Originally published: 11/12/2020. Updared: 2/1/2022
First in a three-part series, The Golden Sweater, an animated film based on the children’s book, chronicles a child’s journey through loss, grief, resiliency and healing.
The New York Life Foundation has released the first installment of Kai’s Journey, The Golden Sweater, a :60 animated film and free downloadable children’s book at www.goldensweater.org.
“Grief among children has always been a critical, yet under-resourced issue, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly amplified the importance of supporting grieving children and families,” said Heather Nesle, president of the New York Life Foundation. “The release of The Golden Sweater is one more way that the New York Life Foundation is demonstrating our commitment to funding childhood bereavement programs, and we hope that the film and book are accessible and engaging tools to help families facilitate conversations about loss.”
The Golden Sweater animation is voiced by actor, musician, and producer Maya Rudolph. Other organizations or individuals involved with the film include Dermot Flynn (Illustration and Art Direction); Dutch Uncle (Agency); Anomaly (Agency); Zac Dixon (Compositor); and Andy Huckvale (Composer).
In addition to www. goldensweater.org, viewers can also see the animated film airing as part of The Speaking Grief Project, a multiplatform initiative designed to facilitate a national conversation around grief.
The Speaking Grief Project was made possible by a $600,000 philanthropic investment by the New York Life Foundation to WPSU Penn State, an award-winning leader in documentary production.
The initiative includes a public television documentary, Speaking Grief, broadcasting nationwide on Public Broadcasting Service member stations (PBS) that will takes viewers on a journey seen through the experiences of several families impacted by grief. The Speaking Grief Project also includes a comprehensive website that provides visitors with grief support resources.
“WPSU Penn State is known for telling complex stories that address significant societal issues in accessible and compassionate ways, and we’re an ideal partner for this effort,” said Maria Collins, vice president of the New York Life Foundation. “In a culture that often avoids confronting death and grief, it is our hope that this initiative will raise awareness and encourage conversations about grief nationwide by offering a candid look at the grieving process through this compelling and relatable visual experience.”
Viewers can learn more about the initiative by visiting The Speaking Grief Project.