‘Spotlight’: See it, and see who’s behind it
Imagine watching the recent big-screen release of “Sully,” then hanging out and chatting about heroism with Capt. Chesley Sullenberger himself. Sort of a cool double feature, right?
That kind of twin bill lies ahead tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 7) when Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron joins the audience at the Little Washington Theatre for “Spotlight,” the 2016 Oscar-winning Best Picture. Baron will be joined on stage immediately afterward for a conversation and audience Q&A with Rappahannock’s own Andy Alexander, formerly The Post’s ombudsman.
As the Boston Globe’s editor before coming to The Post, Baron helped launch the investigation into the sexual-abuse scandal at the Catholic archdiocese depicted in the dramatic film. The reporting by the Globe’s Spotlight team won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, journalism’s top award. Some reviewers describe the film as this generation’s “All the President’s Men.”
The movie, screening at 7 p.m., is part of RAAC’s First Friday at the Movies series and is cohosted by Foothills Forum. Tickets ($6) are available at the door. Popcorn, candy and water are available for purchase. Note the hour-early start time.
Would you like more Lykes?
Note to nonprofits: The Richard Lykes Rappahannock Community Grant is due Oct. 15, not much more than a week from now. Lykes, a longtime resident of Rappahannock County, avid photographer and former Rappahannock News Citizen of the Year, passed away in 2009, but his generosity lives on through the fund he established with the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.
In the past three years NPCF has awarded $213,720 to such Rappahannock nonprofits as CCLC, Headwaters, the Historical Society and Kid Pan Alley, enabled by the Lykes grant to continue to do good work in the community. Grants that focus on improving the quality of life for Rappahannock County are welcomed and encouraged. To learn more, and to apply for a grant, hurry up and visit npcf.org.
Classical jazz at Castleton
A two-Steinway concert featuring two of the biggest stars in the jazz and new-music scenes, pianists Jenny Lin and Uri Caine, hits the stage 4 p.m. this Sunday (Oct. 9) at Castleton’s Theatre House, a concert that promises to combine classical, modern, and jazz styles in a memorably innovative performance.
Lin, a classical and jazz pianist, and Caine, a jazz pianist and composer, perform compositions inspired by original works by the likes of Verdi and Mozart. The duo’s performance is hailed by The New York Times as “a little witchcraft at work,” as Lin performs the classical versions of the works while Caine improvises the accompaniment. Sunday’s show kicks of this fall and winter’s Castleton in Performance season.
“We are thrilled to be presenting the 20th anniversary season of Castleton in Performance,” said Castleton CEO/Artistic Director Dietlinde Maazel. In 1997, she and her husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel, converted the former chicken house into today’s intimate, state-of-the-art Theatre House.
Tickets ($20 to $40) for the performance at Theatre House (663 Castleton View Rd.) are available at castletonfestival.org or by calling the box office at 540-937-3454.
Speaking for the defense, Rob Cary
Next Friday, Oct 14 at 8 p.m., the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community welcomes lawyer and author Rob Cary as the featured speaker in RAAC’s Second Friday at the Library series. Cary will tell the inside story of one of the most notorious trials of recent years. In 2008, with less than 100 days remaining before he was to stand for re-election, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was charged with taking bribes. Cary defended Stevens, and his book, “Not Guilty,” tells the stunning story.
Cary and his colleagues were hailed for conducting “one of the best criminal defense performances in memory.” The case rose to notoriety when a special investigation by a federal judge concluded that Justice Department prosecutors had intentionally concealed evidence they should have turned over to the defense. Cary will discuss the case and the lessons it holds for the criminal justice system in general.
Cary has won wide acclaim as one of the nation’s leading lawyers. Bob Woodward hailed “Not Guilty” as a book that every American “should read and study.” Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, called it a “riveting account from one of our country’s great lawyers.”
The library talks are free, and all are welcome. For more information, visit raac.org or call 301-246-0022.
‘Old Friends’ screens Oct. 23
“I want the audience to be reminded of what’s important in life, something that would touch their own minds and hearts,” says filmmaker Peter Odabashian of his documentary film, “Old Friends.”
On Sunday, Oct. 23, Rapp at Home presents a 3 p.m. screening of the film at the Little Washington Theatre, followed by a panel discussion with Odabashian and others on aging. Admission is free.
“We’re very pleased to be able to bring this film to the community, with the support of the Little Washington Theatre and the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community,” says Sharon Pierce, president of Rapp at Home. “The themes in ‘Old Friends’ will resonate with our members and others in the community facing the joys and anxieties of aging. Rapp at Home is a neighbor support organization created to help us stay connected to our community as we age.”
“Old Friends” is a bittersweet portrayal of trauma, depression, falling in love, growing older and finding happiness. In the film, Odabashian interviews 16 of his longtime friends who reveal surprising truths to his camera about the paths they chose in life.
“My friends were so generous to tell me things so close to them,” says Odabashian. “They were who they were.” The result is a film of unusual intimacy, a loving portrait of kindred spirits, their pain, their joy, and what matters in life.
Odabashian is producer and director, and an Emmy-winning editor. He has edited more than 22 documentaries and was a sound editor on over 17 feature films from “REDS” to “Carlito’s Way.” In more than 40 years of filmmaking, “Old Friends” is his first solo effort.
“I’ve been making films with partners all these years and it represents a kind of a compromise,” he says. “At 65, I wanted to make a film on my own on a subject closer to my heart. It was a pleasure to have the freedom to do what I felt was right, to be that direct with the process” and not have to get consensus from others.
— Patty Hardee
Myth-making for creativity and community
The masked artistry of Peggy Schadler came full circle last Saturday as Rappahannock’s 1,000 Faces returned to Coon Holler for cultural commentary on the state of things, this year’s “Half Hour News Hour from the Planet Earth” sharing the media’s focus on a wild and crazy 2016 election circus.
It was a last-minute set change managed with lightning speed. By Friday, the continuing Rappahannock monsoon — almost six inches in three days — had turned the parking fields at John Henry’s farm in Flint Hill to mud flats, and the performance in 1000 Face’s fall venue of the past four years was cancelled. By Saturday, it was on again at the Castleton home of Howard and Jules Coon . . . the first setting for the first appearance of Peggy’s dancing masks, a quarter century ago, as The Friends of Gaia. In guerilla theater fashion, the big trailer full of props was hauled in, signs were posted, and stage, backdrop and bandstand appeared within hours.
And the show went on. As always, Schadler’s message was clear: Accept personal responsibility, respect nature, honor equality, protect the planet from harm and guard democracy and the political system against undue influence by special interests. In 2016’s larger-than-life story, Hillary and Bill Clinton appeared briefly at the start as a pair of jerky, high kicking trapeze artists, and the Donkey and the Elephant raced in circles, going nowhere on the issues but covering a lot of ground. Claiming a bigger share of the spotlight, Trump morphed into a giant bug. All the while, music from an eclectic collection of the county’s favorite musicians enlivened the story unfolding in the meadow.
After the performers took their final bow, the music began again, this time with People Don’t Dance No More sparking a happy set of tribal-rite dancing. It was intergenerational to the max — baby boomers, gen-exers and millennials plus their children and grandchildren, from babes in arms to ’tweens.
As always, Peggy’s fairy tale was fantastical, symbolic and seriously silly. Her muse is Joseph Campbell, the world’s foremost authority on mythology, who considered myths to be “the song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” And that’s what 1000 Faces offered. A masked ball with universal themes. A cautionary story told with humor, flair and originality, adapting visages, mythological and current, from Easter Island to the cover of Newsweek. Another uniquely Rappahannock celebration.
This year’s show did not include the traditional basket for free-will contributions to 1000 Faces Mask Theater. Those who want to support this community tradition can send donations to Peggy Schadler, 35 Manahoac Lane, Sperryville, VA 22740. To subscribe to the mask theater’s newsletter, donate art and costume materials or volunteer to construct sets and dance the masks, visit 1000facesmasktheater.com.
— Daphne Hutchinson
PATH’s $500K in planning/program grants
The PATH Foundation announced recently the opening of its annual Planning and Program Grants cycle, for which $500,000 will be available. The PATH Foundation is a Warrenton-based charitable grantmaking foundation that serves Fauquier, Rappahannock and northern Culpeper counties. In 2016, the PATH Foundation has provided more than $2.5 million through grants and support.
PATH’s Annual Planning and Program Grants are 12-month grants for new or existing projects related to one or more of the foundation’s four priority areas: access to care, childhood wellness, mental health and senior services. Applicants may request funding for up to $100,000, though most grants will be lower. Eligible applicants include 501(c)3 non-profits, religious institutions (for non-religious purposes) or local government entities in Fauquier, Rappahannock and northern Culpeper. Applicants must also reflect the mission and values of the PATH Foundation.
All grant criteria can be found at pathforyou.org. For more information, call Kirsten Dueck at 540-680-4100.
The remarkable Rosenwald story
Julius Rosenwald never finished high school, yet became the president of Sears Roebuck Company. Inspired by his Jewish faith and the educator Booker T. Washington, Rosenwald joined forces with African-American communities to build more than 5,300 schools during segregation. The Rosenwald Fund also furthered the higher education and careers of many African-Americans, including well-known performers, artists and writers.
The documentary film “Rosenwald: The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African-American Communities” screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at the Little Washington Theatre in a special fundraiser for the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation — one of three sponsors of the event (the others being the Rappahannock Historical Society and the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community).
Tickets are $20 (first student with paying adult is free, additional students $5 each) for the screening, which is followed by a Q&A with Rosenwald scholar Stephanie Deutsch.
Scrabble School is one of four Rosenwald schools built in Rappahannock County. It currently houses the county’s senior center as well as exhibits on the school’s history. For more information on the event, visit raac.org; for details about the film, visit rosenwaldfilm.org.