Organized in 1934 in a humble East Harlem apartment, New York’s Casita Maria was a place to provide Hispanic families with the educational support needed in their new homeland. It was a place where “the young could lead their parents and their community to full participation in the American Dream.” Among the “Casita Kids” alumnus were Tito Puente, Rita Moreno, and Tina Ramirez, the founder of Ballet Hispanico. The little apartment eventually became the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education and moved from Harlem into the South Bronx. This past summer, it moved into a brand new beautiful building, complete with a new theatre.
And that’s where Zora comes into the picture. On November 5, a slew of educators will meet and screen the film and discuss how to use the film and Zora’s books in their classrooms. I know those teachers and their students will take heed of the films message that their native culture is important, that there’s no need to assimilate into the culture du jour. Hopefully, we’re past the point when we all need to talk, look, and act alike – after all, America is a big melting pot, which is what keeps us vital and fresh.
Thanks to Carolyn Butts and African Voices Magazine for including the film in her many important undertakings.
JUMP AT THE SUN has won a position in the Southern Circuit lineup for 2010-11.
The Southern Circuit film festival is an older festival devoted to bringing films to a Southern audience. It is a competition and the winning films make the rounds to some distinctively Southern addresses. My film JUMP AT THE SUN has been picked to be one of the films in the Southern Circuit, and in March it will be traveling to some very choice spots, including the BB King Museum in Indianola, MS, Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, The Arts Council in Gainesville, GA, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, GA, and Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN.
The 2010-2011 Southern Circuit is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and local partner organizations. Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
For a list of all the films, dates, and venues, click here.
Thursday night, August 5, there will be a screening of Jump at the Sun at the Tampa Bay History Museum in downtown Tampa at 7P. Along with Q+A from the filmmaker, Dr. Lois Gaston from the Zora Neale Hurston Trust will be attending.
Now that’s history I can relate to!
Please note this “event” has passed.
Gotta have your Zora? Get her on the Online.
Here are some links to catch the award-winning PBS’ American Masters film, produced and written by Kristy Andersen (yours truly):
California Newsreel, the film’s educational distributor, is offering a sneak preview for those schools who have dallied and still have some money in the coffers at the end of the school year to buy a copy. Just follow the link.
Other fans have linked and are offering a chance to view on their pages:
It’s that time of the year when thoughts turn to escape! Getting out of the cold. Getting away from the reality of harsher places. Time to head south from north, or across the country to palm trees and beaches.
A how-to article on following Zora’s Florida roust-abouts just found some space in the New York Times.
And if that doesn’t satisfy your wanderlust, buy a copy of my film Jump at the Sun for the real story.