The training portion of the Community Documentation Workshop (CDW) has concluded. Teams spent the fall filming interviews and events and turned what they gathered into short 5-7 minute videos. It can be challenging to condense long interviews into something succinct that conveys the values of an individual or community. Teams spent a lot of time in conversation together and with their interview subjects discussing what should and shouldn’t go into their video projects. They also determined how best to share editing responsibilities amongst one another as they developed each video’s story arc.

Food for the Spirit’s team is led by its Executive Director, Rebekah Williams. Their project focuses on Nat Smith’s efforts to create Mutual Aid Wildlife Rehabilitation (MAWR) in Prattsburgh, NY. MAWR is a BIPOC-led organization committed to “building a more ecologically just world and dismantling systemic social and environmental injustices through wildlife rehabilitation and community education.” This short video looks at Smith’s vision for the organization, as well as some of their history in social movements. 

United Steel Workers Local 1000’s team is led by one of their officers, Joe Giardina. Local 1000 is the labor union that represents Corning Incorporated laborers. This team’s project asks, “What does the union mean to you?” Through interviews with union members and footage of community events, this short video looks at the union’s impact on its members and the union’s broader community-wide impact through public service.

We’re currently putting the finishing touches on these videos, and look forward to premiering them at a community screening and talk-back with the filmmakers this spring. Stay tuned for an announcement in the coming weeks.

This program would not be possible without the partnerships of the  Chemung County Historical Society,  Elmira College, the Genesee Valley Arts Council, and the  Chemung County Library District MakerSpace. The Community Documentation Workshop is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corning Incorporated Foundation.

Written by T.C. Owens.

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