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George R.R. Martin donates items for Stagecoach Foundation auction

Santa Fe-based author George R.R. Martin is donating items to The Stagecoach Foundation auction. (Associated Press)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The Stagecoach Foundation has been supporting filmmakers in New Mexico since its inception in March 2017.

The organization will be hosting an online fundraiser through Sunday, March 28, at one.bidpal.net/stagecoach/welcome.

bright spotThere are nearly 100 items to bid on. Some items are from Stagecoach Foundation co-founder George R.R. Martin’s properties including “Game of Thrones,” “Nightflyers” and the “Wild Cards” series, which was just picked up for development as a TV show.

The fundraiser will help the Stagecoach Foundation offset losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support its ongoing efforts to expand access to careers in the film industry for New Mexicans.

“The idea actually was sparked in the spring of last year after Melinda Snodgrass talked about it in her blog,” said foundation executive director Elizabeth Kianu Stahmer. “We started developing a concept and connected with the players that we needed.”

Other film-related and New Mexico-themed items will be up for auction as well, such as a private balloon ride with champagne. The auction opened March 15 and is hosted on BidPal through the end of the fundraiser events on March 28. The live auction hosted by Bernie Bregman of NerdBot will be at 4 p.m. (MDT) Saturday, March 27, on Legion M Twitch channel.

The fundraising programming will also feature other online events, which will stream live on the Legion M twitch stream as part of this year’s WonderCon@Home schedule. Highlights include a campaign of the tabletop Wild Cards Role Playing Game, set in the present time, featuring some of science fiction, fantasy and horror’s most popular authors of the day, including Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, Max Gladstone, Caroline Specter and Carrie Vaughn.

Williams, one of the original “Wild Cards” authors and the creator of Ace favorite, Golden Boy, will act as the game master for the short campaign. There will also be a live “ask me anything” with the authors and a Discord AMA, as well as special messages from Martin himself over the course of the weekend.

Kianu Stahmer said despite the pandemic, the foundation was able to create a project-based mentorship program, which brought together 10 mentors from the producing and screenwriting sphere.

“We had a call for New Mexicans to submit projects,” she said. “The mentors then chose the project and they worked together. A number of the projects have moved their work to pitch decks. The networking was so important for this project. The mentors helped them grow their skills and move to the next level.”

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