Gifford Foundations Continues Films on Community

The autumn season of Gifford's "What if " film series showcases national arts initiatives that promote youth and neighborhoods.

On Sudnay, the Gifford Foundation announced a secoof their popular "What if " Film Series, launched last spring with great success. This fall they have added three new screenigs about community efforts around the United States. All screenings are free, last about an hour and feature a moderated discussion afterward. A committee of community volunteers selected the theme for this fall -- "Arts and Youth" -- and voted on the films they thought would best resonate with Syracusans. Three films will be shown over the course of six presentations from October 6 through December 15th at the Red House Arts Center; each screening starts at 7:00 pm.


Wednesday, 10/6 & Monday, 10/18.

This Emmy-award winning film shows how, given the right tools and a fertile environment, motivated young people do extraordinary things. The young artists of YA/YA paint true stories about their own lives, and create murals, fine art pieces, poetry and rap music that speak out on racism and reflect on community values. YA/YA offers youth the chance to apprentice with professional artists, create public artworks, design merchandise, serve as cultural ambassadors, work as project managers, and mentor others in the arts. Ultimately, these kids learn to be professionally self-sufficient through creative self-expression.


Wednesday, 10/27 & Monday, 11/15.

This film tells the story of Project Row Houses -- a unique creative venture started when a group of African-American artists clean up around a row of condemned shotgun houses and hold a "Drive By" exhibition of paintings on the fronts of the abandoned homes. Eventually, they purchase 22 houses on two blocks that become home to cutting-edge public art and a home-grown challenge to traditional notions of community development. As 93-year old resident Miss Earnestine Courtney says, "If you want to do something for real you'll clean up this place and get these junkies outta' here." Told in their own words, this moving story introduces unforgettable people from the Third Ward: artists, young mothers, children and long-time residents.

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