As someone who has really come to appreciate how political organizing can work on the level of local democracy, it is super gratifying to know that folks on their way to testify at a city council meeting might take a look at some of the works from my ongoing series of cyanotypes about the joys and sorrows of modernity. In November the works will move to the main branch of the San Mateo Public Library. Visit https://www.cityofsanmateo.org/1624/City-Hall-Exhibits to learn more about San Mateo’s Art in Public Places program.
This news from from the Belle Foundation came at the tail end of a two week long bout of the flu in which I was questioning my life choices and what it means to pursue a second shift of artmaking on top of my day job as a sociology instructor. I feel so so grateful for the encouragement that this grant represented to me and am using the grant to develop my printmaking practice and hire an animator for my historical documentary called The Spider Web that is currently in post-production. Since the letter from the Belle Foundation, I also was one of 26 inaugural fellows nationwide awarded a 2019 Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learning Societies Community College Faculty Fellowship, which I will be using to begin reading and analyzing the now 600+ interviews contributed to the 1500 Stories project in order to develop a public sociology podcast about the lived experience of economic inequality in the U.S. It is ridiculously exciting to be facing the prospect of having the time to delve into the stories collected by volunteers in New Jersey, Wisconsin and the Silicon Valley. You can read the abstract for my Mellon/ACLS project here.
I finally had a couple of days off recently and I spent them in the forest. I brought only art supplies that had nothing to do with any of my ongoing projects, just to play. Amongst other things, I brought a stack of failed prints, some scissors and some collage glue. In addition to the kindergarten-like joy of cutting and pasting, it also felt really really good to turn failures into flowers.
How can we thrive, and not just survive, in the Silicon Valley? Join the 1500 Stories Project in partnership with Silicon Valley Rising and the Tech Workers Coalition for an evening of community building around economic inequality in the Silicon Valley. Come share your work stories, meet others in your community and discover ways to make a difference. On Thursday February 28, 2018 from 6:30-8:30pm in the theater lobby at Mexican Heritage Plaza, we invite you to In This Together: Working in Silicon Valley. 1500 Stories is a collaborative art and digital storytelling project about economic inequality in the U.S. 1500 Stories is honored to partner for this public forum with Silicon Valley Rising, a coalition that works to reduce occupational segregation and income inequality by raising wages and creating affordable housing, and with the Tech Workers Coalition, a coalition of workers and organizers in and around the tech industry working for social justice, workers’ rights and economic inclusion. Visit 1500stories.org, https://www.siliconvalleyrising.org/, and https://www.techworkerscoalition.org/ to learn more. These forums are made possible by support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities (www.calhum.org); views expressed at the forum do not necessarily represent those of Cal Humanities or the NEH. Contact email@example.com with questions and RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/295751351085449/
If you believe in the power of stories to build empathy across our differences, consider making a donation to the 1500 Stories project. 1500 Stories is a collaborative art and digital storytelling project about economic inequality in the U.S. So, far we have collected nearly 500 stories from people living at different economic positions in the Silicon Valley, New Jersey and Wisconsin. Your donation can help us share those stories with the world! If you aren’t ready to donate, you can still become advocate for the project by sharing the Giving Tuesday campaign within your social networks. Go to:
In honor of the upcoming election, the collaborative team behind Berning Love, a romantic tragicomedy about the search for love during the waning days of the Bernie Sanders 2016 primary campaign, decided to release the film publicly one year after its television debut on PBS in Vermont. We the makers hope that it inspires you to increase your civic engagement, get involved in your community and also, next week—GO VOTE! For information about what’s on your ballot, check out Ballotpedia.
How can we thrive, and not just survive, in the Silicon Valley? Join the 1500 Stories Project and Sacred Heart Community Service for two evenings of community building around economic inequality in the Silicon Valley. Come share your story, meet others in your community and discover ways to make a difference. On Thursday October 11, 2018 from 7-9pm in the Learning Center at Sacred Heart Community Service, we will share our experiences with economic vulnerability. We will deepen the discussion on Thursday October 25 from 6:30-8:30pm in the Visual and Performing Arts Center at De Anza College, exploring our Silicon Valley dreams and doubts. 1500 Stories is a collaborative art and digital storytelling project about economic inequality in the U.S. and is honored to partner for these public forums with Sacred Heart Community Service, a leader in addressing the root causes and consequences of poverty. Visit 1500stories.org and www.sacredheartcs.org to learn more. These forums are made possible by support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities (www.calhum.org); views expressed at the forums do not necessarily represent those of Cal Humanities or the NEH. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
I'll be showing some very preliminary footage and sharing lots of archival materials from my historical documentary about Jane Addams and the U.S. government's propaganda and surveillance campaign against feminist peace activists in the wake of the First Red Scare. The talk is on the De Anza College campus--the talk is free but daily parking at De Anza is $3. Also my colleague David Howard-Pitney is bringing his guitar to play a piece of music from the time period, so it should be good times all around as we learn about a period in U.S. history marked by xenophobia, anti-feminism, and violations of civil liberties by the surveillance state. ;) This talk is sponsored by the California History Center.
Aida's Story (video narrative), Carmen's Story (audio narrative) and All Work Has Dignity (socially engaged art piece), 2018
Come on out to the Euphrat Museum of Art for entertainment and refreshments. Three of my own works are in the current exhibition about caregiving, as well as a whole bunch of totally fantastic works across a range of artistic media. The show is up until March 22 and if you can't make the reception, museum admission is free and it is open from 10am-3pm Monday through Thursday. Learn more here.
Two narratives, one video and one audio, from the 1500 Stories project, are in the show entitled Showing Up with Care alongside a related socially engaged art piece entitled All Work Has Dignity. All three pieces ask views to engage with the labor of carework and to think about the ways in which we value and compensate different types of work. You can view the works between now and March 22, 2018 at the Euphrat Museum of Art. Join us for the reception on Wednesday, February 21 from 5:30pm-7:30. 1500 Stories is a collaborative art and digital storytelling project about economic inequality in the U.S.
In October, I did a series of workshops for folks in San Marcos CA about economic inequality, on behalf of the 1500 Stories project. 1500 Stories is a collaborative art, digital storytelling and civic engagement project about rising economic inequality in the U.S. Storygatherers in California have already conducted over 150 in-depth interviews with people from all walks of life, about their struggles and their work and their hopes at different economic positions. Storygathering has also begun in Wisconsin and Ohio. Here, you see a socially engaged art piece called the Stacked Deck, which asks participants to think about and reflect on economic inequality as it is expressed through a deck of thirteen cards featuring documentary photography. The project now has piles of unedited audio and video and is raising funds to edit those stories and make them publicly available on the website and for use at public discussions and forums about economic inequality. Consider making a donation to the project here, and be sure to choose "Other" in the program box and type in 1500 Stories. Everyone has a story to share. Help the project get these stories out.
This spring I wrapped up most of the research and development on my next documentary short, called The Spider Web, about the U.S. War Department's surveillance and propaganda campaign against feminist pacifists in the early 1920s. I visited archives in Chicago IL, Swarthmore PA, Ramapo NJ, and Washington DC. I also filmed interviews with Louise Knight, Jane Addams' biographer, and Dr. Kim Nielsen, who wrote an excellent book about anti-feminism during the First Red Scare. In the process of working on what will be my first historical documentary, I have discovered that I am a secret historian and archive nerd. Who knew?!
Audiences and directors at the Rincon Film Festival in Puerto Rico chose Berning Love as Overall Best Documentary Short. I had the great fortune of wearing many hats on the film--working as a co-editor, associate producer, occasional camera operator, and director of research for the film. Now, Berning Love is on to its next screening--at the Bay Area Women in Film and Media International Shorts Showcase in San Francisco CA, from 6-9pm on Thursday April 13th. You can get tickets to that event here: http://bawifm.org/event-2485003. You can see a trailer for the film here: http://www.berninglovethefilm.com/
Berning Love will be screening at the Green Mountain Film Festival as part of their Vermont Shorts slate. Join some of the crew for a Q&A after the screening. You can buy tickets at https://gmffestival.showare.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=259
I will be sharing archival materials I gathered for a historical documentary I am in development on about the feminist pacifist movement from 1915-1925 and the ways in which the federal government engaged in a direct campaign to splinter the women's movement in the wake of the first Red Scare in the U.S. Visit the California History Center website for more information about the CHC and about the exhibit currently on display through March 23 about the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
A few members of the Berning Love crew (myself included) will be visiting Berlin this week for our screening as part of Shorts Block 2 on Thursday February 9. We are insanely excited about this! Learn more about the festival here. Berning Love is a sweet and funny documentary short about love and politics during the waning days in Washington DC of the Bernie Sanders primary presidential campaign. You can learn more about the film, for which I was co-editor, associate producer and director of research, here.
Come see the first artwork to result from the 1500 Stories project on exhibit in the Justice for All? show this winter at the Euphrat Museum of Art from February 1-March 23rd. For more information about the show, visit http://www.deanza.edu/euphrat/inthemuseum.html. This piece is a collaborative work designed by me using photographs contributed to 1500 Stories by De Anza students as part of a documentary photography project called Visualizing Economic Inequality. Each pair of images documents an aspect of contemporary economic inequality while the overall design mimics the distribution of population and wealth in the U.S. Feel free to join us at the reception on February 16 from 5:30-7:30pm. Learn more about 1500 Stories, or make a donation, at https://1500stories.org/