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- Proverbs 3:5-6
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Local Arizona Nonprofit Produces Kids’ Show Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
By Lisa Padilla - Thursday Apr 09, 2020
When former pastor Caleb Anderson and video producer, Paul Dowler moved to the Phoenix area in Summer 2019, they never thought they would be producing a children’s program.

Caleb is an author, life coach and former pastor from Southern California. He has been writing popular daily devotional-type blog posts and recording audio podcasts for over a year.

Paul Dowler was a Set Dresser in film and television in Los Angeles for almost 20 years before transitioning his creative talents to ministry. He had a vision to turn Anderson’s audio podcasts into video episodes as well, enhancing overall production quality for Anderson’s nonprofit, Spirit Farm, whose mission is to promote personal growth & development mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

When the pair was presented the opportunity to utilize the Loft 19 production stages in the Deer Valley area of Phoenix, they packed up their families and moved to the Valley of the Sun.

Over the past six months, Anderson and Dowler have produced over 50 video & audio podcast episodes from weekly meditations and inspirational messages to interviews with local well-loved talents like Scott MacIntyre of American Idol to controversial guests such as Martin Kirsten, a former bodyguard to Heidi Klum and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden.

But in mid-March 2020, when COVID-19 hit the world hard and fast, the duo knew that they couldn’t conduct business as usual and the idea of a kids’ show, Spirit Farm Kids, took root. Having small children themselves, Anderson and his wife Hilary were thrust

into the world of homeschooling their own kids along with the rest of the country and thought now would be the perfect opportunity to help families just like theirs in providing some good fun entertainment while also addressing topics kids might be experiencing like fear and worry (featured in episode 1).

“Our own kids who range in age from two to seven years old, had questions about the virus and why they couldn’t see their friends and family,” explains Anderson, “So, we thought, ‘what a great time to do a kid’s show version of the type of content we are already creating for adults.’”

Dowler, however, knew ‘throwing together’ a kids’ show was not as easy as it sounded but within a week, on a non-existent budget, a set was in place; a camera operator, Dowler’s son, Jordan, and a video editor volunteered their time and skills; Anderson’s wife, ‘Farmer Hilary,’ a pilates instructor, signed on as on-air talent while ‘Farmer Aaron,’ Caleb’s brother and local worship pastor, wrote and performed original sing-a-long songs for each of the first five episodes currently in post-production.

Each episode is approximately 15 minutes and Episode 1 debuted this past Sunday. Four additional episodes are shot and will come out weekly over the next month. The first episode is currently available on YouTube. Spirit Farm hopes to continue producing more if they can secure financing.

“We hope that kids from three years old to 103 years old will enjoy the shows,” says Dowler, who also plays the role of Carl The Cow, an emerging favorite among the four-year-old set. “During this time of uncertainty, our world needs a little infusion of joy and an inflated cow never hurts.”

Spirit Farm, founded and lead by Caleb Anderson, is an online platform for personal and spiritual growth. With podcasts, small groups, retreats, online courses and more, Spirit Farm encourages people to think about spirituality in a different way, a personal way. For those who may have drifted from traditional churches or are looking to find deeper meaning, Spirit Farm aims to cultivate the whole person--body, mind, heart and soul.

By Maddy Dowler