Monday, September 28, 2015

'She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry' and the Mountain Tour!

Monday started off the third day of Southern Circuit, driving from Athens, Georgia to Johnson City, Tennessee, an epic adventure – thrilled by the mountains, lakes, and gorgeous scenery on I-26 W.  I wanted to stop and take it all in; however, it was hard to keep driving.  But there were students to meet!   

I arrived at Eastern Tennessee State University early that afternoon and met with two terrific classes on women’s issues and gender studies taught by Hilary Malatino. The students had great questions, and it was such a pleasure to get to talk with them.    

I enjoyed a delicious Thai dinner with some of the ETSU staff and students before screening 'She’s Beautiful' to a packed audience that night.

An additional treat, our youngest viewer ever, nine-month-old Charlie, was all eyes for the film!

The ETSU team did a fantastic job of publicizing the event.  Many thanks to Heidi Ehle and Phyllis Thompson, and Anita DeAngelis, the Director of Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, for sponsoring this whole event.  There was a lovely reception afterwards in a gallery with a brilliant installation on violence against women, the body and blood, by Native American contemporary artist Luzene Hill. What a powerhouse team! Many thanks to Lisa Gail Cutshaw for the great photographs.

As I was driving back down the mountain roads the next day, I became a fan of country music radio, especially the song, “Crash and Burn,” which I sang along with in the car because it’s on all the stations and no one could hear me!  My next stop would be Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. I drove through so many fascinating places, including Maggie Valley, and realized that the South can be habit-forming. Yes, I love the Smoky Mountains!

At Western Carolina University, I met with the next dynamic duo Francis Ann Ortiz from Campus Programs and Maven Mayfield, her student associate – what an amazing team! 

They made the screening fun and interactive with a wall poster for students to write about their views on feminism as well as a special frame for photos, not to mention popcorn!! There was a great Q & A after the screening and then more discussions about the film and feminism in the hallways.

By then it dawned on me - every site on Southern Circuit is full of more than great audiences, but also deeply dedicated staffers who are making sure that it’s a wonderful experience for everyone. Lucky me! 

Two more stops on the road to go,  TO BE CONTINUED……..

All best,   

Mary Dore