Handmade Nation The Movie – Screening

I’m going to the movies tonight!  The screening of Handmade Nation, a nationally acclaimed movie about the DIY movement will be at Ashwood Waldorf School as part of their Knit-a-Thon a fundraiser to help bring Waldorf education to as many children as possible.  The deets are below.

Please join Ashwood Waldorf School’s Knit-A-Thon Committee in a viewing of “Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design”, a documentary by Faythe Levine based on the book she co-authored with Cortney Heimerl of the same title. The film will be shown on Wednesday, March 9th at 5:30 p.m. at the school, located at 180 Park Street, in Rockport.

According to committee member Jana Halwick, ‘Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y., Art, Craft, and Design’ is “the craft version of Slow Food versus Fast Food. It is Thinking Small versus Thinking Big. It is bringing back what the in-between generation lost when many thought craft became un-cool. It is making your granny proud, and what makes sites like ETSY so profoundly successful. What does this have to do with the Ashwood Waldorf School? Ashwood knits, and there are reasons for this that have less to do with small enterprise and the ‘coolness factor’ than brain development.”

An article by Waldorf educator and consultant Eugene Schwartz states: “Recent neurological research tends to confirm that mobility and dexterity in the fine motor muscles, especially in the hand, may stimulate cellular development in the brain, and so strengthen the physical foundation of thinking.  The work done over the past seventy-five years in hundreds of Waldorf schools worldwide, in which first graders learn to knit before they learn to write or manipulate numbers, has also proven successful in this regard.  The learning disabilities specialist Jean A. Ayres states that “Praxis, or the ability to program a motor act, shows a close relation to reading skills, even though reading would appear to be only distantly related to goal-directed movement of the body.”  Citing the research of Strauss and Werner, she notes that “Children with finger agnosia [awkwardness and lack of control] made more errors on a test of arithmetical ability than did children without finger agnosia. As children learn more arithmetic, teachers can devise patterns that call for two rows of blue followed by four rows of yellow followed by six rows of blue, etc.  In this way numerical skills are reinforced in a challenging, yet enjoyable manner…and self-esteem and joy arise in the child as the result of a skill that has been learned. ”

“The Waldorf reasons for knitting and the fact that we are now living in the midst of a craft renaissance make this a timely and useful endeavor,” according to Halwick. “ Indie craft fairs are springing up everywhere. Besides the “anti-green” factor of mass imports and mass production, mass-appeal for them with the young, creative set is dying. In her film, Levine chronicles the new generation’s energized movement for feel-good self-employment that is like a chicken soup solution for the 9 – 5 job.”

About Faythe Levine: Besides being a hip young director, crafter and writer, film producer Faythe Levine curates the Sky High Gallery, located in the back of the Sky High Skateboard Shop in Minneapolis. Much to her chagrin, she has been bestowed the title Ambassador of Handmade by the New York Times. Fifteen cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, and New York were visited in this film. Her father, Rick Merlin Levine, is an astrologer whose work is syndicated to AOL and Google; her mother, Suzanne Wechsler, is an organic dairy farmer.

Ashwood’s annual Knit-A-Thon contributes to local family support organizations by donating the hand-knit blankets that are created.  Funds donated by sponsors support the school’s tuition assistance program and operating expenses.  For more information about the Knit-A Thon, email knit-a-thon@ashwoodwaldorf.org .  Click here for more information about why Waldorf schools knit

Ashwood Waldorf School is an independent school with about 100 students, enrolling children from 18 months  old through eighth grade. For more information please call the office at (207) 236-8021 or visit www.ashwoodwaldorf.org.

There will be a “simple supper” from 5:30 – 6 P.M., followed by the 65-minute film. A $5 donation is encouraged for the supper, and reservations are suggested. Please call 542-9895 or email knit-a-thon@ashwoodwaldorf.org to reserve a space. Seating is limited.

Hope I see you there!