Thursday, October 29, 2009

GlassBook Project Goes to Hollywood

This week I'm giving over the reigns to student (and documentary filmmaker!) Samantha Glovin, who attended the celebrity-studded Voice Awards at the famed Paramount Studios in Hollywood earlier this month.

Sam was in Hollywood to continue filming a documentary about the GlassBook Project, which started right here at Rutgers-Newark last spring, as part of a book arts class offered by Instructor Nick Kline. I was also in that class with Nick and Sam last year, and feel particularly proud of how far we've come with what started as a class assignment.

Sam writes:

What an experience! My trip to Hollywood to film the Voice Awards with the GlassBook Project as the featured exhibit was something I never would have imagined when starting this project in January. The responses from people admiring the books I received from interviews, as well as filming the red carpet and the awards ceremony, although extremely nerve-racking, was a once in a lifetime experience and something I will never forget. Seeing the GlassBook Project in the center of the main foyer immediately next to the red carpet was mind-blowing. To imagine how far we've come in less than a year! The project has become so much more than just an assignment for class that has come and gone. We are truly making an impact with lasting effects. I am so thrilled to be given this opportunity and to be part of something that is truly spectacular.

Sam is pictured below with her trusty camera, filming part of the exhibit:
The project was introduced at the awards by actor Richard Dreyfuss:
GlassBook Project video. Branding was done by Rutgers-Newark professor Ned Drew and Brenda McManus

The people who started it all! Helga Luest, of Witness Justice, and Nick Kline

More photos of the books can be found on the GlassBook Project Facebook Group. Information about the project, including detail photos of individual books, can be found at

If you're on campus, the books are going to be exhibited at the Dana Library beginning Nov 6.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Latin Caucus Party

Last Wednesday I attended the first Latin Caucus welcome reception at the Robeson Gallery. There was a great Latin jazz band led by Frank Villafañe, and also various latin foods for lunch, though sadly, the flan was all gone by the time I got there.

Amy Ortiz, who works with the MFA program, painted the image that appeared on the cover of the event program (left).

There was a short performance by Miguel Algarin, founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café, which, if you aren't familiar with it, hosts public performances of the many varieties of poetry emerging from New York City's Puerto Rican and African-American literature. (You can check out their website,, for more info). He is also a former chair of the Puerto Rican Studies department at Rutgers. Unfortunately I missed his reading, though I did catch him dancing at the reception before he left.

Below are some photos of the event from Saskia Agustin of the School of Public Affairs & Administration. I'm working on getting some audio/video of the band that Claudio Mir of the MFA program sent me up on our YouTube channel as well. In the meantime, you can go to Frank's mySpace page to hear his music.

Miguel Algarin (right) with Vilma Perez:
Frank Villafañe (on piano) and his band:
One of the guests tries her hand at the conga drums:

Group photo:

At left, Amy Ortiz and Adela Diaz take a break to pose for a photo.

You can see Saskia's full set of photos from the event on Picasa.