El Casino Update 8: Back in the Saddle

Jo Ann Trujillo

Jo Ann Trujillo

As the Kickstarter campaign winds down to its final hours I’m back out, camera in hand,  gathering more stories for the film.

I spent this afternoon with JoAnn Trujillo, who had her wedding reception at El Casino Ballroom 44 years ago, and who has attended many, many functions there over the years. She had wonderful things to say about ECB’s place in the community, and historical tidbits as well to share.

Tonight I’ll be back as Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program holds a fundraiser to have the program reinstated. It’s another of those moments in the history of social justice in Tucson that El Casino has played a part in. I am honored to be able to film it and include part of it in the film.

Tomorrow there’s a function for the neighborhood that I’ll also be shooting, followed by wrestling (!) on Sunday.

There’s just over 24 hours left in the Kickstarter campaign, and at this point it doesn’t look promising that we’ll reach the financial goal. But as Yogi Berra used to say, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” We’ll see what happens. And I remain optimistic.

Regardless of the outcome on the financial front, I can’t express enough my gratitude to all of you for supporting this effort. It has been heartwarming to see friends and people I’ve never met show such confidence in what we’re doing. El Casino Ballroom and what it represents are things worthy of documenting. And I will not be stopped in bringing this project to fruition.

On the plus side, the Kickstarter project has brought much more attention to this project, and for that I am eternally grateful. Special thanks to Herb Stratford and Mari Herreras in particular for articles they contributed to Zocolo and the Tucson Weekly, respectively.

I’ve learned a lot in doing this and will be better prepared next time. But all in all, I’m very happy with the way the community has responded.

The film will go on! Barring the unforeseen, we will premiere on August 5 as scheduled at the Fox Theatre. If it’s alright with you I’d like to list all of you as supporters of the film in the credits, regardless of whether we reach the goal or not.

Another of my goals for this project looks like it will, indeed, come to pass. On August 10 – the Friday following the Fox Theatre premiere of the film – KXCI will hold its first dance concert at El Casino Ballroom in 20 years, featuring a blues review organized by El Casino veteran Jeb Schoonover. That is immensely cool!

Thank you for all your help, and if you can think of others who might want to support this by the 7 p.m. PDT deadline July 7, please send them the link.

And if you’d like to continue getting updates on the project, please visit myblog on the topic.

Thanks again for all your help!

Daniel Buckley, Producer,


~ by Daniel Buckley on July 6, 2012.

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