Documentary ‘Belonging’ featured at Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Laura Peterson                                                
Special to The Union
January 15, 2019

Ruth Chase by Lori Lachman 2018

In her film, “Belonging” local artist and director, Ruth Chase documents the stories of people living in Nevada County, including Shelly Covert, spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria, Nisenan Tribe.

The film is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council and funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program. Chase and Covert are scheduled to show the film during this week’s 17th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Nevada City and Grass Valley.

The pair are scheduled to participate in activities such as opening reception, art shows, fireside chats, coffee talks, workshops and film panels throughout the five-day environmental and adventure film festival that attracts filmmakers, change-makers, and activists from around the globe.

The two sat down and answered a few questions. Chase had this to say:

What inspired you to make the film, “Belonging?”

“Belonging” is about how people find a sense of belonging through the land, the earth, and the environment. I was initially interested in examining the unique connection people have with the land they were born on and if that connection changes when residing in a place other than their birthplace.

I AM HERE Questions

Every Saturday morning Ruth posts a question about our sense of belonging on the I AM HERE Facebook Group page. Each response informs her work, using social engagement as a tool for artmaking and engaging the community in conversation.

 

Ruth has been exploring ideas of belonging for over three years now, having a direct impact on her life and work as an artist.

The first year of BELONGING we asked, how do you find and maintain your sense of belonging through the land that we share? This year, with I AM HERE, we’re asking, how do women find their sense of belonging in a rural county? I welcome you to participate too.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

On February 16, the weekly question will be live and in person.

Belonging really happens best when we are with each other in person, men we need you too.

I AM HERE is the name of the second year of BELONGING. I AM HERE questions are meant to engage the community in a conversation about women and to foster a community connection.

I AM HERE is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council led by Artist Ruth Chase, generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.

FEB 16  | SAT 9 – 10:30AM
Saturday Morning Question – In Person w/ Ruth Chase
Summer Thyme in Grass Valley
INVITATION

 

Racial Literacy | BELONGING to the Land

RACIAL LITERACY CAFE ON BELONGING TO THE LAND
Sunday, July 29, 3-5p
Summer Thyme’s
Colfax Ave., Grass Valley, CA
 
Inspired by Ruth Chase’s ambitious multi-media installation about the land we live on and the notion of belonging, Racial Literacy, Nevada County offers a free, facilitated community conversation in the World Café style at Summer Thyme’s where the BELONGING Community Exhibition, curated by Ruth is on display.
 
We are collaborating with Chase to expand her artistic intention by creating the opportunity for local residents to experience, as she states, “powerful insights that allow people to find a sense of belonging within their community.” We also welcome Nevada City Rancheria Secretary Shelly Covert. 
 
Join us to talk with each other in a real and candid way about our own sense of belonging along with our relationships with the Nisenan people and this beautiful region that the Nisenan have called “home” for thousands of years.
 
This community conversation is free and open to the public. Space is limited. The kitchen closes at 4:00pm. Arrive early to place food and drink orders and reserve your seat.
 
Racial Literacy explores race, privilege, and oppression by hosting community conversations and storytelling gatherings. We believe in the power of education, open dialogue, and deep listening as tools to heal and release the shame and discomfort experienced around discussions of race. From this place of honesty, we can be better activated as a community to show up for racial justice in our daily lives, as well as on larger systemic levels.  For more information, find Racial Literacy on Facebook.  

On Friendship and BELONGING

The BELONGING project is a journey I’m taking with the community of Nevada County. Every week I ask a question on Facebook that explores how we find a sense of belonging. Here is the question I asked most recently.

How do the friendships you had growing up shape your sense of belonging now?

Growing up I felt an incredible pain from feeling like I didn’t belong in my own home while I dreamed of belonging where I wasn’t wanted, with my dad. My dad and I shared the same looks and big personality, I felt comfortable with him because we were alike. As a child my friendships often reflected these same family dynamics, feeling like an outcast in friendships that I perceived I didn’t belong in because I wasn’t enough. Further making me feel incredibly insecure about if I would ever belonging with anyone, anywhere. I think that is why I cried so much on my wedding day, someone wanted me to “belong” with them. To this day I rarely feel like I fit in with most people so I cherish the relationships where I do feel a sense of belonging. After many years of rejection from the art world, I have come to realize that none of it is personal and that I belong to myself first and foremost.

 

So, how do the friendships you had growing up shape your sense of belonging now? 

 

 

I BELONG HERE Pop Up Photos

IMG_7810

A pop-up installation where Ruth gave hugs, postcards, and took photos.
This backdrop was painted by Ruth and photos were taken to share the value individuals have in our communities.  The public was encouraged to hang their photo at home where it can be seen as a reminder of their importance.

#IBelongHere 

Please email Ruth your I BELONG HERE images from wherever you are RuthChaseFineArt@ymail.com