Tag: Catherine Tatge

Student Produced Civic Life Project Documentaries Receive Public Screening Oct. 30 at Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College will host a free public screening Wednesday, Oct. 30 of a first-of-its kind video project designed to spark community dialogue on social issues ranging from sex trafficking to homophobia.

Civic-Life-Project-logo_newsblogFive short documentary videos produced by Lawrence University students for the university’s Civic Life Project will be shown from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Commons on the FVTC campus, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., Appleton. (South Parking Lot – Entrance 6).

As part of the screening, short audience discussions facilitated by Lawrence students will be conducted after each video.

The program also will include brief remarks by FVTC President Susan May and Lawrence President Mark Burstein.

The Civic Life Project is an innovative educational tool created by award-winning documentary filmmaker and 1972 Lawrence graduate Catherine Tatge and her husband, Dominique Lasseur. It is designed to challenge students to learn about civics and democracy in a unique way, discover more about the community in which they reside and find their own individual voice through the creation of documentary videos.

Topics for the videos grew out of conversations Tatge conducted with numerous Fox Cities community leaders to identify issues of local concern. Three-member teams of Lawrence students shared roles of writer, editor, producer, director and videographer in creating the documentaries.

The titles and topics of the videos to be shown include:

• “Muted,” a look at victims of sex trafficking in Appleton.

• “Walking Alone,” an examination of homophobia and its consequences seen through the eyes of teenagers who suffer the brunt of its isolation and rejection.

• “Adelante” (Forward), which explores the plight of undocumented teen immigrants.

• “Rooted,” which documents the challenges of balancing assimilation with maintaining cultural identity in the Hmong community.

• “Homeless Veterans of the Fox Valley,” a look at the daily struggles facing some who have served our country when they return home.

CLP-Film_Rooted_newsblog
Camilla Grove, a 2013 graduate, worked with a local Hmong family while filming “Rooted,” a look at the challenges of balancing assimilation with cultural traditions.

“The Civic Life Project has been a transformative experience for Lawrence students, showing them that they have a voice in our democracy,” said Tatge, who is in her third year as an artist-in-residence at Lawrence. “I hope these films spark meaningful dialogue throughout the community and help the Fox Valley become an even more welcoming and healthy place to live.”

The Civic Life Project at Lawrence is modeled after a similar program Tatge and Lasseur launched in 2010 in their home state of Connecticut. The program starts in the classroom with an examination of the structure of democracy and ends in the theater with the screening of the documentaries the students create. Since it began, the program has been incorporated into the curriculum at 10 Connecticut high schools.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Festival Showcases Student Film Projects

The cinematic visions of 25 budding student filmmakers will be showcased Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema in the first Lawrence University Student Film Festival. The film festival is free and open to the public.

A gambler experiences a positive new direction in his life after experiencing a run of bad luck in the film “Luck.”

The festival will screen nearly 20 short films, most 3-9 minutes in length. Among the films to be shown are “Luck,” a card-playing gambler with a lucky charm who runs into some bad luck that leads to a positive change; “The Roommate,” when a new student at Lawrence meets his roommate, not everything goes smoothly, but love conquers all, including hand wipes; “Shattered,” the challenge of moving on after losing someone close that leaves your life is shattered; and several films focusing on the art of dance.

The festival also will feature five documentaries produced for Lawrence’s Civic Life Project. The focus of the Civic Life Project films was determined after conversations last fall with community leaders. Each addresses an issue confronting the Fox Valley.

The idea behind the Civic Life Project is to challenge students to learn about our democracy, discover the community they live in for four years and “find their voice” through the creation of a documentary film.

The Civic Life Project films include:

• “Homeless Veterans of the Fox Valley,” an examination of the challenges facing military veterans reacclimating to civilian life.

• “Walking Alone,” a look at homophobia and the consequences teens suffer from the brunt of its isolation and rejection.

• “Rooted,” the Hmong community’s struggle between assimilation and maintaining cultural identity.

• “Adelante,” the plight of undocumented teenage immigrants.

• “Muted,” uncovering victims of sex trafficking in Appleton.

All of the films were produced in Lawrence’s film studies program under the direction of award-winning PBS filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate who is serving as an artist-in-residence.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Thought Into Action: Matriculation Convocation Opens Lawrence University’s 164th Academic Year

President Jill Beck

Under the theme “Thought into Action,” President Jill Beck opens Lawrence University’s 164th academic year and the 2012-13 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 13 with the annual matriculation address.

The convocation, at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, is free and open to the public.  It will be Beck’s final matriculation convocation. In February she announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

Named president in 2004, Beck is the college’s 15th — and only woman — president. In 2009, Forbes.com named Beck a “barrier breaker,” one of 15 female college presidents on Forbes’ list of America’s 50 Best Colleges. A native of Worcester, Mass., she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and art history from Clark University, a master’s degree in history and music from McGill University, and the Ph.D. in theatre from City University of New York.

Kathrine Handford

Beck will be joined by Kathrine Handford, lecturer of music and university organist and award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, artist-in-residence.

Catherine Tatge ’72

Handford presents “Connecting the Dots: An Organ Studio Transformed” that will focus on a trip she led last March to Paris with a half dozen student organ majors while Tatge will present “Telling Stories That Matter.”

As part of the convocation, a clip from a documentary film made about the trip to France, “A World of Sound: American Organists in Paris,” directed by 2012 Lawrence graduate Mark Hirsch will be shown, junior Mathias Reed will perform on Lawrence’s Brombaugh tracker organ and senior Alexis VanZalen will present the address “Music, Meaning, and My Experience with French Organ Culture.”

Other speakers on Lawrence’s 2012-13 convocation series include:

• Oct. 11, 2012 — Larry Robertson, award-winning author and founder of Lighthouse Consulting, which guides entrepreneurial ventures, their leaders, and those who invest in them.

• Jan. 24, 2013 — Lynda Barry, author and nationally syndicated cartoonist known for her comic strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” and the books “The Good Times are Killing Me” and “What It Is.

• April 16, 2013 — Bill Viola, contemporary video artist who explores New Media through electronic, sound, and image technology.

• May 23, 2013 — Claudena Skran, professor of government and Edwin and Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science at Lawrence.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

$5 Million Gift Helps Launch Lawrence Film Studies Center

A game-changer for Lawrence University.

President Jill Beck announced a $5 million gift from Lawrence graduates Tom and Julie Hurvis that will support the establishment of The Hurvis Center for Interdisciplinary Film Studies, a facility dedicated to the integration of film production into the Lawrence curriculum.

The $5 million gift from the Hurvis Charitable Foundation was a part of Lawrence’s recently concluded “More Light!” campaign that raised more than $160 million.

Julie '61 and Tom Hurvis '60

The opening of the Hurvis Center will expand the scope of Lawrence’s current film curriculum, physically and intellectually.  The program currently includes interdisciplinary courses on film theory, history and analysis. The gift will create a fully functional film production studio supporting students’ creation of film and video for artistic and scholarly expression.

Beginning with its signature course, Freshman Studies, Lawrence provides a rigorous education in the traditional forms of literacy — cogent writing and oral dialogue. The enhanced film program will complement those traditions by engaging students in a third form of literacy essential for the 21st century: the visual literacy of film and video.

“Students already learn to ‘read’ film through our existing film theory and history curriculum,” said Beck. “The expanded program made possible by Tom and Julie Hurvis will enable students to learn to ‘write’ as well, producing original documentaries and creative films to express ideas, to raise awareness about issues of concern, and to share research with scholarly and community audiences.

“We are fortunate that an imaginative interdisciplinary approach to film studies has evolved and grown at Lawrence over the past many years,” Beck added. “The Hurvis gift recognizes that fact and generously provides us with the opportunity to add film production to our students’ education and integrate production into our existing program.”

Tom Hurvis, a 1960 Lawrence graduate and chairman and CEO of Old World Industries in Chicago, sees the program as a “game-changer for Lawrence.”

“It really puts the college into a different arena,” said Hurvis. “Here’s an innovation that is something new and it definitely fits with Lawrence. What else could potentially bring so many different members of the faculty together?”

Catherine Tatge '72

Award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate, will serve as a consultant to help get the program launched, offering workshops, assisting students and faculty with specific projects, and consulting with film studies faculty on how the Hurvis gift can best be put to use in curricular development.

“Catherine has expressed enthusiasm for the existing film studies program and is eager to work with faculty on an enhanced program that reflects Lawrence’s distinctiveness,” said Beck.

With more than 25 years of filmmaking experience, Tatge brings a unique vision for the development of a program that will be integrated through diverse areas of the Lawrence curriculum.

“I’m very excited about this new program,” said Tatge, whose latest documentary film, “John Muir in the New World,” premiered on PBS’ “American Masters” series earlier this year. “As a Lawrence graduate, I know the culture of this institution. Developing this program is really going to be a process, working with the faculty and with students to help build something that is uniquely tailored to Lawrence.”

2010 Lawrence graduate Garth Neustadter composed the score for the John Muir film and won an Emmy Award in the original music composition category.

The Hurvises are looking forward to watching the evolution of a distinctive film program rooted in Lawrence’s liberal arts tradition.

“This project is open-ended,” said Julie Hurvis, who graduated from Lawrence in 1961 with a degree in studio art. “We’re excited about it becoming a reality, as people are hired and begin working on the program.”

Filmmaking at Lawrence will promote cross fertilization throughout the campus, drawing upon resources from music performance, composition and arranging, art, dance, theatre, and creative writing. It aspires to engage many academic departments by making film another way for students and faculty to disseminate disciplinary research and ideas.

“Lawrence already has very good creative synergy with the conservatory of music, with art, the theatre department and other creative areas, so the film program will be a beautiful tie-in to all of those different creative juices,” said Tom Hurvis.

“I see bringing different parts of the university together to work on different aspects of the media and cinema process so that students will leave Lawrence being media-savvy and capable of effectively communicating their ideas,” added Tatge.

The Hurvis Center will be located in the renovated lower level of the former Jason Downer Commons. It will provide more than 5,500 square feet of new academic programming space, including a 2,000-square-foot central performance and screening venue for use by film studies and other disciplines, including theatre, dance and music. The large and flexible space will promote collaboration and cross fertilization among multiple disciplines.

The gift also will support the addition of a new faculty position to develop new offerings on filmmaking and a technical position to provide expertise in maintaining equipment and instruction on how to use it.

“Lawrence is truly fortunate to have philanthropists like Tom and Julie Hurvis among its alumni,” said Beck.  “They have a wonderful vision for Lawrence as one of the very best liberal arts institutions in the nation and have made landmark investments in the college to help it achieve that stature.”

Tom and Julie Hurvis’ interests in film include serving as producers of the 2009 award-winning documentary film “The Providence Effect.”  Winner of two film festival “Best Documentary” awards, the film chronicles the efforts of Paul Adams to transform Providence St. Mel, an all-black parochial school on Chicago’s notorious drug-ridden, gang-ruled West Side into a first-rank college preparatory school for its African-American student body.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

PBS Documentary on Naturalist John Muir Filled with Lawrence University Connections

A new documentary for the PBS’ Emmy Award-winning series “American Masters” that explores the life and legacy of revered naturalist, author and scientist John Muir has Lawrence University fingerprints all over it.

Lawrence will host a special screening of “John Muir in the New World,” Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate who wrote, produced and directed the film, will be on hand to discuss the film with audience members following the screening, which is free and open to the public.

In honor of Earth Day, the 90-minute documentary will be broadcast nationally on PBS Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. (CDT) as part of the
 “American Masters” 25th anniversary season. The film made its world premiere Feb. 27 at the Green Bay Film Festival.

Director Catherine Tatge ’72 with John Muir (portrayed by Howard Weamer) in Yosemite National Park.

Filmed in high definition, the documentary uses re-enactments to depict the life of the revered environmentalist, who was instrumental in creating the national park system and founded the Sierra Club. The documentary was shot on the very landscapes that shaped Muir’s life: the Wisconsin woods of his childhood, the path of his incredible 1,000-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico, the California fruit ranch where he lived with his wife and daughters, his beloved Yosemite Valley and the Alaskan wilderness.

Tatge conducted extensive research for the film, enlisting a team of experts, including Emmy-winning sound recordist and international acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, “to ensure the accuracy and integrity of everything we captured on film, right down to every plant specimen and bird call.”

Numerous other Lawrence individuals also were involved in the film. Garth Neustadter, a 2010 Lawrence graduate, composed the documentary’s score, which was performed by Lawrence Conservatory of Music students. Stephen Anunson, also a 2010 graduate, served as the location manager for the Wisconsin scenes of the film. Anunson also recruited Professor of Anthropology Peter Peregrine and current senior Mark Hirsch as actors for the film. Peregrine and Hirsch portrayed Muir’s stern, Bible-reading father and the 19-year-old Muir during his college years at the University of Wisconsin, respectively.

Katie Langenfeld, another 2010 graduate and junior Ali Scattergood served as production assistants, while seniors Katy Harth and Naomi Waxman assisted with costumes for the Wisconsin shoot.

Tatge recalled some of her own experiences as an undergraduate at Lawrence when she considered incorporating students in the filmmaking process.

“I remembered how many talented people I met while I was at Lawrence,” said Tatge, the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Lawrence in 2006. “I just thought this would be a great opportunity for students to be involved in the documentary and then they’d leave Lawrence with a pretty substantial credit to start off their lives. They didn’t disappoint me.”

Tatge said the project helped reconnect her to her alma mater.

“I feel that it’s a two-way street. It keeps me fresher to have young people involved,” she said. “And it’s a great opportunity for Lawrence students to learn something about the filmmaking business. I’m thinking of other things I can do with other projects, which is very exciting for me.”

The Scottish-born Muir was one of the first nature preservationists in American history, inspiring others through his writing and his advocacy to keep the wilderness wild. During his lifetime, he was instrumental in the preservation of the Yosemite Valley, the sequoia groves of California and the glacial landscapes of Alaska.

“It’s incredible what we owe to John Muir and, in our era of Katrina and oil spills, how very much we should revere his message today,” said Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of “American Masters,” a seven-time winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction series.