Short Takes: “If You Build It”


If You Build It

LONG SHOT FACTORY

Patrick Creadon, creator of the acclaimed docs Wordplay and I.O.U.S.A., follows TED-talking activist/designer Emily Pilloton and her partner, Matt Miller, as they put rural North Carolina high-schoolers through a “design boot camp.” Their curriculum teaches the essentials of construction and citizenship via real-world projects­—the kids design and build a market pavilion the people of their town had always coveted. If You Build It explores the notion that planting the seeds for creative problem-solving could one day help revitalize even America’s most hardscrabble communities. “After you design something,” one student explains, “it builds your confidence so much that you just want to keep doing it.”

This review originally appeared in our January/February issue of Mother Jones.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest