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INDIEcent Exposure #20 — Local Filmmakers Begin Journey with “The Next Step”

With “The Next Step,” North Adams filmmakers Joe Aidonidis and Augusta Rose launch an odyssey that will span boundaries that are geographical, technological, financial, and deeply personal.

For eight years, Clara Gardner (right) has been using socket-type prosthetic legs, which have changed surprisingly little in five centuries. Click this image to see the trailer for "The Next Step," at the film's Kickstarter page , and to find out more about the procedure known as osseointegration that she hopes will return much of her mobility.
For eight years, Clara Gardner (right) has been using socket-type prosthetic legs, which have changed surprisingly little in five centuries. Click this image to see the trailer for “The Next Step,” at the film’s Kickstarter page, and to find out more about the procedure known as osseointegration that she hopes will return much of her mobility.

 

“The Next Step” Not to Be Taken Lightly

The focus of their lens is the determination of a young woman scheduled to travel to Australia this Spring to undergo a procedure not approved in the United States to regain more of the mobility she had before the loss of both her legs above the knee as a teenager.

That young woman, Clara Gardner, is a close friend of the filmmakers, a fact that adds a personal dimension to the project that facilitates the storytelling in some ways. On the other hand, Augusta knew her before a drunk driver cost Clara lost both her legs in 2008—there’s no use even in pretending that objectivity is a remote possibility. When one of your best friends becomes the raw material for your art, emotional dynamics may shift in unexpected ways.

Additionally, Augusta and Joe are a couple. The intensity of working on any large project as a small team can place a burden on non-romantic partnerships. During shooting “The Next Step,” the two filmmakers will traverse oceans together in pursuit of their work. Then, and during the editing process, time, money, and space are all likely to get tight at times. What relationship safety mechanisms have they put in place to deal with the potential strain?

An epic tale (and the talent to tell it) just part of the recipe for a powerful film

As they travel to Australia with Clara to chronicle her experience receiving the costly procedure known as osseointegration, Aidonidis and Rose will have a level of access unusual for most documentarians. Whether or not they’ll be able to convert the powerful story into a feature film over the next year depends in part on funding.

Joe and Augusta have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help finance the project. More than half of their immediate goal reached quickly, the couple must still look ahead to the crushing expense of all that goes into a movie after the footage has all been captured. That tale will unfold both on the film’s Kickstarter page and its Facebook page, where “The Next Step” is already receiving encouragement and praise from supporters. The two forms of support combined might just be what the project needs to see the journey all the way through to the end.

About Joe Aidonidis and Augusta Rose

Joe Aidonidis is a videographer specializing in capturing live performance, biographic and educational materials for non-profits, and visual art. He co-directs ‘Common Folk’, an artist collective based in North Adams, MA that empowers communities to use art as a catalyst for change. His mission is to educate others about humanitarian subjects and artistic causes. He is also one of the musical duo that makes up Anonymous Animal. In addition to having a presence on YouTube as a musician on the Anonymous Animal page, he and his partner, Barney, host another YouTube page where they share info about the techniques and trade-craft they rely on to make their transformative sounds—Anonymous Animal 2. Joe also highlights some of the great experiences created by the Common Folk Artist Collective on their YouTube page. You should definitely check out their Facebook page as well.

Augusta Rose has produced documentaries about women’s health, land preservation, mindfulness, and humanitarian causes. She is founder of Be Your Creature, a movement dedicated to fostering creativity in women through transformative portraiture. A good piece by Jenn Smith about the movement in the Berkshire Eagle on 03/23/16. She currently resides in North Adams, MA and works throughout New England and the Pacific Northwest.

Will Call #41 — Now’s the Time to Start Getting Down with DownStreet Art!

DownStreet Art, a production of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, continues with more music, more interactivity, and more, uhhh...art than ever,
DownStreet Art, a production of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, continues with more music, more interactivity, and more, uhhh...art than ever,
Downstreet Art, now in its ninth year, begins againat the end of June; submitted photo.
Downstreet Art, now in its ninth year, begins againat the end of June; submitted photo.

Berkshire Cultural Resource Center Program Manager Michelle Daly joins us for our first show after our Winter hiatus. And somehow she’s the perfect guest to have on this episode in which we celebrate Spring while we look forward to the Summer-long extravaganza that is DownStreet Art! She’ll be at MCLA Gallery 51 on Monday March 28 from 6-8pm to meet artists, answer your questions and introduce the THREE opportunities available this year.

Here’s your chance to network, ask questions and learn about opportunities for artists and creative entrepreneurs or to sign up to volunteer.

Full details and requirements for each of these programs can be found at DownStreet Art’s website. Submission deadline is April 15, 2016.

Can’t make it? Another Info sessions is scheduled for 3/30 in Pittsfield at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.

If you want to get started right away, you could go straight to the submission form.

About DownStreet Art

DownStreet art is a program of MCLA Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) a non-profit organization that provides professional development, training, resources and support to the artists, art managers and creative workers of Berkshire County.

Gallery 51 is the site of the first informational session on March 28; submitted photo.
Gallery 51 is the site of the first informational session on March 28; submitted photo.

Designed as a creative place-making project to revitalize downtown North Adams, DownStreet Art exists to build economic and social capital and encourage the dialogue between our community and the arts. DownStreet Art does this by enlivening downtown North Adams using art and cultural activities to increase visitorship and enhance resident participation.

The theme for 2016 is “Meet Your Neighbors,” and in an effort to highlight the amazing talent of local artists, we are limiting proposals to artists living or working within 20 miles of North Adams, MA.

Check out the Facebook page for DownStreet Art, too!

Will Call #36 — Spectacle 99, Anais Mitchell , Unsilent Night in North Adams

Anais_Mitchell performs Friday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. at the MCLA Church St. Center, photo submitted by artist.
Anais_Mitchell performs Friday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. at the MCLA Church St. Center, photo submitted by artist.

 

Anais Mitchell performs Friday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. at the MCLA Church St. Center, photo submitted by artist.
Anais Mitchell performs Friday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. at the MCLA Church St. Center, photo submitted by artist.

We speak again with our ever-generous guest Michelle Daly of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Michelle discusses some of the exceptional events coming up in December, including Anais Mitchell, Unsilent Night, and Spectacle 99, and hints at what’s to come in 2016.

 

Definitely consider subscribing to the “North Adams Happenings” newsletter put out by the BCRC—a great resource for anyone looking to find out what’s going on around town.

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INDIEcent Exposure #18 — Anonymous Animal at the Gararge with And the Kids

Anonymous Animal; photo courtesy the band, via Facebook.
Anonymous Animal; photo courtesy the band, via Facebook.
Joe Aidonidis and Barny Lanman are Anonymous Animal, opening for And the Kids Friday, November 20 at the Garage in Pittsfield; photo courtesy the artist via Facebook.
Joe Aidonidis and Barny Lanman are Anonymous Animal, opening for And the Kids Friday, November 20 at the Garage in Pittsfield; photo courtesy the artist via Facebook.

 

This episode, we speak to Joe Aidonidis, half of Anonymous Animal, who discusses music and music technology, as well as some of his work in video craft.

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INDIEcent Exposure #17 — “Have I Not Found You Yet”

Justin Hillman and Good Company at The Iron Horse Music Hall; photo by Carly Rae.
Justin Hillman and Good Company at The Iron Horse Music Hall; photo by Carly Rae.
Justin Hillman performs at the release party for "Have I Not Found You Yet," at performs at the Whitney Center for the Arts, November 20; photo by Carly Rae.
Justin Hillman performs at the release party for “Have I Not Found You Yet,” at performs at the Whitney Center for the Arts, November 20; photo by Carly Rae.

Berkshire-born musician Justin Hillman released his third album, “Have I Not Found You Yet,” in September, but, lucky for us Alt-Folk fans here in the Berkshires, scheduling challenges placed the CD release party on the calendar Friday, November 20, at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield.

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Berkshire Business Outlook #5 — Holiday Walk, Unsilent night, Kit & Kaboodle

"Unsilent Night," created by Phil Kline and performed in cities around the world will occur in North Adams; photo courtesty unsilentnight.com
"Unsilent Night," created by Phil Kline and performed in cities around the world will occur in North Adams; photo courtesty unsilentnight.com
Children participating in a past "Reindog Parade" during the Holiday Walk festivities; photo courtesy The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Children participating in a past “Reindog Parade” during the Holiday Walk festivities; photo courtesy The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

 

Emily Watts, executive director of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce joins us again, this time as the guest on our very first “Chamber Check-In” segment of the show.

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INDIEcent Exposure #15 — Lexi Weege On Tape

Lexi Weege released her second album, "Sweet Moon," on September 13th.

Lexi Weege slips between sultry ballads and upbeat love songs with ease.

Lexi Weege released her second album, "Sweet Moon," on September 13th.
Lexi Weege released her second album, “Sweet Moon,” on September 13th. Photo by Steph Larsen.

ADVISORY: Explicit language.

We spoke with Lexi Weege, the jazz songstress who recently released her second album, “Sweet Moon.” The album was all recorded live and on tape and released digitally and on vinyl on September 13th following a release party at the Parlor Room at Signature Sounds with The True Believers.

Like Lexi’s music, our conversation is raw, inspired, and unfiltered. Some adult language is used. Listen as we cover her album, analog recording techniques, the state of women in the arts industry, and more.

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Will Call #19 — Getting Reel with Wind-Up Fest

"Uncertain," directed by Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, will be shown Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 p.m. at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance; publicity photo. Afterwards, Local Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) speaks with the directors about nature out of balance.
"Uncertain," directed by Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, will be shown Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 p.m. at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance; publicity photo. Afterwards, Local Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) speaks with the directors about nature out of balance.

Artistic Director Paul Sturtz and Managing Director Sandra Thomas discuss the new format, film making, and efforts to make the Wind-Up Fest increasingly inclusive.

"Uncertain," directed by Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, will be shown Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 p.m. at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance; publicity photo. Afterwards, Local Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) speaks with the directors about nature out of balance.
“Uncertain,” directed by Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, will be shown Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 p.m. at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance; publicity photo. Afterwards, Local Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) speaks with the directors about nature out of balance.

Since 1999,the Williamstown Film Festival has brought the finest contemporary films, directors and actors to the pastoral hills of the Berkshires. Each Film Festival season aimed to honor film’s history while concurrently celebrating the present cultural moment.

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INDIEcent Exposure #14 — The Sun Parade Fire It Up in October

The Sun Parade open for Dr. Dog at MASS MoCA 10/10 and help kick off the Wind-Up Fest 10/15; photo by Joanna Chattman
The Sun Parade open for Dr. Dog at MASS MoCA 10/10 and help kick off the Wind-Up Fest 10/15; photo by Joanna Chattman

Pi Valley Faves, The Sun Parade march into the Berks for TWO shows this month.

PLUS:  Kris Delmhorst—TONIGHT at the BarN

The Sun Parade opens for Dr. Dog at MASS MoCA 10/10 and helps kick off the Wind-Up Fest 10/15; photo by Joanna Chattman
Jefferson Lewis, Chris Marlon Jennings, and Jared Gardner of The Sun Parade. The band opens for Dr. Dog at MASS MoCA 10/10 and helps kick off the Wind-Up Fest 10/15; photo by Joanna Chattman.

ALERT: Consider PREPARING for the possible landfall of Hurricane Joaquin while we have plenty of time..

Singer and guitarist Chris Marlon Jennings relates the band’s creation story and talks about the ongoing development of their creative process. The Sun Parade helps And the Kids kick off the opening of Wind-Up Fest here in NoCo, opens for Dr. Dog at MASS MoCA, and curates a micro festival at Gateway City Arts with their friends Great Smokey and Xenia Rubinos.

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INDIEcent Exposure: ArtScope at Fringe Music with Eleonore Oppenheim

Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA, home to the monthly Fringe Music Series.
Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA, home to the monthly Fringe Music Series.

Eleonore Oppenheim at Fringe Music, at Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA

Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA, home to the monthly Fringe Music Series.
Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA, home to the monthly Fringe Music Series; photo by William McGuire III

This special presentation, “ArtScope,” explores the Fringe Music series through its first performance on September 4th, 2015, which featured renowned solo-bassist Eleonore Oppenheim. Fringe Music is a new monthly music series offered by Bazaar Productions. Bazaar Productions is the organization behind the three-week Berkshire Fringe festival that has brought innovative theatre, music and dance to the Berkshires every summer since 2005. For more information about Fringe Music and Bazaar Productions, listen to our podcast with co-artistic director Peter Wise.

In this presentation, we place you right in the front row of the audience of that first Fringe Music performance. We also speak with Eleonore Oppenheim about Fringe Music and her performance at Shire City Sanctuary, which hosts the music series. Eleonore will be performing in this month’s installment of Fringe Music with The Hands Free on Friday, October 2nd, 2015.

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INDIEcent Exposure #13 — Canadian Roots Songstress Oh Susanna at The BarN

Suzie Ungerleider of Oh Susanna; photo by Heather Pollock
Suzie Ungerleider of Oh Susanna; photo by Heather Pollock

She’s driving over 400 miles to sing for you. Just for you.

Suzie Ungerleider of Oh Susanna; photo by Heather Pollock
Suzie Ungerleider of Oh Susanna; photo by Heather Pollock

We spoke with Suzie Ungerleider, eponymous member of Oh Susanna, about her new album, “Name Dropper,” which is a triumph of creativity, community, and collaboration. You’ll fall hard for her infectious laughter and optimism. Powerful medicine (along with the aforementioned community and collaboration) in her fight against breast cancer, diagnosed just in time to interrupt the final stages of the release’s production.

In addition to our conversation, we play “Wait Until The Sun Comes Up” and “1955.”

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The Top Left Corner, Episode 18, “Berkshire Media Mavens,” Part 1:
Kate Abbott Launches “BTW Berkshires”

Kate Abbott standing in the Oyster River, Durham N.H; Facebook photo
Kate Abbott standing in the Oyster River, Durham N.H; Facebook photo

Kate Abbott, former editor at Berkshires Week, talks a bit about her new media property, BTW Berkshires, and a whole lot about the practice of journalism

Kate Abbott standing in the Oyster River, Durham N.H; Facebook photo
Kate Abbott standing in the Oyster River, Durham N.H; Facebook photo

NOTE: This episode, which  features conversations with both Kate Abbott and Tammy Daniels, ran so long that breaking it up into two parts only made sense. This, Part I, is our extremely engaging talk with Kate Abbott.

Readers from the Berkshires and well-beyond have found Kate Abbott’s warm and evocative writing voice to be that of knowledgeable friend. For 15 years, she has explored the region with a curiosity that has served her readers well through a number of print and online news entities.

With the launch of her own “BTW Berkshires,” Kate’s combined editorial and photographic skills fuel her exploration and lead her further into the landscape of her interests, occasionally farther afield to points beyond the borders of the Berkshires.

In addition to her writing in BTW Berkshires, don’t miss her work in Rural Intelligence, Take Magazine and, Arte Fuse Magazine.

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