In the final dash for completion, the El Casino Ballroom is turning to crowd-funding source Kickstarter to raise back-stretch funds.
Among the fund’s purpose, the hiring of three interns – two from the Mexican American Studies program banned by Tucson Unified School District for not complying with the sate of Arizona’s contested law banning classes aimed at particular minority groups. These students, and former students, are welcome on this project which seeks to ferret our community connections with the 65-year-old El Casino Ballroom – a landmark in Tucson’s Latino ballrooms of old. A third recent high school graduate interested in pursuing a career in journalism will also be bored as an intern in the project if the Kickstarter project comes through.
“This is a particularly important aspect of the project,” producer Daniel Buckley says. “Making sure that the next generation has the tools to do its own oral histories ensures that important stories will continue to be told. These students have the motivation and talent to be a huge help in this undertaking, and to take flight on their own projects in the future.”
Also included in the crowd funding request are monies to transcribe all of the many interviews associated with the project, funds for additional editing time, monies to fulfill rewards associated with Kickstarter, and money to pay for the Fox Theatre and its staff so that the premiere of the documentary can be free and open to the public.
All of the raw footage, photos and transcripts from the project will be turned over to the Arizona Historical Society for study by future generations and inclusion in future projects by other historians.
A five-minute preview of the documentary will be shown at the Fox at 2 p.m. June 10 during Cine Plaza at the Fox’ early summer screening of the classic Mexican film “Escuela dee Vagabudos” with Pedro Infante. Another short preview will be shown at El Casino Ballroom Friday. June 15 at the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie awards.