Natasha Woods is a filmmaker based in Milwaukee, WI. Her work navigates the tension between the desire for human tenderness and the hopeful expectations of a better world. She explores themes that build upon landscapes, personal/familial ephemera, and found footage. Woods considers larger ideas concerned with nostalgia, trauma, and memory. Her films have screened at various moving image festivals including Milwaukee Film, Athens International Film Festival, and Milwaukee Underground Film Festival. Natasha is a recipient of the 17th annual Nohl Fellowship in the emerging artist category.
What are you most proud of? "I am proud to learn and grow alongside the team at Cactus Club, an artist-run venue and event space in Bay View. The club had been sold to my friend Kelsey Kaufmann just a month before the pandemic and has been in a vulnerable state ever since like so many other live music spaces. Her vibrant energy and drive continue to attract a multitude of people with various skills and talents who have been working collectively to ensure that when it is safe and appropriate that the space can re-open. People have been showing up in all sorts of ways from painting murals, to building picnic tables-- I don't know where this club would be without the efforts of the community but it is essential now more than ever. We've learned that there is nothing too big or too small and are constantly thinking about meaningful ways of engagement and creating a space to invite others into if it's for a new cocktail, for an artist pop-up or virtual film program. I am proud to coordinate and organize with so many amazing and thoughtful folks who are also reimaging what and how things could be."
What have you started doing in the past months, during quarantine? "I started a vermicomposting bin in my basement thanks to a generous donation of red wigglers from Hazelwood Farms. In addition to that, I am also still trying to learn how to bake bread with the help of my friend Jim Franks who is based in Chicago. I would say it's sourdough but he would probably prefer the term naturally leavened or say something about how it's really about making something that isn't mono-cultured like you buy in the store. Either way, I realized it was just an excuse to call him up on the phone and check in regularly. When I am tending to both of these things, I am trying to create a balanced environment for them to thrive, and I find great joy in that. It's a constant search for balance and learning what I can get away."
What is your favorite thing about (or place in) Milwaukee? "One of my favorite things in Milwaukee is the great public park system we have here thanks to the Sewer Socialists, which makes it that much cooler. Similar to keeping worms, or baking bread, I like to visit a handful of the same parks and observe how the environment shift and change over time. I usually take the dog, Miko, with me but sometimes I will just bring a lunch and a book and disappear for hours. The top parks I've been visiting this year are Jackson Park, Three Bridges, Mitchell Park, Cupertino Park, Kazsubes Park, Koscuiszko Park, and Walker's Park Square."
View Natasha's work on her website natashawoods.com