Our Story

Big Picture Anthems was founded in 2016, but its model has been developed over the past two decades. Founder Ben Gilbarg was at the helm of New Bedford-based non-profit 3rd EyE Unlimited from 1998-2011. Over that time, 3rd EyE was a beacon of light for thousands of underserved teens, helping them find their voice, and contribute to positively transforming their community through music, art, media, and community organizing. Producing socially conscious hip hop-based media was a vital part of 3rd EyE’s work. From 1998-2010, they produced a TV show entitled “Put Out the Word,” which aired on the Dish Network and public access tv eclipsing a reach of twenty million homes. In 2008, Ben along with fellow artists Tem Blessed and Mitchell Garner created the “Green Anthem” which synthesized the green jobs movement led by Van Jones and Green For All. After screening the video in front of 3,000 people at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference in Washington D.C. and receiving an overwhelmingly positive response, they knew they were on to something.

Big Picture Anthems -on location
Big Picture Anthems - music relative campaigns
In 2010, along with Frank Barrows, Ben founded YAP! (Youth Ambassador Program), which employed 3rd EyE teen artists to make music about national park themes. Their first hit, “Get Outside and Move” was featured as a success story on Michelle Obama’s initiative letsmove.gov., and national parks across the country began using YAP! content as a model for engaging diverse youth. Ben was seeing the impact of their creations, and finding his niche. After moving on from 3rd EyE in 2011, Ben was hungry to bring this model to the next level and attended Boston University for his graduate degree in Media Ventures. He created Big Picture Anthems within his time in the accelerator program, and has since worked with industry professionals and advisors to expand this model to a national scale. Big Picture Anthems was ultimately founded to make a national impact on underrepresented youth.
Hear our story from our founder’s talk featured on PBS:
Big Picture Anthems - Founder's speech

Ben Gilbarg 
Founder & Creative Catalyst

Ben Gilbarg is a creative catalyst and communications visionary with a passion for social impact. In 1998, he co-founded 3rd EyE Unlimited and for 13 years engaged young people through mentoring, community building, and hip hop cultural events such as the nationally recognized 3rd EyE Open Festival.

From 1998-2010, Ben produced a TV show entitled “Put Out the Word,” which aired on the Dish Network and public access tv eclipsing a reach of twenty million homes. Ben has worked with thousands of youth since 1998 and therefore has the pulse on what young people respond to. His experience in youth development and media outreach led him to founding Big Picture Anthems, where he produces audio/visual campaigns and communication movements. Ben directs S.T.E.A.M. the Streets, a dynamic outreach initiative inspiring and activating underrepresented youth to pursue STEAM career pathways. Ben has produced dynamic projects for the National Park Service, Green For All, the University of Rhode Island, the Mass. Department of Public Health, Yes We Code, and many others. He is a graduate from UMass Amherst, and has a Master’s Degree in Media Ventures from Boston University’s College of Communication. Ben is a husband, father of three, and grandfather.

Angel Diaz 
Youth Engagement Specialist 

Having worked with many youth community organizations in Southcoast Mass. for over a decade, Angel has found and developed his skill set for engaging youth to pursue their passion. With Big Picture Anthems and STEAM the Streets, Angel travels to schools to engage students in an interactive assembly including his turntables, profile videos, music video, and dynamic images. 

He showcases the many careers that involve STEAM and encourages students with motivational speaking to pursue these career paths. He currently serves as head of the music department and STEAM teacher at Our Sisters’ School, an independent non-profit, tuition-free school for low-income girls. Angel formerly served as Program Director for The Dream Out Loud Center for the Arts. Angel is a DJ/Producer while also being an educator. Using this medium of “Edutainment,” he engages all types of crowds and communities to help develop their greater potential.