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Will you Stand with Me? I need your help to tell a story

I Need your help

Will you stand with me? I need your help to complete a documentary film that is scheduled to be released in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 23, 2019, called We Are Family. Specifically, I need your help to make the story come alive through financing a sound track and final video production costs.

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Why the story should be told

Racial divides continue in our nation. But in the darkness of division there are stories of hope. The We Are Family documentary tells the inspiring story of how a basketball team from an urban school in the heart of Hoosier basketball country united around an impossible dream, how they forged a bond as family and how they inspired a whole community.

After Arsenal Tech High School in downtown Indianapolis won the Indiana High School Basketball Championship in March 2014, Bob Kravitz, a journalist for the Indianapolis Star wrote:

 “Landmark State Title proves inspiration to entire Tech community”

“From the time they are young, these kids who attend Indianapolis Public Schools are told they can’t. Parents try, teachers try, mentors try to lift them up and out of their circumstances, but the lowly graduation rates at schools such as Arsenal Tech do not lie, nor does the alarming drop-out rate.

On Saturday night at Bankers Life, though, the talented and composed young men of Arsenal Tech believed they could do something very special, something that hasn’t been done since Broad Ripple earned the IPS’ last state title in 1980. And they did, knocking off Lake Central, 63-59, winning the Class 4A state title, showing everybody, yes, they could.

Sixty years ago this week, Milan won one for all those small schools.

Saturday night, Tech won one for all the schools and the students who have been told they aren’t good enough to ascend the greatest heights.

Remember the Titans.”

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We Are Family remembers the Titans by telling the story of that season. It explores the impact of this victory on the lives of the players, coaches, school and Indianapolis Public School community five years later. It proves that the relationships that are built when a team comes together as a family really do endure.

I believe that this story is important because it tells the truth about what happened – and what can happen – in inner city schools.  I know this personally. For thirteen years our family lived in Indy we were a part of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Our kids attended IPS schools. And the IPS community became a family to us. This is my way of saying “thanks” to and standing in solidarity with IPS.

 

I’ve been working on this project for the last four years. Now I need your help to raise $25,000 to pay for a sound track and final video production costs to bring the project to completion. Will you help me tell this story?

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Kickstarter Campaign Costs and rewards 

To raise $25,000, I am launching a Kickstarter “crowd-funding” campaign on November 1st, 2018. The way Kickstarter works is that people sponsor a creative project through an on-line donation and receive a reward in return. If the project meets its goal that money will be debited. If the project does not meet its goal then that money is not debited. In other words, it is all or nothing!

Budget for the WE ARE FAMILY Kickstarter project

  •  $ 8,000 Musicians/Composers
  • $ 2,000 Sound Track Mix/Mastering
  • $1,000 Documentary Trailer
  • $7,500 Video editing
  • $3,250 Production Costs
  • $ 2,000 Rewards Cost for art prints, shipping and handling, etc.
  • $1,250 Kickstarter Percentage, 5%

 

Rewards for giving to the WE ARE FAMILY Kickstarter project

  •  Friends who support this project at $10 will receive a digital version of the sound track.
  • Friends who support this project at $40 will receive a digital version of the movie.
  • Friends who support this project at $100 will receive a digital version of the “uncut” movie: bloopers, extra footage, etc.

 

  • Patrons who support this project at $200, $400, $600 and $800 get to choose a beautiful print of one of two of my brother Jed’s paintings – either “The Golden Hour” or “Good Morning Indy”.[i]

 

  • Producers who support this project at or above $1,000 will receive the following:
    • Named in the credits of We are Family as a Producer.
    • Invitation to a VIP documentary release party in Indianapolis, IN on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
    • Public thanks at the release of the documentary in Indianapolis, March 23rd, 2019.

 

  • Mega-Producers who support this project at or above $5,000 will receive all of the above plus:
    • A week long (7 days) stay at Sunnyshore Studio on beautiful Camano Island.[ii]
    • (Optional) An Identity Discovery Session and Five Life Coaching[iii] sessions with Jason Dorsey.

 

The Team

I’ve assembled a great team of video editors/producers and musicians/composers to complete the documentary. I want to tell the story in a way that packs a punch.  I’m thrilled that some of the contributors are IPS and Arsenal Tech alumni.

 Two ways you can stand with us

Here are two ways that you can stand with us in bringing this story to completion:

  1. Contribute to the Kickstarter Campaign: On November 1st I will share the link to our Kickstarter campaign. Any amount of support helps!
  1. Advocate for the Kickstarter Campaign: Advocate for the project when the 30 day Kickstarter campaign launches on Nov. 1 by:
  • sending a personal e-mail/text to five friends with the kickstarter link asking them to stand with us in this project.
  • sharing the kickstarter project on your social media platforms.

 Thanks for standing with us on this project!

We are Family is being produced by Sunnyshore Studio: www.sunnyshorestudio.com

You can learn more about our project here:

[i] Jed is a full-time artist who lived in Indy and was a big fan during that Championship season. He is offering us prints of these two paintings at his cost. To learn more about Jed and his art: www.Jeddorseyart.com

[ii]Sunnyshore Studio is located on Camano Island, in Washington State. Learn more here:  www.sunnyshorestudio.com

[iii] In his work as a Presbyterian pastor, Jason Dorsey has developed a curriculum that helps people understand their identity and step boldly into their calling. It is called “Identity Mapping”. The Identity Discovery Session is a two hour session where Jason listens to your story and helps you name your Identity. In the Life Coaching sessions  he helps you identify your roles and responsibilities in each sphere of your calling:  personal, family, work, community and place and coach you

Home: Places of the Heart

What places have been home to you? Why do our hearts get attached to a place? How can art capture the essence of “being home?” 

 

These and other important questions will be explored in Jed Dorsey’s upcoming art show Home: Places of the Heart at Sunnyshore Studio on Saturday, October 20th and 27th. Jed’s painting touch hearts because they evoke that longing for “home” that Jed says was all have. Sunnyshore Studio sat down with Jed to explore the connection of home and his artwork.

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Sunnyshore Studio: What places have been home to you? Tell us about them your homes?

Jed Dorsey: When I think of home, there are several places that come to mind. They are Camano Island, Vancouver, BC, Indianapolis, and Edmonton.

Within each of those places, there are more specific locations that stand out. My parents’ house, for instance, is where I grew up, and it has always been our home away from home wherever I have lived with Renae through the years. But Camano Island has other places that I regard as home. The beach across from Mom and Dad’s house is one of them. I spent so many summers there. The flatlands as you cross onto Camano Island is another. There’s no place like it for me. When I get there and see that, I feel like I am finally home.

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Gateway

And the other cities have similar special places, whether it is a house or a neighborhood or a park. Significant places where I have spent time with people I love – that’s the common theme.

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Why do you think “home” evokes such powerful emotions in our hearts?

I believe we all long for a home. Whether that is a real home of our past where we remember good times or people we’ve loved, or whether it’s something we’ve never really had, I think we all have a deep longing for a place of belonging and safety and love.

And places matter to us because we have memories connected to places. We grow fond of a place often not just because of what it actually looks like but because of the memory connected to it. And most of our memories involve other people. There’s an old poem that says, “,,,it takes a heap o’living in a house to make it home.” That’s because it’s not the exact physical place that makes the home, it is something more than that: the relationships and memories of life together with people we love and who have loved us. And no matter whether we’ve had a lot of that in the past or not that much, we all long for it.

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How can a painting capture the essence of home in a way that maybe a photograph or memory can’t?

Perhaps because a painting can bring our imaginations to life more than a photograph. If I took a photo of a particular house, you would know it wasn’t the house of your childhood because of the exactness of a photo. But if I painted the same house, you might see something that makes you think of the house of your childhood and because it is more suggestive in its nature, your heart might override your mind into believing it is your childhood home even if it knows I didn’t paint your exact house.

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Which of your paintings best evoke that sense of home? Describe why they do this for you.

That really just depends on who is looking at the painting. For me, they all evoke a sense of home for different reasons. Some of the paintings will speak to different people more strongly than others. But that is for the viewers to decide for themselves.

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What are the hopes you have for your “home” art show coming up in October at Sunnyshore Studio?

I am looking forward to sharing good times with people I love in a place I love.

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Home: Places of the Heart

  • Saturdays, October 20th and 27th
  • 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunnsyhore Studio
  • 2803 SE Camano Drive, Camano Island, WA

Viewing and Purchase Options

  • If you can’t make these two Saturdays we are “open by appointment.” Call Jason Dorsey, 317.209.6768.
  • Jed’s “Home: Places of the Heart” art show will go live on Saturday, October 20th at 12:00 (Noon). Jed’s friends, fans and collectors can purchase his artwork through Sunnyshore Studio’s web site: www.sunnyshorestudio.com.

Show Sponsor

Sunnyshore Studio thanks Russ Bumgarner and his company Rubumco for sponsoring the show.  If you are in need of getting your home or business painted, Russ’s premier painting company that’s been operating since 1999 in the Stanwood-Camano region is the place to go!

Russel Baumgarner

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The story of the making of the “We are Family” documentary (Part 1)

By Jason Dorsey

Arsenal Technical High School, established in 1912 and located on a 76 acre campus just east of downtown Indianapolis, has a rich history. Once a United States Arsenal during the Civil War, It’s the third oldest high school in Indianapolis. Tech’s beautiful, historic buildings give it the feel of a college campus.

 

In the 1930’s-1950’s Tech had been one of the largest high schools in the United States, but desegregation and “white flight” from the Indianapolis Public Schools in the 1960’s and 1970’s had taken a toll. When our oldest son, Jacob, enrolled as a freshman there in the fall of 2009, Tech had a reputation as a rough place where if you “had a choice” you wouldn’t send your kid. We did choose to send Jacob to Tech and he thrived in the Math and Science Magnet located in Stuart hall, graduating in 2013 as Valedictorian of his class.

In the summer of 2013 our son Julian, who played for the basketball team, was heading into his junior year at Tech. Tech’s basketball team was expected to do very well, with a plethora of talented seniors led by Trey Lyles. The previous two seasons, Tech had lost heartbreaking playoff games, so the team had a real hunger to go all the way and Coach Jason Delaney was speaking of this season as the “Final Act”. For the team it was all or nothing.

Julian Graduating

However, with all of its rich sports history Tech had never won the Indiana State Basketball Championship, though it had come close four times. In 1929, Tech lost to Frankfurt and then to Logansport in 1934. Joe Sexson, who would later star at Purdue and Coach at Butler, led Tech to the state finals against Logansport at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1952, but the team lost. Mike and Jim Price led the Tech Titans to the state finals in 1966, when the team lost to Michigan City.  And no IPS team had won the State Basketball Championship since Broad Ripple did in 1980.  Though many people were wondering if this would be the year that Tech would finally win it all, the odds were stacked against them.

Julian and I talked about how cool it would be to get behind-the-scenes and game footage of the season. We went to Coach Delaney to see if he and the coaching staff would be willing to let us do this. He said Yes. He shared that when the Waldron team he coached in 2003-2004 won the 1A Indiana State Basketball Championship he regretted that he didn’t have more photos of and videos for that season. I went out and bought a video camera.

I did not anticipate what a magical season it would be.

Stay tuned for Part 2

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