My north stars are culture, heritage, ancestry and nature. I am on this earth to help people walk in the shoes of their neighbor.
Audrey Buchanan - Founder & Principal
Audrey Buchanan is an interviewer and filmmaker who believes in civic engagement, social justice and the fact that diversity drives innovation.
She most recently directed her first short film, The Mystery of Now, which is an official selection for the 2019 National Geographic Short Film Showcase.
As the founder of a boutique production company called THE WOODS, and a founding board member of NPR Generation Listen, Audrey curates and lifts up diverse voices through intimate interviews, films, digital content and experiential programming.
Most recently, Audrey interviewed actress America Ferrera and Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Janaya Khan at Summit LA, about the social, political and historical power of the intersectional feminine in society.
Prior, Audrey served as the host and creative director for a leading business and storytelling conference called Summit at Sea, bringing together 3,000 millennial CEO's and company founders and luminaries like Quentin Tarantino, Kendrick Lamar, Norman Lear, Sonia Sanchez, Dolores Huerta, Douglas Miles, Herbie Hancock, Aja Monet and Patrisse Cullors. In addition, Audrey partnered with Revolve Impact and the California Endowment to creative direct the statewide Schools Not Prisons music tour in California alongside cultural leaders like Mike de la Rocha, dream hampton, Mystic, Buyepongo, Ty Dolla $ign, Pusha T, John Forte of the Fugees and more.
A founding member of NPR's national board of millennial advisors, Audrey helped build NPR Generation Listen from the ground up, pioneering the signature "listening party" model that now guides community education and listener engagement in member stations, markets and living rooms across the nation. To premiere this model, NPR sent her on a 30-day cross-country road tour to nine cities throughout the American South where she acted as the host and facilitator of pop-up salons in places like Marfa, Texas, Birmingham, Alabama, and Oxford, Mississippi. Audrey has also directed and hosted an NPR Gen Listen series called, Living Rooms with Friends, a salon conversation at NPR West with KCRW and the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers, and has spoken at PMDMC about the power of community building in public media.
Audrey also supplements her curatorial and cultural work by serving as the creative director-at-large for an LA-based soil regeneration non-profit called Kiss the Ground, an organization she has been growing with the founders of Cafe Gratitude.
From 2010-2014, Audrey was a founding Partner, Curator and Director of Programming at Summit, where she drove curriculum and corporate partner ventures and creative directed video and web development initiatives. She was also a part of the founding team that raised $60MM to purchase Summit Powder Mountain, the now permanent home for Summit. For more than seven years Summit has gathered a network of the world's most connected millennial leaders who are actively trying to make the world a better place.
A featured main stage host and interviewer at Summit conferences and Powder Mountain, Audrey has spoken with some of the world's greatest leaders about topics that range from unpacking race in America, founding moonshot companies and understanding the complexity of death, with a roster of interviewees that include people like Jehane Noujaim (Director, The Square), Matt Mullenweg (Founder, WordPress), Bassem Youssef (Host, Al Bernameg), Mitch Lowe (Founder, Netflix), Bonnie St. John (Paralympic Medalist) and Ambassador Attallah Shabazz (Daughter of Malcolm X).
Thanks to Audrey's creative vision, Summit became known for its historic opening and closing plenaries (produced in large traditional theaters), which have featured icons like Harry Belafonte, John Legend, Esther Perel, Sean Stephenson, Imogen Heap, Philippe Petit, and some of the greatest dancers and musicians of our time. Throughout her tenure, she created the creative and operational programming structure for Summit Powder Mountain and conferences that include Summit Basecamp, Summit Outside, Summit at Sea II, Summit at Sea III.
In addition to serving as the main stage host and artistic director on-site and backstage, Audrey is responsible for pioneering the intimate, in-the-round, style of intellectual programming that anchors Summit conferences, salon dinners and weekend retreats at Summit Powder Mountain. This creative portfolio also entailed the management of the creative and operational teams that carried out year-round curation, event pre-production, live event production, and event post-production.
In 2015, Audrey was named one of ORIGIN magazine's top creatives and leaders changing the world, and in 2013, Audrey was named one of GOOD magazine's top 100 innovators and entrepreneurs pushing the world forward.