Journey East Documentary


Journey East: Finding  Your Place  will have its  public debut at 4:30 PM on December 20 in the main venue of the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, VT.  

 

The focus of the documentary is Journey East, a Sino-American cultural exchange founded 15 years ago at Leland Gray UHS in Townshend by teacher Thomas Connor and fellow faculty with the support of UVM’s Asian Studies program.

 

Journey East has given hundreds of  local students a glimpse of the world as they spend a semester immersed in Asian studies and a production workshop to prepare for a month of touring,  performing, and interacting with peers on the road through the People’s Republic of China and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.  In exchange, students from the Inner Mongolia College of the Performing Arts come to Vermont every other year to tour and perform for a variety of audiences.

 

Journey East, having touched so many people from Southern Vermont as well as the students, teachers, and friends made in China, inspired 2012 Journey East alumni Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom, Fraser Query, and Alana Redden to give a wider audience to the program by creating  Journey East: Finding Your Place. Their hope is to spread awareness of the value of such cultural exchange to other schools and organizations, as well as to share the profound impact and re-direction with which a cross-cultural exchange program can benefit students. Filled with arts of many cultures, strong emotion, self-discovery, and inspiration, the documentary tells the story of students experiencing their once-in-a-lifetime journey.  Filmmaker Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom adds, “We’ve aimed to highlight the strong and unique unity established between China and rural Vermont, a connection that may very well last a lifetime—one that will certainly continue on in the hearts and souls of the people’s lives it’s changed."

 

Many area students and adults –teachers, administrators and host families-- are featured in the film. Admission is by donation.  The Latchis Theatre is on Main Street in Brattleboro; seating is unreserved.  For more information contact Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom at journeyeastproductions@gmail.com.

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