BAVC Media merges with Reel Stories!

Published On: February 13, 2021 |
Reel Stories student looks into DSLR viewfinder and point their lens straight ahead

We have exciting news!



Like many organizations, BAVC Media has faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, but thanks to your generous support, we have not only sustained, but expanded our community and programming! This significant growth, along with the dedicated work of our staff and board, have ushered us into an energizing new chapter:

BAVC Media is merging with Reel Stories!

Reel Stories is a Bay Area nonprofit combatting the significant gender imbalance in film production through youth media education. They teach young women and gender-expansive youth that, with the right tools and training, they hold the key to a revolution in the media industry. Reel Stories believes that when women, girls, and people of marginalized genders are better represented behind the scenes, they’re better reflected on the screen. Together, BAVC Media and Reel Stories are committed to building a more gender equitable and inclusive world. 

“Across the US, Reel Stories has been one of the only organizations dedicated to supporting girls and non-binary youth to become mediamakers and to breakdown gender barriers. Even post- #MeToo. BAVC Media is honored to build upon Reel Stories’ breakthrough programming and advocacy, addressing gender inequality from the ground up.”
– Paula Smith Arrigoni, BAVC Media Executive Director

BAVC Media has gone through many changes in our 45 years, but our mission has always been to create and foster equity in storytelling. By merging with Reel Stories, we are simultaneously expanding our BAVC Media family, doubling our impact and capacity, and deepening our commitment to our founding values. Stewarding this merger is Dawn Valadez, a renowned Queer Xicana filmmaker, BAVC Media alum, youth development specialist, impact strategist, and more.

“I grew up in Hollywood, and by the time I hit high school, I realized that I rarely saw characters in movies and on TV who looked like my family that weren’t stereotyped. And there were even fewer people like me working behind the camera. But I was always a creative person and I found my calling in documentary filmmaking, reflecting the world around me.” Dawn Valadez, Director of Youth and Emerging Maker Programs

Dawn understands from both personal and professional experience how high the stakes are for the young people we serve. Under her leadership, we are confident that our youth programming will widen its reach and deepen its impact – giving young people access to tools, resources, mentorship and a vibrant community within which to create and share powerful, diverse stories. 

We’d love to hear from you! Email us at with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas.


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