2020 Viola Award Finalist for Community Impact (Individual)

Maria Campbell gives tirelessly to the Flagstaff community. When Maria arrived in Flagstaff from Ireland in 2013, she knew nobody but very quickly and effectively has established herself as a cultural and creative tour de force, working tirelessly for this community through her work in film and cultural events, women’s rights and opportunities, environmental activism, and indigenous issues. 

She has served as a Director and President of Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival or FMFF. In that role, she has helped foster more community collaboration and business support. By leading the team to increase the festivals’ annual revenue, more filmmakers can now attend the festival, and more local artists are being supported in order to curate shows that are culturally and socially relevant. These special events also promote the main festival and the smaller events that occur throughout the year

She helped found a local women’s group, the SheWolf Project which has been growing year on year since 2016, supporting women through social media, monthly meetups and organized special events. She serves as a Director of Arizona Women’s Film Festival (AWFF), which is now in its 4 year and continues to grow. 

As a board member and scientific adviser of the Azulita Project, another Flagstaff-based community non-profit, she has worked with middle school children to create an award-winning film that has now traveled the world. Maria took the winning children to Florida last summer to claim their prize: a spot at a marine pollution scientific conference, and an opportunity to go shark tagging with shark conservationists.

Maria also brings awareness to the community about single use plastics and their harm on the environment. Maria helped create Straw Free Flagstaff and she continues to find ways to help make this a better community.

She loves music and has been in bands for many years before coming to Flagstaff. Maria is now a board member of Interference Series, an experimental, avant-garde  and improvised music series in Flagstaff. They have their own record label now too”

Maria is always busy, and always willing to get involved. When she is not working for Azulita, FMFF, AWFF, Interference or SheWolf, she is volunteering at some community event, teaching at NAU (her main job!), speaking at a local school, creating films with the students at Pine Forest Elementary School, or planning another event that will engage the community on an important issue. I can’t think of anyone who has made as much of a positive contribution to our community in the last few years. A land locked marine biologist in this fabulous mountain town, she teaches the next generation of scientists at NAU, and brings an awareness of how our actions here impact those downstream. She is clearly committed to making this world a better place through art and film.