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Scaling entertainment narratives that tell
“new American stories of us”

As the incubator of now-independent Bridge Entertainment Labs, and through investments in pioneering entertainment research and compelling cross-genre content, Civic Health Project has been an innovator in reducing partisan animosity and fostering social cohesion at scale through popular entertainment.

Spotlight Solution: Bridge Entertainment Labs

Unlocking the power of popular entertainment to repair and transform America’s political and social divides

Civic Health Project incubated Bridge Entertainment Labs (BEL) before launching it as an independent entity in 2023. Today, under the leadership of President Steven Olikara, BEL inspires entertainment leaders to advance transformational bridging stories while catalyzing new content in TV shows, films, and other entertainment media. As this content gains traction, BEL helps creative leaders attract new audiences, demonstrating that content that helps America transcend our divisions is also an economic winner for the industry.

The Transformative Promise of Documentary Storytelling virtual event featured celebrated filmmakers, producers, and industry leaders as we explored the unique potential of documentary storytelling to help Americans better understand and engage with each other across our political and social divides.

Learn more about BEL’s mission to activate entertainment media to unite Americans across lines of difference and build an aspirational narrative for civic engagement.

On Sep. 28th, hundreds of Americans gathered together in-person and online as a part of the Creating New American Stories of Us kick-off event hosted by Bridge Entertainment Labs and the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future.

Civic Health Project has also awarded catalytic grants to:

Public Enemies, Private Friends

In the aftermath of John Salvi’s murder spree at two Brookline clinics, leaders from opposing sides of the abortion debate met together in secret talks. None of the participants would change their minds, but the dialogues changed their lives.


Pathos Labs

Pathos Labs is a laboratory, where different media interventions, rooted in the latest research, are tested to assess the role that media and technology play in engineering new norms that predispose us to compassion over divisiveness, to nuance over oversimplification. 

Static Background showing pathos labs

Jesters and Fools

Comedians Colin Quinn, Mo Amer, Jim Norton, Rosebud Baker, Nathan Macintosh, and Dean Edwards discuss how hard it can be to tell a joke during polarized times of media outrage. The documentary explores how social media warp Americans’ perceptions of each other and lead to unnecessary conflict.

Jesters and Fools

My Country (Mainstream Nation)

Individuals audition to be a part of two politically diverse teams.They compete against each other for a cash prize to prove who can cooperate and be the better community builders.

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The Reunited States

At a time when America is ripping apart at the seams, The Reunited States is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows the unsung heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides. Susan Bro, who lost her daughter when a car drove through a crowd of counter-protestors in Charlottesville, VA and David and Erin Leaverton, a Republican couple who travel to all fifty states in an RV to find out what divides us, are just a few of the characters profiled in the film. Each of these bridge-builders have realized that while our divides run deeper than they ever could have imagined, so does the love and hope to bring our country back together.

Based on the book of the same name by Mark Gerzon, the film urges us to consider that everyone has a role to play in reuniting the country.

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