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Another much deserved shot for "Trust" --

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WHEN: TRUST: A theatrical read-performance addressing police and community relations, directed by Prof. Cynthia Henderson, Ithaca College, co-founder of Performing Arts for Social Change (PASC) ...

WHERE: Greater Ithaca Activities Center

WHEN: Sunday, June 28, 4 p.m.

ADMISSION: FREE -- but $5 or more donation is suggested. All proceeds benefit the performers and community.

 

BACKGROUND: Trust is the result of a PASC commissioned project “Establishing Trust,” with a cast and volunteers who met discussed the relationship between the police force and civilians as preparation for their production.A performance in May was so well received that it was decided to organize a "revival" with new and previous cast members. A "review" of sorts, by Franklin Crawford of the Tompkins Weekly, follows this backgrounder.

"Trust" explores the negative and positive opinions of the police/community relationship, and helps to explain why "trust" in general, is so difficult to achieve on both side of the "blue blue." Director Henderson explains, “This project involves civilians from various demographics within this community as well as police officers who are interested in finding a better way for us all to work together for the benefit of everyone in the Ithaca community.

In addition to the direction of Henderson, the script was assembled by Ithaca College Department of Theatre Arts Assistant Professor and renowned playwright Saviana Stanescu.

Stanescu says: “Cynthia's project captivated me through its beautiful ambition: to establish trust between the police and civilians. Can we really do that? I don't know the answer, but I know it's an important question.” Scenes are filled with music by Peter Rothbart, IC music professor, and stage action as direction by Amy O'Brien, IC professor of theatre and dance professor.

Henderson sayss the project became a “microcosm of both the challenges and the possibilities that this community deals with on a larger scale everyday. What we hope is that this experimental project delivers both insight and puts our community on a solution-oriented path for a challenges exist in Ithaca as well as the nation.

Trust cast members include: Ithaca College Police Officer Mayra Colon, Micah Martorell Sr., Michah Martorell Jr., Lee-Ellen Marvin, Ella Mead VanCort, Peter Morris, Cora Moss, Ithaca Police Department Officer J.B. Nelson, O.J. Nash Prescott, Trece Stevenson and Cassie Walker.

The following is an opinion piece by Crawford in his bi-monthly column, after seeing the original performance. Many of his questions have since been addressed and it is the wish of tinytowntimes.com that "Trust" become a regular, evolving production, as Mr. Crawford suggests. NOTE: Harmony Graves Malone, who graduated short after the production, will not be in the upcoming performance.


“Trust” not a bust
From “Monday’s Child”
Franklin Crawford, Tompkins Weekly, May 28, 2015
On May 9, a group I’ve never heard of sponsored a significant piece of theater work under the directorship of Cynthia Henderson, an Ithaca College theater arts professor whose name I am familiar with: The work, “Trust,” is described as
a project that: “ … involves civilians from various demographics within this community, as well as police officers, who are all interested in finding a better way  … to work together for the benefit of everyone in the Ithaca community.”
That’s soft-talk for addressing the violent collision between police and civilians across the county, and, in Ithaca. Sponsored by the Performing Arts for Social Change at Ithaca College, “Trust” didn’t completely win me over – but it did whet my appetite for more, more, more.
“Trust” did raise issues, it did work speak across a chasm to offer insights about police and community relations, in particular by casting two actual uniform police personnel, as well as community members – actors and staff from local institutions, and, IC acting students
If you didn’t hear about this notable event, much ballyhooed by Mayor Svante Myrick who was unable to attend because he was addressing a graduating class in Morrisville, N.J., (he was actually cast in the play), I’m not surprised: No one member of the local media covered the show.
I was there because I was personally invited and, seeing no media present, remained for the “talk-back” afterward. The lack of coverage was one of a handful of quibbles I had with the project, most not worth mentioning: With more time and attention I think “Trust” might have busted through to a wider audience and had a bigger impact.
The drawbacks were glaringly evident: For starters, it was held on a Saturday afternoon in the Clark Theater at IC’s Dilligham Center for the Performing Arts. That made little sense to me given its subject matter.
Two: It was a one-off. No more “Trust” shows planned or scheduled.
Three: Already mentioned, poor PR. Even with the Internet, news outlets need to be pestered into covering a Saturday event because – hey, there just aren’t enough warm bodies available to report on anything less than a major disaster.
That’s the sad part about “Trust” and begs the question why, if it was a one-off, it was not held downtown in a venue more accessible to the public. The response that other venues could not be found does not really work when you have a mayor and a police chief behind your project.
Admission was $5 – suggested – and that is not much, considering what Henderson and Company pulled together at a crazy time of year for a college professor, seniors and, well, just about everyone included in the cast.
I apologize to the actors for not going into more detail about their work, because the important take-away: They deserved more shows, they deserved a wider, more diverse audience and, with time, the show would have had time to cohere. As it stood, they did a damn fine job; personally, I wanted to see harder-edged matters addresses in the scripts and monologues; more conflict, less easy answers.
I’ve been around too long and know too much about police and community matters to have left the theater feeling “Wow, that really rocked my world.”
What came out in the talk-back, which included IPD Police Chief John Barber, gave an insight into why future adaptations of “Trust” -- which I hope will happen -- should consider the benefits of a round-robin theater ensemble. Because the “civilians” in the play did benefit from working with actual police personnel. These  police were: IPD Officer JB Nelson, and IC security officer Mayra Colon, both of whom deserve a shout-out for daring to talk about their work in a public forum that was not choreographed by their respective departments.
I could spend the rest of this column simply listing the names of the cast and their jobs. I’m sorry that there isn’t adequate room to give them each credit where its due.
But I remain struck by the work of one Harmony Graves Malone, an IC senior who graduated a couple weeks later. Her movement piece that opened the show proper, was fearless and stunnning. She provoked the audience with gesture and moves that led to high expectations, employing a mix a free form modern/Afro-American dance and then fleeing the stage – just after producing a pair of handcuffs which she defiantly held aloft, then deposited on a chair unceremoniously, before scurrying backstage.
“That,” I thought, “is a bit of theater.”
The rest however, was spoken, with some dialogue, monologues and one intense blocking scene with movement describing a woman’s report of a purse snatcher and the police picking up two young suspects, black, who were in fact, the young men who helped chase away the perpetrator.
One scene obliquely addressed the issue of police calls for “disturbed persons.” That’s when an agency or person alerts the police to a neighbor, friend or loved-one who seems at risk of “harming themselves.” This matter needs bigger play. Mistakenly called the Baker Act for a Florida Law that puts the police on the frontline of suicide calls and barricade situations,  it often involves common citizens who have too loudly made their despair public, or made the off-handed comment, even, of feeling like blowing their own brains out as a matter of severe expression, not of intent.
Such police visits can start as a simple visit and check-in with the individual in question and lead to full-blown SWAT team interventions, if the person is suspected of holding a weapon and is not “cooperative.”
See? That alone brings me to the end of a much needed discussion, a discussion that demands rigorous, repeated exploration if “Trust” is to be more than a teaser.

 

 





Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 10:47
 

Demo Memos: Where the Old Farts Earn Their Keep: Uh-Oh, more babies !

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How the 50-plus crowd earn their Keep

 

The median age of the nation's employed was 42.3 in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some occupations have much older workers than others. In a handful of occupations, the median age of the employed exceeds 50...

  • Chief executives
  • Farmers and ranchers
  • Architectural/engineering managers
  • Tax preparers
  • Clergy
  • Judges
  • Crossing guards
  • Travel agents
  • Real estate brokers
  • Postal service clerks and mail carriers
  • Construction and building inspectors
  • Sewing machine operators
  • Tailors
  • Water treatment plant operators
  • Bus drivers
  • Train engineers


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation and Age


Oh, Dear: More Mouths to Feed

The annual number of births in the United States increased in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The 3,985,924 babies born in 2014 exceeded 2013 births by 53,743—a statistically significant 1 percent increase. The increase was the first since 2007, when births reached an all time high of 4,316,233.

Drilling down into the numbers reveals a dramatically changed pattern of childbearing in the United States. The fertility rate in 2014 inched up to 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, a bit higher than last year's record low of 62.5. This was the first increase in the fertility rate since 2007. But for teenagers, the birth rate fell to a new historic low. For women aged 20 to 24, the birth rate fell to a new historic low. For women aged 25 to 29, the birth rate was essentially unchanged from the record low reached in 2013.


The action is occurring among women aged 30 or older. Among women in their thirties and forties, birth rates are rising and so are births. Many of these women are having their first child after years of delay. The first-birth rate increased for women aged 30 to 39, the government reports. But the overall first-birth rate hit a new record low in 2014 because younger women are reluctant to have children. Births increased in 2014 only because older women are playing catch up. The baby bust may have hit bottom, but at the bottom is where it remains.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2014

From Demo Memo by Cheryl Russell  http://demomemo.blogspot.com/

Russell is a demographer and the editorial director of New Strategist Publications. She is the former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine (then located in Ithaca) and The Boomer Report. She is the author of Bet You Didn't Know and other books on demographic trends. She holds a master's degree in sociology/demography from Cornell University.


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 16:33
 

An honest effort to address Police-community relations ...

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A set piece from "Trust": Officer

Editor's note: The following is a press release from the Performing Arts for Social Change (PASC), an Ithaca College-affiliated group. We print it here for those who missed the opportunity to see a very swiftly assembled group of actors, community members and two members of area police agencies, attempt to address the massive breakdown in many areas of the United States, between those who are sworn to protect the public and a public that is increasingly distrustful of anyone in a blue uniform and a badge ... A "talk-back" of sorts was held after the show ... It was somewhat disappointing owing to times constraints. There also was a complete absence of any local media covering this community event, a very surprising no-show given the importance of the subject matter. Also, Mayor Svante Myrick, who promoted the event and hyped his role in it, was absent. Exactly what his business in Albany was today, would be nice to know, because it would've lent legitimacy to his endorsement of comprehensive remaking of police and community-relations in Ithaca. We will be writing our own take on this event for this page as soon as we have time. Luckily, one of our staff was present and shot photos and "covered" the event. This was serendipity because we'd been personally invited the day before by Cynthia Henderson, director and co-creator of "Trust." For how, this has to serve as the news about this event.

Trust” Brings Police-Civilian Relations to the Stage

The Performing Arts for Social Change (PASC) group will present a new devised-theatre piece on Saturday, May 9th at 4:00 p.m. in the Clark Theatre in Ithaca College’s Dillingham Center.

“Trust” is the result of a PASC-commissioned project entitled “Establishing Trust,” in which cast and crew members went into the community to talk discuss the relationship between the police force and civilians. This staged-reading is directed by Associate Professor Cynthia Henderson, the Founder and Artistic Director of PASC.

“Trust” presents many points of view about the police-civilian relationship. Director Henderson explains, “This project involves civilians from various demographic backgrounds within this community as well as officers who are interestedn in find a better way for us all to work together for the benefit of everyone in the Ithaca community."

Many Ithaca College colleagues have come together to help Henderson realize her vision. Assistant Professor and playwright Saviana Stanescu assembled the script from the dis- cussion transcripts. Stanescu has stated, “Cynthia's project captivated me through its beautiful ambition: to establish trust between the police and civilians. Can we really do that? I don't know the answer, but I know it's an important question.”



Professor Peter Rothbart has composed orig- inal music for “Trust” and dance professor Amy O’Brien has provided movement direction.

Henderson explains that “Trust” has become a “microcosm of both the challenges and the possibilities that this community deals with on a larger scale everyday. what we hope is that this micrcosmic project offers both insight and puts us, as a community, on a path to find a solution for a challenge that exists not only in Ithaca, NY, but throughout our nation."

Mayor Svante Myrick has stated: “I believe whole heartedly in this important project. On the is- sue of police relations there have been many grievances cited but few solutions. Professor Cyn- thia Henderson's program Performing Arts for Social Change has created a project, ‘Establish- ing Trust’ that presents us with a jumping off point for meaningful dialogue. This will be a unique opportunity for the Ithaca Police department and the civilians in our community to see a play that allows for the conversation to begin around trusting one another as a community.”

This project involves civilians from various demographics within this community as

well as police officers who are interested in finding a better way for us all to work together for

the benefit of everyone in the Ithaca community.

sibilities that this community deals with on a larger scale everyday. What we hope is that this microcosmic experimental project offers both insight and puts us, as a community, on a path to

microcosm of both the challenges and the pos-

find a solution for a challenge that exists not only in Ithaca, NY but throughout our nation.

The cast of Trust includes: Officer Mayra Colon, Oghenero Gbaje, Harmony Graves Malone, Micah Martorell Sr., Micah Martorell Jr., Lee-Ellen Marvin, Ella Mead VanCort, Officer Brad Nel- son, Cassie Walker, Rebecca Simpson Wallack, and Edward Yankow.

Trust’s artistic staff also includes: assistant director Peter Marshall, PASC executive assistant Kylie Adams, lighting designer and technical coordinator E-hui Woo, stage manager Lucas Dixon, resident social worker Lucia Sciore, management assistant Rachel Canter, assistant stage manager Vanessa Reyes, sound designer Josh Samuels, acting coach Oghenero Gbaje, acting coach Rebecca Simpson Wallack, assistant to the director Carla Tilghman and assistant playwright Rachael Langton.

###
Performing Arts for Social Change is a program whose mission is to raise awareness and edu-

cate by giving a voice to important societal issues that are often overlooked. We do this through the creation and development of performance pieces that serve as teaching moments for the people involved in the creative process as well as for the audiences who view it. Performing Arts for Social Change is not an affiliate of Ithaca College Theatre Arts.

Dillingham Center proudly accommodates all patrons. Individuals with special needs are asked to contact pa4sc.ithaca@gmail.com to request accommodations as soon as possible.

 

 

All images credited tinytowntimes.com staff

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 May 2015 23:04
 

Please help find "Emily" Missing from home Since May 4

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EMiLY IS MISSING AND HER FAMILY IS DISTRAUGHT!

Help!!! MISSING KITTY! Emily is Missing -- Casacadilla Avenue area between Tioga, Aurora & Cayuga Streets. Please look under porches, in basements, sheds and garages. Contact information: (607) 315-3414 or (607) 592-1237 ... Missing since May 4 (Monday!) ... Emily is a spayed female, all-black with some white on her chest. SHY! -- If seen, best to call first, but she is probably hungry so put out some kibble if you live in this neighborhood. Also please contact me here if you have any tips. Help return Emily to her very distressed family!

–– tinytowntimes.com's animal rescue unit (ttt~ARU!) ...

 

Demo Memo: When it comes to Newspapers, print rules over the InterWeb

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Print Still Dominates Newspaper Readership

News junkies rather huff hard copy than online pubs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: tinytowntimes.com archives. Credit:franklincrawford

Pew's State of the News Media 2015 report shows that print -- hard copy -- the dominant platform for newspaper readers.

Here is the distribution of newspaper readership by platform...

Distribution of newspaper readership by platform

• Print only: 55%
• Print/desktop: 15%
• Print/desktop/mobile: 10%
• Desktop only: 7%
• Desktop/mobile: 5%
• Print/mobile: 4%
• Mobile only: 3%

What sounds like good news for the publishing industry ain't necessarily so: Newspaper readership has declined: Only 24 percent of Americans aged 18 or older read a newspaper every day, according to the 2014 General Social Survey, down from 53 percent in pre-Internet 1990.

Among Millennials, the figure is just 14 percent. The fact that print still dominates today's (shrinking) newspaper audience means younger generations are looking elsewhere for news.

What are they reading? Check the Facebook for those numbers. 

Source: Pew Research Center, State of the News Media 2015 and 2014 General Social Survey

From Demo Memo by Cheryl Russell  http://demomemo.blogspot.com/

Russell is a demographer and the editorial director of New Strategist Publications. She is the former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine (then located in Ithaca) and The Boomer Report. She is the author of Bet You Didn't Know and other books on demographic trends. She holds a master's degree in sociology/demography from Cornell University.


Last Updated on Sunday, 03 May 2015 23:08
 


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