November 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
We recently developed a series on New Futuro called So You Wanna Be A Baller?
For us, being a baller means you’re achieving in whatever field you’re a part of, and worked your butt off to make it happen. People who followed their passion and delivered, and who can help connect the dots as you think about your own path are vital. New Futuro believes strongly that it’s important to highlight the specific steps necessary to get where you want to go. You can be a “baller” in absolutely any field, because in reality, the whole idea is about a path to success, no matter what you’re passionate about.
This week I had the honor of officially kicking off the series with our first baller: actor, musician, and Latino hero Max Arciniega.
And tune in this weekend to Poco a Poco Radio, to hear our FULL interview with Max.
April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
My Shtreimel is a video blog that features my fiancée Loren, who is a reoccurring character in my work. Sitting in a dimly lit room, Loren shares a personal Sabbath ritual. Behind him is the large painting of the Rebbe that appears in Obsessed with Frida Kahlo video. Although Loren is alone, he addresses the camera as if he were speaking directly with his eventual audience.
My Shtreimel, YouTube Video, 2006.
“I think it is very important for each of us to have an enjoyable Shabbos experience. And to be able to in some ways personally define what that Shabbos experience entails. There’s a lot of different minhags that I think a lot different people have that not every one has. And there are certain things that we develop not necessarily because they are passed down from our father, or our mother, or your mother’s father, just because it is something that makes your Shabbos experience a little bit more enjoyable a lot these personal minhags that we all have…”
Casually citing the Chofetz Hayim and the Talmud Yerushalmi, he acknowledges both his relationship to, and awareness of traditional Jewish texts; thereby, indirectly aligning himself with a more observant Jewish community. Using humor, he offsets the implied exclusivity of those ties, by adding that he is actually wearing a woman’s hat that was purchased at a thrift store.
eruv stl is “posted as a response” to My Shtreimel. eruv stl is intended to link Berlin’s Eruv to St. Louis. In this low quality thus “authentic video blog” Loren and I drive around the Washington University in St. Louis area, with a map in hand, trying to locate St. Louis’s eruv. In the background you can hear Guns and Roses famous song Welcome to the Jungle. Loren assumes a role similar to the one of Matisyahu, a halakically informed Jew, who does not the traditional model for the other and is thereby able to communicate with the secular world.
eruv stl, YouTube Video, 2009.
I ask Loren why he thinks the eruv extends as far as it does and if he thinks that there area lot of Orthodox Jewish families living in the area. Loren tell me that the eruv has extended this far because of the Hillel on campus, and that while there are not many Orthodox families living on the streets that we are driving, that the presence of the Hillel on campus is enough to create an eruv-worthy Jewish community.
Not only does it become clear that Loren familiar with Orthodox Jewish practices and the neighboring streets, but also he is still not sure exactly where the eruv is located. Meaning that even though the eruv is present, Loren is either a) so religious that he doesn’t abide by it, OR b) he doesn’t lead a Jewish life that would involve abiding by an eruv. As the conversation continues Loren continues to distance himself from vocabulary that you would expect to come from a more observant Jew, as he casually engages in humorous banter with me surrounding the eruv.
I ask him how it felt to finally “find” the eruv, he responds that he “feels pretty good” but he didn’t feel like “it was an actual wall” – which it isn’t, so this statement is made in jest. He continues, “its like finding Waldo, Waldo had curly hair and glasses, he might have been a frum Jew [...] maybe it is a statement about jews begin such a small percentage of the population…
more thesis excerpts coming soon…
February 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (please forward or repost)
CPS Students Campaign for Miguel del Valle, Video Goes Viral
Tuesday, February 1, 2011, Chicago – High school students may not vote, but they can still impact elections. On Sunday, January 29, students from Sullivan HS in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the northside, wrote and starred in a campaign ad for Miguel del Valle that got over 1,000 hits in the first 48 hours on YouTube and Facebook. Their message is clear, Del Valle is the candidate who will invest in public education for all students, who like them who do not go to selective enrollment or charter schools. No press outlets caught Rahm Emanuel’s slip up, played twice in the video, until today when the Huffington Post picked up the story.
Christina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar and Alexandra Alvarez, in order of appearance, scripted the video in a neighbors living room before filming outside their school an hour later. Their effort to mobilize their community to support Miguel del Valle has been developing ever since they went to the Mayoral debate for youth put on by Mikva Challenge last month. Inspired by del Valle and angered by the other candidates they got together with the Latino Club, and tireless sponsor Jackie Rosa.
Last week they stopped by the newly opened northside office for Miguel del Valle, to learn to canvass their neighborhood.
The video uses a clip from the WGN Mayoral debate in which Rahm Emanuel wrongly states that “if you take away Northside Prep and Walter Payton, the seven best performing schools are all charters”. The next seven in fact, the top nine performing Chicago schools are all public. The video clearly questions anyone who would vote for a Mayor who does not care enough about the students in public school to even do his homework. Delivered with passion and confidence, the last words the students leave us ring true “you want a real school turnaround? Invest in us!”.
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afonAiiMTm8
February 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
A group of Chicago high school students has decided to take Rahm Emanuel to task for his education policy.
Cristina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar, and Alexandra Alvarez appear in a YouTube video, uploaded Sunday, entitled “Invest in Our Public Schools.” The spot attacks Emanuel for his praise of the city’s charter schools, and backs rival candidate Miguel del Valle for supporting neighborhood schools.
“I go to Roger C. Sullivan High School,” says Henriquez. “This is not one of the schools Rahm Emanuel cares about.”
The students, who wrote the script for the video, according to its description on YouTube, also point out what they describe as a factual inaccuracy in Emanuel’s portrayal of the city’s charters. “When you take out North Side, and you take out Walter Payton, the seven best-performing high schools are all charters.”
“Someone didn’t do their homework,” the video says, listing the seven top schools as reported by the Chicago Tribune. None of them is a charter school.
The video says it has no connection to any candidate, and judging by the del Valle camp’s reaction, they seem to be telling the truth. Spokeswoman Joanna Klonsky didn’t know much about the video’s origins, except to say that “we didn’t orchestrate it.”
Watch the students take on Rahm: