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

The Amara Difference

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.

A comunidade 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

PCF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating technologies & services and supporting communities that ensure a more collaborative, inclusive world. Revenue earned from Amara services support program, administrative, and operational costs related to PCF’s mission-driven efforts.

Please consider supporting PCF’s mission and impact directly by making a donation!

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 (she/they) is our Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer. She co-leads PCF with Dean. Aleli is passionate about creating a world where everyone has greater opportunity. She believes connection and inclusion are important aspects to making this happen. Aleli loves to go for long walks with her dog, Kaia. She is a graduate of the University of Washington.

aleli@pculture.org
Thais M. Barros

Thais M. Barros

Senior Project Manager, Amara on Demand

Thais (she/her) is a Senior Project Manager with Amara On Demand working with Key Accounts. She joined Amara in 2013 as a volunteer, and discovered her love for translation and languages. Thais holds a degree in Geography, a post-graduate diploma in English Translation, and continues to invest in her language and translation studies. Thais lives near São Paulo, Brazil, with her partner Leonardo and their four dogs: Clara, Flor, Lucy and Luke. Thais has a passion for plants and veg food.

thais@amara.org
Rieann Brown

Rieann Brown

Technical Documentation and Support Manager and Bookkeeper

Rieann (she/her) is our Technical Documentation and Support Manager and Bookkeeper. She helps to ensure Amara users and clients have the support they need to have a great experience with the platform. 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
Allison Buford

Allison Buford

Senior Product Specialist and Recruiter

Allison (they/them) is a Senior Product Specialist and Recruiter for Amara. They started as a transcriptionist for Amara On Demand in 2015 and grew into other roles in recruiting, documentation, and copywriting. They are excited about creating human-centered processes, writing globally accessible content, and facilitating intuitive user journeys. Allison is an avid autodidact, amateur cartoonist, and plant parent.

allison@amara.org
Marília Correia

Marília Correia

Assistant Operations Manager, Amara On Demand

Marília (she/her) is our Amara On Demand Assistant Operations Manager. She leads Amara On Demand efforts in 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. Marilia loves to travel, learn about new cultures, and is always trying to learn new things in her free time.

marilia@amara.org
Melanie Dychinco-Ty

Melanie Dychinco-Ty

Senior Project Manager, Amara on Demand

Melanie (she/her) is a Senior Project Manager with Amara on Demand, supporting Client Services. Her passion for learning led her to volunteer at Amara. She joined Amara On Demand in 2013, and quickly learned that she had an aptitude for captioning. She has a degree in Development Studies and a post-graduate diploma in Urban and Regional Planning. Melanie worked for years as a researcher on climate change, and later served as a project officer in government. She lives in the Philippines with her family, tutors her daughters during school days, and reads during her free time.

melanie@amara.org
Dean Jansen

Dean Jansen

Executive Director and CEO

Dean (he/him) is our Executive Director and CEO. He co-leads PCF with Aleli. Dean believes that people meeting and working toward common goals is a powerful way to bridge divides. He has held fellowships and affiliation with Harvard's Berkman Klein Center and the Data & Society Research Institute, where his primary focus has been the Future of Work. Dean is based in New Mexico and is grateful for the sun, excellent hiking, and spicy foods.

dean@pculture.org
Joanna Lam

Joanna Lam

Senior Project Manager, Amara On Demand

Joanna (she/her) is a Senior Project Manager with Amara On Demand supporting Key Accounts and Client Services. Holding a degree in Modern Languages with specializations in Spanish, English and French, Joanna joined the Amara On Demand team as a subtitler in 2013, and has grown her career path ever since. Originally from Venezuela, she now lives in Peru with her family. Joanna has a passion for baking and enjoys trying new recipes in her free time.

joanna@amara.org
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury

Jenny Lam-Chowdhury

Operations Manager, Amara On Demand

Jenny (she/her) is our Amara On Demand Operations Manager. She is passionate about promoting equal access to knowledge to create a more tolerant and just world. Originally from Venezuela, Jenny now lives in the US with her family. She has a degree in International Studies, with further studies in Communication, Foreign Languages, Translation, and Localization. Jenny enjoys learning new languages, cooking, reading, and working on "Eating With My Five Senses" (eatingwithmyfivesenses.com), a blog promoting the exploration of food and culture made accessible with English and Spanish subtitles.

jenny@amara.org
Viviane M.

Viviane M.

Senior Project Manager, Amara on Demand

Viviane (she/her) is a Senior Project Manager with Amara On Demand, focused on Key Accounts and Finance. She is a culture and language enthusiast, and an avid knowledge seeker. After receiving her BA in Advertising from her native Lebanon, she worked in accounting and tutored children in French. She now lives in the Bay area, which feeds her love for international cuisine. In her spare time, Viviane enjoys cooking, photography, reading, and learning languages.

viviane@amara.org
Laura Morgantini

Laura Morgantini

Lead Product and Delivery Manager

Laura (she/her) is our Lead Product and Delivery Manager. She joined the Amara team in 2019 after being in the agile software delivery world for the better part of 10 years in different roles. She brings a very analytical, user-centered and structured approach to Amara and is a strong advocate of cross-team collaboration. Laura lives on Vancouver Island, and loves all things outdoors from beach volleyball to snow shoeing with her family.

laura@pculture.org
Sebastião Nascimento

Sebastião Nascimento

Senior Project Manager, Key Accounts

Sebastião (he/him) is a Senior Project Manager with Amara On Demand. He joined our team in the early days of Amara, and is still just as passionate about the platform and his teammates as he was on day one. His studies in Law, History and Social Sciences have taken him from Brazil to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Always eager to learn about languages and the boundless possibilities of communication across borders, he lives with his beautiful family in Brazil.

sebastiao@amara.org
Erin O'Driscoll

Erin O'Driscoll

Technical Documentation and Support Specialist

Erin (she/her) is a Technical Documentation and Support Specialist with the Amara 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

Senior Technical Operations Manager

Fran (he/him) is our Senior Technical Operations Manager. He joined PCF in 2013 to support our very first Amara On Demand projects. 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 lives in Torrent, near 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 (he/him) is a Software Engineer with 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

Senior Project Manager, Amara on Demand

Natalia (she/her) is a Senior Project Manager with Amara On Demand. She started as a volunteer in 2012. Now she supports Key Accounts and leads our Linguist and Partner Relations management efforts. Natalia got her degree in Physics, and worked for many years as a researcher, later as a programmer. She has lived in several countries and is fluent in a number of languages, which made her passionate about translations. Natalia has been living in Greece since 1993.

natalia@amara.org
Margarita Shamraeva

Margarita Shamraeva

Quality Assurance Manager

Margarita (she/her) 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. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, and enjoys meeting people from different countries and cultures, learning new languages, and playing table tennis.

mshamraeva@pculture.org
Sam Slottow

Sam Slottow

Recruiter and Team Support

Sam (they/them) has been a Recruiter with PCF and Amara since 2018. They value the opportunity to create meaningful connections with people, both through the work they do and in everyday life. Since graduating from Western Michigan University in 2016, Sam has been pursuing a passion for performing arts. In their spare time, Sam enjoys cooking breakfast foods, making music, playing video games, and overanalyzing movie plots.

sam@amara.org
Kenzie Slottow

Kenzie Slottow

Recruiter, Team Support, Media Content Associate

Kenzie (she/they) currently works on recruiting, team support, and media content for Amara and served as Product Manager from 2016-2019. Kenzie is a musician, theatremaker and digital nomad who enjoys facilitating human connection through storytelling and community-building, building processes and highly functional spreadsheets. In their spare time they enjoy hiking, reading, learning, and all kinds of potatoes.

kenzie@amara.org
Jana Stotler

Jana Stotler

Accounting and Human Resources Manager

Jana (she/her) leads our efforts in Accounting and Human Resources. Prior to joining PCF in 2016, Jana worked as a finance/accounting executive in several colleges, universities, and nonprofits. After living the majority of her life in the western United States, she now lives and loves life in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, where she is able to pursue her hobby of photographing wildlife and birding. Jana is also an avid sloth watcher, and companion to her husband and many dogs.

jana@pculture.org
Kathy Torres

Kathy Torres

Accounting Associate

Kathy (she/her) is an accountant with over 15 years of experience with an MBA in Accounting from Adelphi University. She has worked with a wide range of companies from both the private and the nonprofit sectors. Before joining Amara, Kathy served as Director of Finance and Operations at Defy Ventures, Inc for over five and a half years, where she developed a passion for working with nonprofits. She loves the fast-paced environment and the multiple hats you wear working in the nonprofit world. Kathy has always loved finance and accounting. In her opinion, accounting is not about just “crunching the numbers” but also about helping companies achieve their goals. In her free time, you can find Kathy reading a good book, taking a long walk with her husband and three kids.

kathy@pculture.org