Our Mission

Working to Build a More Open, Collaborative World

Amara is a project of the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit 501c3. We are driven by our mission to foster a media ecosystem that enables everyone to benefit from online video content. Content that can enrich lives, but is not currently available to those who cannot hear or understand the language of the video. We believe a participatory and inclusive world leads to a more understanding and caring society.

Learn More About PCF

La particularité d'Amara

Amara is a project of a nonprofit organization. Being a nonprofit is the best way for us to ensure that the mission is built into the structure of our organization. So many times, we have seen for-profit companies lose their values as financial pressures mount – founders leave, or they get acquired. We want to make sure that cannot happen at Amara.

Communauté Amara

Our community is made up of online educators, filmmakers, volunteers, professional linguists, partners, and funders. We all work together to make it possible for more people to benefit from the growing volume of video content available.

Amara Volunteer

A woman's smiling face

Amara is powered by people who care. Help make video accessible around the globe by volunteering for a caption or translation team.

Become a Volunteer

Amara On Demand Customer

The NOWNESS logo

NOWNESS is a movement for creative excellence in storytelling celebrating the extraordinary of every day. Launched in 2010, NOWNESS is the go to source of inspiration and influence across art, design, fashion, beauty, music, food, and travel.

Purchase Subtitles

Amara Enterprise Customer

Net in Nederland – NiNL logo

Net in Nederland (New to the Netherlands) is a website from the Dutch Public Broadcaster NPO where programs with Dutch, English and Arabic subtitles are made freely available. By using a selection of on-demand media, New to the Netherlands offers refugees and immigrants a guide to Dutch society.

Sign up Now

Amara Partner

Wikitongues collects video oral histories from each of the world's more than 7,000 language communities to preserve our common cultural heritage. Amara and Wikitongues are working together to build a translation community to assist in grassroots language preservation movements around the world.

Become a Partner

Help Fund Our Mission

Amara and PCF are powered by the generous support of individual donors, foundation grants, and clients who purchase Amara services.

Donate Today

Our Core Team

Meet the insanely talented, culturally diverse, and fun group of people that make up the Amara team.

Aleli Alcala

Aleli Alcala

Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer

Aleli is our Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer. She and Dean are co-leaders at PCF. Aleli is passionate about creating a world where everyone has greater opportunity. She believes accessibility is critical to making this happen. Aleli loves to play tennis and go for long walks with her dog, Kaia. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, and has built successful endeavors for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

aleli@pculture.org
Thais Barros

Thais Barros

Project Manager, Key Accounts

Thais joined Amara in 2013 as a volunteer, and discovered her love for translation and languages. Thais holds a degree in Geography, but decided to invest her time in a translation career. She recently received her Translation Diploma from Estácio University. Thais lives in São Paulo, Brazil, with her partner Leonardo and their three dogs, Clara, Flor and Lucy. Thais has a passion for dogs, plants and veg food.

thais@amara.org
Allison Buford

Allison Buford

Product Specialist and Recruiter

Allison is a Product Specialist and Recruiter for Amara. She started as a transcriptionist in 2015, while earning a degree in Mathematics. Allison is an avid autodidact – she spends most of her free time studying languages and computer science. Currently she is learning ASL, Russian, and RegEx. She is an enthusiastic promoter of accessibility, global communication, and the optimization of complex systems.

allison@amara.org
Rieann Brown

Rieann Brown

Technical Documentation and Support Manager

Rieann works with Amara Teams to help ensure Amara users and clients have the support they need to have a great experience with the platform. She also doubles as a Daily Operations Lead for one of Amara's key accounts. Her education in environmental sociology and work with local groups has increased her passion for more inclusive societies to meet the challenges of the future we will face together. You can also find her outdoors roaming the Pacific Northwest or just watching the stars dance.

rieann@amara.org
Valentina Cordero

Valentina Cordero

Accounting and Human Resources Manager

Val is our Accounting and HR Manager. She believes strongly that social justice starts at home, and strives to ensure that our team is well supported. She has degrees from The College of NJ and Boston University, and has stewarded multiple organizations toward increased organization and more efficient systems. Val is an unabashed foodie and cat lady. You might stumble upon her creating small-batch artisanal raw food for her kitties.

val@pculture.org
Marilia Correia

Marilia Correia

Senior Project Manager, Operations

Marilia is a Senior Project Manager at Amara. She leads our efforts in On Demand daily operations. She lives in her hometown of Recife, Brazil. Marilia is passionate about creating a more inclusive world through subtitling, and started with Amara as a volunteer in 2013. She has a BA in Law from UFPE, and a Diploma in Translation Methodology from Fafire. Marilia loves to travel, learn about new cultures, go out with her friends, and watch movies.

marilia@amara.org
Alice Dantas

Alice Dantas

Project Manager, Daily Ops

Alice is a Project Manager at Amara On Demand. She leads our client services efforts. Alice is from Brazil, and lives in her hometown of Recife. She holds a BA degree in Law, and a Diploma in Translation Methodology from Fafire. Passionate about language learning and translation, Alice believes that subtitling removes barriers to knowledge and information. She loves mystery novels, collecting vinyl records, and is a die-hard Star Wars fan.

alice@amara.org
Ben Dean-Kawamura

Ben Dean-Kawamura

Chief Engineer

Ben is our Chief Engineer, and has been the chief architect of PCF and Amara technologies since 2006. He is currently the lead developer for Amara, and was previously lead developer for Miro. Ben has been writing computer programs since the 4th grade. He aspires to write free software that solves real-world problems. Ben enjoys playing chess, watching meteor showers, and hanging out with his wife and kids – Kristine, Harvey Anne, and Mae.

ben@pculture.org
Dean Jansen

Dean Jansen

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Dean is our Executive Director, and Chief Executive Officer. He co-leads PCF with Aleli. Dean envisions a world where the work environment is a more collaborative and compassionate place. He lives in Boston with his partner Naomi. They especially enjoy hiking and roller skating! Dean is a current affiliate, former fellow, at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center, as well as the Data & Society Research Institute, where his focus is the Future of Work.

dean@pculture.org
Joanna Lam

Joanna Lam

Project Manager, Key Accounts

Joanna is a Project Manager at Amara on Demand. She studied Modern Languages, specializing in Spanish, English and French at Instituto Universitario Tecnológico Américo Vespucio. Joanna is passionate about translation, subtitling, and more recently, voice dubbing. She believes languages are a powerful bridge to bringing people and cultures together. She lives in Venezuela with her husband. Joanna enjoys cooking and baking for weekend family dinners.

joanna@amara.org
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury

Jenny Lam-Chowdhury

On Demand Operations Manager

Jenny is our Amara On Demand Operations Manager. She is passionate about the power of education and knowledge, and wants accessibility for everyone. Originally from Venezuela, Jenny now lives in NY with her husband, Iftekhar. She has a degree in International Studies and a diploma in Translation & Communication from NYU. Jenny enjoys learning new languages, volunteering, and loves different foods and literature from around the world.

jenny@amara.org
Viviane Matta

Viviane Matta

Key Account Manager

Viviane is a Key Account Manager at Amara On Demand. She is an avid knowledge seeker, amateur chef, culture and language enthusiast who wants the communication barriers in the world torn down. After receiving her BA in Advertising from her native Lebanon, she worked in accounting, and tutored kids in French. She now lives in the Bay Area. Time allowing, Viviane works on her cookbook, develops her photography skills, and learns more languages.

viviane@amara.org
Sebastiao Nascimento

Sebastiao Nascimento

Project Manager, Key Accounts

Sebastiao is a Project Manager at Amara On Demand. He joined our team in the early days of Amara, and is still as passionate about the platform and his teammates, as he was on day one. Sebastiao’s studies in Law, History and Social Sciences have brought him to Brazil, Germany, and Haiti. He is always eager to learn about languages and the boundless possibilities of communication across borders. Sebastiao lives with his beautiful family in Brazil.

sebastiao@amara.org
Erin O'Driscoll

Erin O'Driscoll

Technical Documentation and Support Specialist

Erin is a Technical Documentation Specialist on the Amara Support Team. She has a degree in English and began her career in the publishing industry in New York, where she discovered a passion for the interrelationship between technology, learning, information sharing and user support. Erin lives with her partner on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. In her free time she enjoys exploring Roman ruins, collecting beach glass (which she swears she will create something beautiful with some day!), learning Spanish, and volunteering with a local philanthropic social group giving back to the people of her host country.

erin@amara.org
Fran Ontanaya

Fran Ontanaya

Technical Operations Manager

Fran is our Technical Operations Manager. He joined Amara in 2013 to support our very first projects at Amara On Demand. His technical expertise provides solutions to our clients who have special subtitling requests. Also, the Tech Ops team handles media encodings, helps design workflows, guidelines, and software to ensure Amara On Demand runs smoothly. Fran is our expert in all things subtitling. He currently lives in Valencia, Spain.

fran@amara.org
Judit Pinol

Judit Pinol

Amara Enterprise Manager

Judit is our Amara Enterprise Manager. She works with our clients to ensure we meet their localization needs. Judit believes providing access to information is key to a better world. She has a background in media studies and translation, and found Amara during her travels, when looking to share video content with family back in Catalonia, Spain. She loves learning about regenerative agriculture, traveling, brewing beer and growing her own food.

judit@amara.org
Dan Reyes

Dan Reyes

Software Engineer

Dan is a Software Engineer for Amara. With his Computer Science education, he hopes to connect people around the world through the platform. Before finding his home at Amara in 2018, Dan has worked with various teams ranging from a research group for speech recognition of Philippine languages to an infosec team of a major Philippine telco. He loves to play video games, build GunPla model kits, and is always looking for street food!

dan@pculture.org
Natalia Savvidi

Natalia Savvidi

Project Manager, On Demand Partners

Natalia is a Project Manager at Amara On Demand. She started as a volunteer in 2012, and now leads our efforts in new partner development. Natalia got her degree in Physics, and worked for many years as a researcher, later as a programmer. Natalia has lived in several countries, and has learned lots of languages! Natalia has been living in Greece since 1993. She has six grandchildren, and likes skiing and playing tennis.

natalia@amara.org
Sam Slottow

Sam Slottow

Recruiting and Onboarding Specialist

Sam is a Recruiting and Onboarding Specialist for Amara. She values the opportunity to create meaningful connections that transcend geographical and cultural barriers. After graduating from Western Michigan University in 2016, Sam began pursuing her passion for acting and performing arts. Her other hobbies include winter sports, playing guitar, and laughing at her own jokes. She prides herself in her ability to hold a jelly bean in her left dimple.

sam@amara.org
Margarita Shamraeva

Margarita Shamraeva

Quality Assurance Manager

Margarita is our Quality Assurance Manager. She is fascinated with information technology, the way it transforms people's lives and the new opportunities it offers. Margarita has worked on Amara and other PCF projects since 2010, and has over 10 years of experience in software quality assurance. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, and enjoys meeting people from different countries and cultures, learning new languages, and playing table tennis.

mshamraeva@pculture.org
Jana Stotler

Jana Stotler

Accounting and Human Resources Manager

Jana co-leads our efforts in Accounting and Human Resources. Prior to joining Amara in 2016, Jana worked as a finance/accounting executive in several colleges, universities, and nonprofits. Born and raised in Wyoming, she now lives and loves life in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica where she is able to pursue her hobby of photographing wildlife and birds. Jana is also an avid sloth watcher, and companion to her husband and six dogs.

jana@pculture.org
Stella Tran

Stella Tran

Marketing Manager

Stella leads our marketing efforts for Amara. She delights in branding for its unique ability to connect people to their personal values in an everyday way. She received her BA from Grinnell College and gained valuable work experience in the social enterprise sector as well as at larger organizations, including Yahoo! and Harvard. Stella is based in Toronto, Canada. She writes music in her spare time and collects analog synths and guitar pedals.

stella@amara.org
Melanie Ty

Melanie Ty

Project Manager, Key Accounts

Melanie is a Project Manager at Amara On Demand. She believes in empowering women through continuous learning, so they can break free from societal norms. A graduate of Environmental Planning from the University of the Philippines, Melanie has 15 years of experience in research and project administration. She loves doing arts and crafts with her three girls, playing the piano, bowling, and reading Harry Potter during her spare time.

melanie@amara.org
Raul Villalobos

Raul Villalobos

Art Director and Illustrator

Raul is our Art Director and Illustrator. He lives in Seattle, WA and has called the Pacific Northwest home for 20 years. Raul is passionate about visual experiences and collaboration, and hopes to build empathy in the world through design and art. He has a BA in English from UofO, with work experiences at Amazon and Digital Kitchen. Raul loves fuzzy monsters, color, pen and ink, cooking for friends, and watching Wall-E see space for the first time.

raul@pculture.org