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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy Brittnie Teeple, left, cinematographer Daniel Katter and director Joe Wood are part of the "Derby Girls" documentary project.

  • File Cinema Center is transforming its Spectator Lounge into a second screening area.

  • Courtesy photo Ronnie Malley, center, is among performers for "The Andalusian Trail."

Friday, September 29, 2017 1:00 am

Spotlight: AmplifyArt selects 3 projects for October

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

In October, three local organizations are looking to fund projects through Arts United's crowdfunding program, AmplifyArt. Each organization will get a seed investment of $1,000 from Arts United and will have donations from the public matched dollar for dollar up to $1,500 from 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.

Donations can be made through October at http://artsunited.org/amplify, beginning by the end of today.

Representatives from the organizations explained more about their projects in separate emails to The Journal Gazette. Responses have been edited.

'Derby Girls' documentary

The project has a goal of $3,500.

Documentary director Joe Wood says:

Q. Share some background on your project. Why do you want it and what exactly does it entail?

A. Last year, the Fort Wayne Derby Girls asked me to make a suicide prevention public service announcement for them after they lost one of their skaters to suicide. After making that PSA and attending their bouts, I got to know a lot of the skaters on the team. I was immediately fascinated by the sport and its history, and it seemed like the perfect subject for a documentary. This will be a feature length film that will take a close look at the lives of the Fort Wayne Derby Girls, and what drives them to play their sport. I'm excited to tell this story. We're in the early stages of production, and will be for at least another year. We filmed home bouts last season, and will film again next season, which starts in February 2018.

Q. How will money raised through the AmplifyArt campaign be used for the documentary? Does it have a title?

A. Amplify Art donations will go toward equipment rental and purchases for production. We will have legal fees, as well as marketing and distribution costs (once the film is finished). Also, this project will need a production crew. We've been lucky to have a lot of volunteers so far, but it would be nice to be able to compensate the crew for their time (we had at least eight cameras rolling at each bout last season).

Right now, the documentary is simply titled "Derby Girls." That might change.

Q. How does this project serve the community? How does it serve the Derby Girls?

A. This documentary will inform uninitiated viewers about the growing sport of roller derby, and more importantly our local team. Roller derby is a great outlet that's all about inclusivity, and we want to reach any potential future skaters out there. The documentary will draw positive attention to Fort Wayne, as it will be featured prominently as the backdrop for the story. I love this city. I want to see Fort Wayne and the Derby Girls get more exposure. I should also mention that every derby bout raises money for a different local charity. They've been presenting checks at halftime for years. The bigger the FWDG gets, the more they can give back to the community.

Q. Are you planning any special events or activities to promote this crowdfunding campaign?

A. We've been talking about putting together a local fundraising event that will raise funds for the documentary and the team, but that is TBD. Most of our promotion will be through social media. We're filming a video to help pique potential backers' interest. It will describe the sport, this documentary and the Amplify Art campaign.

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'The Andalusian Trail,' Indiana Center for Middle East Peace

The project has a goal of $4,000.

L. Michael Spath says:

Q. Share some background on your project. Why do you want it and what exactly does it entail?

A. One of the missions of Indiana Center for Middle East Peace is to break stereotypes and to further intercultural dialogue.

Through story and song, "The Andalusian Trail" celebrates the shared cultural history of medieval Andalusia, the coexistence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and the rich synergy and exchange of musical ideas, instruments, culture and scientific knowledge that contributed to the whole of humanity. "The Andalusian Trail" honors these civilizations – India, the Middle East, North Africa – on the road to Al-Andalus that influenced such a rich confluence of cultures.

The musicians themselves, from Chicago's Surabhi Ensemble, come from the various cultures the music embodies. The five musicians and two dancers will perform original and traditional repertoire with Spanish guitar, various other Indo-European instruments, Arabo-Andalusian poetry and music by Ronnie Malley on oud and harmonium, as well as Rajasthani folk dance, flamenco and Middle Eastern dance.

The goal is to present works which showcase arts and artists from cultures which are linked to Spanish flamenco music such as those of the Indian, Arabic and African traditions.

Q. How will money raised through the AmplifyArt campaign be used for the project?

A. Because Surabhi Ensemble are professional musicians with a global reputation, the money raised will partially pay for their performance fee, travel and tech needs.

Q. How does this project serve the community?

A. The performance itself serves the community because it demonstrates – indeed, embodies – the rich tradition of cultural and religious diversity that is so needed in our country today.

In addition, members of the Surabhi Ensemble will hold a “teach-in” at a local school for students, emphasizing how music and the arts have built and can continue to build bridges between cultures.

Q. Are you planning any special events or activities to promote this crowdfunding campaign?

A. We'll be marketing our campaign at our annual gala Oct. 21 (with Alice Rothchild). We are planning special emailings as well as extensive use of social media.

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Spectator Lounge Theater, Cinema Center

The project has a goal of $5,000.

Executive Director Jonah Crismore says:

Q. Share some background on your project. Why do you want it and what exactly does it entail?

A. Our project consists of converting our Spectator Lounge (formerly ArtLink) into a second screening space. But the cool thing is that this space will not be used for a traditional movie theater experience. Inspired by "cinema pubs" in other cities and having a practice run changing this space up during the 2017 Hobnobben Film Festival, the Lounge will have eclectic, funky seating and table service during films, meaning you can order a beverage or even something from our concession stand while you watch a movie. This is not going to be like anything in downtown Fort Wayne.

Q. How will money raised through the AmplifyArt campaign be used for the project?

A. All money raised through AmplifyArt will go toward the tangible needs to transform the Lounge into a theater. This includes projection and sound equipment, blackout curtains, additional seating and a cool direct-download content delivery system that is available for smaller theater spaces so we don't have to purchase a massive digital projector, like we did for the big theater a few years back.

Q. How does this project serve the community?

A. Not only will this project help Cinema Center remain sustainable while giving the community a new kind of cinema-going experience, the Lounge will still be flexible and allow for more community sponsored screenings, partnerships with entities that want to use the theater in new, innovative ways, film classes and all the fun things we have always wanted to do but can't because of restrictions from showing our first-run programming.

Q. Are you planning any special events or activities to promote this crowdfunding campaign?

A. Cinema Center has a very busy October and we will give everyone a chance to give to our campaign; we have our Sound & Shadow series with Lux Drive performing a live score to "Alice in Wonderland" on Oct. 6 and 7, the Hola Mexico Film Festival Oct. 13 to 15, Fright Night on Oct. 21 with a special art exhibit called "Not So Moving Picture Show" where all art sales will benefit the Lounge conversion, as well as another Sound & Shadow screening with the local quartet String Shift, and finally special screenings of "Suspiria" and a George Romero Tribute night the weekend of Oct. 27.

cmcmaken@jg.net