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Film & discussion about foster children: (re)Formation
February 19 @ 6:30 pmFree
(re)Formation, a Documentary Film Passionately Advocating Service and a Conversation with UIW Theatre Graduates and Faculty
Monday, Feb 19, 6:30 – 8:15 pm, Mabee Library Auditorium, #20 on the map (Extra parking available near #31 the Natatorium) University of the Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway, SA 78209
See (re)Formation, a new documentary film created by UIW Theatre Arts students from about twenty years ago revealing their passionate care for foster children. Enter into a conversation with UIW Theatre Arts faculty Margaret Mitchell, and the former students: Shannon Ivey (UIW BA, 2000), Shelly Chance (UIW BA, 1999), and Renee Garvens (UIW ME, 2013). Tommy Calvert, Bexar County Commissioner, Precinct 4, will share an introduction on the importance of service. The film points out “There are 2.5 churches for every foster child in South Texas’ Region 8 foster system.” Why is there not more compassionate care?
For years Ivey and Chance have been concerned about social justice issues. Ivey formally founded Theatre for Change in 2013 which has focused on adoption, childhood cancer, the foster system, and immigration http://www.theatreforchange.org/ Ivey, is a faculty member at Texas Luthern Universtiy and the mother of three children, two of whom are from the Texas Foster System.
The film begins remembering Martin Luther and putting forth a challenge: as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is being celebrated, can people remember that the church is always in need of reform? A recent Texas Public Radio story http://tpr.org/post/filmmaker-calls-new-reformation on the film asks why don’t Christians get out of church buildings into the streets and help people more.
Chance invited Renee Garvens who works with foster children in the Roy Mass Youth Alternatives program to speak to the China Grove Lions Club to which Chance belongs. With the support of the Lions Club, Chance got initial funds to do interior decoration for houses for foster children making them feel more like homes. Chance volunteers extensively to improve conditions for foster children.
Margaret Mitchell, a Theatre Arts professor was an early recipient of the UIW Edward Zlotkowski Faculty Service Learning Award a year after it was instituted in 2003. She is grateful to have a son through the foster care system. Many academic studies endeavor to track if student service and formation in social justice has long lasting efficacy. Empathy is one of the goals of service learning. Education in Theatre Arts can be explored as a pathway to empathy. Theatre Arts promote imagination and creativity. In theatre one does the impossible, one creates out of nothing, one is not confined by limits. UIW education today endeavors to spark creativity and to form current students to be compassionate, enlightened and engaged citizens.
As UIW celebrates the SA Tricentennial remembering that in the 1860’s when people were suffering, Sisters compassionately and creatively responded to the sick, then to orphans, and then to the uneducated, UIW Theatre graduates are compassionately and creatively responding in the face of suffering today.
For more information on the gathering at UIW, contact Sr. Martha Ann Kirk firstname.lastname@example.org and for information on the film, contact Shannon Ivey email@example.com