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Chicago Joins International I Can’t Keep Quiet Movement Celebrating Empowerment, Unique Identities, Engagement & Voice with Community Chorus

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The first performance was in Washington, DC at The Women’s March on January 21, 2017.  The choir rehearsed virtually and sang for unsuspecting strangers with flash mob performance of an a cappella version of the song. Since then, groups have performed various versions of the song all over the world. If you feel the need to use your voice for a cause close to your own heart, this song is for you. If you would like to sing for someone who doesn’t have a voice, this song is for you. If you just want to sing, join us.

THE CHORUS

Our chorus is comprised of people of all ages, from all walks of life, all faiths, and all backgrounds. Senior citizens, women, children, teens and men are all welcome. You do not need singing experience to join us.  If you are a professional singer, an amateur vocalist or new to singing, join us. If you can feel music, join us.

We will stand up against violence in Chicago and globally. We will sing for equality, respect, civil discourse, self-empowerment and integrity-driven conflict resolution and discourse in Illinois. We’ll sing to celebrate each other.

REHEARSALS

We will rehearse this song and a few others for one week and perform as a large group together downtown Chicago on May 13. Attend a minimum of one-two rehearsals if you cannot attend every one. The most important rehearsals to attend are May 10 and May 11.

ALL ABILITIES and ALL INCLUSIVE

For persons who are hospitalized, unable to travel or have physical limitations, we invite you to sing along with us via your iPads, mobile phones and laptops. On May 10 and May 11 we will live stream rehearsals to a closed group via Google Hang Out or Periscope. Details will be announced the first week of May.

Kindly download the Periscope App and set up Google Hang Out in preparation now. On May 13, we will also live stream the performance to ensure everyone is included and singing together at the same time.

SHARE AND INVITE FRIENDS & FAMILY TO PARTICPATE

Print the lyrics, watch the video and practice the song with friends, family, colleagues, caregivers, and senior citizens ahead of rehearsals. People are practicing now all across our city.

UPDATES

Follow the Women’s March on Chicago Facebook Page (The FB group with 45,000+ members) for ongoing updates.

ACCESSIBLITY

Both the rehearsal and performance location are wheel chair accessible. Preston Bradley Center is located two blocks east of the CTA Red Line El at Lawrence. Kindly check for handicap access and safe routes for transportation. Street parking is available in Uptown, as well.

REEHEARSAL DATES:

May 8 7-9:00p

May 9 7-9:00p

May 10 7-9:00p

May 11 7-9:00p

May 12 7-8:30p

REHEARSAL LOCATION:

Preston Bradley Center

Auditorium

941 West Lawrence Avenue

Uptown Neighborhood in Chicago

(Located at the intersection of Sheridan Road & Lawrence Avenue 2 blocks east of the El)

PERFORMANCE DATE:

Saturday, May 13

1p-3p

PERFORMANCE LOCATION

Downtown Chicago – To Be Announced

FOR ONGOING UPDATES:

Follow the Women’s March on Chicago Facebook page – the group with 45,000+ members.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1274648525889466/

QUESTIONS?

Contact producer Kimberly Soenen at kimberlyjsoenen@gmail.com

Rehearse this song in the weeks ahead. Here we go. Together Together.

SONG LYRICS:

https://www.icantkeepquiet.org/thesong/

SONG VERSION WE WILL PERFORM:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cc_neVdjb4&feature=youtu.be

Justin Cooper

Meet The Team – Justin Cooper, Planning Committee Member

Justin CooperI am a black artist, filmmaker, and disability advocate. Five years ago, the lack of representation of people with disabilities in media motivated me to work on my own documentary film called The Wheelchair Chronicles. Through that journey, I’ve met so many artists and filmmakers with disabilities who felt the same way I did about the lack of representation and were telling their own stories, and were coming up with their own ideas on what a film should be like.

That five-year journey shaped me as the person that I am today and has shaped the way I see visual media. It’s important for people with disabilities to share their stories through visual media with the world because often times our voices aren’t heard. Whether we’re in front of the camera or behind the scenes, our voices demand to heard.

I am pleased to be working with the ReelAbilities Film Festival and I am thrilled to be working with such talented men and women during the planning process.

– Justin Cooper, Planning Committee Member

Justin Cooper earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Media Studies from DePaul University in 2013. Justin is currently a member of Access Living (a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives), a member of Access Living’s Young Professionals Council, and is a member of 3Arts (an organization that supports artists of color, women artists, and artists with disabilities).

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Fun Fact Friday presents: Granville Redmond, one of film’s earliest deaf actors

Fun Fact Friday brings you, our audience, facts and information sparking discussions related to “inclusion” as it intersects with disability, culture, and society.

Redmond (left) and Chaplin (right) on the set of A Dog's Left (1918)

Redmond (left) and Chaplin (right) on the set of A Dog’s Life (1918)

This Week’s Fact:

While Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin may serve as one of the most well-known actors who is deaf (known for her role as Sarah Norman in Randa Haines’ Children of a Lesser God (1986) and more recently as the recurring character Melody Bledsoe in the TV series Switched at Birth, (2011-2017)) deaf actors participated in the film industry at least a century beforehand, albeit not in starring roles.  One of those individuals was Granville Redmond, who was a landscape artist and “became a permanent fixture in San Francisco art circles” (Schuchman 23). His “’art of mimicry’” in a film caught the attention of silent film star Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin invited Redmond to Hollywood, assuring him that it was not necessary to speak. Redmond first appeared in A Dog’s Life, (1918) and was in other Chaplin films as well, including The Kid (1921) and City Lights (1931) (23-25). Chaplin even “gave Redmond space to paint at the Chaplin production facilities, where Redmond produced some works for films, others for himself, and some that Chaplin purchased” (24).

Jonathan Bartholomy, RAFF Chicago Planning Committee Member

Works Cited

Schuchman, John S. Hollywood Speaks: Deafness and the Film Entertainment Industry. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Charlie Kassler

Meet The Team – Charlie Kessler, Planning Committee Member

Charlie Kassler

 

Charlie Kessler works as a freelance production assistant and editor in Chicago. Charlie was introduced to RAFF Chicago Co-Director Matt Lauterbach during an internship at Kartemquin Films. Matt encouraged Charlie to join the planning committee after they discovered a common interest in media accessibility.

Having an older brother with autism and two aunts with visual impairments has placed accessibility and inclusion at the forefront of Charlie and his family’s lives. Witnessing firsthand the difficulty to ensure proper assistance and social services for his brother drives Charlie to advocate and take action to support him.

Charlie has also witnessed his aunts graduate college while navigating employment, transportation, and forefronting the design of accessible tools. His aunts have inspired Charlie to challenge status quos and to see possibility in anything you set your mind to.

By collaborating with ReelAbilities, Charlie hopes to make a positive impact on the disability community by combining his passions for film and creating inclusive opportunities.

 

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Lauren Kalinoski

Meet The Team – Lauren Kalinoski, Planning Committee Member

Lauren Kalinoski

I am a Biomedical Illustrator at UIC’s Department of Ophthalmology. Growing up in a very creative household, I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. In school I also developed a strong interested in anatomy, health, and science. Combining these interests as a medical illustrator allows me to translate research information into visuals. I’m also very interested in using illustration and design to translate and impart other information, such as information regarding current social issues.

I first became interested in disability advocacy through a previous job, where I worked with Reveca on several projects. The organization — a health and science-centric museum — premiered BACKBONE’s Reinventing the Wheel photo exhibit. Continuing the partnership, Reveca and BACKBONES collaborated with the museum on two other disability awareness exhibits, and a variety of other projects. Working on these exhibits and subsequently attending accessibility training workshops made me more fully realize how inaccessible our world is, on both a physical and psychological level.

I believe visual media is one of our most important agents for social change, and I’m thrilled to be helping with the ReelAbilities Film Festival!

– Lauren Kalinoski, Planning Committee Member

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Coming-Home Still

Fun Fact Friday presents: “Coming Home” (1978), a film using cinematography to empower disabled veterans.

Fun Fact Friday brings you, our audience, facts and information sparking discussions related to “inclusion” as it intersects with disability, culture, and society.

This Weeks’ Fact:
In Hal Ashby’s Coming Home (1978), there are many early sequences taking place at a V.A. Hospital, where physically disabled Vietnam veterans are interacting with each other and taking part in sports related activities, such as basketball and football throwing. Cinematographer Haskell Wexler created a camera dolly that positioned the camera at the same level as the veterans, avoiding high camera angles used in past films to suggest a sense of vulnerability and powerlessness with a character (Norden 267-68).

Jonathan Bartholomy, RAFF Chicago Planning Committee Member

Watch the trailer and pay close attention to the camera angles used to portray Luke Martin (Jon Voight), a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran.

Disclaimer: Brief nudity. This film is rated R. 

Works Cited: Norden, Martin F. The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies.

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Meet The Team

Meet The Team – Jonathan Bartholomy

Meet The Team

I have connected to films for as long as I can remember. The first film I recall viewing in a theater was Robert Zemeckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1989), watching it with a cousin. When I saw Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Bear (1988) with my father, I was somewhat traumatized by the growling and roaring of the adult male bear. I remember watching Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992) (my first PG-13 film!) and a mother scurried her child out of the theater after Penguin bit a man’s nose.

I wanted to be Peter Venkman from Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters (1984) and have my own proton pack. Watching the initial Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films caused my interest in Taekwondo and Jeet Kune Do. Zemeckis’ Contact (1997) made me think about the similar searches in life that can occur on seemingly different paths. Whether it was watching George Cukor’s My Fair Lady (1964) with my mother and enjoying the singing and costumes, or being introduced to Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) by my father and contemplating free will, control, and society, I came to understand that films can be more than “just movies.”

As I became more interested in the field of Disability Studies years later as an undergraduate student, I realized how powerful films are in shaping the way people think about disability. Various stereotypes connected to disability have been used over the years time and again in mainstream films. I want to continue conversations surrounding disability and film and engage with different perspectives as more people with disabilities become involved in the ongoing process.

– Jonathan Bartholomy, Planning Committee Member

Jonathan Bartholomy is a 2016 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) master’s degree program in Disability and Human Development. His main interests include Cultural Studies, Film Studies, and Disability Studies. He enjoys examining and analyzing the construction of disability in film/television and how this impacts society’s understanding of disability.

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Meet The Team – Grishma Shah, Co-Director

RAFF bio3

 

Grishma, is a Mass-Media Consultant that works with filmmakers, actors, curators and film festivals. When Grishma isn’t screening a film or curating a film festival, you will find her on a film set, in a script writing class, or preparing for her next art exhibition.

“Films bring out an intoxicating concoction of feelings. Before we know it, we become addicted to it. We need to know what happens to the characters, and feel accountable for them as they live out their lives. Our understanding of their situation changes how we think. And sometimes we see ourselves in them. Film allows us that- it connects us to what’s important, humanity.”

– Grishma Shah, RAFF Chicago Co-Director

Click here for information on Grishma’s most current project:
http://www.ephemerafilm.com

Past project:
http://www.csaff.org

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

Movie Still

Fun Fact Friday presents: “Freaks” (1932), the film that shook the studio…executives!

Fun Fact Friday brings you, our audience, facts and information sparking discussions related to “inclusion” as it intersects with disability, culture, and society.

Synopsis:
Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) follows traveling circus sideshow performers and their interactions with others behind the curtain. The film focuses on Hans, (Harry Earles) a little person who loves a nondisabled trapeze artist named Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova). His efforts to woo her are met with laughter and mockery behind his back, especially by Cleopatra and her lover Hercules, (Henry Victor) the strongman of the company. Once Cleopatra learns that Hans will inherit a fortune, she and Hercules hatch a plan to have her marry Hans and poison him. When the other “freaks” of the company learn about this plan to murder one of their own, they exact revenge on those responsible. Watch the opening scene…

Fact:

From behind the scenes of Freaks survives a story involving author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was working on a script for MGM at the time. One day during lunch, Fitzgerald saw conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton at the commissary and became sick after realizing that both understood the menu even though only one of them was reading it. Studio executives and crew members also complained about having to look at the disabled performers at the commissary. These issues led to an “off-limits” policy, effectively segregating disabled performers from the commissary. This agreement was reached by Irving Thalberg who was the Vice-President in charge of Production.

Movie Still

Olga Baclanova and Harry Earles

Reaction by Jonathan Bartholomy 
Tod Browning’s Freaks is a fascinating film, to say the least. 85 years after its initial release, it has survived, continuing to attract audiences and spark discussions. For its time, Freaks was something entirely different that audiences were not prepared to see. While Lon Chaney, the “Man of a Thousand Faces,” was known for roles that included disabled characters, moviegoers understood that what they saw on screen from him was not “real.” (Norden 74). Chaney was known for his use of prosthetics and other devices for his roles. Freaks goes beyond this, having people with disabilities on the screen playing various roles. The reaction to Freaks when it was first shown in theaters can help indicate how people with disabilities were perceived at this point in time in U.S. culture. It was released during a period where the idea of people with disabilities as “freaks” was fading fast, replaced by a medicalized view of disability that emerged in the late 19th century and continues to this day. Through modernization, viewing different bodies as something extraordinary or captivating for audiences fell out of favor (Garland-Thomson 11). The medicalization of disability “casts human variation as deviance from the norm, as pathological condition, as deficit, and significantly, as an individual burden and personal tragedy” (Linton 11). With such a shift at that time, the images people saw on the screen were met with revulsion. People with disabilities were pitied and withheld from public view, with focus placed on eliminating disability through cure, rehabilitation, public policy, or death. Thankfully, further cultural shifts in later years brought about reevaluations of the film.

When I first saw Freaks “back in the day,” I had never seen anything like it. As a person with a disability, I was attracted to it and repulsed by it. On the one hand, having grown up with other kids with disabilities in elementary school, I connected to its sense of community and understanding. On the other hand, I was disturbed by how quickly the “freaks” turn to revenge, thinking about how this may have impacted how people saw other people with disabilities. As time moved on, I saw more and more that connected with my interests in film and disability, examining everything from historical factors to shot selections and camera angles. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the film.

A number of years ago, I wondered if anybody would take on the idea of remaking Freaks. I briefly entertained the idea (in my imagination, of course) of a studio handing over the reins to someone like Rob Zombie (I believe this was during the time that Zombie had just finished one of his Halloween remakes, so I figured he might have enough clout to actually do something like that). Of course, beyond “the imagining,” I knew that this would not or should not take place. Freaks is better off being left alone. American Horror Story: Freak Show is the most similar program in comparison to the film that I can remember. Still, while AHS showed a surprising level of sensitivity that I didn’t expect, I still found it problematic in reinforcing old ideas about disability.

Freaks makes me think about the efforts towards altering the perceptions of people with disabilities through representation and how things are slow-ly changing. I tend to be apprehensive about any new disability themed film or TV programming that comes out, feeling that I might be devastatingly disappointed. Still, I keep watching what’s on the screen.

Movie Still

Johnny Eck

Works Cited

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. “’Introduction: From Wonder to Error–A Genealogy of Freak

Discourse in Modernity.” Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body. Ed.

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. New York: New York University Press, 1996. 1-19.

Linton, Simi. Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity. New York: New York University
Press, 1998.

Norden, Martin F. The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies.

New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

Skal, David J. The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. New York: W.W. Norton &

Company, 1993.

Meet The Team

Meet The Team – Matt Lauterbach, Co-Director

Meet The Team

 

I vividly remember my first lesson in empathy.

When I was a small child, I bit my sister – regularly and repeatedly. To my parents’ great frustration, I wouldn’t stop. No amount of tears from my sister and no amount of scolding or pleading from my parents could change my behavior. What finally did work was when my mother bit ME to show me what if feels like to be bitten – hard. And when I finally understood how my sister felt, I stopped.

Now, as a documentary film editor, my goal is to make the experiences of others understandable. Empathy is my primary tool, and I strive to represent my subjects’ point of view as truthfully and vividly as possible. My films have explored such perspectives as: an Arab-American grappling with his identity in post-9-11 USA; nursing home residents who discover theater as a way to cope with dementia; a Twitter activist whose experience with homelessness drives him to collect and share hundreds of similar stories; and a young man who is coming to terms with his family’s history of mental illness.

My first exploration of disability was a short documentary called Hearing Images (2010), which illustrates the techniques of audio description & touch tours for blind theater-goers, in which visual images are made verbal and tactile during a special pre-show event. I myself am a trained audio describer, and I now lead touch tours for Victory Gardens Theater, the NeoFuturists, and Chicago Children’s Theater. And thanks to a grant from the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, I was recently able to launch an interactive media project called Beyond Blind which strives to make the experiences of those with low vision understandable to ‘the sighted.’

Films are a vivid way to transport viewers into someone else’s life, show what it feels like to live in a different time or place or circumstance, and shed light on the various beliefs, perceptions, and abilities that other people possess. As one of the co-directors of ReelAbilities Chicago, I am excited to bring 5 days of engaging films and rich programming to this community. We can’t wait to share!

– Matt Lauterbach, RAFF Chicago Co-Director

 

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org