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Shelter Residents Inspire Documentary by ASU Artist

"28 WOMEN: a chance for independence" documentary by Muriel Magenta.

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

March 16, 2005

Tempe, Ariz. - On Thursday, March 24, 2005 the premiere screening of "28 WOMEN: a chance for independence" will be presented at Galvin Playhouse, Arizona State University's Tempe campus at 7:30pm.

The video documentary by Muriel Magenta, 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, Haven House, located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona 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.

Artist, Muriel Magenta, says, "I am moved by the determination of these women to overcome adversity to make a new life for themselves and their children." Magenta 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 where Magenta has worked directly with the Phoenix community.  

The documentary is part of a larger community partnership between the Katherine K. 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 Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts, Institute for Studies in the Arts, Women's Studies and the ASU/ Motorola Great Communities Grant.

The School of Art is part of the Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. The college educates more than 2,500 students annually and encompasses the School of Art, the School of Music, the Department of Theater, the Department of Dance, as well as the research-based Institute for Studies in the Arts and the ASU Art Museum. Visit the Herberger College school of Art on the Web at .

Media Contact:
Mica Matsoff
(480) 965-0478