" Strenght, Art, Children, College, Inocente, Kahlil Gibran "On Children, Mothers, Parenting, Single Parents, Wisdom

Mommy Angst

inocenteart.com

Yesterday I scrolled through my Facebook and stopped at a painting of a purple tree. A tree with lines and thick branches, reminding me of strength. Pink and blue limbs embraced tiny red hearts, while others unfurled their branches. These delicate curving lines seemed soft, almost frilly against the stoutness of the tree trunk.


Hearts tumbled from the limbs, cascading against a background of warmth. Other hearts lie under the branches. They seemed happy, perky, ready to bring forth their own seedlings. 

The drawing resonated with me at that particular moment. Yesterday was my youngest child’s birthday, and he will be leaving for college out of state in late August. 

These two life markers coupled with the image of the strong tree and delicate hearts hit me in the solar plexus. I am that tree. The mommy tree. The hearts are my children, held close, then released into the world. 

Although I haven’t been called mommy since my three kids turned eight or so, I felt transported back to ‘mommy’ status. My being filled with angst, a single mommy angst.  None of my other children left out of state for college and are still in my home.  

To further push me out of my comfort zone, today, my middle child, my daughter, wants to go with the youngest to Colorado to look for a job. Who knew that phlebotomists and medical assistants were oversaturated in our county. Well, they are and she can’t find a job here. 

Two of my three leaving. A double whammy of angst. I know this is something every parent goes through whenever one of their children leaves the home. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier. I’ve been a single parent for so long that I may not know what to do with my feelings, except to write. 

So it was serendipitous that I came upon this poem quite by chance. The words gave me another perspective. I felt understood. 




The wisdom of the poem helped me through the day. I hope to find more ways to help me go through the mommy angst as the weeks go by. 
Abe Diaz, Antonio Mendes, Argo, Claudio Miranda, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Inocente, Latinas, Latinos and the Oscars, Lupe Ontiveros, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Sixto Rodriguez, Sugar Man

Latinos and the 2013 Oscars: Mixed Feelings

from Inocente’s FB: Daniel Day Lewis, Inocente, Filmmakers
Last night an article, “2013 Oscars see big loss for Latino filmmakers” by NBC Latino, said “Hispanic audiences had big hopes…, but it was an evening of mixed emotions with just one win for a Latino nominee (Claudio Miranda for “Life of Pi”) and three wins for films with Latino main characters (“Inocente,” “Sugar Man” and  ”Argo”).” 

The ‘mixed emotions,’ weren’t from the amount of Oscar wins, it was from the mixed feelings of anger and disappointment which put a damper on the positive contributions of Latinos actors, directors, designers, and stories. 

The anger came from comments such as these: 

Seth McFarlane’s equal opportunity lame joke when he introduced Salma Hayek, 

 “We’ve reached the point where Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek or Penelope Cruz takes the stage and we have no idea what they’re saying, but we don’t care because they’re so attractive.” 

This isn’t the first, or last, swipe that a television host will take at Latino accents. 

We heard it from Ricky Gervais when he recently hosted the Golden Globes and said he “…couldn’t f*** understand what (Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek) are saying.” We hear from Ellen DeGeneres on the TV commercial with Sofia Vergara, “…well no one can understand you.” (I’ll never buy those products).

The disappointment was from the omission of Lupe Ontiveros from the “In Memoriam” gallery.


Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told Fox News Latino,

“U.S. Latino actors remain mostly on the lower rungs of official Hollywood,” Sanchez said. “The catch-22 comes from the disparity of the work: Latino actors of Lupe’s generation played mostly low socioeconomic roles, and despite this truth, Lupe’s filmology is substantial and many of her acting film credits are from films honored by their inclusion in the Library of Congress’ prestigious National Film Registry.”

Throughout her career, Ontiveros had been an advocate for breaking Latino stereotypes in Hollywood. In 2009, Ontiveros told CNN she was upset that she was continually being cast as a housekeeper, one she played over 300 times in her 35 year career.

“It’s upsetting to any culture when that is the only projection you have of that culture,” Ontiveros said. “You’re pigeonholed, stereotyped…when I go in speaking perfect English, I don’t get the part…”

You can be talented, win Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, whatever and the Latino actor accents become the butt of racist jokes or their contributions get left out, in front of several million viewers.There is still so much farther to go in getting the respect Latino’s in the film industry should receive.

Now for the other part of the mixed feelings, the positive ones: 
  • Searching for Sugar Man,” a movie about the life of singer and songwriter Sixto Rodríguez, a Latino from Detroit who became a prominent figure in South Africa during the early 70s, took home the Oscar for best documentary. He was called “one of the greatest singers ever” by the film’s Swedish director, Malik Bendjelloul, who accepted the Oscar.
  • Inocente” earned an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film tells the story of a 15-year-old female artist – the young artist I blogged about – who takes on homelessness and immigration laws in San Diego, California.
  • Argo,” for telling the story of Antonio Mendes, the CIA operative who lived the real story and wrote the book “Argo.”
  • Claudio Miranda, cinematographer of “Life of Pi.” He was nominated for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” in 2009 also.
  • Paco Delgado, designer for his period costumes of “Les Miserables.”
    from Huffington Post
  • For the several Latino/a actors, directors who made well received movies in 2012 and all of those nominated for awards.
  • For Salma Hayek, in her incredible dress and gracefulness on the red carpet, looking every bit of a movie star, not only a “Latina star.” 
There are many more good feelings to remember about Latinos and the Oscars, especially when we look to the future, which includes:
  • Abe Diaz, the 18 year old student from DePaul University, the winner of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “The Oscar Experience College Search” contest for aspiring filmmakers.
Now if we could only get television hosts who knew how to crack a good joke without disparaging so many people. I’m not holding my breath on that one. 
Art, Chingonas, Dreamers, Faith, Film, Homeless kids, Inocente, Kickstarter, Latinos in film, Parenting, Strong Women

Homeless at 9, Artist at 15


1 in 45 Kids is homeless in the U.S.
What can you do for 1?

This is Inocente…

“In San Diegoa young teenage girl’s eyes stare into a compact mirror. She paints a dramatic black swirl around her eye. She never knows what her day will bring, but she knows at least it will always begin with paint.”

Inocente has been homeless since she was nine, along with three siblings and her mother. After escaping physical violence, she found shelters, but despair took its toll. Her mother took her up to the S.D. bridge where she told her and her siblings to jump with her. Inocente stopped her mother.

An award winning film documentary, of the same name, illustrates her rocky journey from violence, instability and despair to her dream of becoming an artist. Inocente tells you how it feels to be homeless, the conflicts, her fears, her hopes, and her art. 

But, there is a rock in the road. Although the documentary won awards the producers need more funds for community screenings, marketing, making free downloadable companion curricula for teachers and creating an arts workshop template for community organizations.

Homelessness among children contributes to juvenile and adult crime. We know that poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socio-emotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays. 

What can we do to help one kid, two, possibly more? 

The directors have placed their film project up on Kickstarter. It’s a fundraising site. Inocente is described as “Neither sentimental nor sensational, INOCENTE will immerse you in the very real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war that we never see. This film will usher you into the secret life she returns to at the end of every day…”

The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that her circumstances do not define her–her dreams do.

                                                                         


“I have a lot of impossible dreams, but I still dream them…I don’t know if I’m a strong person…”


Yes, I’d say she’s epitomizes a strong young woman. 

Inocente’s story has resonated with me and I hope it touches you. Her story is the story of thousands of kids who had hope and who dreamed. Some made it and some did not. I hope and pray that Inocente and her family makes it out of shelters into a home of their own and that her art and stories make it into galleries and the film watching world.  

Just so you know where your $10 ( or more) donation goes to:


“Shine Global is a 501(c)3 non-profit film production company dedicated to making films and other media aimed at raising awareness, inspiring action, and promoting change. All contributions to this project are tax deductible through Shine Global and will go to finishing INOCENTE. All profits Shine’s films make are returned to the children we document through partner organizations working on the ground.”

My hope is for Inocente’s film to be funded and spread far and wide. I’ll be on the lookout for her gallery showings. Follow  the Facebook page.

     Art inspires, so does compassion. I hope you are moved by Inocente’s story. 

Update:

 Inocente’s story has 14 days before funding closes (July 21st) and they are 50% to their goal. You can donate $, blog, or tweet any of these (or your own):

  @Inocentedoc exposes issues of immigration, youth homelessness, & arts edu in a touching story. Show support http://kck.st/My0yEZ
 @Inocentedoc exposes the issue of teen homelessness in a meaningful film. Support the story & cause on #kickstarter http://kck.st/My0yEZ
 Homeless but determined 15 yr. old artist Inocente defies her circumstances in @inocentedoc http://kck.st/My0yEZ