Common Community Through Art and Culture

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“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever noticed how artists flock together and build common community?

People find kinship in their writing, painting, poetry, music, filmmaking, knitting,the performing arts and so forth. You know how it goes. Everyone in the group speaks the same language. 

The Colorado Creative Industries has worked to identify communities where art contributes greatly to the overall culture,  enhancing the lives of local citizens and tourists.  

Telluride has been designated as a one of five prospective Creative Districts in Colorado. Forty-four towns and cities were under consideration. The goal of the Colorado Creative Industries is to bolster the artistic community by providing consulting and technical assistance and an $8,000 grant to help grow the community as an economic driver through art. 

During the winter, outstanding skiing is the impetus behind visiting this “box canyon” with stunning and dramatic scenery, but in summer it is all about art festivals. Each weekend from May to September people flock to the area for two film festivals, music concerts and gatherings of playwrite/screenwriters. There is also a Cajun weekend, chamber music, yoga and bike races,  and more. 

There is even a Compassion Festival held in Telluride, which I was not aware of until I picked up some tourist literature. This event brings in academia from different parts of the country who lecture on the benefits that compassion brings to overall health, well-being and stress reduction. Cultural differences in compassion is also part of the discussion. It is held in collaboration between the Telluride Institute http://bit.ly/U87yzg and Stanford University’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE). Interesting! Please visit this link to read more about it.http://bit.ly/QVb8Kn

Congratulations, Telluride! When I was in the area recently I was impressed with your charming Victorian homes, art galleries, retail spaces, historic hotels, the amazing scenery and the emcompassing flavor of the artistic community. It was fun visiting. I’ll be back!

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Film Friday Update on ALPFD

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Filmmaking is such a collaborative medium.” ~ Daryl Hannah

Filmmaking is such a collaborative medium.” ~ Daryl Hannah 

The film A Lonely Place for Dying is proving it is alive and well on the film festival circuit that is for sure! I received an update this week on this film that is drawing more attention and awards on the film festival circuit with each passing week. 

So far, ALPFD can boast of 38 Official Selections into Film Festivals across the country and 45 nominations in various categories of awards. This low budget, independent film has won 19 Awards including 14 awards for Best Feature Film. The musical score by Brent Daniels has won awards too. 

Last summer, ALPFD was featured in MovieMaker Magazine www.moviemaker.com  (Issue 88) in an article called “Period Pieces on the Cheap.” It is notable for the sizeable number of visual effects shots in a production of less that $ l million dollars. There were more than 350 visual effects, most of them created on a computer without bells and whistles, from a dorm room at DeSales University http://bit.ly/mF9VB9.  

The total budget was $200,000. Everything was done with economy in mind. Yet this film attracted high profile actors, James Cromwell and Michael Wincott. A Lonely Place for Dying has proven that low budget films can attract quality actors, fans and win fulfilling awards too! 

Just as we promised we will continue to follow this film as it continues on the film festival circuit. The results are not in on some nominations yet. It has claimed awards in Santa Fe, Durango, Cinema City, Wild Rose Film Festival, Myrtle Beach and Indie Spirit…. just to name a few. My guess is there could be more awards on the way.

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Words and Images Haunt

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It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place.”  ~Colette, My Mother’s House, 1922 

Yesterday I met with a client at the Bud Werner Library in Steamboat Springs, CO. www.steamboatlibrary.org .  As I sat in the library café waiting for my client to arrive, I began to leaf through Book Page. There was an article in it on how to raise readers. As I browsed the article, I began to laugh out loud!  One of the tips was some thing like  “when reading a book to a child, don’t necessarily keep to the script. Feel free to use editorial control.” 

How, may I ask, “Can a parent get away with that?” I never could! I was caught in the act, every time!  My son would scold me, as if I was raiding the refrigerator, taking out all the good stuff, in the middle of the night. 

“No, Mom, that is not right! That is not how the story goes!” he would say. Even as a little toddler, he could sense every time I strayed from the storyline, skipped a page or two, or ad-libbed just a wee bit. He knew when my words did not exactly match the pictures. Could this be the reason he has become a film editor and filmmaker? Now he is fulfilling his need for perfection – making sure the story told in pictures, matches the script! 

So, what is the point of the blog? One of the very best ways to raise a reader is to be a reader. But, caution, parents – even when you think your kids aren’t watching they are. Take heed, children notice and remember parent’s independent words and deeds as well as lessons learned from books. 

To read the full article on How to Raise a Reader, stop by your local library. Pick up a complimentary May issue of Book Page.  Most libraries have the publication available for their patrons or go on-line to www.bookpage.com.

 By the way, Happy Mother’s Day to Moms everywhere!

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International Film Trivia

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I really love it all: theatre, film, television.” ~ Charlotte Rae  

It’s been a busy, busy week! All kinds of fulfilling activities were on my business calendar for this past week. Since it is Film Friday, today we will play a little international film trivia, to mix things up.

If you can answer these two film trivia questions, without cheating, you can consider yourself really “in the know” and on top of the scene! The answers will be located at the very bottom of this page. Good luck! 

  1. Two short documentary films by Macedonian filmmaker Marija Makeska will be presented tonight in remembrance of the Macedonian WWII Holocaust. The names of the films are “Soul Mates” and “Getting to Know Us.” In what city in the United States will these films be screened and what is the non-profit organization that will be presenting these films?
  2. On February 13th, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts http://www.bafta.org/  honored this individual for his outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Who was the actor? Hint – He played Saruman in Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Count Docku in Star Wars and Dracula in at least 10 films. Who is the actor that was honored with the BAcademy Fellowship at London’s Royal Opera House ? 

Curious? Go ahead and peek. I will not hold it against you! Or you can use your favorite search engine to find out the answers.

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Answers: 1. Steamboat Springs, Co and Macedonian Mission for Humanity. More information: http://www.steamboattoday.com/events/2011/mar/11/9874/

                   2. Sir Christopher Lee

Artists – All in the Family

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I don’t paint things.  I only paint the difference between things.”   ~Henri Matisse 

I often think about the things that people find to be fulfilling and why people pursue the career paths that they do. Don’t you?  I suppose I find this subject of interest, because my husband and I are still scratching our heads trying to figure out how we became parents to a filmmaker/visual effects artist son. The influences are not very apparent, that is for sure. 

In attempting to gain some insight into the dynamics of my own family, I recently had an insightful and interesting on-line conversation about this very subject with Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, a very exceptional painter. Gladys and her husband are parents to Rafael http://bit.ly/ec4Bvn , a 23 year old emerging tenor, and semi-finalist with 2010 Metropolitan Opera. He soon will be making his debut performance with the Houston Symphony. Artist (painter) Gladys http://roldandemoras.com/ explained to me that her husband, an engineering professor has always also been a musician, poet, choir director in a church and writes musicals. All three of their children were exposed to mostly classical music, at a very young age, in fact, while still in the womb. As young adults, all are involved in some way in the Arts – as tenor, music educator and sculpture artist. Perhaps this family could be a prime example of the  Mozart effect, which has been said to enhance children’s intellectual development. What do you think? http://bit.ly/f93RAn

To see Rafael in the HBO production of Master class with Placido Domingo, please visit http://bit.ly/bkgWiv and to read Rafael’s essay “My Masterclass with Maestro Placido Domingo”, please visit www.youngarts.com

As I continue to further explore in my own mind, on this snowy day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, how our son came to his fulfilling life of creating films, I am going to stare at some magnificent art! I will let you know when I have my answers, which could be strictly sharing my intuition rather than facts.

This painting is by Gladys Roldan-de-Moras. “Song from a Secret Garden” . For more information on the painting go to the artist’s website  http://roldandemoras.com/

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