Public Programs: America's Media Makers: Development Grants

Period of Performance

4/1/2011 - 12/31/2014

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

Thomas Paine: Voice of the Revolution

FAIN: TD-50349-11

Old Stone House of Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY 11215-0613)
Karen G. Thorsen (Project Director: August 2010 to present)

Development of a 90-minute documentary exploring the life and career of Revolutionary-era political author Thomas Paine, an accompanying website, a traveling museum exhibition, and public programming.

Award-winning filmmakers will produce a 90-minute documentary film, interactive museum exhibits, public programs, study guides and website. An ally of Washington,Jefferson and Franklin, Paine was--literally--the world's first champion of democracy AND the best-selling author in America ... ever. He embraced the new "natural order," then used it to justify independence from England; he created a new mode of discourse, and helped politicize the disenfranchised; he openly opposed slavery; he pushed for self-government and laissez-faire economics; he promoted freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. In short, his impassioned advocacy of liberty and justice for all inspired one of the greatest shifts in the history of ideas -- and yet for much of the 234 years since he wrote COMMON SENSE, he is the one Founder who has been banned from the Pantheon. Only recently has he come back into favor: finally, a good time to explore his contributions and re-examine his words.