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Windsor Whip Works Art Center To Close

Thank You for 11 fabulous years.

With heavy hearts, Bill and Johanne Pesce will be retiring from The Windsor Whip Works Art Center

After 11 years of successful operation, it is with great sadness and reluctance that we’ll be ceasing operations after our final exhibit closing on October 29, 2016. The Art Center’s final exhibit opened on Saturday, September 10th and will remain open until the closing date. It is an inspiring exhibit with five artists in mixed media, oil, and bronze with compelling commentary on exploring being human.

This has been the most difficult year physically to keep up with the many strenuous activities and programs that the Art Center offers.  Johanne and I have come to the realization that running the Art Center has become increasingly more difficult, leaving us little spare time to enjoy our four children and eight grandchildren.  Our plan is to finally create art ourselves and travel before our health makes it too difficult.  It is with a heavy heart that we have come to the decision that it’s time for a change and to move on to a new and less stressful phase of our lives.

The Windsor Whip Works Art Center has been a gratifying experience for my wife, Johanne, and me. We have met so many wonderful people who have become dear friends to us. We have been fortunate to have a dynamic, art-loving board of directors, including people like Bryna Silbert, our curator, who knows who’s who in the fine art business and has been responsible for choosing most of the 200+ artists who have shown at the gallery over its eleven years of operation and the many others who serve on our  board including Jean Matthiessen, Nikole Cappello, Brad Vickers, Joe Trapper,  David Yetter, Kit and  Dr. Mike Ashman, Sima Auerbach. Mina Smallacombe,  Richard Nolan, Richard Lynch, Joy McMicken, Kedron Hay, Sharon Warnock, Marc and Janis Schimsky, Fred Xlander, Lauren Floden, and Joanne Arnold.  To these and many others who have served over the years, we will always be grateful.

It is certainly sad and difficult to let go, but I’d like to share some of the happier, exciting times and talk a bit about what the Whip Works Art Center has accomplished, closing on a more positive note.

In 1999, anticipating retiring, serious thought was given to moving to our vacation home in Windsor. The fact that taxes were cheaper; the air and water cleaner and we would no longer endure bumper to bumper traffic was, indeed, appealing. While driving down Main Street in Windsor, one day, we noticed a “for sale” sign on a dilapidated building. Being a novice concerning what’s involved in renovating old buildings, I said to Johanne, “We can buy the building at a real bargain, fix it up and open an art gallery. It will be a great hobby; we could meet creative people and finally do the great painting I was waiting all my life to accomplish.”

Over the years, the building had deteriorated into an eyesore from years of neglect. That summer the structure was purchased; and after five years and more money than we had ever expected to invest, it was restored to its original architecture, turning it into an upscale art gallery and vibrant community art center.

 I was firmly committed, and would not listen to all the good advice everyone was telling me.

“Renovating that building and opening an art gallery in WINDSOR is a crazy idea.”

But, as it turned out, they were wrong. What we soon discovered was that an art gallery’s mission was not only selling and promoting the arts; in fact, it could be a driving force influencing community revitalization.

The Art Center is located in an 1872 Italianate building that faces the Village Green in Windsor, NY. The building was the home of the Windsor Whip Works factory from 1901 to 1951. Until the advent of the automobile, Windsor had been one of the leading manufacturers of buggy whips in America.

In 2008 the Windsor Whip Works Art Gallery became the Windsor Whip Works Art Center— a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, acting as a visual arts resource for all ages and levels of ability; serving Broome and Delaware Counties and northeastern Pennsylvania. 

In addition to the many opening receptions each year, which included a Windsor student art exhibit for grades K to 12, we also offered poetry recitals, Art Alliance seminars with guest speakers, various classes such as life drawing, printmaking and dozens of painting workshops, bus trips to museums and galleries and so much more.  The Art Center had become a place for artists and those who love the arts, to come together to learn, socialize, and grow.  It has always been the vision of the Art Center to increase the quality of life within our community, while drawing attention to the new vibrancy of Windsor and the surrounding area.

The biggest discovery was learning that our organization could play a leading role influencing community revitalization.

Statistics show that every time a village, town or city supports the growth of the arts, it sparks an economic revitalization.  The Windsor Whip Works Art Center has dedicated itself to helping create a robust cultural environment that has contributed to the economic development and quality of life in the community in which we live.

The Windsor Whip Works influenced several exciting local projects.  While serving as Vice President of the Windsor Partnership, a progressive organization responsible for innovative programs leading to Windsor’s revitalization, I had an integral part in developing and serving seven years as a board member helping to organize the highly successful Window on the Arts annual festival, chaired over the years by Dick Rehberg, Dave Yetter, Sue Rambo and Sharon Warnock.  We proudly celebrated First Knight at the gallery, painting portraits of the cutest youngsters you’ve ever seen, providing a cultural art exhibit, music and merriment for the community.  As president of the Eagle River Valley Cultural & Economic Corridor, an on-going initiative, we strategically linked the towns and villages of Hancock, Deposit and Windsor into a powerful marketing tool to attract tourists, homebuyers and investors.  My vision to turn a blighted Main Street building into an anchor to promote revitalization of our village Main Street sparked the formation of the non-profit organization, the Windsor Community Revitalization Organization.   I plan to continue as a board member to facilitate the highly motivated and skilled restoration project of the old Windsor Inn into an inn offering several period specific suites, a fine dining restaurant, tavern and gift shop.  The interior of the Inn will be designed to make visitors feel as though they stepped back in time to the inn’s glory days of 1832.

While we had all our art exhibits planned into 2017 as well as an 11th year Anniversary Dinner/Dance scheduled for this November’s First Friday at Atomic Tom’s, it saddens us to face the monumental task of dismantling the up-coming plans that took so long to develop. That said, we are pleased about the legacy we leave behind, the many friends we made over the years, and for the beautiful Art Gallery building that will continue to influence the growth and revitalization up and down Main Street in the Windsor community for years to come.

The big question is what’s going to happen to the Art Center?    We are hoping that a local will be interested in taking over Art Center, a non-profit, tax exempt organization. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please contact us.

What will we be doing from now on?  Well, maybe at last, we will finally get to dedicating time into creating art, enjoying our family, traveling, and continuing to be involved in the community Johanne and I have come to love so much.                                  

Join us in celebrating our eleventh-year anniversary/farewell fundraiser on Saturday, October 8, from 7 to 10 pm.  Suggested tax deductible donation $25.  There will be raffles for a chance to win artwork donated by many local artists.  We encourage all our friends to come enjoy wine, food, music, and a great time of being together sharing memories, hugs, and maybe even a few tears. 

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

Co-directors, Bill & Johanne Pesce

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Johnston/ Jablon Win Heart of the Arts Awards

Broome County Arts Council Announces 2016 Recipients of the Heart of the Arts Awards

The Broome County Arts Council announced the recipients of its 2016 Heart of the Arts and Lifetime Achievement Awards during a news conference at 10am,  Wednesday, August 10th. Nominated by the public and chosen by the votes of BCAC’s 100+ members, the following honorees are being recognized for significant recent or long-term contributions to the arts in Broome County:

2016 Heart of the Arts Awards: Peg Johnston, Department of Public Art and Emily Jablon, Jablon Studios,

2016 Heart of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Timothy Perry, Binghamton Community Orchestra, Binghamton University and Harold & Toby Jean Manker, Phelps Mansion Museum

Awards will be presented Monday September 19th at the 11th Heart of the Arts Award Celebration, DoubleTree Hotel Grand Ballroom, downtown Binghamton.  The event starts at 6pm with cocktails at 5pm.  Features include many exciting performances, wonderful food, an award winning high school art display, and a lavish award ceremony. All proceeds from the Heart of the Arts Celebration and raffle ticket sales go back into the LOCAL Arts Community (nonprofits and individual artists) through the United Cultural Fund, the locally-funded combined campaign for the arts in Broome County.
Tickets are $55 for general admission and $50 for arts council members.
For more information e-mail or call 607-723-4620 or visit website:
The event is sponsored by IBM, SUNY Broome Community College, Visions Federal Credit Union, Curcio Printing, Excellus, and Jim Rollo State Farm as well as raffle sponsors Atomic Tom’s, Cooperative Gallery 213, Freshy Sites, Kapow! Art Studio, Orazio Salati Studio, TR Events, and Uncorked Creations ….. and sponsorship opportunities are still available!

2016 Heart of the Arts Award Recipients – Nominations Statements

Peg Johnston – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award

Honored for bringing public art to the streets of Binghamton and making “blight the inspiration for art,” Peg was nominated for her critical role in “sparking” and continuing an arts renaissance in Binghamton. She has made this endeavor possible as a founding member of the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State Street and transforming that “derelict” block into the “State of the Art.” As one of the founders of the Department of Public Art, Peg was a driving force that brought about the Water Street “Birthplace of Virtual Reality Mural Project.” This successful project involved 50+ volunteers and culminated in four murals and more than 100 stencils illustrating the history of this site. Her leadership in the Mural Fest 2015, placed on boarded-up properties throughout Binghamton. Moreover, her ongoing “Blight is our Canvas” project brings artistic inspiration and hope to the area through art. Peg is a photographer and installation artist, an exhibitor of regional and national photographers, artist promoter and mentor, and creator of a community that fosters and values creativity.

Emily Jablon – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award

Emily was selected for her love of the community which is exemplified by the creation of the mosaic public installations that bring beauty throughout downtown Binghamton. She offers her nationally renowned talent as a mosaic artist and support to at-risk and underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, runaways, and the homeless. Emily provides guidance and training in mosaics art throughout project development. She initiated the “Confluence Arts Project” empowering individuals with disabilities to create art in their communities, and has generously given of her time to curate community art shows, and to offer classes at various venues for special needs participants.

Dr. Timothy Perry, 2016 Heart of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, selected for more than 30 years of contributions to the knowledge and enjoyment of music in our community and in our schools.  To quote his nomination form, Tim is “a local treasure.” He has just completed 30 years at Binghamton University, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Instrumental Conducting as well as Professor of Studio Clarinet.  He is active throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and, along with pianist Pej Reitz, his frequent collaborator.  In addition, he served as a U.S. State Department cultural ambassador performing throughout South America.  But while citing all of Tim’s PROFESSIONAL accomplishments, his nominators chose to focus on his dedication to the AMATEUR musicians of Broome County.  From 1994 to 2004 and again from 2013 through the present, Tim has directed the Binghamton Community Orchestra.  Said one string player: “He’s brought the BCO from a reasonably good amateur orchestra to a whole new level — still a group of musicians who get together to make music just for the love of it, but also performing at a level on par with many professional orchestras….. He inspires musicians to play better than they ever dreamed possible.”

Harold & Toby Jean Manker – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award
Although the Mankers have been active in the arts community for many years as educators, performers, promoters, and board members, they are being honored for their diligent and successful accomplishment in registering and chartering the Phelps Mansion Museum as a “house museum” in compliance with the New York State Board of Regents. As Chair and Vice Chair of the Phelps Mansion Museum Board of Directors, they developed and implemented the museum’s strategic plan and recruited numerous volunteers and docents, while raising funds through grant writing.  As Program Directors, they created the chamber music series, “Chamber Music at the Phelps,” originally known as, “Second Sunday at the Phelps” and collaborated with the Binghamton University Music Department which brings programs for voice students and student composers downtown to the Phelps. In addition they collaborate with other non-profit organizations in presenting public programs ranging from a Chinese New Year celebration to a Downton Abbey preview.

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10th Global Mural Conference

10th Global Mural Conference Coming to Fairport, NY, USA
September 21 – 24, 2016 – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Features include: large mosaic mural painted by kids, live mural painting demos, and bus tours of local murals

Fairport, NY, – FOR IMMEDAITE RELEASE:  Registration is NOW OPEN for anyone to attend the 10th Global Mural Conference (GMC) being held at Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, Fairport, NY, USA. The GMC welcomes attendees beginning on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, and runs through Saturday, September 24, 2016. Registration to the GMC includes daily activities of interest to artists, public art enthusiasts, government officials interested in mural procurement, and anyone who would love to learn more about the world of mural development. The GMC is designed to educate and entertain attendees through panel discussions, live mural demos, mural project overviews, mural-viewing bus tours, local mural dedications, and a formal gala featuring both live musical entertainment as well as an on-site spray-art demonstration.

The conference, conceived by The Global Mural Arts and Cultural Tourism Association, has been reliably attracting locals, visitors, high profile speakers and talented muralists in venues around the world for more than 20 years. Hosting the GMC in our area has been made possible through the efforts of Lyons resident Mark DeCracker, founder of Mural Mania, who attended and persuaded the GMACTA leaders at the 9th Global Mural Conference, in Quebec in 2014, to consider upstate New York for this year’s conference. This area is an excellent choice since the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has murals in many towns and villages that depict our cultural history.

During the GMC, there will also be a mural Expo occurring simultaneously at the same location. In a large tent on the grounds of Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, several artists, both International and local, will paint murals on large pieces of Evolon. These artists will begin their work a few days prior to the conference and complete the murals just before the GMC comes to a close. During the formal gala, which takes place on the last night of the GMC, guests will be able to view the completed murals and meet the artists. Organizations, businesses, and individual contributors to the Expo are being given the opportunity to acquire one of these murals by way of a donation of support to the Expo. Murals can subsequently be permanently displayed anywhere the donor chooses. More info about mural acquisition can be obtained by contacting the event organizers through

The final night’s formal gala brings local celebrity and American Idol finalist from Williamson, NY, Jenna Renae, as the live musical entertainment. Guests of the gala will also be entertained by world-renown Australian spray-paint artist Damien Mitchell, as he completes a custom-designed piece on-site right before guest’s eyes. A limited supply of extra tickets to the gala will be open to the public. Tickets will be on sale soon, from the GMC website:

On display during the GMC will be a large mosaic mural, the pieces of which have been created by young students spanning across New York State. The mural depicts an image of familiar icons of the Erie Canal: a mule and a packet boat. The 12’x16’ mural was cut into 768 mosaic tiles that are 6” squares. Each student has painted on their tile a scene from either their local heritage, or the Erie Canal’s history. Scenes capture local heritage, the Underground Railroad, Women’s Suffrage, Native American culture or flora and fauna of New York State. However, the montage of individual student paintings placed together will reveal the original larger image. The public is invited to view this mural, which will be under the Expo tent on the grounds of Woodcliff. Admission to the Expo tent is FREE and open to all, including families.

Don’t wait to register for the Global Mural Conference, as space is limited. The GMC is an opportunity for people all over the world to enjoy this educational, multicultural, unique art experience!

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Art of Binghamton

"ART OF BINGHAMTON" gallery event presented by Matthew Card , owner of Matthew Card
Photography and Steven Palmer, a pioneer of Binghamton’s First Friday, art educator, digital 

designer and programmer at Binghamton University and owner of GAGRAGS (Binghamton based
t-shirt company). This event is made possible by the generous support by our main sponsor Tyrone Muse, President/ CEO of Visions FCU, and our other sponsors which are Roberson Museum and Science Center, The Bundy Museum , Binghamton Brewing Co, Strange Brew , Glen Park VineYards, Plenty Oh! Foods, and BingoRento.

The opening for "Art of Binghamton" will be at Roberson Museum and Science Center’s Sawtelle Gallery on Friday, August 12, 2016 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm. Art of Binghamton is apremiere gallery experience of art created by 17 local artists. These artists have displayed and sold their work locally and nationally. Many are art educators and were born and raised here. It is evident that they reflect their pride and love for their hometown in their artwork. Each piece is a unique representation of Binghamton – past, present or future. The most impressive aspect of this show is that it is an eclectic groupof media from classic to advanced digital that will offer an eye opening viewpoint behind the appealing interest and history Binghamton has to the beholder.

BINGHAMTON ECLECTIC MEDIA BY: Matthew Card • Victor Lay • Hall Groat II • David Skyrca • Danielle Herman • Steven Palmer • Kirk & Lesli Van Zandbergen • Mike Ricciardi • Chuck Haupt • Thomas LaBarbera • Drew Lewis • Gregory Milunich • Amara Kopakova • Rebecca Collins • Scott Anderson • Robert C. Johnston

LIVE MUSIC BY: The Island Hoppers Steel Band, Alex Creamer and Black Apple Current Unplugged

FOOD and BEVERAGES BY: Binghamton Brewing, Plenty Oh! Foods, Enfields, Strange Brew, Glen Park Vineyards and more…

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Mural Design Contest Draws 65+ Submissions

The Dept. of Public Art (DPA) received more than 65 submissions to its design contest for a mural slated for the rear of the Binghamton Plaza along the Chenango River Trail, which is also the site of this year's Mural Fest 2016 at Cheri Lindsey Park. "We were very impressed with the quality of the submissions and the enthusiasm of the artists for Binghamton's future," said Mark Bowers. "The review committee found it challenging to choose 8 designs to send to the City for final approval." All submissions were anonymous to the committee. This wall is visible from across the Chenango River which makes it part of the Binghamton Gateway.  The contest, which carries a $1000 prize, 75% of which was donated by the Mayor's Office, attracted some national but mostly local artists.

            "We are grateful to Michael Galesi and Galesi Development, owner of the Binghamton Plaza property, for his forward thinking in allowing us to paint a mural on this building," commented Mark Bowers, one of the coordinators for Mural Fest 2016. Mr. Galesi, as well as the newly formed Public Arts Advisory Board and Mayor Rich David will have input on the final design.

            Mural Fest 2016 co-sponsored by DPA and re-BOLD Binghamton is slated for September 17th, and will be held along the Chenango River Trail at Cheri Lindsey Park. The pool house at the Park will also be painted on that day. There will also be art activities for children and adults. Last year's Mural Fest created more than 30 mural panels which were subsequently placed on boarded up buildings in Binghamton, a program which continues.

            Both this and last year's Mural Fest were funded in part by the Chenango Co Arts Council (NYS Decentralization grant) with help from the Hoyt Foundation, as well as by the Broome County Tourism fund and other funding sources. Additional fundraising will be needed for supplies and actual painting of the mural. View all 8 finalists on the Dept. of Public Art Facebook page. (Note all are anonymous until the judging is final

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Public Artists Nominated for Heart of the Arts!

BC Arts Council announces Heart of the Arts Winners on August 10th

Every other year the Arts Council members vote on nominations for the Heart of the Arts award for extraordinary accomplishments in the previous two years. This year, Peg Johnston of the Dept of Public Art, Cooperative Gallery, and the Bridge has been nominated, as well as Emily Jablon, who has created several mosaic public art installations.

Johnston is nominated for "making blight the inspiration for art" for the original murals affixed to boarded up buildings in Binghamton, for managing the "Birthplace of Virtual Reality" murals in the Water St. Parking Ramp, and for "sparking" an arts renaissance and transforming a derelict block into "State of the Art St." And for coordinating 50 volunteers for Mural Fest 2015.

Jablon is nominated for creating the ""Confluence Arts Project" installing mosaics, and for engaging at risk and underserved populations and people with disabilities in artistic activities.

Other nominees are Susan Ashbaker Director of the Tri Cities Opera for leading the organization from financial and organizational challenges, and for introducing "opera writ large";  Harold and Toby Jean Manker, Program Directors of the Phelps Mansion Museum for chartering the Phelps as a "house museum" and initiating musical events; Alvin Williams III of Classical Pianists of the Future for "Helping young talented classical pianists follow their dreams."

Voting is open to members of the Arts Council until July 29th. Membership is $35/year.

The Broome County Arts Council will announce winners of its 2016 Heart of the Arts and Lifetime Achievement Awards during a news conference at 10am,  Wednesday, August 10th at the at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel’s Sun Briar Court in downtown Binghamton
Awards will be presented Monday September 19th at the 11th Heart of the Arts Award Celebration, DoubleTree Hotel Grand Ballroom, downtown Binghamton.  Tickets are $55 for general admission and $50 for arts council members. For more information  
e-mail or call 607-723-4620.

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“Our Space” Threatening Rec Park Trees?


Jen O'Brien, the planner for the Our Space renovation at Rec Park, stated emphatically that  "only one tree will be taken down for Our Space." She reassures concerned citizens that great care is being taken not to disrupt the trees with construction. The paved areas have been dug down 9 inches. The tree that is the center of the Tree House feature has twelve support anchors around it. According to O'Brien one of the twelve holes dug with an auger ran into a root and was stopped and moved. She also stated that there will be 150 trees planted in Rec Park.

Reassurances aside, residents near the Park are concerned that the activity areas have been moved 50 feet closer to inhabited areas. "The project is massive and will bring a lot of activity right to our backyards," said one resident on Schubert St. This person wanted a fence that would give some privacy but the deed to Rec Park specifies that no fences be placed in the park, in spite of the fact that the North end of the Park is fenced in already with a Page fence.

Running through the discontent is the City's lack of transparency. The plans are still not available online in any detail. A partial photo is available at but there is no information on the City site. Plans have changed since the Fall community meeting and transparency is lacking. This has been a persistent criticism of the David administration.

This is reminiscent of the last Rec Park renovation under the Bucci Administration (Rich David, Deputy Mayor then). Then the plan was to create a massive parking lot that rarely has more than a few cars in it, paved paths, and basketball courts. The construction did cut some of the roots of the trees, and 10-12 trees subsequently died.

Rec Park is one of the most popular parks in the city, the "Jewel in the Crown" according to Mayor David. That popularity is largely due to the oak forest on the Northwest corner of the park which provides some beauty and connection to nature. Yet, the trees are stressed due to their age–most are about 75 years old. Although there have been some planting of new trees in the last few years, each tree is valuable and should not be jeopardized by construction.

Our Space is an ambitious 3/4 of a million dollar project that will put many features in the area north of the bandstand, including a tree house, a maze, seating, and play equipment on a paved section on the lawn. William Barber, Parks and Rec Director characterized it as "Disney" quality in the park. Construction is well underway and recent estimates suggest it will be done by Memorial Day.


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Speak up and Stay Safe(r) Online

December 8, 2015 – – – Three women who have survived sustained online abuse are releasing an easy-to use digital handbook designed to help others speak freely and safely in digital spaces.
Anita Sarkeesian director of Feminist Frequency, Jaclyn Friedman, anti-rape activist and founder of Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) and Renee Bracey Sherman, reproductive justice activist and author of Saying Abortion Aloud, have been forced to learn a lot about how to protect themselves against cyber mobs, stalkers and harassers. Now they’ve collaborated to make all of their experience available to anyone else who fears they might be targeted, or who is already under attack.
Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment, launched today at, features a warm, friendly tone and easy-to-use navigation designed for use by people who may be experiencing fear or trauma. It details best security practices for social media, email, online gaming, website platforms, and ensuring privacy of personal information online, as well as the documentation and reporting of harassment, and caring for oneself emotionally during an online attack.
Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment was made necessary by the failure of social media services to adequately prevent and deal with the hateful targeting of their more marginalized users. As this guide details, forcing individual victims or potential targets to shoulder the costs of digital security amounts to a disproportionate tax of in time, money, and emotional labor. It is a tax that is levied disproportionately against women, people of color, queer and trans people and other oppressed groups for daring to express an opinion in public.
Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment can be found at and is currently available in English, Spanish, and Arabic. More information on the creators can be found at

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A DARING JOURNEY From Immigration to Education

The film A DARING JOURNEY: From Immigration to Education documents three stories of people who risked their lives to cross the border from Mexico, to fulfill their dreams. The film begins with each giving a vivid description of the journey coming here, then describing their struggles to earn a living in the shadows of our immigration system. Each of them goes on to pursue education, Luis and Sergio for themselves and Ruben Sr. and his wife Janet for their son. They all share the goal of wanting to make a contribution to their new country. Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman was inspired to make this film while shopping for groceries in Ruben Sr.'s market. One day he greeted her with this news, "My son is going to college!" She asked, "Where is he going?" Ruben answered, "Vassar." Dorothy said, "What a small world, our daughter graduated from Vassar!" She knew then and there that this family's story would make a provocative documentary. Ruben Sr. and his wife, Janet, had arrived with no education, and now their son was off to a private highly-ranked college. Over the next five years, Dorothy documented Ruben Jr.'s educational journey – from Eastside College Preparatory, a school for under-represented populations in East Palo Alto, CA, through his college graduation. While filming she met the other two interviewees: Luis, a published poet who works full-time as a waiter while getting a Master's degree from San Francisco State, and Sergio, who became the first undocumented person to be licensed to practice the law in the USA. What impressed her about all of these people was that they share an appreciation for the importance of education in being able to participate, actively, in their new country while building a better life.
WHY is this film important: There are approximately 12 million undocumented people living in the United States. Half of these individuals are Mexican. These three stories present a microcosm of the realities that many immigrants experience once they arrive in the United States: of working hard to survive without legal status and going on to pursue education so they and their children are able to address the challenges in their futures with better tools and more options.
DIRECTOR/CO-PRODUCER: OSCAR-nominated, EMMY-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman
NARRATOR: María Marroquín, Executive Director of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. CONCENTRIC MEDIA is an independent media production company. Our films document stories of individuals and communities working toward social justice, human rights, and personal growth. All of our films can be viewed and downloaded FREE.

The Creative Arts Film Festival is an annual international short film festival that takes place online, every year, around the world, all throughout December. Admission is FREE, so tell your friends! We want the entire world to enjoy these amazing movies — on every continent, in every country, and in every home. Tell your friends! Because it's all about having a GREAT time watching GREAT movies from the next generation of GREAT filmmakers!

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