10 Women-run Organizations We love

Photo courtesy of Transform Film Fest

Photo courtesy of Transform Film Fest


Surprise! Did you know Motion Media Arts Center is run by three women and was founded by a woman in 2002?

For 2019 International Women’s Day, MMAC wanted to keep their official theme (#BetterforBalance) and share with you some of our favorite women-run Austin organizations. Let’s celebrate these amazing organizations and the wonderful women who head them!

...and hey, if you’re looking to donate some funds on International Women’s Day ~ all the organizations listed are also non-profits! Now onto the list ~ we promise, they’re worth the read.

Dance Africa Fest

Tonya Pennie founder & Director of Dance Africa, believes in the power of dance to unite community, heal historical trauma, and raise body as voice to a transcendent communal art form. She is a leader in West African dance, having created large and small community events to share the tradition.

Dance Africa Fest provides the opportunity for Central Texas communities to experience, explore and engage in music and movement of the African/Black diaspora. Her vision, professionalism, and playfulness - synergistically create magic in ways that delight, inspire and heal audiences. Pennie leads West African dance classes and intensives across Central Texas.

Lucky Chaos

Lucky Chaos was founded in 2012 by Leng Wong, currently the Executive Director. Since 2012, they have produced over 60 productions with many theatrical productions playing to capacity crowds. In 2014, she resurrected the Austin Asian American Film Festival, which had disappeared from the Austin scene in 2010. The 2014 & 2015 festivals, under Leng’s direction, featured films from over 8 Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Tibet & Iran. Thanks to her efforts, the film festival is now an on-going festival.

Boss Babes ATX

Jane Hervey is a multidisciplinary artist and writer, originally from Rio Hondo, Texas. In 2015, Jane founded #bossbabesATX ~ producing a series of exciting events and showcases that provide a platform of visibility, outreach and financial opportunity to 1500+ emerging women and nonbinary creatives, entrepreneurs and organizers each year.


Laura Donnelly is the founder/CEO of Latinitas and with her organization, she aims to empower all girls to innovate through media and technology.  They offer opportunities for girls to build confidence and learn how to express themselves creatively through media, offering fun girl-oriented camps, after-school programs, mentor projects, and workshops focused on fostering a positive self-esteem among girls as they create original media projects. With a variety of enriching experiences, Latina girls discover their voice and develop media skills while building a solid foundation for their future.

Transform Film Fest

Transform Film Festival was founded in 2017 by Danea Johnson, Faiza Kracheni and Larissa Stephens. What started as a simple idea bloomed into something much bigger, now hosting their second annual fest in April 2019. Transform Film Fest is open to all women to submit, cis, trans, queer, women of color and those with disabilities within the film and arts industry.

Transform Film Fest was created out of need to highlight films created by women of vast cultural and economic backgrounds but also raise awareness to the public of the under representation of women within creative sectors. Their second annual fest will host next month with: 4 industry judges, 20 Texas women filmmaker finalists, a micro panel and keynote.

Cine Las Americas International Film Festival

Cine Las Americas is a multi-cultural organization offering theatrical screenings of films made by and/or about Latinos or Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Films from Spain and Portugal are also included, enhancing a truly Pan-American cinematic experience.

This year’s festival is headed up by Jean Anne Lauer, the new Executive Director of the festival and Sharon Arteaga, Director of Operations. As part of their festival, each year they host an amazing meet up for women titled: Cine Latina

Austin Youth Film Festival

The Austin Youth Film Festival is an organization that seeks to create film opportunities for young, independent filmmakers and foster a lifelong love of the media arts. Founded in 2013 by local women & film educators & filmmakers, Alex Thomas and Carrie Cates. They saw the need for there to be more media arts programming for youth with a goal to extend the youth-oriented festival to include more competitions, networking and internship  opportunities, field trips, screenings and events exclusively aimed to educate and promote young filmmakers.

Austin Film Festival

Austin Film Festival furthers the art and craft of storytelling by inspiring and championing the work of writers, filmmakers, and all artists who use written and visual language to tell a story. With Executive Director Barbara Morgan driving the festival to global levels - this fest has been a favorite of the film industry for over a decade!

Creative Action

Creative Action believe that when youth develop their creativity, compassion, confidence, and critical thinking skills, build meaningful connections with peers and positive role models, they become successful adults who thrive in their careers and relationships and contribute to their communities. Through the leadership of Executive Director Karen LaShelle, Creative Action’s programs have proven to provide amazing & inclusive programs for thousands of Central Texas youth each year.

Indie Meme Film Festival

Indie Meme mission is to promote socially relevant independent cinema from South Asia, in an effort to influence social and cultural awareness and consciousness, and encourage and facilitate dialogue. Founded by two women Alka Bhanot and Tripti Bhatnagar, Indie Meme engages, educates, entertains, and brings together different communities to promote cross-cultural understanding and build a globally conscious community.