ArtsBuild Premieres Short Film

Friday, May 02, 2014

ArtsBuild (formerly Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga) premiered a short film documentary, Walk in My Shoes, on Thursday, May 1, at The Salvation Army’s Recreate Café.  

Walk in My Shoes documents the process of a theater program (of the same name) that brings local individuals’ stories to life. The film features the story of Lee Sanders, a man who found himself homeless in Chattanooga several years ago. Through a theatre program at The Salvation Army’s Recreate Café, Mr. Sanders was able to share his story with others, and he hopes, help others who might be in a similar situation.

The six-minute film was produced by ArtsBuild as a way to tell the story of how the arts touch the lives of people from all walks of life. “We were trying to think of an innovative way for ArtsBuild to show how the arts are woven into the lives of everyone around us,” said Dan Bowers, president of ArtsBuild, “The programs that have emerged out of our Community Cultural Connections grants are perfect examples of this reach.”

The CCC grant program, which started in 2012, is a direct result of Imagine Chattanooga 20/20, the community’s long-range cultural plan. The goal of the grants is to make arts and culture more accessible to underserved populations in Hamilton County. Since December 2012 a total of $120,000 has been awarded to more than 40 local organizations.

The Salvation Army’s Recreate Café was one of the CCC grant’s first recipients. The grant funds were used to help produce a theatre performance called Walk in My Shoes in August 2013. The Recreate Café at The Salvation Army 614 Corps at 800 McCallie Ave. seeks to bridge the gap between the homeless and artistic communities. It allows members of the homeless community to exercise talents and gifts they may not have an opportunity to use anywhere else, while inviting Chattanooga's artistic community to come alongside and minister with them.

Tenika Dye, who serves as the artistic director of the Recreate Café, created the Walk in My Shoes theatre program. “It might seem like a simple concept; however, Walk in My Shoes’ impact has proven to be great. I have discovered that these performances become about so much more than art and entertainment. The level of empathy that is created is inspiring,” said Ms. Dye.

In the production, homeless and non-homeless people tell each other’s stories of survival and hope. “In my opinion, empathy helps us to say ‘I feel with you, not just I feel sorry foryou,’” said Ms. Dye. “If you tell your story, that is powerful, but if you allow someone else to tell your story, that is monumental and that takes courage, but it is worth it.”

Leif Ramsey with SVAD Productions directed the film. “Directing the film Walk in My Shoes completely changed my perceptions about homelessness,” said Mr. Ramsey. “It had never occurred to me that these people, maybe just a few years before, had been like you or I - with a good job and a loving family. Life is fragile, and it can all fall apart very quickly, leaving one with nowhere to go and no one to turn to.”

When I was filming Walk in My Shoes, something very rare happened: I got to see someone's life change course right in front of me, in real time,” said Mr. Ramsey. “One of the characters in the theater production, ‘Lee,’ as a result of telling his story, realized he needed to put his life back on track. He's now on the road to leaving his camp, integrating back into employment, housing and a better life.” 

“[ArtsBuild] hopes to produce more short films like this each year to show the community what an important role the arts play in our diverse community,” said Mr. Bowers. The Walk in My Shoes film can be seen at https://vimeo.com/90864246.

 


ETC Focuses On The People Behind The Abortion Issue

The community is invited to attend Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga's performance of Jane Martin's Keely and Du. Performances will be held at the theater located inside Eastgate Town Center at 5600 Brainerd Road, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., from Aug. 14-24. Review for Keely and Du: When Keely, a pregnant rape victim, wakes up tied ... (click for more)

Jacob Powell Performs At Riverfront Nights Saturday

Friends of the Festival announced the return of the "Riverfront Nights" musical series to the city's 21st Century Waterfront for the eighth year.  Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the series of free Saturday night shows will feature musical acts performing from the Zaxby's Stage.   Healthy living, healthy food and drink choices, adult beverages and ... (click for more)

Plan Proposed For Lookout Mountain, Ga., Homeowners To Pay $10 Per Month For 8 Years For Sewer Upgrades

Lookout Mountain, Ga., officials are proposing a $10 per month charge for each homeowner for eight years to pay for sewer upgrades. The town's sewer system, that was installed 15 years ago, works with the help of grinder pumps at each of the 605 houses in the town. The life expectancy of this equipment is 20 years and the need for replacements has already begun. City Manager ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)