Tag Archives: west virginia

On Tour: Germantown, MD

13 Apr

March 26, 2017 | REAL BOY| Germantown, MD

When I arrived in Germantown, MD, I was welcomed by Krista Bradley, Executive Director, and Jason DeMarchi, Director of Education, at the Black Rock Center for the Arts, a beautiful Arts Center outside Washington DC. The space has three theaters and a wide range of programming that serves the diverse population of Germantown.

The local PFLAG group had adjourned their meeting early to come to the screening and by the time the film started, a sizeable crowd had arrived.

This audience seemed especially moved by the film, as many of them were parents of LGBT youth or were themselves trans or non-binary.

After the screening, I was joined for a Q&A by Sean Lare, a DC-based therapist and gender specialist in private practice, who brought a clinical point of view to our conversation. There were several trans and non-binary teenagers in the audience who asked for advice. One young trans man asked if his body dysphoria would ever go away. My heart went out to them in a big way and I was happy to hear they lived in a community with supportive schools and accepting parents.

I had several great conversations with people after the film, and was grateful to meet a longtime fan of my band, Coyote Grace, who, in his mid-50s, has just begun his transition and was deeply moved by the film and the music.

I left feeling tired, but so grateful to be there.

Post provided by REAL BOY protagonist, Joe Stevens, who joined On Screen/In Person filmmaker Shaleece Haas on tour

On Tour: Lewisburg, WV

12 Apr

March 24, 2017 | REAL BOY| Lewisburg, WV

Lewisburg is a small town nestled in the steeper hills and hollers typical of WV on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The folks I met told me the hippies came and brought the art scene to Lewisburg in the 60s and 70s. Carnegie Hall is a stately white-columned building that has expanded its programming in the last 25 years thanks in part to several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Before the screening, we had a reception where I chatted with local community members, people who were artists and interested in the arts. Lots of people moved to Lewisburg after retirement, drawn by the “artsy” feel.

I met a woman whose daughter just graduated from film school and moved to Los Angeles. In talking, we realized that her daughter and I had gone to the same arts boarding school in Idyllwild, California. I also met Janet & Steve, a couple in their late 70s/early 80s who invited me out to dinner after the screening.

The audience was wonderfully responsive. I could hear them laugh warmly throughout the film and several people said afterward that the ending made them cry.

After the screening, Janet, Steve, and I walked down the street to the only restaurant still open, a well-loved fusion restaurant where the owner knew everyone by name. We talked about Steve’s time in the Air Force and Janet’s longtime job as an accountant at a local construction company. Their daughter, who is deaf, works at a school in NY and we talked about how, as hearing parents of a deaf child, they related to much of what Suzy (Bennett’s mom) went through in the film. They were grateful to have a story about trans experience come to Lewisburg and as we parted, I thanked them for making the screening so special.

Post provided by REAL BOY protagonist, Joe Stevens, who joined On Screen/In Person filmmaker Shaleece Haas on tour

On Tour: Lewisburg, WV

24 Oct

October 21, 2016 | You Belong to Me | Lewisburg, WV


I thoroughly enjoyed the ride from Virginia to West Virginia with the magnificent mountain ranges of both States. The leaves are changing and the weather was changing from warm to cold in an afternoon.

Carnegie Hall is a beautiful and historic building in a town that is steeped in history and staying at the General Lewis Inn makes me feel like I’ve gone back 100 years to the way it was! Everyone in town is so friendly!

Lynn Creamer from Carnegie Hall threw a lovely reception prior to the screening for me and my guests – my cousins, Nora and Jack Overath, who live in the area.

There was a question and answer session following the screening!

Post provided by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Jude Hagin

On Tour: Waynesboro, VA

28 Sep

September 20, 2016 | Sweet DreamsWaynesboro, VA


Waynesboro, Virginia is nestled in the lush folds of the Shenandoah Valley, not far from the West Virginia border. In the heart of town, The venerable Wayne Theatre, built in 1926 for traveling vaudeville acts and overhauled in 2013 into a modern theatre venue, is the center of cultural life for the entire region. There was a healthy turnout for “Sweet Dreams” (helped by an above-the-fold front page article about it in the local paper). After a lively Q&A, Tracy Straight, the Wayne’s indefatigable director, organized a panel of local women entrepreneurs to talk about their struggles and successes, comparing their efforts with those of their sister entrepreneurs in Rwanda featured in our film. The highlight, though, has to go to the pre-screening ice cream event at Kline’s Ice Cream Shop, where local kids and their parents came to greet me (and share some fantastic ice cream) courtesy of Kim Arehart, Kline’s friendly owner and sponsor of the evening’s screening.  It was a great day because Waynesboro is one of those towns that sneak up on you – in a very very good way.


Post by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Rob Fruchtman

On Tour: Lewisburg, WV

5 Apr

April 1, 2016 | Deaf Jam | Lewisburg, WV

Homemade chocolate chip cookies at check in to the General Lewis Inn was my first “taste” of Lewisburg, West Virginia. I couldn’t think of a better entre into the launch of Deaf Jam’s tour for Mid Atlantic’s On Screen/In Person program. My screening day began with a morning talk/discussion on “Tools for Engaging Diversity in the Arts” with Carnegie Hall Staff members, and artists and educators from the community.  We talked about facilitating collaborations among diverse artists, finding acceptable terms to use, how language can contribute to shaping our assumptions about “disability,” and how we might find ways to become more inclusive as a society. It was an intimate gathering of professionals that allowed for time to get to know everyone and listen to some of the challenges they were facing.


With a few hours to spare between the lecture and screening, I decided to explore the town on foot. Lewisburg is an artsy treasure of a town filled with history, and warm interesting people. As a New Yorker, I had gotten so used to numbing myself to those one sees in passing, that It was a delight to engage in conversation with just about everyone I encountered. By the time I was heading back to screen Deaf Jam at Carnegie Hall that evening, I had labeled myself as a Lewisburg “Groupie.”

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Carnegie Hall’s hosts, Lynn Creamer and Sara Crickenberger, programmed a terrific evening that included a pre-screening art opening and reception, along with a performance by this year’s Poetry Out Loud West Virginia State winner, Neely Seams, who just happened to be from Lewisburg!

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The most poignant moment of this trip came via a post-screening email from a teacher who came with one of her deaf students: “overwhelmed with thanks to you for not only opening the world of ASL poetry to the hearing world but for giving isolated students from the deaf world the opportunity to see they are not alone.

That kind of connection and impact is what makes all the hard labor that goes into documentary filmmaking so incredibly rewarding.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Judy Lieff.

On Tour: Lewisburg, WV

11 Feb

February 8, 2016 | Winding Stream | Lewisburg, WV

Lewisburg, West Virginia, tucked into the Allegheny Mountains, is a lovely town and, according to at least one travel magazine, “the coolest small town in America.” It’s certainly pleasant and picturesque. Right now in the dead of winter, it is clearly the off-season here – kind of quiet – but I imagine when the good weather kicks in it’s a lively place to hear music, look at art, see theater, etc. Nine miles from Greenbrier where the big golf classic happens, it seems geared to tourists.  People I’ve met in shops and restaurants are very friendly.

snow at Carnegie Hall

The old saw about “practice, practice, practice” finally came to life for me because The Winding Stream played at Carnegie Hall! OK, the one in Lewisburg not New York City. But it was funded by the same steel magnate/philanthropist and was built in 1902 in the Greek Revival style. Elegant. Stately.

Folks in town are friendly and many I met told me they’d heard about the film and intended to see it.

Sara Crickenberger and Lynn Creamer of Carnegie Hall_n

But then the snow came!

The roads got treacherous just a half hour before the screening.

But thirty people braved the weather to get to Carnegie Hall…INCLUDING Mr. Bill Clifton, a music legend in his own right, a close personal friend of the Carter Family (especially A.P. Carter) and a star of our film. I hadn’t heard that Bill had moved to West Virginia so this was an amazing surprise and frankly, a huge honor. Bill is so respected by musicians the world over. What a treat. Bill had not seen the film before and said he really enjoyed it.

Bill Clifton

I got to meet a bunch of other great people who either knew the Carters, had visited the Carter Family Fold (the music venue in Virginia) or who played this music themselves. One musician, Jim Costa, came bearing a 1929 vintage 78-player and Carter Family records and provided some pre-film music while people chatted and drank wine.


When we all emerged from the evening, the snow had let up and the cover was big and fluffy and beautiful.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Beth Harrington.

On Tour: Lewisburg, WV

24 Nov

November 19, 2015 | Miriam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos |Lewisburg, WV

The drive from Newport News, VA to Lewisburg, WV is quite long, so I decide to make a pit stop about halfway in Charlottesville, the home of the University of Virginia. It’s a lovely town, and the weather is very warm for mid-November. The hotel has a bike to tool around town and I’m most happy when I’m on two wheels. I’m about to tuck into the hotel but the road ahead looks inviting with its gentle uphill swoop. So I pedal around and see a historic sign in front of a stately house—Georgia O’Keeffe lived here. What a wonderful coincidence to see where such an esteemed female artist lived who was just a few decades older than Miriam. In fact, she and Miriam are shown in the film as one of only three female artists in 1971 to have their own solo shows in the U.S. (Nancy Graves is the other). So that’s a nice little moment.11.19.15 photo

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The drive over the Blue Ridge Mountains is spectacular. Low clouds hover on the mountain flanks with the peaks popping through. At the end of the day, they are hulking silhouettes festooned with wispy pink clouds. I have to run across the highway to get a shot.

It also seems that the day will never end. I’m traveling toward the sun but not that fast. And the light seems to just hang around. Just when I think it’s dark I turn west again and there is still a glow in the sky. Such a cool and wondrous phenomenon.

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Lewisburg is a funky town, and I’m playing at Carnegie Hall. It’s one of four in the world, and was originally built in 1902 as the Lewisburg Female Institute, and later the Greenbrier College for Women.

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Lynn Creamer is a wonderful host and I have a chance to speak to the crowd before the screening at a reception in the back of the theater. At the Q & A, everyone is in love with Miriam and her work. On Sunday is the big finale of the trip and I am very excited to wrap it up in Maryland, where lots of local friends—and hopefully Miriam—will be there

Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Jonathan Gruber.

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