In Art is Long, Life is Short, a collaborative artist team (The Literati Players) will dramatize select interviews pre-recorded from several teens in the juvenile justice system, into a series of short animated film scenes. Each scene will involve a beginning, middle and end (to be determined by the audience), will be based on real events, and each will focus on key characters that the audience will find themselves either sympathizing or disagreeing with, based on the details within each story. Utilizing stop-motion techniques with sound, the artists will combine hand-drawn artworks with photographic scenes and computer-generated effects to create multilevel video scenes that convey the stories.

A diverse online audience will be able to view the first acts of all the stories using the social networking sites Facebook and YouTube. The artists chose this format in order to attract people who are actively engaged in online entertainment and are willing to share content, experiences and opinions. In a manner similar to the interactive story-building techniques used in the popular series of Choose Your Own Adventure books, viewers will assist with the creative process by voting on their choice of alternate scene endings, and will interact on the Facebook fanpage with other subscribers in an ongoing dialogue.

Lead artist Richard Fritz says: “Far too often, we live our day-to-day lives without taking the time to learn about the struggles, pain, and joy of others beyond our immediate social center of influence. This project looks to break down those barriers and help our audience see beyond themselves. By having an opportunity to choose the outcome of the story, the audience is given a chance to explore different paths through the eyes of the characters presented to them. With each path comes a new set of challenges and moral outcomes. Because they will be invested in each character, the audience will be able to experience first-hand how different choices lead to unique and life-altering events.”

After the polling is closed, the team will create the final act(s) of the story using the results of the public vote. They will then release the final, completed, animated short to its following of online viewers.

About the artists:

The Literati Players  is a collaborative artist team consisting of a Richard Fritz – a videographer with a fine art background, Crystal Gould – a professional actor, director and playwright, and Michele Bridges a fine artist and graphic designer. The team aims to build community awareness and social consciousness through the power of art, bridging the gaps between cultural, demographic and social boundaries. By utilizing a multi-media approach, The Literati Players draws on themes based on real life experience and self-expression, ultimately merging art with community dialogue and decision-making.

Richard Fritz has served as lead artist on a One Percent for Art mural project, worked as a project manager for creative curriculum development under contract to the U.S. Department of Education, led community projects for the Environmental Protection Agency Educational Department, and overseen multiple large scale murals and creative projects in the Greater Kansas City area school districts. As a videographer, Fritz creates video production projects utilizing traditional documentary style scripting, creative animations, motion graphics, and green screen technologies.


Crystal Gould is a professional actor, director, playwright and instructor with a BA in English and Theatre Education. She has earned many film, television, and theatre credits including EVP, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, David and Lisa, The Mercy Seat, Prop 8 on Trial (a Rocket Grant recipient), and Private Eyes. Crystal has written several original theatrical scripts and screenplays. Her stage play, “Bathroom Confessions” placed ninth at KC Fringe Festival. She is the co-founder of The Literati Players, creating short films with themes based on life experience and self-expression, merging art and community awareness.


Michele Bridges creates artwork based on real stories rooted in: human inclination; finding one’s place in the world; and attempting to define character and moral compass. Michele has over 14 years experience working in the fields of nonprofit community arts, graphic design and print industry. She has created artwork and educational products for clients such as the Center for Disease Control, Gardner Bank, KU Medical Center, the American Jazz Museum and the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority.

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