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Home | Tag Archives: el paso community foundation

Tag Archives: el paso community foundation

Cultivate Forum returns January 30 with speakers, short films

Monday morning, El Paso Community Foundation officials announced the return of the Cultivate Forum for 2020.

This year’s Cultivate Forum will focus on local food systems and sustainability, and will feature an award-winning documentary short film and talks about a project that promotes environmentalism, education and the arts, local food hubs, and the relationship between responsible farming and the local local economy.

Here’s the program:

  • Green Hope Project: Art, Education, and Environmentalism— Presented by Green Hope Project President Candace Printz, an art teacher at El Dorado High School.
  • Local Food Hubs— Presented by Adriana Clowe, president of the Desert Spoon Food Hub.
  • Growing the Local Economy Through Responsible Farming — Presented by Max Rapaport, development manager of Grow Wild and Sierra Vista Growers.
  • Lost World,a 16-minute documentary short film, and Sundance Grand Jury prize winner, by Kalyanee Mam about an existential threat to Cambodia’s mangrove forests.

The Cultivate Forum will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, January 30 in the Foundation Room of the El Paso Community Foundation, located at 333 North Oregon Street.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Socorro ISD jazz band students win Dave Koz scholarship, all-state honor

Two jazz band students in the Socorro Independent School District earned top honors recently for their outstanding performances and their overall excellence as musicians.

Sebastian Ortega, a senior at Americas High School, won the Dave Koz scholarship provided by the El Paso Community Foundation. He was selected for his talent and dedication to jazz, his outstanding performance on saxophone, clarinet and piano, and his academic standing.

“Everyone here at Americas has been so helpful, so I am really thankful to them for all the support they’ve given me throughout my four years,” Ortega said. “Since all the way back to middle school, my teacher Ms. Lynch would encourage me. She would tell me I had what it takes and to pursue my passions.”

Ortega will have the opportunity to meet renowned jazz musician Dave Koz and be recognized on stage at the upcoming Dave Koz Christmas concert at the Plaza Theater.

Pebble Hills High School junior and baritone saxophone player Juan Lara earned a prestigious spot on the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble. He was one of hundreds of students statewide who auditioned for the ensemble.

Lara earned first place regionally and second place in the statewide audition. He said the honor is a result of continuous hard work, which he has strived for over several years.

“Making the state ensemble is a goal I’ve had since starting high school,” Lara said.

He will play with the All-State Jazz Ensemble at a concert at the Texas Music Educators Association conference in February in San Antonio.

EPCF’s 31st annual Spirit of Giving effort helps those in need

It’s that time of year when we think of giving. Generously. The El Paso Community Foundation’s 31st annual Spirit of Giving campaign offers plenty of ways — brick-and-mortar and online — to help someone who might otherwise go without this holiday.

Beginning Thanksgiving week, Spirit of Giving trees will be located at Cielo Vista Mall and Sunland Park Mall.

Trees also will light up five GECU locations shortly after Thanksgiving: Viscount and Airway; Rojas and Zaragoza; North Loop and Horizon; Dyer and Diana; and Helen of Troy and Resler.

The trees are adorned with snowflake tags, which represent the stories of children, elderly, and disabled El Pasoans in need. Pick a tag, buy a gift, place it in a gift bag, attach the tag, and return it to the Spirit of Giving location where participants picked up the tag.

Community members can also visit the Virtual Giving Tree online, then click the tag of the story and pay for the gift. Or print the tag, purchase the gift, wrap it and deliver it, with the tag, to the EPCF office at 333 North Oregon St. on the 2nd Floor.  Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Either way, the El Paso Community Foundation will ensure that the gift is delivered.

The drop-off deadlines are:

  • December 16,GECU
  • December 19,El Paso Community Foundation
  • December 20, Cielo Vista Mall
  • December 23,Sunland Park Mall

More than 59,000 gifts have been given through this uniquely El Paso effort, which started in 1989. The El Paso Community Foundation works with more than two dozen local nonprofits to identify people they serve who are in need.

The El Paso Community Foundation’s Spirit of Giving is sponsored by Cielo Vista Mall/Simon Malls, Sunland Park Mall, GECU Investment & Trust Services, KTSM 9 and iHeartRadio of El Paso.

Fab Lab El Paso Launches Mobile STEM Lab and Electric Code Program for K12

Fab Lab El Paso, a nonprofit makerspace located in Downtown, is launching its ‘Mobile STEM Lab’ with the support of Microsoft, United Way of El Paso County, El Paso Community Foundation, and the Hunt Family Foundation.

The Mobile STEM Fab Lab project is an idea pioneered by MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms that brings hands-on STEM learning to schools.

“Despite incredible advances in innovation, many students still lack access to the technology tools they need to compete in today’s ‘knowledge economy’,” said Jonathan Childress, Regional Community Manager for Microsoft. “To address this issue, Microsoft actively seeks to partner with community-based organizations like Fab Lab to increase technology access and software availability for individuals and communities around the world.”

Mobile STEM Fab Lab is a pop-up makerspace experience and transport for 3D printers, 3D scanners, VR/AR experiences, video production setup, laser cutter, CNC mill, STEM learning kits. The Fab Lab curriculum will incorporate workshops on 3D Printing, 2D to 3D design, Animation, VR, Robotics, Circuits, Microbiology, and Coding.

A simultaneous initiative – Electric Code -will be launched in partnership with El Paso Electric to offer free intro to computer science lessons for Grades 3 to 12 that promote awareness of potential career applications in product development, experience design, and engineering.

“El Paso Electric is focused on innovation, designing intelligent growth strategies, constructing clean energy infrastructure, and investing in solar energy expansion for all of our customers,” says El Paso Electric’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Adrian J. Rodriguez.

“To ensure this innovation continues, we must invest in initiatives that aim to develop our future talent here locally. This is why we find our partnership with Fab Lab so vital and important, exemplified through the Electric Code initiative.”

As part of Fab Lab’s official launch, the nonprofit hosted its inaugural workshop at Socorro Independent School District’s Montwood Middle School where 80 students participated in the Electric Code lesson during a two-hour coding learning module.

Schools interested in the Mobile STEM Fab Lab and Electric Code program are encouraged to visit Fab Lab’s website to learn more.

Run Internacional – The U.S.-Mexico 10K returns November 16

After a disappointing cancellation last year, the Run Internacional — The U.S.-Mexico 10K is back, with a picturesque binational route and a new finish line.

The fourth edition of the Run Internacional begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, November 16 in El Paso and ends across the border in Ciudad Juarez.

“Two cities and one community come together in Run Internacional,” race officials shared via a news release. “The cross-border 10K is about the unique greatness of the largest borderland in the world, and illustrates how one community, united by an international boundary line, blends itself into one region.”

The cross-border run starts in El Paso next to the Stanton Street Port of Entry at Olivas V. Aoy Avenue and South Mesa Street. The course winds past landmarks such as Southwest University Park, the Roderick Artspace Lofts, San Jacinto Plaza, the Mills Building and Segundo Barrio before crossing into Juarez at the Stanton Street Bridge.

In Juarez, it passes landmarks such as the Plaza de Toros bullring, the Old Customs House (where the first U.S.-Mexico presidential meeting took place in 1909 with William Taft and Porfirio Diaz), Museo de la Revolucion, and the Juarez Cathedral.

The race finishes at a new location, the Monumento JRZ, in Juarez, just a short walk from the Paso del Norte International Bridge.

Volunteers will help runners return to El Paso, on foot or by shuttle, from the finish line to the bridge.

Registration is available online. Additionally, anyone who registered for the canceled 2018 Run Internacional and did not request a refund is automatically registered for the 2019 U.S.-Mexico 10K.

Run Internacional — The U.S.-Mexico 10K is presented by the El Paso Community Foundation in partnership with the City of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

The 10K is one of several events celebrating our border area, including the Borderplex Alliance’s 2019 U.S.-Mexico Border Summit on November 7, the large-scale binational art installation Border Tuner November 13-24 in El Paso and Juarez, and the Two Sides of the Border exhibit, presented by renowned architect Tatiana Bilbao and Texas Tech’s Ersela Kripa, from November 9-December 6 at the El Paso Museum of Art.

November binational events:

International10k.com  |   Bordertuner.net   |    Borderplex Alliance   |    Two Sides of the Border

Jim Ward’s annual ‘El Paso Forever’ concert set to rock Saturday

In authentic Jim Ward retrospect, a sold-out theater venue and pile of ticket stubs translates to a multitude of philanthropic acts contributing to the local music and arts community.

“Come to the show, and we’re going to take as much of your ticket money as we can and give it to charity,” Ward explained. “Because of you, we raised so much money for our fund.”

The fundraising efforts are a win-win for the concertgoer while supporting local musicians in exposing them to a shared stage with internationally touring artists.

On Saturday, October 12, American indie rock band Cold War Kids will headline the 2nd annual El Paso Forever concert in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation.

Emily Davis and the Murder Police and Sleepsent, two longtime El Paso favorites, will be the opening acts.

Ticket sales will benefit the foundation Because of You, founded by Ward, who doubles as the frontman for Sparta and board member liaison for EPCF alongside his wife Kristina Ward.

Because of You aims to raise philanthropic awareness amongst a mass audience by leaning on the simple act of purchasing a concert ticket.

Beyond bringing an exhibition boost for resident artists, proceeds from the event will also seed the ongoing development of the Wards’ “You Rock” girls rock camp. The initiative, currently under development by various coordinators from El Paso and Austin, targets local youth for an inclusive Summer 2020 music program focused on equality, mental health, nutrition and creativity.

“The reason we say inclusive is because we are open and aware to LGBTW,” Ward said. “I want it to be somewhere that you fit in and feel welcome. Part of it is counseling, part of it is nutrition, part of it is education under the guise of having fun, learning an instrument.”

The You Rock vision consists of a 5-day retreat involving mental and physical self-care while tending to music-creating desire and potential. Residents can contribute to the Because of You fund by purchasing a ticket for the upcoming Cold War Kids concert on October 12 or visiting the El Paso Forever website.

Sponsors that make the event possible include Rudolph Auto Group, El Paso Electric, TFCU, Karbach Brewing, KISS FM and Barracuda Public Relations.

Six comedians open sixth EPCF Jewel Box Series on October 13

The El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre celebrates its sixth season with six standup comedians in the Cloud 915 Comedy Showcase.

The Jewel Box Series is produced in partnership with El Paso Live. The 191-seat Philanthropy Theatre is located above the Plaza Theatre box office on the second floor of the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre annex.

The show is at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, October 13 in the Plaza Theatre, part of the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre.  Tickets $16 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office (no service fees) and ticketmaster.com (plus service fees).

Each of the half dozen comedians is a touring performer, very active on social media, and a product of the area’s burgeoning stand-up comedy scene.

Headliner Adam Dominguez is an El Paso native now living and working the comedy scene in Las Vegas.

Joe Rodriguez, a Las Cruces native now based in Vegas, describes himself on his Instagram page as “Comedian. Husband. Habitual Line Stepper.”

Nico Adjemian, who can be heard on the KLAQ-FM morning show, was a finalist in the 2014 El Paso Comedy Challenge and 2015 Southwest Laughfest Comedy Festival.

Versatile Anthony Austin Brown is a comedian, actor, singer, and dancer who describes himself as “still broke.”

Cathedral High School grad Dante Verduzco says that English is his second language, “funny is his first.” Cloud 915’s Lando V.C., who will host the show, tends to work clean, with an emphasis on silly humor.

Jewel Box Series season tickets are $103 for all eight shows (a 20% discount), on sale at the El Paso Community Foundation, 333 North Oregon, by phone at 915-533-4020, or online.

El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre SCHEDULE

Two Women. Two Voices. Unplugged.

Emily Davis and Jaimielynn Amato                      

November 3, 2019, 2:30 pm                            

Fresh from a national tour supporting Bad Religion, edgy singer-songwriter Emily Davis returns to her solo punk-folk roots. Opener is the “Songbird of El Paso,” singer-songwriter — and ace whistler — Jaimielynn Amato.

Icarus Was a Rookie: Run the Jewel Back

The Border Theatre

December 8, 2019, 2:30 pm

This irreverent bit of interactive, improv theater debuted last year in the Jewel Box Series. It has evolved to include more local talent, but the audience still gets to order from a menu of 30 short pieces, which are performed in 60 minutes.

 

We Have Each Other        

Felix Arenas

January 12, 2020, 2:30 pm               

Few things are as important as family. Every family comes with its own struggles. This trio of one-acts by Felix Arenas explores those issues and how we feel safe within that family — because we have each other.

 

The Straussiana

Ballet in Session Academy

February 9, 2020, 2:30 pm                              

The music and dance of old Vienna come to life in this original production from Rebecca Meza of Ballet in Session Academy. The one-act classical ballet is set to music by Johann Strauss, Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss.

Seven Deadly Shorts

Palmore Productions

March 8, 2020, 2:30 pm

What could aliens, yoga, fortune telling, Cracker Jack, baggage, chess and murder possibly have in common?  SIN!  From Mark Watts and Stephanie Karr, the team that opened the first Jewel Box Series in 2014, comes this series of seven 10-minute plays that will take you down that dark path of the Seven Deadly Sins.

 

yo Soy project

Recording Moving Studios

April 19, 2020, 2:30 pm   

Written by Adry Love and directed by Diego Muniz, this bilingual production combines music, video projection, film and visual art. The culmination is a multimedia experience exploring personal and geographic identity. It’s part of the 2020 Nuevo Siglo de Oro Spanish drama festival.

               

The Southwest Songwriter Series

Doug Adamz, Teresa Tudury and Gene Keller

May 10, 2020, 2:30 pm

These three master “poet-composers” will take listeners on an epic journey using only melodies, poetry, and guitars in this special Mother’s Day concert. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Doug Adamz, an El Paso product recently returned from years in California, has worked with Joan Baez and the Kronos Quartet. Teresa Tudury is a sultry-voiced Bay Area product described as a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Bette Midler. Gene Keller is an El Paso icon, a singer-songwriter-poet who has performed and inspired audiences for more than 40 years.

EPCF Jewel Box Series at Philanthropy Theatre opens sixth season in October

The El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre celebrates its sixth season with its first comedy show, first ballet, and first returning show, plus two one-of-a-kind concerts, and two new plays.

The Jewel Box Series, created by the El Paso Community Foundation to showcase local performing arts groups in the charming Philanthropy Theatre, presents diverse, unusual and inventive programs.

The 2019-2020 season features eight productions, each at 2:30 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month, from October 2019 through May 2020.

The season begins October 13 — during downtown’s Chalk the Block public art festival — with the The Cloud 915 Comedy Showcase, featuring six local comedians.

Singer-songwriter Emily Davis makes her Jewel Box debut on November 3, with Jewel Box returnee Jaimielynn Amato opening, in a concert called Two Women. Two Voices. Unplugged. The first half of the season concludes with a revised version of The Border Theatre improve comedy Icarus Was a Rookie: Run the Jewel Back, which debuted at last year’s Jewel Box Series.

The second half opens January 12 with We Have Each Other, three one-acts by Felix Arenas, that examine the meaning of family.

Our pre-Valentine’s Day show February 9 is The Straussiana, choreographed and directed by Rebecca Meza of Ballet in Session Academy. Mark Watts and Stephanie Karr’s Seven Deadly Shorts (March 8) is a series of 10-minute one-acts. Recording Moving Studios’ yo Soy project on April 19 is a multi-media production that examines identity.

Doug Adamz and Gene Keller join Teresa Tudury in the Southwest Songwriters Series, which closes the season May 10.

Tickets for each show are $16, on sale at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and online.  Season tickets are $103 (a 20% discount), on sale at the El Paso Community Foundation, 333 N. Oregon, by phone at 915-533-4020, or online.

The 191-seat Philanthropy Theatre is located above the Plaza Theatre box office on the second floor of the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre annex.

The Jewel Box Series is produced in partnership with El Paso Live. 

El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre – SCHEDULE

The Cloud 915 Comedy Showcase

Lando VC, Adam Dominguez, Anthony Austin Brown, Joe Rodriguez, Nico Adjemian and Dante Verduzco

October 13, 2019, 2:30 pm 

Our sixth season starts with laughter. Clean comic Orlando “Lando VC” Cordova hosts this showcase of Borderland stand-ups.

Two Women. Two Voices. Unplugged.

Emily Davis and Jaimielynn Amato                

November 3, 2019, 2:30 pm                         

Fresh from a national tour supporting Bad Religion, edgy singer-songwriter Emily Davis returns to her solo punk-folk roots. Opener is the “Songbird of El Paso,” singer-songwriter — and ace whistler — Jaimielynn Amato.

Icarus Was a Rookie: Run the Jewel Back

The Border Theatre

December 8, 2019, 2:30 pm 

This irreverent bit of interactive, improv theater debuted last year in the Jewel Box Series. It has evolved to include more local talent, but the audience still gets to order from a menu of 30 short pieces, which are performed in 60 minutes.

We Have Each Other       

Felix Arenas

January 12, 2020, 2:30 pm            

Few things are as important as family. Every family comes with its own struggles. This trio of one-acts by Felix Arenas explores those issues and how we feel safe within that family — because we have each other.

The Straussiana

Ballet in Session Academy

February 9, 2020, 2:30 pm                            

The music and dance of old Vienna come to life in this original production from Rebecca Meza of Ballet in Session Academy. The one-act classical ballet is set to music by Johann Strauss, Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss.

Seven Deadly Shorts

Palmore Productions

March 8, 2020, 2:30 pm

What could aliens, yoga, fortune telling, Cracker Jack, baggage, chess and murder possibly have in common?  SIN!  From Mark Watts and Stephanie Karr, the team that opened the first Jewel Box Series in 2014, comes this series of seven 10-minute plays that will take you down that dark path of the Seven Deadly Sins.

yo Soy project

Recording Moving Studios

April 19, 2020, 2:30 pm    

Written by Adry Love and directed by Diego Muniz, this bilingual production combines music, video projection, film and visual art. The culmination is a multimedia experience exploring personal and geographic identity. It’s part of the 2020 Nuevo Siglo de Oro Spanish drama festival.

               

The Southwest Songwriter Series

Doug Adamz, Teresa Tudury and Gene Keller

May 10, 2020, 2:30 pm

These three master “poet-composers” will take listeners on an epic journey using only melodies, poetry, and guitars in this special Mother’s Day concert. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Doug Adamz, an El Paso product recently returned from years in California, has worked with Joan Baez and the Kronos Quartet.

Teresa Tudury is a sultry-voiced Bay Area product described as a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Bette Midler. Gene Keller is an El Paso icon, a singer-songwriter-poet who has performed and inspired audiences for more than 40 years.

Tenet Healthcare Foundation exceeds fundraising goal, Donates $350k to Victims’ Fund

Earlier this week, Tenet Healthcare Corporation presented a $350,000 donation to the El Paso Community Foundation to support victims and families affected by the tragic events on August 3.

“The El Paso Community is inspired by the outpouring of compassion shown by Tenet and the Hospitals of Providence,” said Eric Pearson, president of the El Paso Community Foundation. “This is a bittersweet embrace of our community, coming together in the wake of this tragedy.”

The gift was made by the Tenet Healthcare Foundation and will go directly to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Mr. Rittenmeyer said, “We have provided care to the El Paso Community for over 40 years. The response from our Tenet employees around the country as well as our business partners to support victims and their families in El Paso was immediate and heartwarming. I am extremely proud of our Tenet Family for their generosity and kindness to a community still suffering greatly from a truly senseless act.”

As previously announced, The Tenet Healthcare Foundation pledged to contribute $100,000 to the El Paso Community Foundation and provide an additional match for the first $50,000 in donations.

Through the generosity of employees and business partners, the final contribution of $350,000 far exceeded that initial commitment.

On Monday, Aug, 12, Tenet Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Rittenmeyer, along with colleagues from Tenet and The Hospitals of Providence, participated in a ceremony in El Paso to honor the community and those who lost their lives during the tragedy.

At the ceremony, which was held at The Hospitals of Providence East Campus and attended by caregivers and first responders, Mr. Rittenmeyer presented the donation to the El Paso Community Foundation.

With 5,300 team members in El Paso, Tenet is the city’s second-largest private employer. The company operates four acute care hospitals under The Hospitals of Providence brand and more than 50 outpatient centers, physician clinics and other care facilities throughout the area.

Paso del Norte Community Foundation, El Paso Community Foundation announce victims fund coordination

On Monday, officials with the two largest shooting victims funds announced that Stephanie Karr has been appointed to assist in distributing funds raised for victims of the August 3, 2019 shooting.

The Paso del Norte Community Foundation and the El Paso Community Foundation jointly appointed Ms. Karr to coordinate disbursement of victim relief funds which have been donated to both foundations.

Ms. Karr, who recently retired from the El Paso Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, is a veteran non-profit leader, with experience serving people who have survived traumatic incidents.

“I am honored to work with these two foundations who are leading relief funds collection. We want to assure our families that we will work diligently and fairly for them to receive the help they need,” said Ms. Karr.

“Stephanie’s experience and knowledge will help us coordinate our mutual efforts,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. “We are proud of how our community and our country have come together during this dark period.”

“El Pasoans’ generosity continues to be an inspiration to all of us,” said Tracy Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Foundation. “Our collaboration to serve victims and their families is of utmost importance.”

A local task force will guide local efforts for distribution.  Additionally, the National Compassion Fund, a nonprofit organization who has worked with other communities who have experienced mass shootings, will provide assistance.

“We are ensuring that we have a fair, transparent and equitable system in place that will provide maximum relief to families.”, said Ms. Karr.  Both foundations have waived administrative and credit card fees for donations received.  Local groups who have raised funds may coordinate the distribution of those funds through this joint effort.

The Family Assistance Center has been set up at the Judson Williams Convention Center to provide coordinated services to families. Several local, state and federal agencies, as well as non-profit service providers, are present to provide help to families. Also, families can contact the District Attorney Victim Assistance Services office at (915) 546-2091.

Donations can be made to the El Paso Community Foundation or the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

EP Community Foundation hosts public meeting to determine future of Wyler Tramway

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is performing a feasibility study geared toward determining the future of the Wyler Aerial Tramway.

The public meeting, hosted by the El Paso Community Foundation, will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 6 p.m.

“It’s a piece of El Paso’s identity, and a big part of our history. It was a very popular destination up until it ceased operation” said Eric Pearson, president of the El Paso Community Foundation. “Thanks to our lawmakers in Austin—especially Senator Jose Rodriguez and State Representative Lina Ortega—we now all have an opportunity to work on a new concept.”

The Wyler Aerial Tramway was originally designed to provide maintenance access for television transmission towers in the Franklin Mountains until it was donated to TPWD in 1997. The department reopened it to the public in 2001 following extensive renovation.

“This feasibility study is a great first step toward determining the future of the only public tramway in the state of Texas,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “We are excited to use the feedback we get from the citizens of El Paso and from around the state through these public meetings and online survey.”

The meeting will take place in the El Paso Community Foundation’s office, 333 North Oregon Street. Anyone unable to attend the meeting can still provide their input through an online survey found at online.

For more information about Wyler Aerial Tramway, visit the TPWD website.

Wyler Tramway Public Input Meeting:

Who: Texas Parks and Wildlife and El Paso Community Foundation

What: Public Input Meeting

Where: Foundation Room, 333. North Oregon

Time:  Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 6 p.m. 

Plaza Classic Film Festival welcomes author Victoria Riskin

Writer Victoria Riskin will appear at the El Paso Community Foundation’s 12th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival in August to talk about some of her parents’ movies and sign copies of her acclaimed new biography, Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir.

Ms. Riskin, the daughter of actress Fay Wray (King Kong, The Most Dangerous Game) and the great screenwriter Robert Riskin (It Happened One Night, Meet John Doe), will discuss her mother’s work as Ann Darrow in an onstage interview before a screening of the 1933 masterpiece King Kong at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 6 in the Plaza Theatre.

She also will introduce one of her mother’s favorite movies, the 1928 Eric von Stroheim silent classic The Wedding March at 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 6, and one of her father’s most popular films, the 1938 romantic comedy You Can’t Take It With You, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 7. Both will be in the Plaza Theatre.

She will follow the You Can’t Take It With You screening with a book signing at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 7 in the Plaza Theatre.

Victoria Riskin is an award-winning television writer-producer (The Last Best Year, My Antonia, The Member of the Wedding), former president of the Writers Guild of America, West, and an activist who served on the board of Human Rights Watch.

Her mother starred in more than 120 movies and successfully transitioned from silent movies to talkies.

Fay Wray met Robert Riskin — “Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor,” known for his nine films directed by Frank Capra — at a party in 1940. Their fairytale marriage ended with Riskin’s tragic death in 1955.

Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir has received rave reviews. The Associated Press wrote: “If there was an Academy Award for movie books, Victoria Riskin would be making room beside the Oscar her father won for writing the romantic comedy classic It Happened One Night.”

This year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival will feature more than 90 movies from August 1-11, 2019 in and around the historic Plaza Theatre.

In addition to Ms. Riskin, the Plaza Classic’s guests include husband-and-wife acting couple Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at 7 p.m. Friday, August 2 and the 1978 cult classic The Legacy at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 3, both in the Plaza Theatre.

Among the titles announced so far are an 80th anniversary screening of The Wizard of Oz, the Plaza Classic debut of My Fair Lady, a new 4K restoration of 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1939’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the 11th annual free outdoor showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Individual tickets go on sale in early July. Festival passes are on sale now online. Call 915-533-4020 for more information.

Student-inspired Northeast mural to be dedicated Saturday

Artwork by 190 students from Barron, Tom Lea, and Bradley elementary schools provided inspiration for local artists LosDos and this collaborative process has resulted in a mural for Northeast El Paso.

The new mural will be dedicated from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at Veterans Park located at 5301 Salem Drive.

LosDos artists Ramon and Christian Cardenas, whose work embraces and celebrates community, spoke with students from the schools about expressing their experiences through art, as well as what community means to them.

The students kept journals over an 8-week period, which expressed their ideas of community — friends, family, neighborhood, and personal thoughts. LosDos used the students’ work as inspiration, resulting in a single mural, which will be dedicated Saturday.

The 10-foot tall by 20-foot mural is part of an effort to expand public art in the region.

“It was new and exciting for us to work with so many different partners on a project,” Christian Cardenas said.

This is the 4th year that Artstream, a project of the El Paso Community Foundation, has partnered with artists to educate students on how they create their art, and how those students can express themselves artistically.

The Artstream project integrates fundamentals of fine arts into elementary school classrooms and supports the El Paso Independent School District’s Active Learning Initiative, an interactive, project-based curriculum. Artstream shows teachers how to incorporate music, movement, and the visual arts into everyday classroom lessons to enhance student academic and social development.

This project was made possible by the generous support of the El Paso Community Foundation, The Classroom Fund, and Progress321.

EPCF, Down Syndrome Coalition get into the ice cream business

The El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) and its supporting organization, the Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso, announced at Saturday’s The Whole Hog fundraiser a tasty new business venture designed to employ people with special needs.

EPCF and DSC are teaming with Dallas-based Howdy Homemade Ice Cream to bring a franchise to El Paso.

“This is one part of the El Paso Community Foundation’s and the Down Syndrome Coalition’s commitment to provide employment to people with special needs,” said Eric Pearson, El Paso Community Foundation President and CEO.

Howdy Homemade, which has 13 stores, is known nationally for its emphasis on employing people with special needs.

Officials added that the program  “is part of a larger EPCF attempt to provide life and work opportunities for the special needs community.”

Recently, EPCF teamed with the national Project SEARCH, the Hospitals of Providence and the Socorro Independent School District to provide internships for those with developmental disabilities.

The Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso was founded in 2015 to create a brighter path for the future of children with Down Syndrome and learning disabilities.

DSC established Every Little Blessing, a preschool for children ages 18 months to 5 years with Down syndrome. DSCEP’s annual The Whole Hog barbecue is its largest fundraiser.

EPCF, PCFF host special benefit screening of new “Hearts on the Gila” documentary

Journey down the Gila River with three mothers in search of hope and renewal after the tragic loss of their children in a screening of the work-in-progress documentary Hearts on the Gila.

The El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) Plaza Classic Film Festival (PCFF) hosts the screening, the first stop of a six-city tour that includes Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Silver City and Mesilla in New Mexico.

The screening will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26 in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, 333 North Oregon, across from San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso.

The tour is presented by Heart of the Gila, New Mexico Wild , and the Center for Biological Diversity ; nonprofit groups dedicated to protecting and promoting wild and scenic protection for New Mexico’s last wild river.

Hearts on the Gila takes place four years after three mothers lost their teenage children in a tragic plane crash. The women embarked on a 36-mile kayak journey down the Gila River into the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico.

Their children, passionate environmentalists who were inextricably linked to the Gila, were studying the effects of a devastating forest fire when their plane went down in high wind. The mothers look for hope and solace on the waters of one of America’s last wild rivers and one of America’s great natural treasures.

In Garcia’s film, the women learn about themselves, their children’s legacies, and the importance of wild river systems to the spiritual health of humanity in a world where wild places are rapidly disappearing.

The tour of this work-in-progress version of Hearts on the Gila — which will be submitted to major film festivals around the world when completed this year — is designed to raise awareness of the challenges facing the river, which runs through the nation’s first official wilderness area.

The screenings will be an opportunity for audience members to engage in a direct way with the filmmaking process and to dialogue in person with the filmmaker and some of the film’s subjects.

Albuquerque filmmaker David Garcia and some of the film’s subjects will participate in a Q&A after the screening.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served. There will be a cash bar (beer and wine). Parking is available nearby at the Chase/Mills Plaza Parking Garage on Oregon Street.

Admission is $10 at the door or online; all proceeds go to Heart of the Gila.

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