Announcement: Moving on From QuakerSpeak

Dear Friends,

I am writing to announce my decision that this will be my last year as the director of QuakerSpeak. This has been such an amazing journey for me, and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done. What an incredible impact the project has had in just 6 years.

When I first had the vision for a Quaker YouTube channel, I never imagined it would surpass 2.5 million views or generate the kind of widespread support it has seen. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness when I think of it. Remembering back to the discernment process that brought about the idea for the project, I am truly humbled and feel more confident than ever that when we listen and follow the leadings of the spirit, we often have an impact beyond our own imagination.

I’ll be staying on at Friends Journal through the end of the year to finish this season and help transition the project to a new director. I am interested and excited to see what a new creative voice can bring to the project and am glad to know that QuakerSpeak will continue beyond my time at Friends Journal.

My plan in 2020 is to give myself some space for reflection and discernment as I seek clarity about my next big project. My work on QuakerSpeak has been a tremendous opportunity to grow in my skills as a videographer, storyteller, and project manager… skills that are incredibly helpful in getting the word out about organizations that are doing good work.

If you, your meeting, or an organization you work with needs help spreading the word about a program or event, feel free to get in touch. I’ve updated my portfolio page to provide a sense of the scope of my collaborations.

I may also do some traveling to share with Friends what I’ve learned in my experience designing and implementing this groundbreaking outreach project, and welcome inquiries about visiting and speaking with Friends in your area.

Finally, if you’d like to follow my journey, I encourage you to stay in touch through my occasional newsletter:

Thanks so much for your interest and support over the years, and here’s to the next leading!

In peace
Jon Watts

Music from QuakerSpeak

I’ve been asked a lot in the past 3 years about the music that we use for QuakerSpeak episodes. Mostly when I need music for the project, I just search back through my archive and use a piece that I’ve never released. Sometimes I’ve composed an instrumental or two for the project. But I’ve never made the music publicly available on it’s own, until now.

Listen to all of the music from QuakerSpeak Season 1 & 2 below, and feel free to download the mp3’s. I’m composing music for Season 4 now, so keep an eye out for the next compilation!

Watch Me Talk About QuakerSpeak

So I feel a little bashful about this… but my co-workers thought it was a good idea for me to talk to the camera for a little while.

The video project I’ve dedicated my 30’s to so far is wrapping up its 3rd year and nearing a million views on YouTube. To celebrate, the Friends Journal editors turned the cameras around and asked me some questions about the project.

Thanks to everybody who follows the project and has supported me throughout the years.

Announcing… Season 2! (QuakerSpeak Lives On!)

This Thursday, tune in to our YouTube channel for the first video of Season 2 and subscribe to get a new QuakerSpeak video in your inbox every Thursday for the next 9 months!

Dear Friends,

It’s been a big three months! Since I wrote my last post about the YouTube Channel that I work on, and how I’ve been working with Friends Journal to find the resources needed to create a second season, I have heard from so many of you about how the project has touched you or your Meeting. Thank you for those beautiful and inspiring messages, and thank you to everyone who ordered a DVD and/or contributed to a Season 2!
Continue reading “Announcing… Season 2! (QuakerSpeak Lives On!)”

What’s Next for QuakerSpeak?

So QuakerSpeak’s funding didn’t get renewed for a second year. On Monday I will meet with staff at Friends Journal to begin to discern whether the project can continue to be housed there and if so, where the support for Season 2 might come from. I would appreciate your prayers in this time.

UPDATE #2: Season 2 is on!

UPDATE #1: Since we first heard that we didn’t get our funding for a second year, I have spoken with the folks at Friends Journal and they are confident that they want to keep me on for a season 2, and while we’re not totally clear on the details of how that will happen, it seems like things are moving in the right direction.

And if you are interested in helping make a season 2 happen, there is a way for you to help! Just go to QuakerSpeak.com/DVD and pre-order our new DVD… you’ll have the option to put in a little extra to help support season 2. Thanks to everyone who commented on this post, you gave me some Light in a moment where it was obscured! So much gratitude. With grace, there are enough folks like you out there that want to see another year of QuakerSpeak!


Original Post:

So QuakerSpeak‘s funding didn’t get renewed for a second year.

Without getting too much into the dynamics of the funding organization, I’ll just say that I am not too surprised, but I am disappointed. Most folks I talk to seem to feel like the project has been wildly successful in its first year.

So what comes next? I’m not sure yet.
Continue reading “What’s Next for QuakerSpeak?”

Websites that Feature “Clothe Yourself in Righteousness”

I have been a bit too busy working on video editing to continually update the “press” section of my website on the fly, as coverage comes in. Most of the attention so far has come from blogs, which (luckily) leave the posts up forever. Here are some of the blogs mentioning my project since its release:

I have been a bit too busy working on video editing to always post when my work gets mentioned on another website. Most of the attention so far has come from blogs, which (luckily) leave the posts up forever. Here are some of the blogs mentioning my project since its release:
Continue reading “Websites that Feature “Clothe Yourself in Righteousness””

Why Being Told I Wasn’t a Quaker Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

Yesterday my co-minister and partner in crime Maggie posted a blog entry entitled “YOU’RE NOT A QUAKER (so please stop calling yourself one)

The post has provoked some great discussion and obviously real feelings from some of the (many) visitors to the post in the past 24 hours. As you might imagine, some of the reaction is indignance at the suggestion that one Quaker can judge another’s Quaker-y-ness. Didn’t we do away with all those elders and the practice of writing Friends out of Meetings?
Continue reading “Why Being Told I Wasn’t a Quaker Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me”

Video Songs: An Emerging Genre of Internet Art

Rather than passively sitting back and being entertained, we now interact with whatever we are watching… we share it on facebook, we comment on it, and we even make response videos. It is definitely a new world of media, sharing and entertainment.

The Changing Face of Art

Listen! Can you hear it?

That’s the sound of people all over the world uploading videos to Youtube. 48 hours of footage every minute.

While that number represents an unwatchable (and perhaps unfathomable!) amount of video, what it says to me is that we are interacting online in a new way. Video has become a standard and casual medium.

Involving Ourselves in the Conversation

Rather than passively sitting back and being entertained, we now interact with whatever we are watching… we share it on facebook, we comment on it, and we even make response videos. It is definitely a new world of media, sharing and entertainment.
Continue reading “Video Songs: An Emerging Genre of Internet Art”

Announcing: “Clothe Yourself in Righteousness”

Announcing the release date for Clothe Yourself in Righteousness, a multimedia project about Quakers and nakedness.

The time has arrived!

After months and months of praying, not knowing, wrestling, the moment has arrived. If you’re the type to pray, great… all of us involved with the project would be very appreciative.

Also, tour dates:

  • 9/23 – Richmond, VA – 4500 Kensington Avenue – 7 PM
  • 9/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Time and place TBA
  • 10/1 – Greensboro, NC – Guilford College – Time and place TBA
  • other times and locations TBA

…And I’m spent. If you love to read, you’re out of luck. 🙂 I just spent my last waking clarity on that video. Hit play. Just sayin’.