“Big Picture is one of America’s secret weapons in the world of film and education. They do some of the best work with film and media literacy that I have ever seen. Anyone interested in reaching—and having a meaningful effect on—young audiences should know them!”
— Holly Carter, Founder and Executive Director, BYkids

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Kimberly Birbrower, M.A.
Founding Partner, Los Angeles Office

Kim NewNewKim Birbrower founded Big Picture Instructional Design in March 2007, with the goal of making teachable moments from issue-driven film and television projects.Prior to founding the company, Kim was the first Director of Education at Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. There, she was responsible for the conception, development, implementation, and assessment  of the Foundation’s global educational outreach programs, including online exhibits, workshops and training guides, and classroom videos and materials.Kim also served as the national Assistant Director of Educational Policy and Programs at the Anti-Defamation League, writing and adapting material to align with national standards, current pedagogic initiatives, and international needs.Kim has her permanent teaching certification from New York State, and prior to her position at the ADL taught in both public and private schools throughout New York City.She is a graduate of Boston University and New York University, and studied at Columbia University and Oxford University. In 1999, Kim received an Advanced Placement teaching grant from the Mellon Foundation, and was honored with the Anne Frank Center’s Spirit of Anne Frank Award in 2000.

Kim has authored and contributed to many educational publications, including the study guide for the Dorling Kindersley book, The Holocaust: The Events and Their Impact on Real People (winner of the 2008 Sydney Taylor Honor Award); Echoes and Reflections (winner of the National Association for Multicultural Education’s 2007 National Media Award); and Recollections (winner of the 2007 BAFTA Award for Best in the Secondary Learning Category).

Joanne Parsont
Consultant, San Francisco Office

Joanne Joanne Parsont is the Education Director at the California Film Institute as well as a media education consultant, writer, editor, project manager, and film festival programmer with over 20 years experience in educational outreach, audience engagement, curriculum development, youth media, and children’s and documentary film. Prior to joining Big Picture, she was the Director of Education for the San Francisco Film Society, where she developed and managed a wide range of programs that served more than 10,000 K-college students and teachers each year, cultivating media literacy, global awareness, filmmaking skills, and cinema appreciation.

As a freelance programmer and consultant, she ran the Mill Valley Film Festival’s Children’s FilmFest and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Schools at the Festival program; curated children’s programs for the Pacific Film Archive and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; served on the Board of Advisors for LUNAFEST, developed hands-on filmmaking workshops for elementary, middle and high school students; and currently provides educational outreach services to independent filmmakers.

With a BA in Russian and Political Science from Duke University and an MA in Mass Communication Studies from the University of Michigan, Joanne began her career in Washington, DC working for both the Public Broadcasting Service and The Learning Channel. In January 2015, she joined the Board of Directors of the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

Nicole Sweeney
Online & Social Media


Nicole manages all of Big Picture Instructional Design’s social medial campaigns, web development, and online efforts.

Nicole spent a year in Paris, completing her MA coursework in Global Communications at The American University of Paris, focusing on youth identity formation in online vlogging communities. Concurrently, Nicole served as her MA program’s Social Media Manager, developing and overseeing all of their social media campaigns. Additionally, she has worked as a youth facilitator for the Jefferson City Council for Drug Free Youth, and a substitute teacher for middle and high school students in the Jefferson City Public School District. She holds a BA in Sociology from George Washington University.