May 10, 2013
Tune into this Deep Roots podcast to hear from WritersCorps teaching artist Minna Dubin, poet and performance artist Leticia Hernandez, and the young moms at Hilltop School as they prepare for the multimedia performance of “Iron Mom: Not Just A Baby Mama”.
Photo by Cole Anetsberger
Cristal Fiel(narration): In this episode, I speak with local filmmaker, H.P. Mendoza. You may know HP as the writer, composer, and actor in Colma: The Musical, which was directed by Richard Wong. The New York Times called it, “an itty-bitty film with a great big heart.” His second feature length film, Fruit Fly, is a musical comedy that takes place in San Francisco. It premiered at the 2009 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and won the audience award for best narrative. Recently HP toured the film festival circuit with his horror movie, I Am A Ghost. SF Weekly named him Best Horror Director in 2012. He also teamed up with Rich Wong again for the film, Yes, We’re Open. It won Best Screenplay at the 2012 LA Asian Film Festival.
As a filmmaker, music composer, actor, and screenwriter, one can only imagine how busy he is. I was fortunate to sit with HP on beautiful sunny day in Dolores Park. It’s one of his favorite spots in the city and it makes an appearance in a couple of his films.
Cristal: Can you tell me about the different role models in your life that supported your development as an artist?
H.P. Mendoza: This might be a typical story, but having the immigrant parents that came to America so that their kids can live their dreams, they’re like “Whatever your dreams are, do it!” Everyone in my family was so into movies and they kept taking me to movies. I used to be really into The Wizard of Oz. I used reenact The Wizard of Oz in my bed with stuffed animals and G.I. Joes and Transformers. Optimus Prime was the tin man. My father saw that and he actually went to Vegas for awhile and he brought back all this stuff that he won. One of them was a Super 8 Camera. He explained how film worked: it had to be developed; you can shoot these home movies. And I think that’s when I got bit by the bug. I think at that point I was like five. (more...)
Photo courtesy of KALW
Sights and Sounds of Bayview
A Partnership between the San Francisco Arts Commission and KALW
In 2009, the San Francisco Arts Commission launched the Deep Roots podcast, which promotes art in communities where people live and work. Segments have included the creation of the bust of Harvey Milk in City Hall, Mission-based Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia, and the 2013 Mayor’s Art Awardee Rhodessa Jones who is known for her work with incarcerated women. With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to focus on Central Market, SFAC developed Sights and Sounds of Central Market, a series of commissioned audio portraits highlighting positive activity in the neighborhood. (more...)
“The Love Project” Photo by Hubert Williams
“My Life in the Concrete Jungle” a Medea Project Production
Inspirational performance artist, teacher, and activist Rhodessa Jones is recipient of this year's Mayor's Art Award. The Mayor's Art Award honors her lifetime achievements and important contributions to the arts and culture of San Francisco, where she has thrived for over 30 years.
Rhodessa is Co-Artistic Director of the performance company, Cultural Odyssey, and founder of The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, a performance workshop designed to achieve personal and social transformation for women in the prison system. She boasts a lifetime of multidisciplinary shows performed in San Francisco and around the world.
In this podcast, Rhodessa shares her personal history: from her beginnings as the daughter of migrant workers; her development as a dancer and performance artist; to the formation of The Medea Project. Tune in to learn how the confident Rhodessa Jones became so extraordinary.
Mayor Lee will present the 2013 Mayor’s Art Award to Rhodessa Jones on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at an event at City Hall hosted by the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Special thanks to Idris Ackamoor, co-artistic director of Cultural Odyssey, for providing us with the audio clips of Cultural Odyssey and The Medea Project in this podcast.