Shira Evergreen is a jack of all trades, master of some. She makes movies and music, takes photos, writes articles, does graphic design, teaches and facilitates. She also wildcrafts, plays sports, knits, juggles and makes a lot of puns. She was born in Portland, OR and grew up in Rockville, MD. Her mother is Israeli and her father is South African.
Shira studied film theory and production at Cornell University, including a semester abroad at the British American Film Academy in London. Her hour-long thesis film In Search of Golding Street, a personal documentary about South Africa and Israel was screened at the New York International Independent Film Festival. She also did a lot of theatre at Cornell including directing a production of Martin Sherman’s Bent about the experience of gay men in the holocaust and starring in The Baltimore Waltz and A Piece of My Heart. She also began performing and recording her original songs, which she started writing in the seventh grade.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude and moving to New York City in 2002 with Ari, Shira interned with film distributor Women Make Movies and nonprofit/documentary production company Arts Engine while working nights at Kim’s Video. She worked for Arts Engine for five and a half years, co-directing the Media That Matters Film Festival, which won the award for best nonprofit/green website at the 2005 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival. For three years she served as Arts Engine’s Director of Education & Outreach, creating school curricula, advising filmmakers on outreach and traveling to festivals and conferences around the country to screen films and speak about distribution, youth filmmaking and media justice. She curated and designed graphics for Media That Matters: Good Food, a collection of short films on food and sustainability and traveled to India to help launch Adobe Youth Voices, a global youth media initiative.
In 2006, Shira shifted to creative production, becoming Arts Engine’s in-house designer, video editor and writer. She edited trailers and rough-cuts for numerous documentaries and designed graphics for the films Election Day (SXSW, P.O.V.) and the award-winning Gypsy Caravan (Tribeca Film Festival, PBS). She has written many articles about film and social change for MediaRights.org and Documentary.org and was editor and co-creator of the Shortlist guest curator series, which has featured the film picks of Albert Maysles, bell hooks, Stanley Nelson and others. From 2007-2009, she served on the board of MIX NYC, a queer experimental film festival based in New York City.
In January 2008, Shira left Arts Engine to run Shirari Industries full-time. Specializing in video and graphic design, she has worked with clients including Multicultural Resource Center, The City of Ithaca, Scenarios USA, New York Collective of Radical Educators, Hard Working Movies, Breakthrough, Cornell University’s Garden-Based Learning Program and Upwardly Global.
Since moving to Ithaca, NY with Ari and their three cat friends in the fall of 2008, Shira has been increasingly offering her skills and time to local community groups. She designed the logo for Shaleshock, a coalition of activists who are trying to protect our region from natural gas drilling and has gotten very involved in the Ithaca Freeskool both as a teacher and a documentarian, photographing and making distance learning videos so that people anywhere in the world can learn skills like foraging for edible mushrooms, baking vegan cheesecake and do-it-yourself tooth care.
Shira co-founded Share Tompkins, a group that helps people share and barter goods and services throughout Tompkins County through monthly Community Swap Meets and Really Really Free Markets. Share Tompkins was recognized by Sustainable Tompkins as a 2009 and 2010 “Sign of Sustainability” and has been featured in numerous online and print publications including Yes! Magazine, Shareable.net, The Ithaca Journal and Treehugger. In addition to organizing and promoting events, Shira created the Share Tompkins logo, designs event posters, and documents the project through photos and videos.
In the fall of 2009 Shira wrote, co-directed and edited Frac Attack: Dawn of the Watershed, an environmental zombie thriller that takes on the dark side of natural gas drilling. Frac Attack premiered at Cinemapolis, Ithaca’s renowned downtown theatre and has since been streaming online and screened in classrooms and community spaces. The film was honored as a 2009 “Sign of Sustainability” by Sustainable Tompkins and was a Jury Favorite at the 2010 Theodore Case Film Festival. The film was also featured in numerous media outlets including Alternet.org, the front page of The Ithaca Journal, MediaRights.org and NPR-affiliate WRVO in Oswego, NY.
In 2011 she directed Empowered: Power from the People in collaboration with producer Suzanne McMannis of Earthwalk Farm. From solar and wind to veggie oil and geothermal, this feature-length documentary tells the story of Tompkins County’s role in the energy independence revolution. The movie premiered at Cinemapolis in the fall of 2011 with a huge turnout and is being screened around the region in partnership with the Finger Lakes Bioneers.