INFLUENCER: Chloe Gardiner of the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter

A local filmmaker uses her talents to help promote Indigenous causes and artists


Tell us about your role as media and tech coordinator for the Tomaquag Museum.

I became involved with Tomaquag Museum in 2020 following COVID. I had just moved back home and needed a job. Before joining, I worked as a script analyst for film production companies. The museum hired me and placed me in their media and marketing department where I help advertise and promote events. More recently, we have been creating some short docu-series focusing on Indigenous life in New England, specifically Rhode Island. 


What are some of the projects at the museum you’re most excited about?

My filmmaking goals for Tomaquag Museum are to create a small production company highlighting Indigenous filmmakers and create films featuring and created by Indigenous artists. 


How did you become a filmmaker?

I’ve always loved movies since I was a young girl. I was an only child and I learned to entertain myself with my overactive imagination. Originally, I wanted to be an actress, but I was too shy and kept that dream to myself. Following college, I decided to take the risk and apply to film schools. It paid off because I was accepted into Loyola Marymount University where I studied film and television production in their graduate program. In 2016, I packed all my bags and my camera and left for LA to make my dreams come true! I graduated in 2020 with an emphasis in directing. While there I made six short films and worked on about 50 other short films. I also worked on my first feature Let’s Scare Julie and I had a few internships with some production companies. One of my internships allowed me to travel to the 2022 Cannes Film Festival! I hope to go again!


What are some of your favorite spots around South County?

My favorite shop is Christina’s Ltd. in Westerly. I love fashion and they have beautiful clothes. I also love The Cafe which is nearby – the food is delicious and after shopping at Christina’s, it’s a great place to relax and have dinner. I also love Matunuck Oyster Bar, George’s of Galilee, and The Mooring Seafood & Kitchen Bar in Newport. I love seafood and I love to eat!


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