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Expanding on the Miné Okubo Collection, history and the arts, and social justice in the Inland Empire…

Center Screens “Skydancer” on April 2nd!

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A visually stunning portrait of the individuals who raised America’s steel landscapes

For more than a century, Mohawk ironworkers have helped build skyscrapers and bridges throughout the U.S. and Canada. These ‘sky walkers,’ fearlessly balancing atop foot-wide steel beams high above the city streets, have constructed some of America’s most prominent landmarks, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the George Washington Bridge, the World Trade Center, and One World Trade Center.

Skydancer – a film by Katja Esson

The Mohawk tradition of ironworking began in the mid-1880s, when men from the Kahnawake Reservation near Montreal were hired as laborers to build a bridge over the St. Lawrence River onto Mohawk land. They quickly earned a reputation of being fearless on high steel, and began commuting to New York City to work on large-scale building projects. Today, according to the union, there are about 200 Mohawk ironworkers in the New York area. Most still travel home to Canada on weekends after working in the city during the week, leading double lives in many ways.

Through archival documents and interviews, the film takes a provocative look at the juxtaposition of life “on the Rez” and in the sky.  Join us at the First Thursday Arts Walk for a screening of this nuanced exploration of modern Native American life!

Skydancer – a film by Katja Esson

The 75-minute film will be screened on Thursday, April 2nd at 6:00pm and again at 7:45pm in the Center’s media vault. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please contact the Center today to reserve your spot: socialjustice@rccd.edu, or (951) 222-8846.

The Arts Walk film series continues on May 7th with Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and on June 4th with Stonewall Uprising in observance of the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

This post was contributed by volunteer Danielle Sanchez.

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