Those who braved the dark and stormy night to attend the Teatro V!da event on October 24th were rewarded handsomely. If Magdalena Gomez had only flipped the switch on the projector and let us soak in the documentary, ¡PALANTE, SIEMPRE PALANTE!, it would have been enough. The film is an inspiring account of regular people who decided that if the system won’t provide basic welfare, they would do it themselves. The combination of direct services, systems change, and strategic communications is thrilling to witness. Check out the trailer below, or here.
But that wasn’t all. Iris Morales, who created the documentary, made the trip from NYC to offer her own commentary. And before the film began, the audience was treated to several superb short music and dance performances, including a performance adaptation of María Luisa Arroyo’s “I grew up in the North End, an island.” You can watch María read the poem here, but the eight young people who performed the poem was something to behold. Thanks to ACTV, the entire evening was recorded, and I am hoping we can post at least highlights here.
Similar in spirit, ACORN (Associations of Community Organizations for Reform Now) founder Wade Rathke is returning to Western Mass to promote his new book, “Citizen Wealth: Winning the Campaign to Save Working Families.” Springfield College on Nov. 9th, and UMass on Nov. 10th. And you can read this subtly disparaging Republican article (followed by typical “angry White guy” Republican reader comments) about Rathke and his legacy in Springfield here. For an alternative take on ACORN, try some MSNBC commentary from another Western Mass star, Rachel Maddow.