Short films on community organizing in urban environments.
Saturday October 8th at 2pm
This collection of short films features community driven grass roots movements and projects which we hope will inspire you to get involved in your community and make a difference.
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See below for complete line up:
Finding America: The Fresh Prince of Anacostia
Kymone Freeman, co-owner and programming director of We Act Radio in Anacostia, works to stop displacement as gentrification closes in on his Washington, D.C. neighborhood.
Kymone is a producer for Anacostia Unmapped, which seeks to make radio in Washington D.C. sound more like the people who live there. He was featured in the web series for Finding America, a public media storytelling initiative of AIR Media, sharing untold stories from 15 communities across the US, including Anacostia.
Using his family wealth, tenacity, witty, and incorrigable charm, Julian Price inspires policymakers and entrepreneurs to do the impossible — transform a vacant, deserted downtown into a livable, vibrant center of commerce and culture.
Driven by the beauty of its landscape and the potential in its vacant Art Deco architecture, Price searches Asheville for the brave, hardworking dreamers, and provides them with a miracle — capital for expansion in exchange for improving downtown with their presence.
This film was paired with a compilation album between bands spanning all genres and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Bands include Steep Canyon Rangers, LIzz Wright, Rising Appalachia, Lovett, Doc Aquatic, and Matt Tonwsend. Grammy winning composers arranged the music to pair beautifully with Julian’s story of collaboration and intention.
Nomadic Community Gardens
Nomadic Community Gardens transform disused spaces into urban gardens where people can grow their own produce, create art, share skills, and discover what it means to build their own community from the bottom up. “We breath life into disused parts of the city that become places where nature and community thrive. We transform these spaces into urban oasis’ that produce food and where people can learn and grow.”
High Frequency: Why Houston is Back on the Bus
Back in 2012, a small group of motivated citizens asked their local transit agency, elected leaders and advocates about how they could improve Houston’s bus network. Ridership was down. Buses did not run as frequently as people liked. The routes didn’t go where the populace needed them as the system did not change with the city since the 1970s.
The solution was an extremely ambitious, complete examination of every single bus route in the city, wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch. Through community meetings and years of tough decisions – a new METRO bus network emerged. One that has faster service, more efficient, better routes and one that is already boasting big gains in weekend service. And the changes have been essentially revenue neutral, meaning that all the Houston bus system is running at about the same budget it did prior. Every city should do a “system reimagining” of their bus network like Houston METRO did.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – a junk man’s take on cleaning up our act.
Caroline Woolard Flips the Real Estate Script
How can New Yorkers hope to stay put in a city where rents make living all but impossible? Impelled by her own personal experiences, artist and organizer Caroline Woolard advocates for permanently affordable space in New York City, banding together with artists and non-artists alike to build a real estate investment cooperative. According to the New York City Comptroller’s Office, from the years 2000 to 2012, median apartment rents in the city rose by 75% (compared to 44% in the rest of the United States) while real incomes of New Yorkers declined. Artists face a unique challenge with rising rent costs, typically having to rent both living and working spaces. Upon graduating from art school in 2006—in the middle of the New York City rent explosion—Woolard and a group of friends went all in on a large Brooklyn workspace, building out over 40 individual studios from scratch and fostering a tight-knit community in the process. Over the course of seven years, Woolard realized that she and her studiomates would have paid close to a million dollars in rent for a space that “we know we’ll be priced out of when our lease is up and our landlord charges as much as he can.” It was a crucial moment for Woolard, forcing her to recognize that solutions to her own and the city’s affordability crisis lie in finding common cause with more than just art school graduates. After a period of intensive self-education in past and present alternative real estate models, Woolard, lawyer and organizer Paula Segal, and others founded the ambitious New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative. The organization’s goal is to use individual member investments to inject capital into projects that turn vacant municipal properties into sustainable community resources and work with private owners to stabilize existing businesses and community spaces. As Woolard declares at the cooperative’s first meeting at the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village, “We believe that small businesses and community based organizations with permanently affordable space, can transform our streetscapes from empty retail corridors and abandoned warehouses, to vibrant streets filled with local culture and dignified workers.”
Velo Visionaries – Morgan Fitzgibbons
Traveling by bicycle provides a unique perspective on your surroundings, often inspiring moments of insight and creating a profound connection to your community.
Velo Visionaries presents a series of interviews with great thinkers of today’s global bicycle culture from the point of view of the person behind the handlebars.
In Episode 2 of Velo Visionaries, we talk/ride with Morgan Fitzgibbons, the co-founder the Wigg Party, [freespace], the Urban Eating League and the NOW! Festival. He is also an adjunct professor of Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco and he holds a Masters degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
This series was created by filmmaker and bike blogger Kristin Tieche. Most scenes were filmed by bicycle.
The Urban Cloth Project
Environmental Artist Sharon Kallis leads a year-long project to grow and produce cloth in downtown Vancouver. We all need food, shelter and clothing, yet few of us are aware of the process of cloth production, and the negative impact it has on our environment. The wasteful attitudes promoted by the fashion industry and consumer culture, further separate us from the natural cycles and traditions of cloth-making that were once part of our everyday lives. This project fosters a relearning of local knowledge, of planting, foraging, harvesting, and processing fibre, and with that, the joy of community and the need to care for the land around us.