FREE 2nd Thursday Every Month
Armory Center for the Arts
145 North Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, California 91103
Filmmaker John Wellington Ennis delves deeply into the subject of big money in politics in Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes, this month’s Conscientious Projector documentary screening on Thursday, November 13, 7:00 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts. In the days following this year’s midterm elections, the overarching influence of money in politics will certainly be a major topic of analysis. Using the popular board game Monopoly as a recurring metaphor, writer-director Ennis explores how billionaire donors like the Koch Brothers and others, enabled by Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon, influence both our electoral and legislative processes through widespread campaign contributions to candidates who share their anti-government views, while dedicated grassroots activists and artists work diligently to change the game and resurrect democracy as we have known it.
Executive Producer Holly Mosher will join us for a community discussion following the film. The Armory is located at 145 N. Raymond in Old Pasadena. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.
On Thursday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m., Conscientious Projector will screen Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration & New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. at Armory Center for the Arts. The police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri this summer and the accompanying public protests and militarized law enforcement response should dispel any notion that Americans now live in a post-racial society. The more enlightened media coverage of Ferguson alluded to even greater evidence that racial injustice has reached epic new heights–through the mass incarceration of African-Americans in what has increasingly become a privatized, for-profit prison system in this country. This revealing documentary takes a bold, comprehensive look at the intersection between race, poverty and the hugely disproportionate imprisonment of people of color.
Director Matthew Pillischer examines Pennsylvania’s justice system as a microcosm for the nation and presents an array of reform activists and scholars to define the film’s broad range of attendant issues. Michelle Alexander, author of the groundbreaking The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, is prominently featured.
A discussion follows, facilitated by Jeanette Miyamoto of LA Voice, a lead organization supporting November ballot Proposition 47, which would reduce most “serious and nonviolent property crimes” from felonies to misdemeanors. Representatives from the Pasadena/Altadena Reintegration Council (PARC) join us to report on their community work with recently released prisoners. COLORS (Christians Offering Love to Overcome Racism in Society) cosponsors. The Armory is located at 145 N. Raymond in Old Pasadena. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.
In the past two months, our national debate on immigration has been largely driven by angry protests over unaccompanied children from Central America traveling hundreds of miles on their own to cross the U.S./Mexico border. Calls for the immediate deportation of these vulnerable young refugees have been loud and persistent, while supporters have undertaken humanitarian efforts to house and care for them and connect them with family members while they remain in this country. This dangerous trek was vividly portrayed in the multiple award-winning 2009 film, Which Way Home, which also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Its relevance to today’s crisis is stark and undiminished. Conscientious Projector screens it on Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts. Director Rebecca Camisa focuses on children making their way north on a freight train they call “The Beast,” leaving loved ones behind in order to flee the violence, poverty and desperation in their native countries.
Rev. Francisco Garcia, Director of Peace & Justice Ministries at All Saints Church and a longtime immigrants rights activist, leads a community discussion following the film. The Armory is located at 145 N. Raymond in Old Pasadena. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.
Conscientious Projector will screen Urban Fruit on Thursday, August 14, 7:00 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts. The burgeoning urban organic farming movement in Southern California as a healthy and sustainable alternative to modern industrial agriculture and our fast food culture is the subject of filmmaker this stimulating new documentary from Roman Zenz. The film takes us from South Central Los Angeles to the far reaches of L.A. County as it explores the economic, nutritional and community-building benefits of growing food locally, and calls the viewer to a renewed connection with nature. As a sign in the movie proclaims, quoting Mahatma Gandhi, “To forget how to dig the earth and tend soil is to forget ourselves.”
Rishi Kumar and Manju Kumar, founders of the local urban farm The Growing Home, who are featured prominently in the film, will lead a panel for our community discussion. The Armory is located at 145 N. Raymond in Old Pasadena. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.
On every continent, women are taking the lead to protect and restore the natural environment, and are empowering others to respect the earth. Their inspiring stories are featured in Arise, this month’s Conscientious Projector presentation on Thursday, July 10, 7:00 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts.
Acclaimed writer-producer-director Lori Joyce focuses on a diverse group of 13 women in five countries who have initiated solution-oriented environmental projects in their communities, towns and villages. Their efforts offer hopeful examples and new models, challenging our current way of thinking about the environment, and encouraging a shift in values to find a different, healthier way to view our relationship to the earth. The Idanha Films production weaves together their heartening tales with stunning images, poetry and music by well-known writers and musicians, including Alice Walker and Michael Franti. Narrated by Daryl Hannah.
A community discussion follows the film, which is being included in this year’s Old Pasadena Film Festival. The Armory is located at 145 N. Raymond in Old Pasadena. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.
“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.” So said the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s May release of its National Climate Assessment. Will we, as a species, find the strength and will within ourselves to finally respond? Will we be able to redirect our behavior and our economic practices in order to salvage the life systems of our planet and create a durable future? These are crucial questions asked in The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community.
Producer/directors John Ankele and Anne Macksoud bring clarity and compassion to their subject, enlisting counsel from leading figures such as Buddhist scholar and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Natural Resource Defense Council co-founder Gus Speth, and The End of Growth author Richard Heinberg, among others. Tom F. Driver, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary says, “This is a starkly prophetic film. It combines the direst of warnings with deep love of life. Better than any other film I know, it makes clear that our profit-oriented growth economy has caused the climate catastrophe and cannot itself rescue us from disaster. We need new thinking and a new way of life.”
January Nordman and Qrys Cunningham of Transition Pasadena lead a community discussion following the film. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.
Conscientious Projector presents two programs this month. On Friday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts, we continue our tradition of launching the annual Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival with a showing of Symphony of the Soil featuring special guest, filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia (The Future of Food). Then, on the following Thursday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m. (also at the Armory), we will show Shift Change as our regular second-Thursday-of-the-month event.
Symphony of the Soil draws from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science in its artistic exploration of the miraculous, life-giving substance, soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and reveals the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. And be sure to join us on Saturday, May 3 for the Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Armory/Memorial Park.
In Shift Change, veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin explore an alternative to the frequently anti-labor corporate model: employee-owned businesses competing successfully in today’s downturned economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. These worker-run companies are helping to reinvent our failing economy and reverse the long decline in U.S. manufacturing, while restoring community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.
A community discussion follows both films. The Armory is located at 145 N. Raymond in Old Pasadena. Admission is free and the facility is accessible to disabled persons.