Determination inspires ASU artist’s “28 WOMEN” documentary
The premiere screening of “28 WOMEN: a chance for independence” will be presented at Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe campus at 7:30 p.m., March 24.
The video documentary by Muriel Magenta, an artist and ASU professor of art, is a personal response to the struggle of single mothers who decide to enter a shelter to achieve self-sufficiency in a safe environment and construct a stable foundation for an independent family life.
The YWCA’s Haven House, located in downtown Phoenix, is an example of many transitional shelters for single mothers and their children across the United States. Twenty-eight residents volunteered to share their experience in this documentary. The scenario unfolds as the women describe their individual pursuits toward self-reliance, with guidance from the professional Haven House staff. For example, issues such as completing a basic education to qualify for a job, juggling a schedule of working, childcare, budgeting and maintaining sobriety are described by the women.
“I am moved by the determination of these women to overcome adversity to make a new life for themselves and their children,” says artist Muriel Magenta, who has been involved with multimedia art productions and advocacy for women in the arts and society on the national and international level for many years.
“28 WOMEN: a chance for independence” is the first piece in which Magenta has worked directly with the Phoenix community.
The documentary is part of a larger community partnership between ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts and the YWCA of Maricopa County. Magenta and her graduate students worked at Haven House over a period of three years, bringing multimedia experiences to the shelter for direct participation of the residents. The goal was to provide expressive and computer skills while producing footage for the documentary and creating individual Web sites with each of the women.
Sponsors for the project include the Herberger College of Fine Arts, Institute for Studies in the Arts, Women’s Studies and the ASU/ Motorola Great Communities Grant.
By Mica Matsoff. Matsoff, with the Herberger College of Fine Arts, can be reached at (480) 965-0478 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).