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News and Updates from the Maestra Team!

Documenting our History
Charting our Future

Happy Holidays to our Maestra Friends and Family!

As the year winds to a close, we reflect back and look forward. The challenges of 2017 have strengthened our belief in the power of community and the importance of storytelling. We are firmer than ever in our commitment to share stories of hope - lifting up stories of literacy and education work in movements for social change. Literacy is a fundamental social justice and human rights issue, essential for a healthy society and a fully-functioning democracy. By documenting these moments of possibility, we hope to inspire and inform current struggles for justice

This September, we donated our full MAESTRA archive to Wilson Library at UNC, which will be housed in Special Collections for current and future generations.

We will now embark on 
building a
 TRILOGY
of movement literacy films!

The Literacy Trilogy includes:
I. MAESTRA
II. CRUZADA
III. A collection on US MOVEMENT LITERACY STORIES

Please read more about each project below.

This work is made possible through the support of our community - including you! - who believe in the power of this work to make positive change.

We will work to get these stories into the hands of activists, organizations and communities who can find inspiration in these films and use them as tools to further their own work.

As the year draws to a close, we hope you will consider supporting our work.

You can donate to our ongoing efforts here.*

*Gifts of $100 or more are tax-deductible. Please contact us if you would like a tax deduction, or if you prefer to send a check: info@maestrathefilm.org

 
Un abrazo grande,
Catherine Murphy and the Literacy Project Team
Donate Here
THE LITERACY PROJECT TRILOGY
I. MAESTRA
MAESTRA: Six years later, MAESTRA is going strong with frequent screenings to diverse audiences. Griselda Aguilera, Cuba's youngest female Literacy Campaign volunteer, is on a multi-city US tour with the film now through February. Read highlights below.
Photos from the September archive launch and screening at UNC-Chapel Hill
II. CRUZADA
CRUSADE will document stories from Nicaragua’s 1980 Literacy Campaign. Currently in production, producer Shaya Christensen and director Catherine Murphy are working with our Nicaragua team: producer Kathy Sevilla, DP Alejandro Martinez and sound engineer Jose Luis Bravo and superstar production support Roland Membreño. Follow the CRUZADA story on Facebook.
LEFT: Interviewing Ligia Eugenia who learned how to read and write in 1980 and is now an educator at her local school in Posoltega, Nicaragua.
CENTER: Poster from Nicaragua's Literacy Campaign.
RIGHT Interviewing Sara Henriquez in Lechecuago where she taught literacy in 1980.
III. US MOVEMENT LITERACY STORIES
Our third project turns the lens on the United States, starting with the historical experiences of movement literacy work in Freedom Schools and Citizenship Schools and working up to now. We have been collaborating with Movement Veterans organizations and are in the early stages of a series of short films that shed light on the role of literacy in the long struggle for racial, economic and educational justice in the USA.
LEFT: Sign fro Freedom School. Source: https://www.civilrightsteaching.org/voting-rights/exploring-history-freedom-schools/
CENTER: Catherine documenting the Child Development Group of Mississippi's panel at the 2015 Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement conference in Jackson, MS.
RIGHT: Citizenship School drawing. Source: http://www.crmvet.org/info/cs.htm.

2017 HIGHLIGHTS

 
It has been a full year!
Check out photos below for some of the highlights.

2017 has strengthened our belief in the importance of community and storytelling.

Join us for another year!
Donate Here
MAESTRA ARCHIVE LAUNCH AT UNC
On September 28th we celebrated the launch of the MAESTRA archives which will be housed in Special Collections at UNC Wilson Library. We are delighted that our archive, possibly the largest single archive of testimonies on the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign, will be housed in a safe, permanent place for use by current and future scholars, activists, and media-makers! Catherine and Griselda, Cuba's youngest Literacy Campaign volunteer, had a wonderful time at the launch where they screened MAESTRA to a packed house!
GRISELDA AGUILERA'S US TOUR
Griselda Aguilera, Cuba's youngest female Literacy volunteer (pictured above), is currently on a multi-city US tour. She started in North Carolina at the UNC archive launch and continued to: In December, she will travel to Milwaukee and Chicago to meet with teachers' unions, popular educators, and more!

If you are interested in hosting Griselda in your community in January or February, please contact us.
UNESCO MEMORIA DEL MUNDO AWARD

We congratulate the Havana Literacy Museum for being awarded recognition and inclusion in UNESCO's Registry of the Memory of World Program as a part of the collection 'La Campaña Nacional de Alfabetización, su legado internacional: la cartilla Venceremos, el manual Alfabeticemos y las cartas a Fidel'

Read more HERE (en español)

 
$25
Help cover partial cost of digitizing one video interview for the archive. It costs $100 for each interview tape - so if 250 of our supporters each donated $25, we could digitize all our video tapes!
$50
Transcribe one interview
$100
Pay use rights for one archival photo. This is a special price pledged from select movement photographers who documented literacy schools.
$250
Buy one external hard drive (3TB) to store the interviews. 
$750
Roundtrip airfare to Nicaragua for a production team member.
$1000
Fund one day of production on our upcoming film shoot in Nicaragua.
$5000
Fund all 5 days of our upcoming production shoot in Nicaragua.
Donate

A generous donor just pledged a $5000 matching grant which we hope to double with your support!
Your gift will have double the impact if you donate before the end of 2017!
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