We’ve been busy since completing our campaign and want to bring you up to date. Here are some of the things we’ve been up to:
*We filmed two more great interviews, with people who have been watching the Central Market Street revitalization process for decades. We’re happy to have their perspectives, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.
*We’ll film at “Mid-Riff” an event held in the 5 Blocks neighborhood on March 28 showcasing arts groups and hot spots.
*Our team has grown to include:
Peter Stein – Production consultant
From 2003-2011 Peter was the Executive Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the first and largest of its kind in the world and a recognized leader in using film to foster cross-cultural understanding. For 11 years he was executive producer at KQED (PBS/San Francisco), where he wrote, directed and produced a wide range of series and programs for national public television, garnering such prestigious honors as the Peabody Award (for his documentary “The Castro”) and four Emmy awards for historical, cultural and environmental programs.
Mike Zimmerman – Grant writer
Mike joins us on an “as needed” basis to help us tell the story of this amazing neighborhood to potential funders. The production schedule for this film spans several years – since we’re following a process that, itself, will take many years – and Mike is helping us find the funding to make it happen.
*We’re speaking about the film far and wide!
Dan just finished discussing the film with other filmmakers at Peer Pitch at the Sebastopol Documentary Festival on March 22, soliciting input from industry veterans.
Robert will discuss the film on a panel at the Urban Affairs Association’s annual conference in San Francisco on April 4.
Dan and Robert will discuss the project with employees at Zendesk, one of the tech companies making its home in the Central Market Street neighborhood.
We’re also showcasing stories from the 5 Blocks neighborhood on our website (http://urbanstreetfilms.com). A new story is posted every week, so subscribe or check back often! And if you have a memory of the area, or photos from the neighborhood, let us know and we may feature you in the story of the week!
Thanks again for your help in keeping this project moving forward. We look forward to sharing more good news with you!
Dan & Robert
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thank you very much for making our first crowd funding campaign a success. With offline contributions included, more than 100 of you contributed, helping us surpass our goal of $12,000.
Over the next few weeks, we will be reviewing the contributions to make sure we have everything we need to fulfill the thank you gifts.
Both filmmaking and fundraising are challenging endeavors but with folks like you behind us, the rewards are endless. We truly can’t make this film without you.
With our heartfelt gratitude,
Robert Cortlandt & Dan Goldes
P.S. If you’re interested in staying abreast of all the happenings at Urbanstreet Films and 5 Blocks, please “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@Urbanstreetfilm) or on our blog at Urbanstreet Films.
ONLY 12 DAYS LEFT ON OUR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
Thanks to 40 friends, relatives and supporters, we’ve raised $6,350 of our $12,000 goal, and we have less than two weeks to raise the balance. If you can contribute, great! Whether you can or not, please forward this email to those in your network you think will be interested in this project. Post this link to Facebook or Tweet it. The more we can spread the word, the more likely we are to raise our goal.
This update highlights Mark Ellinger. Mark is a photographer, historian and lover of the central Market Street area. Mark photographs are a perk that contributors to the 5 Blocks campaign can receive. As with all our artist perks, a percentage of your contribution goes directly to the artist. For Mark’s full story: www.upfromthedeep.com.
“In 1968, at the age of eighteen, I moved from Ohio to San Francisco and enrolled at the [San Francisco] Art Institute. During my first semester, I soon began spending most of my time in the film department. I worked as a recording engineer, sound designer, and composer (and occasional actor) for various film labs, studios, and independent film makers including George Kuchar, and Larry Jordan.
Near the end of 1985, my life was completely torn apart by a cataclysmic manic-depressive breakdown. I was introduced to heroin, which made all my pains go away, if only for a few hours at a time. For the next five-and-a-half years, I chased the bag and lived on the mean streets of San Francisco, where I found out exactly how low I could sink.Thanksgiving Day 2000… I was nearly killed by septic shock. Coming face to face with my own mortality turned out to be an epiphany that awakened me to the ineffable sweetness of simply being alive. Near the end of 2002, I rescued a cheap digital camera from the trash and used it to make a record of my new life and surroundings. The buildings and streets I’ve photographed ever since are now permanently lodged in my psyche, just as people who live and work in the central city have become a permanent part of my life.
As tangible reminders of what we’ve done, who we’ve known and where we’ve been, our personal artifacts and mementos reinforce our sense of personal continuity and thus help us comprehend and adapt to life’s vicissitudes. Our memorabilia are material evidence of our exploits and accomplishments, our triumphs and defeats, our blessings and misfortunes."
Photographer and Historian Mark Ellinger
We’re almost half-way there!
Thank you for your amazing support!
Our fundraising campaign is off to a roaring start and we’ll be sending occasional updates to keep you in the loop. As of today, we’ve nearly reached 50% of our goal. We are all humbled and touched by your overwhelming response. We truly cannot do this without you.
Ronnie Goodman’s artwork was specifically commissioned for this campaign:
As a San Francisco native, Ronnie’s love of art began at the age of six, when he started drawing, but it wasn’t until he turned 25 that he really embraced his talent and decided to explore painting. Growing up in San Francisco’s Fillmore neighborhood, Ronnie couldn’t avoid the influence Jazz music had in the area, which became a major motif later in his works. Life’s lessons led him away from art until much later when he encountered the Art in Corrections program at San Quentin Prison. With the help of the volunteering artists who facilitated the program, he further broadened his skills, incorporating a wider range of disciplines into his work.
Once released in 2010, he decided to rebuild himself and strengthen his core values to make up for time wasted in his youth. For him, art was to become the focus from which all else stems. He feels that art gave him a second chance in life and he believes in the importance of giving art back to the community. Ronnie’s work was recently featured in the San Francisco Arts Commission City Hall Gallery.
Ronnie practices his art at the Hospitality House Community Arts Program (CAP). CAP is also a benefiting partner of 5 Blocks Project. Once this campaign has been fully funded, we will launch the Media Mentor Program at CAP, which will teach residents of the neighborhood the skills necessary to tell their own stories through video and audio. Hospitality House takes great pride in its arts program. It is the only free-of-charge fine arts studio for homeless and poor artists in San Francisco. For those navigating through the impersonal social service system, self-expression and imaginative talent can be stifled and ignored. CAP exposes people to creative resources that would otherwise be unobtainable to them. These materials are the tools that provide an often-neglected outlet for creative freedom and, subsequently, they serve to enhance self-esteem and ambition.
A limited edition of Ronnie’s work is available as a perk to supporters of 5 Blocks
Linocut signed and numbered 16" x 22". Edition of 10.