women and the GLBTQ community, the reality is that POWER UP has always operated as a fully integrated organization.
POWER UP recognizes that now, more than ever, our GLBTQ Women & Men need to be unified to help achieve our collective goal of equality, representation and acceptance. POWER UP knows that we are in this together and has been working to advance our collective interests.
Public Service Announcement Program
In 2008 POWER UP started the Public Service Announcement Program, where we have produced and distributed two Marriage Equality PSA Campaigns, comprised of 23 individual commercials: (1) the Stop the Hate, Vote No on 8(LINK), which was the only celebrity “No on Prop 8” commercial and included Amy Brenneman, Cameron Manheim, Christine Lahti, Sara Ramirez, Tyne Daley, Melanie Mayron, Melonie Diaz, Sally Kirkland, Wilson Cruz and more; and (2) the Get to Know Us First Campaign, which is the first campaign with real gay families, which aired on all major networks in California, in both English and Spanish. POWER UP also produced the important STOP Domestic Violence music video for the out-artist Melange Lavonne.
Films, Educational Services & Successes
POWER UP is the only 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Film Production Company & Educational Organization for Women and the GLBTQ Community that develops, finances, produces and distributes Award Winning Films; conducts tremendously successful educational programs through our hands-on filmmaking mentorships, classes, workshops and seminars; provides career, script, television and film counseling; publishes a magazine; Awards notable contributors to the arts, entertainment and our community; bolsters our community; and unifies and validates GLBTQ persons all around the world via our films.
POWER UP's most successful educational curriculum has been its unique Filmmaking Program, through which POWER UP has produced 15 films over the last decade. This program has launched careers for countless members in all fields of entertainment. POWER UP's success stories include: Writer/Director Angela Robinson (HUNG, D.E.B.S., HERBIE: FULLY LOADED, the L word); writer/director Jessica Sharzer (AMERICAN HORROR STORY, SPEAK, untitled DUSTY SPRINGFIELD project); writer/director Cherien Dabis (AMERIKA in directors fortnight at 2009 Cannes, producer L WORD); and writer/director Colette Burson (Creator of the HBO series HUNG.)
POWER UP's film successes include: (1) ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE, DEBS, BILLY'S DAD IS A FUDGE-PACKER, LITTLE BLACK BOOT, STUCK, STARTCROSSED, PROM-TROVERSY and more(LINK); (2) being an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival for four years in a row, including an honorable mention; (3) Hundreds of Awards, including the South by Southwest Best Narrative Feature Jury Prize for POWER UP's first feature, ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE; and (4) record breaking Opening Weekend ticket sales for ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE's Theatrical Release. POWER UP looks forward to the upcoming release of it's narrative feature film, "GIRLTRASH: All Night Long."