Sound Bites - Issue #10 / June 2014
Community Education's Premiere Online Magazine
In This Issue:
- A Wonderful Year for Community Ed!
- What's New: Connections Through Technology
- First Look: Choose Your Poison
- Simone Bartesaghi: Living the Dream
A Wonderful Year for Community Ed!
Career & Contract Ed.
What a great year this has been! As we approach the end of our academic and fiscal year, this is a good time to look back at what Community Education has accomplished in the past 12 months.
We're excited that we have been improving our service and reaching out to our community of students, instructors and friends in new ways:
- We have improved the quality of our courses and we offer classes that are more aligned with current interests such as Introduction to Basic Mindfulness, Intro to Healthy Eating, and two parts of Resin Jewelry, as well as new tours such as the sold-out Pasadena City Tour & Wrigley Mansion and Tea lunch.
- We have also stepped up our professional development offerings in response to the market, including our Secrets of Public Works Projects Series, which debuted in January, and our upcoming Property Management 101 class.
- We have forged new partnerships with such organizations as Determined to Succeed (DTS), an outstanding nonprofit educational organization in Santa Monica (see the May issue of Sound Bites). Co-founded by actor Hank Azaria, DTS and our collaboration is giving us an opportunity to help low-income, at-risk, motivated students embark on successful academic careers. Specifically, 15 DTS students are taking one of our printmaking summer camps this year, and we will create new educational opportunities for DTS students, tailored to their needs.
- We are disseminating information to our constituents on a regular basis through our monthly Course Updates and Sound Bites newsletter. We are not only keeping our community updated, we are celebrating the many achievements of our instructors and students – awards, book publications, gallery showings, TV appearances, and more.
- Our online presence is growing steadily – on Facebook, Twitter (@SMCCommunityEd), Google Plus and LinkedIn. We will also be launching a blog in July that will highlight the many talents of our students and instructors.
- We turned a dirty and abandoned display case in the lobby of the Bundy Campus into a brightly lit showcase of student photography and art. Our exhibits will rotate every few months.
- We will launch a separate "professional Development" Community Ed catalog in the summer, which will focus on classes that are part of several certificate programs, some of which are professional certificates in areas of online marketing, public works project construction, office/computers, and social media. The aim of the catalog is to assist individuals with gaining new skills for finding work or advancing their careers.
The response to our efforts have been positive, and we thank you, our readers, for your support and comments. Let's work together to make this coming year even better!
Director of Career & Contract Education
What's New: Connections Through Technology
Community & Contract Education
There's nothing like attending a national conference to get the creative juices flowing. And there's no realm like technology where imagination can soar as ideas percolate on new ways to keep our students stimulated and to connect with our community.
I recently attended a national conference of community education organizations from throughout the U.S. and Canada and came back with a treasure trove of ideas connected to technology.
Mind you, Community Ed has worked hard to offer a wide range of classes and programs that are either technology-based or have technology as a key component. And we are adding more – for example, one of our new classes, being offered this summer, is "Tourist for A Day: Cellphone Photography."
We have also turned to social media to connect with our students, instructors and others. We've had a Facebook page for almost a year that is slowly but surely getting followers. We also recently launched a Twitter feed (@SMCCommunityEd) and we have a presence on Google Plus and LinkedIn. (If you haven't already, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and the other social media!)
Also, our teen summer camp listing, "Print Images Your Way," includes a terrific YouTube video of instructor Louise "L.A." Marler's recent Type-In at Beyond Baroque in Venice. We plan to add more YouTube clips to various pages on our website.
These are good first steps, but we need to do more. Over the next month or so we will beef up our social media presence to keep us connected to our community, including YouTube
We will launch our blog, MindSpace, in July, as another way to share with you exciting tidbits from Community Education, such as excerpts of upcoming publication of our instructors, classroom anecdotes, and whatever inspires us from our students and instructors.
Community Education is all about collaboration. We have so much talent here and so much creative and interesting output, human interest stories and behind-the-scenes surprises that we want to share with our readers- and what better way than through technology?
Please join us as we embrace technology and all its incredible potentials for deepening our sense of Community.
First Look: Choose Your Poison
One of the great things about Community Ed is that we have experts on all kinds of interesting and fun subjects – even mixology, the au courant term for the art or skill of preparing mixed drinks.
And there is no better cocktail expert than our very own Kellie Nicholson, who has been in the business for many years and has come up with an amazing array of specially crafted drinks.
So, for your enjoyment, here is the original recipe for one of her "Designer Cocktails" that you can wow your next party guests with. And don't forget, her class, "The Business of Bartending," begins June 25!
Simone Bartesaghi: Living the Dream
Italian film has a rich tradition that has also had a profound influence on world cinema – think of directors like Fellini, Rossellini, Visconti and masterpieces like "Bicycle Thieves" and "La Dolce Vita."
But Simone Bartesaghi laments what's happened to Italian cinema – and indeed Italy itself. That is why the Tuscany native plans to bring a group of emerging Italian filmmakers to SMC Community Education and Los Angeles this August to show them that he has lived the Hollywood dream – and so can they.
"Italy is depressed, not only economically but culturally, and there is not much optimism about the future," the SMC Community Ed film instructor says. "One of the things I learned coming here (to Los Angeles) was that believing in your dreams and fighting for it gives you hope for the future."
Bartesaghi is currently in the process of recruiting a group of emerging filmmakers who will spend two weeks in L.A. They will study under Bartesaghi at Community Ed, visit studios and organizations such as the Directors Guild of America, and even check out equipment rental businesses.
The award-winning filmmaker says he hopes that the study trip will not only provide valuable technical, creative and business lessons but will also give the emerging filmmakers a "re-generating feeling."
Bartesaghi, 42, didn't start out to be a filmmaker. Though he had wanted to be a storyteller since he was a child, he didn't believe there was any way to make a living doing that. So he earned his master's degree in economics from the University of Pisa and became a business consultant.
But he said he always knew that when he turned 30 he would somehow find a way to pursue his bliss. So, in 2001 he gave up his thriving career and took a class at a Milan film school. But he was disappointed in it and turned to the Internet – mostly online material from American universities – to teach himself the art and craft of filmmaking.
Two years later he won several prizes as the writer/director of short films, but the highest recognition came when he won the first and second place at the Milan International Film Festival, which came with two scholarships to study at The Los Angeles Film School.
"Fortunately, I have a wife (Claudia) who believed in me," he said. And so, the couple came to L.A., thinking it would be a wonderful one-year experience.
But after his one year, he got a job as a film production manager and his new career was launched. Only four years after his arrival in the U.S., he directed his first feature film "Downstream", which had a limited theatrical release and also received the prestigious Accolade Award.
His second feature "Run", a 3D film that he wrote and directed, has won several prizes, including Best Screenplay at the 2013 Milan International Film Festival and Best Emerging Director at the 3D International Film Festival in Los Angeles. The movie is about the new discipline Parkour (Freerunning) with a cast that includes Eric Roberts ("The Dark Knight"), Adrian Pasdar ("Heroes"), Kelsey Chow ("Pair of Kings") and William Moseley ("Chronicles of Narnia").
Meanwhile, Bartesaghi started teaching classes at the Los Angeles Film School and, last fall, at SMC, both through Community Ed and the academic film program. (He no longer teaches at LAFS.)
At Community Ed, he teaches Want to Make a Movie? (the next class begins June 28) and through the regular academic program he teaches Fundamentals of Digital Filmmaking.
"I love teaching. I've always loved the human interaction," he says. "My very first job out of college was to teach computer coding. It's kind of like second nature."
As if all that weren't enough, he has several projects in development and is working to get funding for them, even going to the Cannes Film Festival's Film Market in May to pitch his movies.
And he has just signed a deal with Michael Weise Books, one of the largest film-related book publishers in America, to publish "Director's Six Senses," the book he is currently writing.
Bartesaghi is unabashed in admitting he is living the American dream. "This is the only place you can touch your dreams with your fingers," he says. "You can go to Hollywood Boulevard and literally touch the stars."