Where is She Now?

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Co-Star Filmmakers/Curators:

Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever

Dulcie Clarkson, How the Miracle of Masturbation Saved Me From Becoming a Teenage Space Alien (also How The Miracle of Masturbation Saved Me From Becoming a Teenage Space Alien on Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever and A Wild Horse Rider on U-Matic Chainletter)
November 5, 2016

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?

My first film, “A Fucker, A Fighter, A Wild Horse Rider” was in the U-matic Chainletter in ’97, and I imagine I had heard about the Chainletter either because I was a fan of Tammy Rae Carland, whose films had been in the first two Chainletters, or because Miranda had been in and out of Olympia where I had been living. I was 24 then and had just graduated from College, left Olympia and moved back to my small town where I was teaching drama, film, and feminist history at two different private schools, and using my students to help me shoot my 2nd movie.

What interested you about the project?
I really related to having an almost secret media channel between girls, like a diary trade. It felt necessary to have a place where women felt safe to use their own unique voices to tell stories to each other, stories that might not meet certain critical standards, but for that reason would be more raw and more real. I had been watching girls do the same thing in the music scene with the Riot Grrrl movement and it seemed thrilling that women in film could have a similar space. Also I just love the “Message in a Bottle” aspect of the Chainletter where fate takes your film and sends it off on an unknown journey to meet strangers.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
Around the time that my movies were traveling around on the Chainletter, they also won in the Black Maria Film Fest so they were playing places like RISD and the Smithsonian, and I was feeling like a filmmaker, though I was also starting to wonder how I would move forward without moving to New York or LA. It was sort of the moment that I was considering the juncture between Artist and Professional, feeling like I needed to grow up, but unsure how I would accomplish that without selling out. I ended up deciding to just try writing a screenplay because I didn’t want to leave the country, and I didn’t want to go into a local Cable TV job. Joanie 4 Jackie gave me the feeling that my artist self was still banging around out in the world, whispering secret stories, while I existed in a small town America reality.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
I had a great time shooting my movie because I got to hang out with all these wonderful kids that I had grown up with. It was a little like running a Summer camp, as I ended up having to cook for them and mediate some dramas. I remember I borrowed a van and took a bunch of punk rock kids to the city to shoot and they started panhandling between shots. I worried I was in over my head a few times.On one really crucial day, a day with a lot of dialog, I noticed that my sound guy was being really flakey and when I asked him what was going on he admitted that he and my ‘camera assistant’ had taken mushrooms. It was definitely challenging having an all teenage crew but my goal was to have the shoot be as real a part of the experience as the final movie.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
At the time I thought it was an underground video zine to be shared among young women. I feel the same now, but I’m surprised that it’s still circulating in the culture.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
My Olympia housemates, Wendy Jo Carlton, at the time a filmmaker and currently the Director of the webseries Easy Abby, and Kirsten Schaffer, who was a young firebrand and is now the Executive Director of Women in Film in Los Angeles; Riot Grrrl and all the female bands that grew out of Olympia; my friends’ zines like Pinto, and Shark Fear/Shark Awareness, Bikini Kill, and many others; Bust magazine; Female Directors Jane Campion, Allison Anders, Julie Dash; Alt Newspaper ‘In These Times’; The Capitol Theater in Olympia; Evergreen College; My friends from the Young Communist League of America; The fabulous artists who raised me: Kate Brown, Marilyn Gendron, Robin Parson, Dina Tagliabue and Frankie Benoit and my Mom who is an bad-ass environmental activist and artist.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I manage an 800 acre Ranch in the Rocky Mountains with my husband. I’m raising two boys, often homeschooling them. I’m still involved with various media and eco activism projects. I just co-produced a music video/short film for musician Neil Young.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
Links to online venues for young feminist artist?

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Fiona (Fingerface) (Saunders) Helmsley, Best Friends (also Princess and Lois on Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever and The Silence of the Barettes on U-Matic Chainletter)
September 3, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill. We met her after a show at Gilman Street. My boyfriend at the time had recorded Bikini Kill playing and wanted to give them a copy of the tape. When we told Kathleen we also made short films, she said we should contact Miranda and gave us her address. I was 19.

What interested you about the project?
My boyfriend and I had a public access show, and had making been a bunch of short films with friends. (He was much more technologically savvy than I was, and still works in film.) I did a zine then, and the project seemed really similar to that: sending off something I had made to a person I didn’t know, but suspected I had something in common with, living in an unfamiliar destination. I also loved Kathleen Hanna, and since the project had her blessing, I was curious.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I considered myself a writer. My boyfriend at the time had been making short unscripted films for years, but the films we made together always had some kind of script (whether or not it was actually honored), or at least some loose idea of plot and theme. My magic is not spontaneous. My magic benefits from both forethought and planning.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
Associations I make with the movies: Silence of the Barettes (the spelling error was not intentional) was made in Berkeley; we were staying there at the time. Before the internet, writing letters was really important. So were classified ads in the back of magazines. It was how you made connections with people who shared your interests in the outside world. My boyfriend and I were really into punk rock, and most of the cast were people from bands we liked who we came into contact with through writing letters, trading zines, and buying records. Princess and Lois was filmed at my mom’s house. There is a scene in my old bedroom; you can see my posters on the wall. I think one of them is a Big Miss Moviola poster. The scene on the railroad tracks is down the street from my mother’s house, we had done a lot of the graffiti you see.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I thought it was awesome. I still think it’s awesome.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
Oh gosh, I’m pretty sure I went to more than one, but the one I remember most clearly was at CBGB. Maybe it was 1996? Miranda had set up a video camera in a little closet and there was a question people were supposed to answer and their answers were recorded, and played back to the audience. It was the first time I met Miranda. We had been writing letters back and forth. I still have some of them! I was about to move to New York City and she gave me a lot of advice about different things and people to look into. She was always really supportive. I had a crush on her for sure.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Punk rock and riot grrl. Maximumrocknroll was huge, in part, because of their classified ads. Erick Lyle did a great zine called SCAM (it’s actually still around–he just released a 25th anniversary issue.) I loved Film Threat magazine: In the 1990s, they were a great resource for learning about underground films. I was a big John Waters fan. I was also interested in the films Lydia Lunch was making with Richard Kern (though that influence might not be so obvious. I think the John Waters influence is pretty obvious).

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am a writer. I’ve written two books. My second book Girls Gone Out just came out in August.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
All of the movies. Maybe we could publish all our old letters to each other?

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Myra Paci, Transeltown
February 12, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I don’t remember the details but I vaguely remember receiving an inquiry in the mail or by phone from a very nice stranger named Vanessa Renwick. She said she liked Transeltown and would it be okay if it were included in a video chainletter/distribution vehicle she and someone named Miranda July were putting together. I said hell yes. I think it was in the mid-90s which means I was in my late twenties/early thirties.

What interested you about the project?
What interested me about this project was that it was by, for, and about women and that it had an underground, DIY esthetic and ethos: the things I love and live by as a filmmaker. Plus Vanessa and Miranda were offering me a channel of distribution for Transeltown! Cinenova Distribution in the U.K. had already approached me to have Transeltown in their roster of films but I hadn’t gotten any formal distribution in the U.S. — other than in the wicked fun and welcoming LGBTQ festivals and community, which I so much appreciated and loved.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
Hell yes I considered myself a filmmaker! I’d been making videos and films since 1988 on my own and through a couple of evening and summer classes. Then I went to NYU Graduate Film/TV School and got an MFA in 1994. I’ve always shot and edited (and written, directed, acted in and produced) a lot of my own work, and have been hired to shoot for others. I love making video and film. It’s like breathing for me. When I don’t do it, I’m sad. When I do it, I’m thrilled.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
Oh so many! One that stands out is this: I’d hired a cheap and nerdy Special FX make-up kid to create the smooth, no-genitalia Barbie look on Dina Emerson, the actress playing the role of Coitella in Transeltown. We were getting ready to shoot the scene where Pootie tries to revive and have sex with Coitella, who’s in a sort of pod state. We were shooting in a friend’s loft and suddenly I got a call from the Special FX guy that he couldn’t make it to the shoot. I was totally distraught; I needed that Barbie look on Coitella! Fortunately, my pal Shinichi Tanaka who was P.A.’ing on the shoot stepped in without hesitation and said “I do it.” He and Dina disappeared into the bathroom and when I would check in on them over the next hour or so, Dina was prostrate on the floor and Shinichi was happily applying layers of liquid latex from her mons to her perineum. It was a lovely sight.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I don’t think I had much thought or feeling about the Joanie 4 Jackie other than deep gratitude that these wonderful ladies were taking it upon themselves to distribute Transeltown.

In retrospect, I feel the same gratitude and also respect and admiration for Miranda for coming up with her novel, fun, generous idea of encouraging more girls and women to make media work, and getting that work seen and distributed.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
At and around the mid-1990s, when J4J contacted me about Transeltown, some of what I was liking to watch and listen to and think about were Sadie Benning’s videos (especially It Wasn’t Love); the short films of David Kaplan (especially Little Red Riding Hood and Little Suck-a-Thumb); the work of actress Ruth Maleczech and Mabou Mines, the theater company she co-founded; Rap and Hip-Hop especially Public Enemy, Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah, Salt n Pepa, A Tribe Called Quest, and MC Lyte; and some of the Riot Grrrl movement and 3rd Wave Feminism; and the films of David Lynch, Claire Denis, Roman Polanski, and Agnes Varda.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m still very much involved in filmmaking. I’ve co-founded and co-own two video production companies: Casa Madre Films (now defunct), and SLAP Agency, both located in Berkeley, CA. I teach undergraduate and graduate screenwriting at San Francisco State University. I write and direct and sometimes shoot my own films, i.e. digital videos. I’ve made many, many short-form and long-form pieces since Transeltown, including my feature Searching for Paradise which Sundance Institute supported with screenwriting and directing fellowships, many short films including Girls Night Out with Rosario Dawson, and my recent web series, Bad Muthaz. I’m a resident at the San Francisco Film Society’s FilmHouse with my psycho-horror feature screenplay, BITE, which is in development with producer Jonathan Shoemaker. I still love film and video: making it, viewing it, talking about it, reading about it, and teaching it.

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(Ryder) Carolyn Cooley, The Delta and Electronic Ballet (also The Delta on Silver Chainletter, Electronic Ballet on Silver Chainletter, Her Perversions on The Underwater Chainletter and Bird Cage Wedding Cake on The Velvet Chainletter)
March 14, 2016

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I saw Miranda perform at Epicenter on Valencia Street in San Francisco, maybe it was a QTIP event (Queers Together in Punkness). I think that’s where we first met. Anyhow, I liked Miranda’s performance, she had two microphones and two chairs that she stood on, as i recall. We swapped zines afterward and voila. My collaboration with Zoey as Daughters of Houdini revolved around concocting lots of gatherings, adventures, projects and performances, so we all started hanging out, Miranda, Zoey and I. My friendship with Miranda deepened through letters and visits between San Francisco and Portland. One time she sent me a tutu in the mail which I wore in the Electronic Ballet. I was in my mid twenties.

What interested you about the project?
oh, well, J4J was an extension of the zine/riot grrrl movement. For me, the project was about zines coming to life through video. It was a chain letter, which was this dorky thing that we all did as kids, so there was a playful and nerdy aspect to it, but it was also creative and artistic, very clever. I mean, zines were already part of the underground music movement, but Moviola introduced a new layer – media. So many women were making videos in the 90’s, the medium was becoming more accessible and it felt radical for us to be taking the lens by storm and working with “technology”. It felt empowering for us to turn the lens on ourselves and be on both sides of the camera, to have that control. A lot of the video work being made by women at the time, especially for the chain-letters, was intimate and diaristic, a departure from the more conventional and masculine stuff that was out there. At the time it felt cool and punk-rock and feminist to be working in video. It was also good to feel connected with the other filmmakers and to feel like we were part of a movement.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I never really identified as a filmmaker. I studied filmmaking while I was in art school, but after making a few films and sending them off to festivals, I realized that I liked live events and exchanges more than static screenings, or sitting at home watching videos. I still work with video and incorporate it into performances and installations though.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
The Delta was a Daughters of Houdini adventure into the Sacramento Valley with our friend and collaborator, Lissa Ivy. We hit the road with costumes and a super 8 camera, and my accordion which I took everywhere, but we didn’t know there had been severe flooding. Some of the roads were washed out and it looked quite dramatic. When we got back to San Francisco we all got on an electric horse that was parked outside a five and dime shop near my apartment, so that was the grand finale of our filmic adventure.

The electronic ballet was shot at a hot springs north of San Francisco, and Her Perversions was shot at the same hot springs, but it was two separate trips. Daughters of Houdini were interested in women, hysteria, and the Water Cure movement, so that gave us an excuse to go to as many hot springs as possible!

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
J4J seemed like a fun and clever idea. The project seemed especially profound for people who were isolated geographically, as artist makers and as queers. J4J provided a community, an audience, a platform and a connection point.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I think there was a screening at ATA in San Francisco. Then, years later, Vanessa Haroutunian found me in Hudson NY. She was a Bard student working on the J4J archives and finishing a documentary about the project, so there was a second wind with some screenings that Vanessa organized in the Hudson area.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Epicenter and QTIP in San Francisco, ATA (Artists TV Access), Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts (a queer non-profit performance and rehearsal space/center), the SF Public Library where I worked, Southern Exposure Gallery, The Lab Gallery and just about every thrift store between San Francisco and Seattle…plus the zine movement and Riot Girrl

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m an inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer (rydercooley.com). I still make videos and incorporate moving imagery into a lot of my work. I play in an ethereal gothic-folk band called Dust Bowl Faeries (dustbowlfaeries.com). I also work with animals, both living and dead.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
Photos of then and now would be fun, and links to current projects by J4J filmmakers.

Sativa Peterson, The Slow Escape (also The Slow Escape on Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever)
October 31, 2016

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I read an article (in BUST Magazine, I think) that mentioned Miranda July and her project, called Big Miss Moviola at the time. It was a call for lady made films, and I had recently finished making a personal documentary, The Slow Escape. So, I sent my film to Miranda hoping to make a connection with other creative women. I was 25 years old.

What interested you about the project?
Initially, that it operated like a film exchange – woman to woman. It seemed like an awesome secret club to see what other women were making and doing pre-internet when it wasn’t always so easy to find each other.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I did consider myself a filmmaker though I was largely self-taught, and The Slow Escape was my first film. I wrote the script and painstakingly recorded the narration, which informed the images I needed to shoot and collect. I began creating an image catalog, and used both a hi-8 video camera, and a Super-8 film camera. I transferred the super-8 film by projecting it onto a white sheet in my Chelsea apartment in New York City and using my video camera to re-record it.

I was working at a small post-production studio called American Montage alongside my boyfriend at the time (who was the film’s editor). My boss, Eric Marciano, would let us use the editing equipment for my film late at night and on weekends when the studio wasn’t booked.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
I very much wanted to talk about the idea of the missing girl; a woman’s response to the disappearance and assumed murder of another woman. And, how that disappearance played on my own imagination and sense of personal safety. Though I hoped it also faced the threat of violence with moments of resistance and even humor.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I was very proud for the film to be included because I always wanted the film to have a life of its own, and for it to have the opportunity to be viewed by other girls and women (and men, too) around the country and beyond.

While recording the narration I wanted it to feel intimate, a near-whisper, like something a friend would tell you as you lay next to each other at a sleepover.

I felt like the J4J distribution system of woman-to-woman continued this intimacy; telling a friend about something you discovered about the world. And I like the idea of exchanging work among makers.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I attended a screening in 1998 in Berkeley, CA at The Fine Arts Cinema. It was part of the Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever Tour. I remember meeting Miranda July in the bathroom and talking to one another through our reflections in the bathroom mirror. She also came to visit me one day. I was living in Oakland, CA and in graduate school at UC Berkeley, and she must have been visiting her parents’ house in Berkeley. I remember that I put these little silk flowers in my hair because I wanted to look nice for her; like I was getting ready for a date, which is really embarrassing looking back on it. I remember we talked about the book Shot in the Heart written by Mikal Gilmore about his brother Gary Gilmore (who was the first person to be executed in the United States after the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976) which, I recall, we were both sort of obsessed with, and we talked about Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, a novel based on Gilmore’s life.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
I grew up in Winslow, Arizona. Growing up in a small town can be really intimate; at the same time, you feel like you’re missing other things in the world. I was, at that time, trying to discover those things by watching a lot of movies and living in New York City.

Also, I had a job working at Butler Library at Columbia University. During my lunch hour I would pore over art books in the stacks.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am a writer, librarian, and archivist. I have been working on a memoir about being named after cannabis sativa, the Latin words for a strain of marijuana, which I hope to finish later this year. I haven’t been involved in filmmaking too recently, but I’m eager to make another film.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
Links to filmmakers/participants websites would be welcome, as would more photographs. A call for a new J4J Chainletter.

Yoriko Washiyama, The Ordinary Life of Totally Psycho
December 30, 2016

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
Submitted my video at San Francisco Art Institute. I guess I was mid-20s.

What interested you about the project?
My professor, Sharon Grace, said to submit my homework to the visiting artist.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
It was my first video work on Hi-8.

At that time, I was a filmmaking student and used single 8 or super8 film to make narratives.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
To make a difference between the protagonist and me, I gained 6kg. Because American students said all the Japanese look alike.

Edited on Sony’s Hi-8 machine. Unlike on a computer, every time you dub there’s a loss of quality of picture. Sound was only 2 tracks. Nowadays I use a computer, it made everything so easy.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I still have VHS tapes and a player as a memory.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
SFAI.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
SFAI

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am Striking Unlimited Combat Sports’s firearms and martial arts instructor.
I shoot video to teach my students.

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Zoey Kroll, The Delta and Electronic Ballet (also The Delta on Silver Chainletter, Electronic Ballet on Silver Chainletter and Her Perversions on The Underwater Chainletter)
March 14, 2013

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
Miranda told us about the video chainletter when she was performing at Epicenter, a punk community space on Valencia Street and 16th in San Francisco. Ryder Cooley and I were both 26 at the time, just coming into our queerness, and excited about making things together.

What interested you about the project?
We were really into making and exchanging zines. We were late-bloomers in terms of riot grrrl zine-making, but the rawness and intimate exchanges of writing and art spoke to us. Making a video and putting it in the mail for a collaborative chain letter seemed super fun, and an extension of the zine exchanges. I loved the idea of being connected to girls/women who were making things in other parts of the country. And it meant a lot that Miranda was putting it all together, that someone thought this was a worthwhile connection to make.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I didn’t identify as a filmmaker. I was into making art as a way to engage with the world and find my place in it. Ryder and I, as Daughters of Houdini, made some films as part of our life-art performance collaboration. The experience of going on a road trip and filming our adventures was usually the most exciting part of the process for me. When the films got screened, it was an extension of the adventure, an invitation to enter our intimate world of girl secrets and magical places and thoughts, where the world was a little different and more crazy than everyone pretended it to be.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
The Delta: Ryder, Lissa Ivy and I on a day trip to the Delta; we happen upon a landscape with levy roads cracked upon by flooding. The driving ends (we can’t pass through) and the movie begins.
Her Perversions: Adventures at Ore Hot Springs and ongoing research into hysteria and medical history. Our Freud and Charcot obsession at its height.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I knew Miranda was in her apartment duplicating all these videos from one VCR to another, so it seemed like we were all in this thing together, finding our voice and deciding that our voices mattered. In retrospect, having our work included in the tapes and then seeing these tapes play throughout the world validated us as culture makers and shapers.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I think we went to one of the screenings at ATA, Artists’ Television Access. We would also show the movies at our parties.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
I was working at The LAB, a nonprofit arts organization. I met Ryder there at a free electronic sound workshop for women, taught by Pamela Z. I found my way to the Lab through publications I read a few years earlier: Angry Women (V.Vale, Andrea Juno at Re/Search Publications), and High Risk (Amy Scholder, Ira Silverberg). Once I discovered zines, I would pore over Factsheet Five to learn about zines across the country, and find people to trade comics, zines, and chapbooks with.

I was inspired by the many free art events and gatherings happening in San Francisco which encouraged open participation by women and queers: Sister Spit, organized by Michelle Tea, and K’vetch, by Tara Jepson and Lynn Breedlove. Many inspiring women encouraged me to make art and write: Margaret Tedesco (who now does [2nd floor projects]) and Lauren Hewitt (who gave us an art residency at the Jon Sims Center).

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am engaged with participatory art and culture projects, and I do environmental work that explores urban sustainability and biodiversity. Recent projects include Hayes Valley Farm, a community art and permaculture project (hayesvalleyfarm.org) and Pocket Seed Library, a seed saving and picnic advocacy project. I am not specifically involved in filmmaking, but I am actively engaged with art, writing, and multimedia in my community collaborations.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
It would be cool to have photos/links to current projects J4J participants are doing, and a list of participatory projects that people can engage with today.

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