Get your daily dose of art, music, and history, with this bad boy. It’s a documentary short on Ed Piskor and his groundbreaking comic book Hip Hop Family Tree. Watch it at TIME. What a blast it was to direct this w/ brilliant collaborators: Producer Jim Fields, Cinematographer Bryan Heller, Editor Ben Jones, DJ Jay Malls, et al. Additional ingredients: b-boys spinning on their heads, labyrinthine rooms of vinyl records, and low-riding bikes at sunset.
I remember hanging out in pjs with a friend, brainstorming a documentary series. It would be comprised of diy video vignettes by various, local filmmakers and it would expose the plight of artists struggling with America’s broken health care system. Since that moment two years ago, we’ve built up a resource of about 40 stories available for free online. Here in Pittsburgh, we hold art exhibitions, community film screenings, talks, and workshops, that bring together artists, activists, students, educators, doctors, and politicians. Today, the Huffington Post gave props to our “passion and creativity” for helping to keep “what had seemed like a quixotic venture alive and well in the political arena”. The article is called, Single Payer: Alive and Still Remarkably Well.
So honored to be named one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40! Shout out to the other independent artists on the 2013 list: Handmade Arcade organizer/Ray-Min bag designer Minette Vaccariello, Yinzpiration founder/editor Kate Stoltzfus, visual artist D. S. Kinsel, and Hiawatha Project theater director/CMU faculty, Anya Martin. See the full list of honorees and get tickets to the award presentation/party here!
What was meant to be a casual browse at a second-hand electronics store, turned into two hours of sifting through strangers’ photos. Amidst the refurbished DVD players, guitar amps, and novelty lamps at Atlas Audio Repair, there are often boxes of odds and ends procured at estate sales. This particular set of three boxes represented the histories of at least ten Pittsburgh families from the 1920′s up to the 1980′s. My qualms about voyeurism were offset by an admiration for the breathtaking compositions by unsung hobbyist photographers, and a desire to preserve and share their work. I fell in love with the 3.5 inch square kodak prints in particular. Just contributed one of the photos with a most mysterious caption to FOUND Magazine. Hope to show all 200 or so photos publicly at a date TBD…
Claire Donato is an award-winning 26-year-old poet/novelist and yogini living in Brooklyn, NY. Her debut novel Burial was recently named among the “Best Summer Reads 2013” by Publishers Weekly. The book is set in the mind of a narrator who is grieving the loss of her father, who conflates her hotel with the morgue. Check out my in-depth interview with Donato on topics such as poetry, MFAs, the writer’s life, yoga, and French v. US health care at Healthy Artists. There’s also a compressed version on the writer’s life + health care politics at MichaelMoore.com