In 2008, Kartemquin filmmakers spent several days documenting the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's residency at the University of Virginia. The dance company invited students, faculty, and community members to help develop and perform a piece titled 100 Migrations, part of Jones' exploration and creation of the Lincoln-inspired dance-theater piece Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray, chronicled in our film A Good Man (aired on PBS American Masters in 2011). 100 Migrations represented the first of several Bill T. Jones residencies at the university, a model for the type of persisting relationship UVA strives to continue in fostering the arts in a research university.
The UVA has now commissioned a short film that will highlight the importance of the arts in an academic environment, using the Bill T. Jones residencies as a prime example. The film will utilize Kartemquin's footage of 100 Migrations as well as UVA's documentation of Jones' three 2011 residencies.
Last month, Gordon Quinn, Rachel Pikelny, and Zak Piper traveled to Charlottesville, VA to film several interviews with UVA faculty members, including Elizabeth Turner, Vice Provost for the Arts; George Sampson, Lecturer in Arts Administration; and Lindsey Hepler, Arts in Action Coordinator and a student/performer during 100 Migrations. In addition, several 100 Migrations participants from the university and the community reconvened for a videotaped discussion about working with a master artist such as Bill T. Jones, and the lasting impact of that experience. Gordon also recently met with arts administrators from the University of Michigan who are leading a nationwide research initiative called Arts Engine to study and better understand the role of the arts in a university.
The short film, as well as all of the original material for 100 Migrations and an edited version of the "100 Migrations" performance will be archived at UVA and will be available to students and faculty as a learning tool. In late November 2012, A Good Man editor David E. Simpson began editing the pieces, with Gordon Quinn as director and Rachel Pikelny as producer.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
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