We’ve Got a Rough Cut!

I’m excited to announce that  All We’ve Got is now in the rough cut stage. That means we’ve completed a working draft of the film and will be working on refining the story in the months ahead.

In addition, we’ve made an important addition to the team. Artist and archivist Jillian Brodie is helping to sort through and identify some of the archival imagery and footage that we’ll be including in the film. Which means lots of time at the Lesbian Herstory Archives sifting through the amazing collections of materials they hold. We’re also reaching out to some of the organizations that will be featured in the doc for archival materials of their own.

It’s great to see the project pulling together and getting closer to its final form. Really looking forward to sharing the film with everyone!

Meet Our National Advisory Board

(left to right) Julie Enszer, Jen Jack Gieseking, Shawnta Smith-Cruz, Hillary Kolos, Erica Cardwell
(left to right) Julie Enszer, Jen Jack Gieseking, Shawnta Smith-Cruz, Hillary Kolos, Erica Cardwell

Throughout this process, being able to speak to, learn from, and ask questions of people with expertise and in-depth personal experience in lesbian and queer community, as well as filmmaking, has been invaluable.

Each member of the National Advisory Board for All We’ve Got has already played an important role in the film. Some have appeared in front of the camera while others have chatted with me over Skype or a glass of wine. Together, all of them have helped me navigate the ins and outs of the project as it moves along. Importantly, we don’t always agree, and those challenges to my assumptions or tendencies can be invaluable. Whether I decide to shift or remain committed to a specific approach, hearing from trusted friends and advisors forces me to grapple with my choices, which I hope results in a stronger story in the end.

This is my chance to introduce you to a few of those key voices behind the scenes, to thank them for the time they’ve already given to the project, and also give you a picture of who will be part of bringing this project to completion.

I’m very honored to have them on the team and excited for you to meet them.

National Advisory Board

​Erica Cardwell is a black queer essayist, culture critic, educator, and 2015 LAMBDA fellow. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Feminist Wire, Bitch, Hyperallergic, and Ikons Magazine. She will complete her MFA in Nonfiction at Sarah Lawrence in 2016. Erica tweets at @EricaCardwell.

Julie R Enszer, PhD, is a scholar and poet. Her scholarship is at the intersection of U.S. history and literature with particular attention to twentieth century U.S. feminist and lesbian histories, literatures, and cultures. Her research has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Cultures, Journal of Lesbian Studies, American Periodicals, WSQ, Frontiers, and other journals. Enszer is the author of three collections of poetry, Lilith’s Demons, Sisterhood andHandmade Love . She is also the editor of Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry and of Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal.

Jen Jack Gieseking, PhD, is an urban cultural geographer, feminist and queer theorist, environmental psychologist, and American Studies scholar. S/he is engaged in research on co-productions of space and identity in digital and material environments, with a focus on sexual and gender identities. Jack’s work pays special attention to how such productions support or inhibit social, spatial, and economic justice. S/he is working on her second book project, Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queer Women, 1983-2008. S/he is Assistant Professor of Public Humanities in American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Jack also writes about her research as a blogger with the Huffington Post Gay Voices. Jack uses both she/her/her’s and he/him/his pronouns.

Hillary Kolos is the Director of Digital Learning at the DreamYard Project in the Bronx, NY. As a graduate student in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, she worked as a research assistant for Project New Media Literacies and researched gaming culture. Hillary graduated from NYU with a BFA in Film/TV. She interned at Maysles Films, Big Mouth Productions, and POV and went on to work on projects for Learning Matters, Aardman Animations, and filmmaker Paul Devlin. In addition, she has consulted for the Pearson and Adobe Foundations and taught after-school classes in several New York City public schools.

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is a separatist, zinester, archivist, writer, and black-dyke-participant of intentional, community-specific, collective spaces. A coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and collective member of WOW Cafe Theater as producer of women of color theater, namely, Rivers of Honey. Shawn is a Librarian appointed as Assistant Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY. From (the people’s republic of) Brooklyn, Shawn founded the Queer Housing Nacional List, and has since purchased a home designated for queer women of color (QWOC) with her wife in the Bronx. A board member of Fire & Ink, a national organization for LGBT writers of African descent, and founder of Lambey Press, independently publishing QWOC; Shawn is a co-editor of upcoming special issue of Sinister Wisdom focused on the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

Project Update – 20 May 2015

AllWeveGotLogo

Hello!

I wanted to post a quick update to let everyone know how things are going with the project.

First, we’ve got a new name for the project – ALL WE’VE GOT. We think it really captures both an expansive sense of the work, history, and opportunities for abundance and connection that queer women’s space can and does provide, while also getting at the serious challenges and limitations that many spaces face, particularly in the current economic and real estate climate in the US.

To go with the new name, we’ve updated the website and all the social profiles associated with the project and added a Twitter feed, so please make sure to update your links. If you already liked or followed us on Facebook or Instagram you don’t have to update anything, we just changed the name, and any old links to our website will be automatically redirected to the new site, so no worries about past posts or links, this is just an update going forward:

Website: http://www.allwevegot.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allwevegotfilm

Instagram: https://instagram.com/allwevegotfilm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/allwevegotfilm

AND, in case you didn’t hear it on social media already, we’re thrilled that award-winning documentary filmmaker Bennett Singer has joined the project as a Consulting Producer. You can learn more about his fantastic work on our Team page.

Beyond that, we’re hard at work behind the scenes. We’re just getting started on a second round of interviews that we have been planning since last year, most of which will take place in NYC. And we’re also doing a lot of work to transcribe and log all the footage we’ve got in the can so that we can be ready to go when we move into post-production on the project, i.e. start the editing process.

We’re also working toward having a preliminary trailer for the project available this summer to help give people a sense of what the project is all about and help build some additional support for it as we head into post-production, so you’ll be getting an update when that’s ready.

Thanks again to all our supporters! We’re getting lots of feedback at events and online, and having lots of great conversations with folks about the role physical spaces play for many different communities – queer women as well as many others. We look forward to sharing and having more of those conversations as the project moves forward.

Until soon!
Alexis

Sarah Nakano’s Road Trip Photos

Sarah Nakano, the fantastic production assistant for the Unknown Play Project, developed the film photographs she took while we were on the road and has posted some of them to her website. A couple of them are posted below, but you can view the full gallery here.

Photo: Sarah Nakano
Photo: Sarah Nakano
Photo: Sarah Nakano
Photo: Sarah Nakano

You’ll be able to see Jeanette Sears‘ excellent cinematography as we move through the editing process and start to have selections we’re able to share. At the moment we’re busy transcribing the interviews and logging all the footage we collected on the road, in addition to gathering some additional interviews.

Thanks to both Sarah and Jeanette for being part of the project!

In the meantime, while you’ve got film on the brain, be sure to check out this year’s MIX NYC Festival, taking place from Nov. 11-16. I’ll be there to catch a couple of the screenings, it should be great, as always.

Our August 2014 Trip in Numbers & Thanks

TripUpdateinNumbers-Aug2014

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to do two very important things now that our trip has wrapped up. First, above, you’ll see a quick summary of a handful of highlights from our trip in numbers. I thought this might be a fun way to share a small glimpse of what happened on the trip with everyone. Some of it is business-related, some of it fun-related.

And secondly, I want to say thank you. There is a vast community of people who helped make this trip possible and I just want to acknowledge that here. There are our generous and numerous Hatchfund contributors, who helped to provide the essential funding for the camera equipment and the fuel for both our vehicle and ourselves. We quite literally could not have done it without you, so thank you, thank you.

In addition to those who contributed through Hatchfund, we had a number of other supporters who gave money, but also supported us in other ways – giving us gifts for the road, helping to cover lodging costs when we weren’t hosted, and in-kind supporters who provided us with the vehicle we used during the trip. Without that support we would have broken the bank and certainly would not have been as well-rested, well-showered, or well-traveled. So, to those people, I also want to say, thank you, thank you, thank you!

And just as importantly, the people who have worked to build, maintain, and keep alive the spaces that we visited – without all of you, we wouldn’t have had anywhere to go in the first place. Each place we visited and each person we spoke to worked to make this trip possible, and each organization took up their time and energy to participate. I want to say that I sincerely appreciate that time and energy, and I appreciate the work that all of you are doing to maintain these spaces. It was a pleasure to meet all of you, and a great opportunity to learn and listen when visiting with you. So, again, thank you!!!

And lastly for the thanks, a special note to all the friends, family, and followers who have been offering their moral support and encouragement throughout the process – that love and support means the world to me and to the project!

As for the project, from here the process will shift gears a bit (ba-dum-ching) as transcripts of all the interviews we’ve shot to date are compiled and editing begins. We’ll send a handful of updates in the months ahead, but in the meantime, thank you again. You can stay in touch with us on the web and on Facebook.

You can also look through our Instagram photos here, in case you didn’t see them before.

And here’s a complete map of our journey.

Sending love and thanks,

Alexis

Update From the Road – 27 August 2014

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Dearest readers:

We begin this belated road update in the passenger seat with a belly fully of ramen after a stop to visit with one of the crew’s family members. And fueled by that meal, and the many miles we’ve come, we offer you a handful of facts:

– We are currently in Michigan, which is the 25th state we have driven through.

– The trip-tracking meter in the Big Friendly Vehicle reads 7300+ miles.

– We have collectively consumed 5 In-n-out burgers and 5 Dairy queen Blizzards since we last wrote you, August 15th. Between these instances of fine dining, we have filmed at 2 venues, a bar in Oklahoma City and a private home in Oakland, California, in addition to filming more interviews and b-roll while in transit.

– Other culinary / dining experience highlights since we last updated include Ken’s Steakhouse in Oklahoma, El Tovar in Grand Canyon, a window-less Denny’s in the middle of a casino in Nevada (actually this is probably more of a low-light,) Vegan & Tikka Masala in Oakland (we highly recommend the “Carter Special”) and Mitsuwa Marketplace in Chicago.

– In the midst of all that we also took our mid-trip break at the Grand Canyon (many thanks to the donor who helped make our lodging there possible!).

We hope that these facts give you a small taste, so to speak, of what we’ve been up to.

Since August 15th, we have covered a lot of ground. We have driven from Texas up to Oklahoma, over through the Grand Canyon and Yosemite into Oakland. We stayed at a subject’s home in Oakland for three nights, then began the long haul over to Michigan. This long haul has lasted about 4 days, and has brought us on highway I-80 through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa. Across those states we’ve seen the terrain change from desert to grassland to cornfields with towering windmills.

The Big Friendly Vehicle has now made its way to the offices of Lesbian Connection magazine, a bimonthly publication, in Lansing, Michigan. We will be speaking with a handful of the people who help maintain and publish LC and also, with their help, we will host a second reading of the play that inspired this project. After staying with them for 2 nights, we will be heading back to New York through Ohio and Pennsylvania, making a short stop in Detroit.

Thank you to our generous donors, social media dwellers, and patient readers. More later!

[Update compiled by anonymous crew member.]

Update from the Road, 15 August 2014

photo

Hello from the roads of Texas!

We’re on the road as I type this, headed out of San Antonio and up to Oklahoma City. We’ve completed three shoots at this point and have three more to go. It’s been a great trip so far.

This morning we work up at the Casa de Cunetos, part of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, the most recent of our shoots. The space, lead by Graciela Sanchez, has a tremendous legacy not just in San Antonio but far beyond. It was not only moving to hear about the work they do, it was also a deep lesson on the centrality of preserving and celebrating culture as a form of resistance against oppression.

Along the way we’ve also had the chance to see alligators, tortoises, license plates from a little over half of the United States (still wondering when and if we’ll see Hawaii). We’ve eaten from taco trucks, barbecue joints, and gumbo shops (not to mention the crew’s insatiable desire for Dairy Queen blizzards and Dipping Dots!). We’ve been woken up by roosters, slept by a lake, swum in heavily chlorinated waters, and stopped by the Alamo (a separate conversation).

And in keeping with the theme of the journey, we’ve played pool at a lesbian bar, bought books from a feminist bookstore, visited a women’s art collective, and spoken with numerous people committed to creating and maintaining space for queer women, as well as social justice and making the world more hospitable for all people.

It’s been a great trip so far and I very much look forward to what lays ahead, not to mention sharing what we’ve captured.

Sending love and thanks from the road,
Alexis

PHOTO: Jeanette filming one of the artists,
Jina Sambrano, that is part of Cooperativa MujerArtes (a project of Esperanza Peace & Justice)

Thanks to Funders & Project Update

We’re very excited that the Hatchfund crowdfunding campaign was a success and want to thank everyone who offered support during the process, financial and otherwise!

Because it was successful, Hatchfund is going to keep the campaign open for an additional 30 days for other donors to join in. So you can still give—every dollar will go towards the film, as the costs for both production and post-production will exceed what we’ve raised so far.

The campaign was fantastic not only for helping us raise some of the money we need for the project, but also in helping to spread the word about it. If you haven’t had a chance to see the press that we got, we’ve posted a round-up of all the press.

Just two days after the campaign ended we headed over to the WOW Cafe Theatre to do a follow-up shoot there with Maria Bauman and Micia Mosely, who brought their insight, personal connection, and thoughtful reflections to the project, plus their humor! You can see a tiny unedited outtake from our interview with them below – the act of clapping at the start of each take took on a life of its own between these two close friends.

Video: (left to right) Maria Bauman and Micia Mosely – Camera: Jeanette Sears

And below are still images of the 12 different members of the WOW Collective that we interviewed there in May.

The WOW Collective is comprised of thousands of people who have participated in the space over it’s 34 year history in a variety of ways. These 12 individuals represent a tiny snapshot of some of the people participating in the collective at the time when we came to film, some of whom were brand new to the space, some of whom had been with it for decades.

WOW is a non-hierarchical collective of women and trans* artists, with a strong lesbian & queer legacy. Some collective members participate just once or twice, while others have participated since the 1980s. Learn more about WOW on their website.

Group 1 Image: (left to right) Julia Havard, Justine Renson, and Sarita Covington (with Sunshine)
WOW Collective Group 1: (left to right) Julia Havard, Justine Renson, and Sarita Covington (with Sunshine) – Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears
WOW Collective Group 2: (left to right) CeCe Suazo-Augustus, Hudson Krakowski, and Mariam Eusebio - Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears
WOW Collective Group 2: (left to right) CeCe Suazo-Augustus, Hudson Krakowski, and Mariam Eusebio – Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears
WOW Collective Group 3: (left to right) Dorene Christmas, JZ Bich, and Gaelle Voltaire - Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears
WOW Collective Group 3: (left to right) Dorene Christmas, JZ Bich, and Gaelle Voltaire – Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears
WOW Collective Group 4: (left to right) Laura Marie Thompson, Karina Pantoja, and Sharon Jane Smith - Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears
WOW Collective Group 4: (left to right) Laura Marie Thompson, Karina Pantoja, and Sharon Jane Smith – Photo Credit: Jeanette Sears