Hailing originally from Columbia, Missouri, Caullen is an award-winning filmmaker, activist, and social entrepreneur living in Chicago. Before earning a BA in Digital Cinema at DePaul University in 2013, he spent some time in Los Angeles learning the development and business side of the film industry. After graduating, Caullen joined his love of cinema and social justice to create SoapBox Productions and Organizing. In 2017, he earned a masters in sociology to gain a better understanding in the ways in which to explore issues through social research and creative pathways, thus connecting the creative to the academic to the activist for a more equitable world. Now with nearly a decade of film, commercial, and television/web experience, years of community-based organizing work, and SoapBox’s ever-evolving efforts, Caullen directs, produces, writes, and educates, and acts to bring about participatory, authentic structures and alliances to transform narratives and abolish oppressive systems to work towards liberation.
David Alfonso Moran is a first-generation Chicano from the West Side of Chicago. Receiving his BA in 2015 from Columbia College Chicago, David has sought to use his love of languages and critical thought to better challenge the sociopolitical climate of today. As an advocate for social justice, immigration reform, and abolition work, David joined SoapBox at the end of 2016, helping it expand to the current multimedia state all the while producing, facilitating, writing, educating, and engaging in the day-to-day operations of both the 501(c)3 and the culture.
As a Class of 2020 graduate from SAIC, Mia has never been any one type of artist—they are a designer, director, animator, journalist, activist and organizer. A storyteller at heart, they’ve worked at various cutting edge media organizations; from the nonprofit space from WhoWhatWhy and Full Spectrum Features to assisting debut productions with TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Radical Media, and MCA Chicago. With the skills they’ve gained from these cultural institutions, Mia directed, produced, and designed their own multimedia outreach project, titled "The Talk", which was selected for a $10k Davis Projects for Peace Grant in 2019. Mia contributes design development and creative strategy to help inspire the national reckoning that these intersecting systems of injustice deserve. Whether they’re working on creative development for nonprofits, media strategy for social campaigns, or on set interviewing key advocates, Mia has dedicated their budding career to utilizing their creativity as a public service, helping turn movements into media and fine art into activism.
Thanks to his activist father and passion for creating, Xenon has been involved in arts and activism since he was a child. His enthusiasm for activism was sparked as a young man when he spent time in Ecuador helping doctors provide care to communities in forgotten communities. Since then he has been involved with Black Lives Matter, the water protectors in the Dakotas, and disenfranchised communities in Chicago. A DePaul University alumna with a degree in TV Production, Xenon is currently working as a freelance filmmaker in the city of Chicago.
C’airra Cortez is a passionate, expressive cinematographer, digital content creator, and documentarian that seeks to use her skills to express her creativity while consciously stimulating the mind though her pieces of art. She is the Creator and Owner of Blue Lotus Media, a Chicago-based media production dedicated to the representation and shaping of narratives in media that illustrates the principles of humanity. BLM provides creative storytelling structures to its clients to capture memorable, relevant and documentary style content that influences thought provoking conversations and change. She hopes to continue to grow and become a very prominent figure in the media industry while expressing her light and creativity through her different works of art.
Dakota is a photographer, director, cinematographer, editor, and writer based in the Chicago area. His passion for stories started from a young age and continues to grow everyday. He has collaborated with creatives from all over the country on projects ranging from documentaries and news stories to music videos and television commercials. His work has been featured in publications like; Product Design Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and the front page of NBC News. He hopes his work will effectively tell the stories that deserve to be told and he strives to elicit emotion and thought from his audience. He wants to encourage new and unseen perspectives and feelings, using art to make the world a better more empathetic place. He is a passionate advocate for mental healthcare; curating a charity music compilation to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness and creating the forthcoming Cope Radio Podcast.
Pam has a versatile post-production skill set that is primarily focused on video editing and motion graphics. As a freelance editor, her work includes events such as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and events featuring Logic and Jesse McCartney; she also has experience editing in various topics, ranging from narrative work to advertisements to training videos for companies such as Salesforce. She recently joined Soapbox in order to find more meaningful post-work, in order to ameliorate the cognitive dissonance between experiencing and understanding the issues in modern-day society while simultaneously doing relatively little to help rectify the problems. Pam brings her talents to SoapBox as an editor, colorist, motion graphics artist -- if it's post, she can handle it. See more at pamatadero.com.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Genta is a creative devotee of the artistic community. He attended the specialized magnet school Denver School of the Arts for middle and high school, which gave him a solid foundation in musical performance and theory as well as an introduction into audio engineering. After spending some time in Hawai’i at The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in audio engineering. Genta received a Bachelor or Arts in Audio Design and Production from Columbia College Chicago in 2015. Through his freelance audio work, he has traveled around the country and the world with notable bands such as the Becca Kaufman Orchestra and The Way Down Wanderers. When he is not running the sound for a band somewhere, you can find him producing his own music or editing podcasts for SoapBox and other creative organizations. Listen to more about this life, work, and perspectives on hip-hop in Episode 5 - Hip-Hop in the Age of Spin.
Not pictured (yet): Kiera Battles, Assistant Podcast Producer