This month has been a bit of a whirlwind for the Carbon Trace Team. We were busy balancing the premieres of new films, raising funds for upcoming projects, trying our hand at a public service announcement, and finishing the most significant grant application we have ever requested. We are letting go of expectations and focusing more on the discipline of doing the right thing, no matter how hard it seems. This month, I have been thinking about the Tony Robbins quote:

“Turn your expectations … into appreciation”

It is a luxury to have choices, and every day I have so many to make. What a life! This month, and hopefully for many months ahead, instead of getting overwhelmed I will let go and try to see things as simply as I can and take the next step – whatever it may be.

You can receive this update to your inbox by CLICKING HERE. 

-Shannon Cay, Executive Director


Welcome to New Board Member Dr. Leslie Seawright

At the very beginning of this month, The Board of Directors approved a new member of the leadership team, Dr. Leslie Seawright. She is currently an associate professor of English in the Technical and Professional Writing Program at Missouri State University. Leslie has been and will continue to be our “go-to” for all things grant related. This is more important now than ever as we are currently applying for a grant from the highly competitive National Endowment for the Arts Fund for our Ozarks documentary, “A Portrait of the Ozarks.”


Update on Current Documentary Films

The film is complete and ready for viewing! I want to give a big shout out to the “Songs From the Street” Student Team. We believe this is our best student project yet, and we are very grateful for the energy of the young adults involved. Michael Mayrand, Mackenzie Huffman, and the rest of the team deserve a COVID aware elbow bump when we hope to premiere the film at The Moxie at the end of August. We plan to have three days of showings so you will have several opportunities to view this fantastic film about the Springfield Street Choir. For exact dates, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

We have resumed communicating and making plans with the leaders of the Eden Village project in Springfield. Eden Village is a community of tiny homes for the disabled homeless. The biggest news is that Eden Village has started its expansion project (Eden Village II) to house even more of our friends who live on the street. We were there to watch them deliver two of the first twenty-plus houses at the new location. Our Patrons can see that video HERE.

This documentary could very well be our biggest film yet. With partnerships spanning multiple departments at Missouri State University and the endorsement of several stakeholders, we are sure this film exploring traditionalism in the Ozarks will be an epic journey. While we hope to receive federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts we want to get started as soon as possible. We have already raised just over $15,000 of our $20,000 pre-production development budget, thanks mostly to the support of William Darr, Tom Peters, and Shannon County residents. Thank you! We look forward to many future visits.

After several months of refining its storyline, we are proud to say we have finished this delightful film for drive-in lovers everywhere. In no small part due to the pandemic, drive-ins are making a comeback. We hope to present this short film to you during the Moxie run of “Songs From the Street” at the end of August.


The editing team at Carbon Trace is chipping away at the sequel structure of “Witness at Tornillo.” In this film, American volunteers in Matamoros, Mexico, are the only lifeline for Central American refugees caught between two governments hostile to their situation. As U.S. asylum courts deny refugees’  claims and the Mexican government takes daily steps to make camp life difficult, the refugees and volunteers are waiting for justice. We anticipate this film to be released sometime in 2021.


Support Nonprofit Documentary Filmmaking

Check out our Patreon memberships. At the $5 per month level of support, you get free VIP codes for all Carbon Trace pay-per-view movies, including the right to download a copy to keep! It’s a great way to watch our documentary films while supporting our nonprofit mission of documentary education and humanitarian service.
Carbon Trace can provide significant guidance in developing, funding, producing, and distributing a documentary film. For high school students wishing to learn more about documentary filmmaking, Missouri State University offers degrees in digital filmmaking, media production, journalism, and other associated areas.

To take part in the documentary education provided through the Carbon Trace Team we encourage you to apply for a filmmaking internship, submit a documentary idea, or apply to become a volunteer using the forms below.

Join Carbon Trace as a student volunteer

Apply for an internship

Submit a documentary idea

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