Posts tagged with "educators"

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance photo of teacher teaching child students ballet via Michelle Tabnik PR for use by 360 Magazine

Ballet Hispánico Summer Program

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance announces that registration is now open for a week-long summer professional development program for dance teachers, July 11-15, 2022. The program is $525 for in-person attendees and $435 for virtual attendees, with discounts available for School of Dance partner organizations, including NDEO and NASD members. The registration deadline is Friday, June 10, 2022. For more information and to register, visit HERE.

The Ballet Hispánico professional development program is an opportunity for dance teachers to immerse themselves amongst fellow educators, share teaching practices, and further their teaching artistry. With daily class and student observation, theory is seen in practice and discussed. All educators are welcome, from seasoned faculty to new teachers, community dance practitioners, dance education undergraduates/graduates, dance studio owners, and K-12 teachers.

Course Highlights:

  • Observe in-person and/or virtual class offerings at Ballet Hispánico headquarters, led by seasoned School of Dance faculty addressing varied age groups and dance genres.
  • Discuss and reflect on class observations and presentations with an emphasis on application for each teacher’s individual practice.
  • Examine Early Childhood curricular bridging points and other developmental benchmarks for instruction.
  • Engage with Ballet Hispánico pedagogy and curricular design through the lens of culture and repertory.
  • Interact with tools for social-emotional learning and addressing the diverse student-learner.
  • Challenge narratives of collective dance histories and dance archives
  • Identify cultura and other teaching identities, and their implications for pedagogical practices.
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion.

2022 Guest Faculty and Sessions:

Yebel Gallegos – Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Bard College, multi-faceted dance artist from El Paso, Texas, played an important role in the founding of Cressida Danza Contemporanea also helped in the creation and implementation of the Festival Yucatan Escenica, an international contemporary dance festival, former dancer, company teacher, rehearsal director, and academic coordinator for the Conservatorio de Danza de Yucate, recently concluded a six-year tenure working full time with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, BFA in dance, both from the University of Texas at Austin and from the Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlen, directed by Delfos Dance Company, MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Elisa de la Rosa – daughter of migrant farmworkers, and granddaughter to Mexican immigrant grandparents; a first generation college graduate is originally from a small border town in Texas, Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), choreographer, performer, dance educator, and the founding artistic director of De La Rosa Dance Company, Artistic Director of the TWU Dance International Dance Company, was a dance educator for 14 years in middle and high school Texas dance programs, has designed professional development for dance educators in various school districts and presented to Aldine, Denton, Edinburg, and La Joya Independent School Districts, integrated the Dance and Digital Media Communications Curriculum into her instruction and was awarded a $3,500 grant for technology by The Texas Cultural Trust, BA in Dance with Secondary Teacher Certification from Texas Woman’s University, and an MFA in Dance from Montclair State University.

Gregory Youdan – has performed with the NY Baroque Dance Company, Sokolow Theatre/Dance and Heidi Latsky Dance, where he now serves as a board member, Currently, visiting research scholar at Brown University and adjunct lecturer at Lehman College, Westheimer Fellow through Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program and is a teaching artist in their Dance for PD en Espanola, a 2021 National Association for Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Fellow and 2021 Latin Impact Honoree, serves on the development committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), the research committee for the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH), and the advisory council for Dance Data Project, a member of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance.

Dr. Afdaniels Mabingo – a Ugandan dance researcher, scholar, performer, educator, Afro-optimist and co-founder of AFRIKA SPEAKS, holds Ph.D. in Dance Studies from the University of Auckland, recipient of the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, Mabingo also holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University, and an MA in Performing Arts and a BA in Dance degree, both from Makerere University in Uganda, has taught at Makerere University in Uganda, New York University, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, has also guest lectured at Columbia University and Princeton University, his research sits at the intersection of decolonization, interculturalism, postcolonialism, dance pedagogy and African philosophy, latest book titled Ubuntu as Dance Pedagogy: Individuality, Community, and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning of Indigenous Dances in Uganda, received scholarships and awards that included: Fulbright Junior Staff Development Scholarship, Fulbright Scholar in Residence (deferred), the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship, Makerere University Staff Development Scholarship, George Payne award for outstanding academic leadership and excellence at NYU, and the best overall Humanities student award at the 48thst-49th graduation at Makerere University, has taught dance schools and community settings in the U.S., Australia, South Sudan, Germany, Uganda, and New Zealand, has presented keynotes, delivered paper presentation, and facilitated dance workshops for conference gatherings such as daCi-WDA, NDEO, CORD, WAAE, and WDA,&#a0;has also staged choreographies and performed in New York City, Adelaide in Australia, Rwanda, Auckland in New Zealand, and Uganda;

Testimonials

  • “This is my first Professional Development experience, and I have been blown away!” – Margaret
  • “This week has been a work for the mind.” – Lynette
  • “I can now provide my students with tools that I didn’t have in my own dancing.” – Dandara

About Ballet Hispánico

Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.

National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970, at the height of the post-war civil rights movements. From its inception Ballet Hispánico focused on providing a haven for Black and Brown Latinx youth and families seeking artistic place and cultural sanctuary. By providing the space for Latinx dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifted marginalized emerging and working artists, which combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory. In 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its Artistic Director, ushering in a new era by inserting fresh energy to the company’s founding values and leading Ballet Hispánico into an artistically vibrant future. Today, Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters house a School of Dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community. From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, for fifty years Ballet Hispánico has stood as a catalyst for social change.

Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latinx dance in the United States. Ballet Hispánico has developed a robust public presence across its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships.

Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement efforts Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies underrepresented voices in the field. For fifty years Ballet Hispánico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and oppressed. As it looks to the next fifty years and beyond, Ballet Hispánico seeks to empower, and give agency to, the Latinx experience and those individuals within it.

Film artwork via Heather Skovlund for use by 360 MAGAZINE

THE CW NETWORKS DEBUTS “MARCH”

From the CW Network comes the brand-new documentary series MARCH, that navigates through the journey of competitive HBCU band culture. MARCH directly follows the lives of varying band members and leaders that are a part of the Marching Storm, Prairie View A&M University’s Marching Band.

The docu-series comes in eight parts, illustrating the efforts that the members put in behind the scenes to ensure success, and how they juggle their college life and academics with their commitment to the marching band. MARCH airs on Monday, January 25 (8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT) and then it moves to its regularly scheduled programming of Sunday nights beginning on February 26 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT), after ALL AMERICAN and ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING take place on Monday nights.

The new series MARCH highlights the stories of diverse and gifted college students that attend Prairie View A&M University. Whether they’re drummers in the marching band or dancers on the flag team, they all have one thing in common; they work hard at their craft, and they juggle the responsibilities of college on top of their musical endeavors. While delving into personal stories from individuals and staff associated with the 300-person marching band, MARCH also studies the rich legacy and history of Prairie View A&M, emphasizing the importance of the Marching Storm band has had on that powerful story. The series follows along the journey that they must go through to become the top ranked HBCU band in the nation. Performances include a captivating homecoming show with Texas A&M and Southern University.

From Stage 13, MARCH is executively produced by Cheryl Horner McDonough, Jamail Shelton, Shari Scorca and Marcel Fuentes.

About Prairie View A&M University

Serving as the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state of Texas, Prairie View A&M University has instituted importance on individuality and self-expression. With an array of programs for engineers, nurses and educators, PVAMU has fitting baccalaureate, master or doctor degree through eight colleges and schools. PVAMU prides themselves on having top-tier mentors that are available to guide and advise their students towards their dreams. For more information on PVAMU, visit www.pvamu.edu.

Science Tech Illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta

WonderWorks Panama x Good Vibrations

WonderWorks Panama City Beach has an array of exhibits that help educate people about science. The newest exhibit on earthquakes, called Good Vibrations, opens June 11, 2021. Good Vibrations will spotlight Tuckaleechee Caverns, and how they document seismic activity around the world. The new exhibit was a topic request from educators, so it seemed appropriate that they also name the exhibit.

“We are happy to offer this new exhibit about earthquakes, which was a request by teachers,” said Michael Walsingham, general manager of WonderWorks Panama City Beach. “People will have a great opportunity to learn about seismic activity, along with where and how it’s measured.”

The Tuckaleechee Caverns are home to the most sensitive seismic station on Earth. It detects any and all tectonic movement anywhere in the world. If a country is testing a nuclear weapon or there is an earthquake, it has that information within seconds. Once it does, within 300 of a millisecond, it relays that important information directly to the U.S. Military; Vienna, Austria and Geneva, Switzerland. The information is collected 24/7 and is crucial to national security, as well as being able to provide earthquake information.

The exhibit, Good Vibrations will help share the importance of the Tuckaleechee Caverns and what they are doing in monitoring seismic activity. The information in the exhibit meets the educational standards on earthquake and seismic activity, and is one of WonderWorks’ many STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) related learning exhibits. The exhibit name was suggested by teachers.

“This is going to be a great summer, with families taking the time to include learning activities along with having fun,” added Walsingham. “At WonderWorks, we are where learning and fun come together, with the whole family enjoying their time here.”

WonderWorks Panama City Beach offers many STEM-related exhibits and activities all year long. There are also demonstrations, activities, virtual learning labs, science fair partnerships, homeschool days, and more. To get more information about the WonderWorks STEM programs, visit the site at: https://www.wonderworksonline.com/panama-city-beach/stem-programs/.

To see a full list of the COVID-19 safety measures in place at WonderWorks Panama City Beach, visit the site at: https://www.wonderworksonline.com/panama-city-beach/covid-19.

The interactive indoor amusement park offers STEM-focused activities for all ages. There are over 100 hands-on activities that are focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Some of the exhibits will include a bubble room, Professor Wonder’s adventure, interactive sandbox, illusion art gallery, and xtreme 360 bikes. For more information on WonderWorks, visit the site at: https://www.wonderworksonline.com/panama-city-beach/.

Children illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Oxford Method

The Oxford Method Puts Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, is on a mission to help underprivileged students around the country

The pandemic changed how education was delivered for millions of students. While just about everyone was impacted, it has been especially difficult on minority students. According to McKinsey & Company, the disparities among student groups grew over the last year. It reports that when it comes to learning, the pandemic took a heavy toll on Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities around the country. It found that students of color had fallen 3-5 months behind, while white students were 1-3 months behind. One company, The Oxford Method, is out to help bridge that gap and bring those students up to speed.

“There must be a spotlight put on diversity and inclusion because the achievement gap has widened in the last year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “We are taking steps to help those students so they can get caught up and have the foundation they need to succeed.”

The Oxford Method is an online learning community made up of educators who help to provide tutoring to those in need. It provides a full range of tutoring services, covering all types of subjects, and has experienced educators who can work with all levels of students. They help students who are gifted, special needs, traditional, and from rural and urban areas around the nation.

The educational community helps underprivileged students in a variety of ways, including by:

  • Providing free computers and high-speed internet. With that, it provides free instruction to the students, including those who are special needs and gifted. 
  • Working with students who are in urban and rural areas. These are areas often overlooked and that fall short in the technology category.
  • Having instructors from all socio-economic, psychographics, demographics, and geographic areas. The community of educators not only has a mission of helping those who are in diverse categories, but they are a group that is diverse.

“We have helped many students who would otherwise have a difficult time getting assistance,” added Florence. “We look forward to helping even more to finish this school year strong, get caught up over summer break, and be able to go into the new school year feeling confident.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. It offers online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Its tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The Oxford Method works with its nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving it 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of the instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the Oxford Method website.

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Becoming AFI × 50 Years

 “This book puts you directly behind the scenes for a story that began with a dream, overcame constant challenges, and evolved into the institution it is today.”Steven Spielberg

“Documented here by the people who lived it, this is a remarkable tale of how a major institution, created out of whole cloth, wove itself into the American fabric.”

Cokie Roberts, author and political commentator for ABC and NPR 

Becoming AFI Celebrates 50 Years of the American Film Institute


For over fifty years, the American Film Institute has flourished as one of America’s great cultural entities. Its graduates, faculty, supporters, and trustees have included such acclaimed individuals as Steven Spielberg, Maya Angelou, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Meryl Streep, Les Moonves, Patty Jenkins, David Lynch, Jane Fonda, Edward James Olmos, Shonda Rhimes, James L. Brooks, and many other respected leaders in the worlds of film, television, digital media, and philanthropy.

In their new book, Becoming AFI: 50 Years Inside the American Film Institute (Santa Monica Press/October 2017), Jean Picker Firstenberg and James Hindman provide a candid look at how this remarkable organization brought together aspiring filmmakers, educators, and artists who helped AFI become the foremost national champion for moving images as a vibrant art form.

From its early years operating out of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the legendary Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills under the leadership of George Stevens Jr., through its incredible growth into an influential cultural institution at its landmark Hollywood campus under the guidance of Jean Picker Firstenberg, to its continued excellence today under the dynamic leadership of Bob Gazzale, the organization and its history are chronicled in Becoming AFI through in-depth essays written by those who have been involved in its adventures, growth, and success.

 “After being asked so many times what our book would be about, we decided to put together AFI’s history as we experienced it personally,” explain Firstenberg and Hindman. “As we structured the book with the stories we wanted to tell from those years, we realized that some of those stories really belonged to other voices. So, we went to several former colleagues and asked them to join our band. Each chapter tells a stand-alone story about an aspect of AFI, but together, they add up to the full picture.”

Becoming AFI provides an insightful, behind-the-scenes look at how AFI, with passionate determination, overcame the hurdles of advancing technology, political shifts, and new audience dynamics to turn its aspirations into a substantial and highly successful organization, becoming a tireless advocate of moving images as one of America’s most popular forms of art, and maturing into one of the world’s most respected educational and cultural institutions. 

“No matter how divisive life in this country may become, the movie theater has always been a place where we can discover what unites us.”

Vernon Jordan Jr., New York Times  “AFI saved our film history. AFI celebrates filmmakers. AFI trains the next generation. Thanks to Becoming AFI for telling us the fascinating story of its fifty-year history. And a big thank you to Jean Picker Firstenberg and James Hindman for documenting all of it! Here’s to the next fifty!”

Edward James Olmos, actor and AFI trustee


About the Authors
Jean Picker Firstenberg served as president and CEO of the American Film Institute from 1980 to 2007, overseeing the development of AFI as one of America’s greatest national, cultural, and educational resources. She received an AFI Life Achievement Award for Service to the Institute and was named president emerita and a lifetime trustee. In 2016, Firstenberg was named to the California State University Board of Trustees by Governor Jerry Brown, overseeing the largest four-year public university system in the United States, with twenty-three campuses educating the most diverse student body in the nation. Prior to serving at AFI, Firstenberg spent four years as a program officer at the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation. She also served as director of Princeton University’s Publications Office. Firstenberg is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications. She has served on several boards, including that of Boston University (1984–1996), the George Foster Peabody Awards at Georgia University (1985–1997; board chair 1991–1997), and the United States Postal Service Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (2002–2014; committee chair 2008–2014). She has won numerous awards and honorary degrees. 

James Hindman, PhD, has spent his career in cinema and performing arts, creating and leading professional and public education programs at major institutions. During his twenty-four years at the American Film Institute, where he served as co-director and chief operating officer, he was provost of the AFI Conservatory, which he nurtured through WASC accreditation. He was also the uncredited producer of the award-winning feature documentary Visions of Light and the television series Starring the Actor. He developed the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Springs, Maryland, as well as numerous television projects and international film and television festivals. Subsequent to AFI, he developed and led film schools in the U.S. and internationally, including the Red Sea School of Cinematic Arts in Aqaba, Jordan, and New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute in Las Cruces. He is currently on the board of the New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, charged with creating a new cinematic and media arts program and facilities for the school. Prior to AFI, he served as head of graduate studies in the Performing Arts Department at American University in Washington, DC, having previously taught at the University of North Carolina. Hindman holds a PhD in drama from the University of Georgia and has served on the boards of the AIDS Service Center and LAMP in Los Angeles. He currently splits his time between Santa Monica, California, and Taos, New Mexico.

Patty Jenkins made history in 2017 when she directed her second film, Wonder Woman, becoming the first woman to direct a studio superhero movie and earning the biggest domestic opening of all time for a woman director. Jenkins wrote and directed her first film, the crime drama Monster, in 2003, launching Charlize Theron’s career with many awards, including an Oscar for Best Actress. Jenkins graduated from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1993 and the AFI Conservatory in 2001.

Dana Gioia was appointed Poet Laureate of the State of California in 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown. An award-winning poet who has published five collections of poetry, Gioia served as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009, and was named a USC Judge Widney Professor in Poetry and Public Art in 2011.

David Lynch, born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana. Eagle Scout. 


BECOMING AFI: 50 YEARS INSIDE THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

By Jean Picker Firstenberg and James Hindman

Foreword by Dana Gioia

Preface by Patty Jenkins

Afterword by David Lynch

Santa Monica Press/October 2017

Hardcover/$27.95

ISBN-13: 978-159580-094-7


FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS CONTACT:

Trina Kaye – The Trina Kaye Organization

TrinaKaye@tkopr.com / 310-915-0970