City Lore Documentary Institute - August 2013

I couldn't be more excited to teach the video strand of the City Lore Documentary Institute in August 2013. Elena Martinez and Steve Zeitlin have brought together an incredible mix of institutions and people who do profound work in documenting and celebrating the diverse grassroots culture and history of New York City.

Applications are due April 30!

City Lore has given voice to the stories of working class New Yorkers, past and present, for many years and in many ways, from films to walking tours to poem mobiles. I have a really fond memory of the time several years ago when City Lore arranged for my students at EVC to go into the basements of Crown Heights to interview costume makers for the West Indian Day Parade. Amazing!

Mike Kamber and Danielle Jackson are digging deep roots in the community with their beautiful Bronx Documentary Center, which will serve as home base for the institute. I love going to BDC and seeing neighborhood kids feeling perfectly at home, maybe helping set up for an exhibit or a film screeing that will attract both Bronx folks and downtown folks. Justin, one of my former students from Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS just told me he's now an intern at BDC and how he loves having his hands on a camera. I'm anxious to see what stories he tells with his images.

Participants of the video strand of the institute will work out of Manhattan Neighborhood Network's new El Barrio Firehouse branch, where Iris Morales and her team are making sure residents have access to the tools and skills to tell their community's rich stories. It's a wonderful facility and we're lucky to be able to do our work there. I'm really looking forward to meeting the interesting people who will participate in the Documentary Institute and helping them expand the narrative of this city's cultural legacy.