• Post category:Maestra News

Documenting our History
Charting our Future

Happy Holidays to our Maestra Friends and Family!

As the year winds to a close, we reflect back and look forward. The challenges of 2017 have strengthened our belief in the power of community and the importance of storytelling. We are firmer than ever in our commitment to share stories of hope – lifting up stories of literacy and education work in movements for social change. Literacy is a fundamental social justice and human rights issue, essential for a healthy society and a fully-functioning democracy. By documenting these moments of possibility, we hope to inspire and inform current struggles for justice

This September, we donated our full MAESTRA archive to Wilson Library at UNC, which will be housed in Special Collections for current and future generations.

We will now embark on building a TRILOGY of movement literacy films!

The Literacy Trilogy includes:

I. MAESTRA

II. CRUZADA

III. A Collection On Us Movement Literacy Stories

Please read more about each project below.

This work is made possible through the support of our community – including you! – who believe in the power of this work to make positive change.

We will work to get these stories into the hands of activists, organizations and communities who can find inspiration in these films and use them as tools to further their own work.

As the year draws to a close, we hope you will consider supporting our work.

You can donate to our ongoing efforts here.

*Gifts of $100 or more are tax-deductible. Please contact us if you would like a tax deduction, or if you prefer to send a check: info@maestrathefilm.org

 
Un abrazo grande,
Catherine Murphy and the Literacy Project Team

THE LITERACY PROJECT TRILOGY

I. MAESTRA

MAESTRA: Six years later, MAESTRA is going strong with frequent screenings to diverse audiences. Griselda Aguilera, Cuba’s youngest female Literacy Campaign volunteer, is on a multi-city US tour with the film now through February. Read highlights below.

LEFT: Interviewing Ligia Eugenia who learned how to read and write in 1980 and is now an educator at her local school in Posoltega, Nicaragua.
CENTER: Poster from Nicaragua’s Literacy Campaign.
RIGHT Interviewing Sara Henriquez in Lechecuago where she taught literacy in 1980.

II. CRUZADA

CRUSADE will document stories from Nicaragua’s 1980 Literacy Campaign. Currently in production, producer Shaya Christensen and director Catherine Murphy are working with our Nicaragua team: producer Kathy Sevilla, DP Alejandro Martinez and sound engineer Jose Luis Bravo and superstar production support Roland Membreño. Follow the CRUZADA story on Facebook.

LEFT: Interviewing Ligia Eugenia who learned how to read and write in 1980 and is now an educator at her local school in Posoltega, Nicaragua.
CENTER: Poster from Nicaragua’s Literacy Campaign.
RIGHT Interviewing Sara Henriquez in Lechecuago where she taught literacy in 1980.

III. US MOVEMENT LITERACY STORIES

Our third project turns the lens on the United States, starting with the historical experiences of movement literacy work in Freedom Schools and Citizenship Schools and working up to now. We have been collaborating with Movement Veterans organizations and are in the early stages of a series of short films that shed light on the role of literacy in the long struggle for racial, economic and educational justice in the USA.

LEFT: Sign fro Freedom School. Source: https://www.civilrightsteaching.org/voting-rights/exploring-history-freedom-schools/
CENTER: Catherine documenting the Child Development Group of Mississippi’s panel at the 2015 Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement conference in Jackson, MS.
RIGHT: Citizenship School drawing. Source: http://www.crmvet.org/info/cs.htm.

2017 HIGHLIGHTS

It has been a full year!
Check out photos below for some of the highlights.
2017 has strengthened our belief in the importance of community and storytelling.
Join us for another year!

MAESTRA ARCHIVE LAUNCH AT UNC

On September 28th we celebrated the launch of the MAESTRA archives which will be housed in Special Collections at UNC Wilson Library. We are delighted that our archive, possibly the largest single archive of testimonies on the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign, will be housed in a safe, permanent place for use by current and future scholars, activists, and media-makers! Catherine and Griselda, Cuba’s youngest Literacy Campaign volunteer, had a wonderful time at the launch where they screened MAESTRA to a packed house!

GRISELDA AGUILERA'S US TOUR

Griselda Aguilera, Cuba’s youngest female Literacy volunteer (pictured above), is currently on a multi-city US tour. She started in North Carolina at the UNC archive launch and continued to:

In December, she will travel to Milwaukee and Chicago to meet with teachers’ unions, popular educators, and more!

If you are interested in hosting Griselda in your community in January or February, please contact us.

UNESCO MEMORIA DEL MUNDO AWARD

A generous donor just pledged a $5000 matching grant which we hope to double with your support!
Your gift will have double the impact if you donate before the end of 2017!

What Can Your Gift Do?

250 $ 25
  • Cover partial cost of digitizing one video interview... It costs $125 for each interview tape - so if 250 of our supporters each donated $25, we could digitize all our video tapes!
$ 50
  • Transcribe one interview.
$ 100
  • Pay use rights for one archival photo... This is a special price pledged from select movement photographers who documented literacy schools.
$ 250
  • Buy one external hard drive (3TB) to store the interviews.
$ 750
  • Roundtrip airfare to Nicaragua for a production team member.
$ 1000
  • Fund one day of production on our upcoming film shoot in Nicaragua.
$ 5000
  • Fund all 5 days of our upcoming production shoot in Nicaragua.

A generous supporter just pledged a $5000 matching grant which we hope to double with community support!
Your gift can have double the impact if you donate before the end of 2015!

We’re grateful for all that 2017 has brought and are looking forward to 2018!
Join us for another year of storytelling.

Please support the distribution of this film by making a donation via PayPal.
Donations over $250 are tax deductible if paid to our fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies, www.wmm.com