Student Doc To Tell Kingsville History Through Women

By Beatriz Alvarado Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Texas A&M faculty member Armando P. Ibanez and freelance writer and historian Mary Lee Grant were awarded a $9,000 service-learning grant to create the documentary film "Tapestry of the Wild Horse Desert." The film will focus on the experiences of women growing up and living in Kingsville, Texas. Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas

Lots of women in Kingsville are "pretty old-school," said Tiffany Treviño.

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville biomedical science major doesn't agree with the "more traditional" roles of women as housewives and accepting a machismo-driven mind set from a partner, but she's looking forward to better understanding both.

"It may be cool to uncover why some women think the way they do," she said.

Treviño, 21, is participating in creating a documentary of Kingsville's history seen through the eyes of its women.

University faculty member Armando P. Ibanez and freelance writer and historian Mary Lee Grant were awarded a $9,000 service-learning grant to create the documentary film "Tapestry of the Wild Horse Desert." In June, the crew began conducting interviews at a Kingsville soup kitchen that serves elderly residents and is run by the nonprofit Weavers of Love Inc.

Ibanez and Grant will help lead the production with the help of student groups, such as the media department and Unity, the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer group.

Ibanez is an assistant professor of radio, television and film and Grant, who had taught at the university for five years, will be devoting the fall semester to making the film.

The history of Kingsville will be told through the eyes of women in the film because their spotlight is long overdue, Grant said. She speaks from the perspective of a historian and journalist, she explained.

"There are a lot of untold stories in a standard history book," she said. "What was it like (for a woman in Kingsville) to cook and raise kids? What was it like to go dancing at (The Knights of Columbus Hall)? We're interested in telling the history of the common people."

Grant said the project will not only provide an opportunity for university students to learn filmmaking, but also to learn about the history of South Texas -- from times of segregation to the origins of Tejano music in South Texas. The grant is meant to create a learning environment for students and build stronger bonds between the university, its students and the surrounding community, Grant said.

The film is expected to be completed by May.

Ibanez, who has created a number of award-winning features and short films, said he's helping tell the stories to improve the Kingsville community.

"Whether it's about a soup kitchen or women in the soup kitchen, art is for the betterment of the community."

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