“We were looking for something within that area,” notes Carolyn, former company manager of the York Theatre Company. Wyatt is an actor from MTV2’s “Guy Code” and several movies. Carolyn shares the couple wanted a location that was near Green Bay, Appleton and Sheboygan to get to children in need and teach them independent filmmaking skills. Wisconsin has 20 percent of its youth, ages 13 and above, in the foster care system.
The targeted location has a barn, which is already partially retrofit, that would be used to create a fully functional production studio. But, the 10 acres of land also includes a six-stall horse barn to be used as a hobby barn, a four-bedroom guest house for transitional living and the main house. The Kuethers plan to bring in guest instructors and foster youth themselves. They have until mid-January to reach their monetary goal to purchase the property or they’ll need to search for a new location.
The Kuethers’ vision has been deemed, The Production Farm. They hope to create a program called, “Featured” that would have teens in the foster system working on a feature film during an afterschool program; an intensive summer sleepaway camp where children will “eat, sleep and breath filmmaking and farming”; and the Urban Production Farm for students in the foster system who will create a 15-episode show.
But, why a farm?
“If you break both programs down, filmmaking and farming, you get a lot of the same life skills,” explains the granddaughter of Rawhide Boys Ranch co-founders John and Jan Gillespie. After being in New York the last 10 years and seeing what The Possibility Project, a musical theater production program, did for youth, Carolyn and Wyatt returned to Wisconsin to develop their seedling of an idea.
“You can have a family anywhere that doesn’t necessarily have to be biologically connected to you,” Carolyn adds.
For more information, visit theproductionfarm.org.