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A conversation with Brett Culp: Understanding the power of everyday superheroes

For several years, indie filmmaker Brett Culp has captured the stories of everyday superheroes in his documentaries Legends of the Knight and Look to the Sky.

The goal of these films – sharing the stories of what can be accomplished through positive action – made Culp an ideal keynote speaker for the 2018 Transforming Local Government conference in Seattle, WA.

Following his address to delegates, Culp visited with Municipal World CEO Susan Gardner. The two discussed his work and how communities can benefit from what his documentaries teach.

Unveiling the Power of Everyday Superheroes

The goal his film, he explains is not necessarily telling people to take any particular action. Instead, his hope is the films will “inspire the superhero in all of us,” driving change at the community level.

“In some ways, to put our Underoos back on, put our capes back on, tie the towel around our neck and run through the backyard, and to believe that we – even in the everyday workings of our world – can do something good, can do something positive, can make the world a better place,” he said. “I believe that, deep down, this filmmaking journey has only made that belief stronger.”

Inspiring Local Government Transformation

His appearance at TLG 2018 was exciting, he explained, because it is a conference of people who believe in possibility, that change and positive direction are possible, and are willing to invest their energy into achieving that goal.

When it comes to people working in the local government space, Culp said it is important they remember their work can inspire change in their communities. And, even though the work can be challenging, they need to stay mindful of the mission they are on and why it matters.

“The message that I shared today was really one about embracing the power that each one of us has to do good,” Culp said. “We talked about the idea of hope and hope is really kind of the secret weapon in that. Hope is really about possibility; it’s about looking at what is, the difficulties of it, and acknowledging that, but also imagining what could be.”  MW

✯ Municipal World Insider and Executive Members: You might also be interested in Ashleigh Weeden’s article: If it were easy, everyone would do it! Note that you can now access the complete collection of past articles (and more) from your membership dashboard.


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