Happy Birthday, Cesar Chavez! Check out this new film, day of service, and Dolores Huerta speaking at VC!

huertaVC2014Get ready to learn about Cesar Chavez through film and events! Be inspired to participate in service in his honor–if not on his birthday March 31, then how about for Earth Day April 22?

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First, on Weds. March 26 from 6-9pm in Ventura College’s Guthrie Hall (4667 Telegraph Road), Dolores Huerta will be on campus to celebrate diversity in culture. If my students attend and write about it, they can earn extra credit.

A labor leader and civil rights activist, Huerta co-founded with Cesar Chavez  the National Farm-Workers Association which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). 

Recognized internationally for her contribution to social justice, Huerta has received many awards for organizing and advocating for farm workers, immigrant rights and womens’ rights. She has been honored as the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American; received the Eleanor Roosevelt Presidential Award for Human Rights; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1965 Dolores directed the famous National Boycott of Grapes, taking the plight of the farmworker to the consumer. The boycott resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing three year collective agreements with the United Farm Workers(UFW). Dolores is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which promotes leadership, and creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, health, and education.

Friday, March 28, 2014  a film directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Peña as Cesar Chavez will be in the theaters (see trailer). The film also features America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich, Gabriel Mann, and Mark Moses.

All this leads to Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, a day that many are urging be made a Day of National Service.

Chavez was a champion for workers’ rights and an American hero. Honor his legacy by serving on Cesar Chavez Day, March 31 and seek to take this a step further to a full Day of Service. Urge the President to declare March 31 as the Cesar Chavez National Day of Service. (Sign the Petition: http://bit.ly/1cqR49S)

And remember that in less than a month, we’ll have Alice Bag at VC for Earth Day!

Learn more about Cesar Chavez Day here.

You’ve Felt It Your Entire Life: Like A Splinter In Your Mind

This is text from the first Matrix film with images from “real” life. It’s intended as a wake up call. Which pill will you choose?

To read more about the philosphy behind the Matrix films, check out Matt Lawrence’s book Like a Splinter in Your Mind.

Video by TrueActivist.com

Project D - The Matrix - Anime Festival Summer...

Project D – The Matrix – Anime Festival Summer 2009 (Photo credit: Regis Andrade)

It Matters How We Say It

“I wrote the same, but in different words.”

I don’t know if this is a “true” story, or based on one, but the point about how we use our words, and how our words convey our thoughts and ideas is the truth.

How we convey our ideas, our message, is as important as the ideas themselves.

As writers, we have many choices. For me as a writer, I struggle and I revel in those choices. As a writing teaching, sharing those choices is both a challenge and a joy.

I’m not trying to change my students writing, change what they have to say, but to show them that there are other ways to express their ideas that will be more moving, more transformative for their audience…and for themselves.

Go Forth: Walt Whitman, Levis, & Ellyn Maybe on Being an Artist

003 Walt Whitman http://www.whitmanarchive.org/multimedia/image003.html?sort=year&order=ascending&page=1Whitman wears his Levis well to inspire a new generation, the millenials, the “Os” (for Obama) generation: http://goforth.levi.com/newdeclaration/gallery

OR hear here:

America” (in MP3 format)

Bypass the Levis site and its accompanying ad campaign by clicking the link above to hear Walt Whitman’s original 36-second wax cylinder recording of what is thought to be Whitman’s voice reading four lines from the poem “America.” For more information on this recording, see Ed Folsom, “The Whitman Recording,” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 9 (Spring 1992), 214-16. More information:

It’s actually a cool campaign and worth checking out. Anything that brings poetry to the masses, especially poetry by Whitman, is good by me.
Here’s the text of the poem: America By Walt Whitman 1819-1892

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

And here’s Ellyn Maybe, an LA poet, “On Being an Artist”:

April 23: Earth ACTION Day 10-2:30pm VC quad

Ventura College’s Earth Action Day Weds. April 23, 2008 10-2:30p

VC’s second annual Earth Day is about ACTION–taking action, advocating action–with an emphasis on
educating and advocating actions related to and about global warming. The event is free; parking is $1
on campus.

The event features entertainment, a film series, booths, a program by America’s Teaching Zoo, music,
singer/songwriters, poets, writers, a clothing swap, art activities, alternative transportation info, and more.

The film series will run from 10-2 in the Fireside Lounge in the cafeteria/campus center. Films include the classic An Inconvenient Truth, the brand new documentary The 11th Hour, the drama Into the Wild, and with a series of short films provided by the Earth Action Network from the Live Earth events as well as a 4 minute
reflective video by Steve Shaefer set to a poem by Robert Frost. The short films are provided by the
Earth Day Network; the longer films are donated by Movie Town in midtown Ventura.

The main stage in the quad will feature a 10-11am show by “America’s Teaching Zoo”, the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. The show will focus on endangered species and the impact of global warming. Many of the children from VC’s Child Development Center will be walking up to the quad for the family friendly show.

Jazz music by VC students Louis Lopez on trumpet and Max Gauliteri on guitar will follow interspersed with poetry, an open mic, singer/songwriter Emy Reynolds, and CSUCI prof and Sespe Wild writer Brad
Monsma.

Local organizations and student clubs will offer activities and information and the VC preschool coop will be squeezing fresh orange juice. Bagels have been donated by Noah’s and water donated by the Ventura Water store will be provided to anyone who brings their own container.

In addition to encouraging students to take action about climate change, a goal is to register as many students to vote as possible.

This event is supported by a grant from the Ventura College Foundation.

Summer 08 Environmental Media Program at UCSB

This is a really great opportunity–and they are interested in having community college students attend–not just UC or UCSB students.

BLUE HORIZONS
UC Santa Barbara Summer Program for Environmental Media
Using Media to Communicate Vital Stories of the Global Ocean
June 21 – August 22, 2008

This 9-week summer program brings together students interested in digital media production and environmental studies to learn about important issues of the global ocean from a local, California perspective. A coordinated series of interdisciplinary courses and related activities introduces students to scriptwriting; media portrayals of the environment; the biological, socio-economic, and political aspects of marine conservation; and the latest innovations in environmental filmmaking.

Students will gain the skills necessary to communicate effectively with their peers, scientists, policymakers, and the general public by producing short, compelling videos. Issues such as marine protected areas, sustainable fishing, watershed ecosystems, beach erosion, aquaculture, and others will be closely studied, providing a foundation for the research necessary to produce an informative film.  Techniques of digital video camera operations, sound gathering, lighting, and editing with industry standard Final Cut Pro will also be covered.

This Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines, but the criteria for acceptance include a demonstrated preparation in media or biological sciences. Questions can be addressed to Professor Constance Penley at penley@filmandmedia.ucsb.edu <mailto:penley@filmandmedia.ucsb.edu> . Application forms are available at http://www.summer.ucsb.edu/specialprograms.html <http://www.summer.ucsb.edu/specialprograms.html> . Screening will begin April 11, 2008; applications received after that date will be considered on a space-available basis.  Submit applications to fawcett@cftnm.ucsb.edu <mailto:fawcett@cftnm.ucsb.edu> , or mail to Blue Horizons, Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7100. Additional program information can be found at http://www.cftnm.ucsb.edu <http://www.cftnm.ucsb.edu/> .

To Dos: upcoming lit, eco, cultural events

S 3/30 Homeless film fest, Artbarn

M 3/31 7pm Primal Circus, Accolades, El Jardin Courtyard
An evening of avant garde music, performance and film to celebrate the closing of gauvin’s art show. Work by Send My Regards, Opal Gann, gauvin, Sophia Kidd as Astra III, Allen D. Glass II & M.A.H.O. at Accolades Gallery in Ventura.

T 4/1 730pm Dorothea Grossman & Michael Vlatkovich Artists Union April Fools!

T 4/1 Lucy in the Sky’s Fantasy Haircuts aka Puplicious the Victorian Clown’s grand re-opening on Fir

W 4/2 Cover 101? workshop 6-9p Crowne Plaza where C st meets the sea

S 4/5   7pm  -  Phil Taggart reads the Rick Poems and Deepakalypse   
                                 with friends perform in a  benefit for Art City . $ 10

S 4/5 7-9pm Poetry, jazz, print: Poets Jackson Wheeler, Lois Klein, Paul Lobo Potugeus & AJ Ford with Colter Frazier on jazz sax, print work by lettre sauvage, Santa Barbara Public Library $5

this is a mystery box –tell me what you would put in it…

T 4/8 730pm Diana Raab + O Artists Union

W 4/9 noon & 2pm Amalio Madueno VC

S 4/12 from the Margins reading Artists Union

S 4/13 Earth Day Ventura

M 4/14 Laynie Browne reading & discussion on modern sonnets

T 4/15 Lois Klein + o Artists Union

T 4/17 6pm Dengue Fever instore at Salzers

S 4/19 7pm Adrianne Marcus & Carol V. Davis, Carnegie Art Museum $3

S 4/19 Calque – Suzanne Jill Levine, Stephen Kessler, Craig Santos Perez & Jen Hofer 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque (LA) $10

SS 4/19, 20 Chumash Days Malibu Bluffs Park

S 4/20 Santa Monica Pier Earth Day Concert

M 4/21 CA Poet Laureate Al Young noon, 130, 730pm VC

T 4/22 Sojourner Kincaide Rolle +O 7:30 pm Tuesday Night Poets – Artists Union Gallery

W 4/23 Earth Action Day, VC

FSS 4/25, 26, 27 COACHELLA Music and Arts Festival (see post)

SS 4/26, 27 LA Times Book Festival

SS 4/26, 27 Ventucky Artwalk

S 4/26 Poet’s Seder – Laurel Ann Bogen, Ellyn Maybe, Larry Colker, Rachel Kann, Claudia Handler & Rick Lupert 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque, Venice $10

S 4/26 Sherman Pearl +O 7:30 pm Bell Arts Factory, Ventucky

W 4/30 Al Young, Oxnard College

Nat’l Earth Month & Poetry Month To Dos 2008

The highlight of Earth Month AND National Poetry Month locally will be the visit to Ventura College by Al Young, California’s State Poet Laureate.Links and more details ASAP!

FSS 3/28. 29, 30 SB Poetry Conference w/Phil Levine $325

F 3/28 Emy Reynolds at Zoeys Cafe

S 3/29 Food Crew Party Artbarn

S 3/29 1-8pm Create an artists’ book that looks like a good old fashioned matchbook. Print on two presses, score and cut! At Lettre Sauvage.

S 3/30 Homeless film fest, Artbarn

M 3/31 7pm Primal Circus, Accolades, El Jardin Courtyard
An evening of avant garde music, performance and film to celebrate the closing of gauvin’s art show. Work by Send My Regards, Opal Gann, gauvin, Sophia Kidd as Astra III, Allen D. Glass II & M.A.H.O. at Accolades Gallery in Ventura.

T 4/1 730pm Dorothea Grossman & Michael Vlatkovich Artists Union April Fools!

T 4/1 Lucy in the Sky’s Fantasy Haircuts aka Puplicious the Victorian Clown’s grand re-opening on Fir

W 4/2 Cover 101? workshop 6-9p Crowne Plaza where C st meets the sea

S 4/5 7-9pm Poetry, jazz, print: Poets Jackson Wheeler, Lois Klein, Paul Lobo Potugeus & AJ Ford with Colter Frazier on jazz sax, print work by lettre sauvage, Santa Barbara Public Library $5

 
     

T 4/8 730pm Diana Raab + O Artists Union

W 4/9 noon & 2pm Amalio Madueno VC

S 4/12 from the Margins reading Artists Union

S 4/13 Earth Day Ventura

M 4/14 Laynie Browne reading & discussion on modern sonnets

T 4/15 Lois Klein + o Artists Union

T 4/17 6pm Dengue Fever instore at Salzers

S 4/19 7pm Adrianne Marcus & Carol V. Davis, Carnegie Art Museum $3

S 4/19 Calque – Suzanne Jill Levine, Stephen Kessler, Craig Santos Perez & Jen Hofer 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque (LA) $10

SS 4/19, 20 Chumash Days Malibu Bluffs Park

S 4/20 Santa Monica Pier Earth Day Concert

M 4/21 CA Poet Laureate Al Young noon, 130, 730pm VC

T 4/22 Sojourner Kincaide Rolle +O 7:30 pm Tuesday Night Poets – Artists Union Gallery

W 4/23 Earth Action Day, VC

FSS 4/25, 26, 27 COACHELLA Music and Arts Festival

SS 4/26, 27 LA Times Book Festival

SS 4/26, 27 Ventucky Artwalk

S 4/26 Poet’s Seder – Laurel Ann Bogen, Ellyn Maybe, Larry Colker, Rachel Kann, Claudia Handler & Rick Lupert 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque, Venice $10

S 4/26 Sherman Pearl +O 7:30 pm Bell Arts Factory, Ventucky

W 4/30 Al Young, Oxnard College

BTW, any of these events would count toward a cultural/literary/eco event; help out and it will count toward service learning. make-up or extra credit!

“Unforseen” new eco-doc

Unforseen’ focuses on Redford’s passions

RecreationLee Daniel / The Cinema Guild

Barton Springs eventually became “a drainage ditch instead of a stream,” according to one observer.

The documentary looks at the environmental fallout from a housing development in Texas.
By Tina Daunt, CAUSE CÉLÈBRE
March 14, 2008
BEFORE Hollywood went green, there was Robert Redford.Before Arianna Huffington could have imagined a Prius, before Laurie David recycled, when the words “Al Gore“and “Oscar” in the same sentence would have seemed . . . well, outlandish, there was Redford, who made a cause of the natural world back when environmentalism was still called “ecology,” decades before “green” was anything but a color.Now, as an executive producer of a new film, “The Unforeseen,” the leading man turned director turned Sundance Film Festival impresario has combined his longtime environmental advocacy with an ongoing passion: documentary cinema.

Related

The result is something that really is unforeseen: The film is a poetic tocsin about the dangers of urban sprawl. Directed by Laura Dunn and shot by cinematographer Lee Daniel (best known for his work with Richard Linklater), “The Unforeseen” is a kind of visual prose poem that involves a naive real estate developer and a legendary Texas Hill Country swimming hole that figured in Redford’s real-life youth. It’s a look, Redford said in an interview this week, at how manifest destiny has pushed the country beyond the pioneering spirit and into unbridled development, with serious consequences.

At a time when many documentarians are taking on serious subjects abroad, such as the war in Iraq, Redford believes that “The Unforeseen” serves as a reminder that preventing global disasters often starts with attending to business in your own backyard.

“We are faced with the reality that our resources are shrinking,” said Redford, who co-produced the film with Oscar-nominated writer-director Terrence Malick.

“The Unforeseen,” which opens today in Los Angeles and also will air on Redford’s Sundance Channel in August, centers on the long-running environmental fight to save Barton Springs, in rapidly expanding Austin, Texas, from becoming yet another urban casualty.

“I’m invested in this in a very personal way,” Redford said. “My mother’s side of the family has lived in that area for five generations. It’s where I learned about animals and wildlife. It’s where I learned to swim.”

Dunn, an Austin native who is making her feature-length directorial debut, moves the story forward by using archival footage of community debates, gorgeous photography of the springs and its ecosystem, and interviews with key players involved in the battle (the developer Gary Bradley, the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards and Redford.)

“There’s lots of information to try to help people better understand how our national landscapes are transformed and lost,” Dunn said of the movie. “But I wanted to look at the issues also from an emotional and spiritual standpoint, and get people to reflect on that.”

You can get something of the flavor of the film from the poem “Santa Clara Valley,” which Dunn runs throughout the movie like a narrative conscience.

The poet is Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer who was writing about these issues before there was an Earth Day.

He reads in voice-over: “I walked the deserted prospect of the modern mind where nothing lived or happened that had not been foreseen.

“What had been foreseen was the coming of the Stranger with Money.

“All that had been before had been destroyed . . .”

Dunn’s use of the poem has been a controversial one, however. Since the film premiered at various film festivals last year, some critics have complained that it’s too flowery and sentimental. Both Dunn and Redford defend the technique: You can’t solve the problem unless people are moved and inspired.

In a way, it’s what Redford envisions as the key component in future documentaries. “Once you start to introduce emotion into it and the beauty of art, then it starts to move into a new territory,” Redford said.

This unity of art and information, he believes, can help create larger audiences for documentaries at a time when younger viewers in particular are open to information from new and unfamiliar sources.

Redford is so committed to the idea that he’s now backing two Sundance Cinema Theaters, one in San Francisco and another in Wisconsin, to give documentaries equal play with other features.

It would be the most unforeseen thing of all if the fight to save a Texas swimming hole helped remind activist Hollywood that its voice is strongest when it speaks the language of film.

tina.daunt@latimes.com

we should get this film to show at VC during Earth week in April!