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A Rare Collection: Lessons Learned from Dick Macksey

Inside Richard Mackseys house, books are literally everywhere. They stretch from floor to ceiling, filling the house and spilling into the garage. For over half a century, Macksey has inspired his students at Johns Hopkins, stirring in them a love of literature and the arts. Comprising more than 70,000 books, a large collection of manuscripts, and some art works all worth an estimated $4 million, Macksey has bequeathed his entire collection to the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries.

Those Who Trespass

Four elderly nuns feel so strongly about closing the School of the Americas (now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) that they put their own freedom at risk. In fact, as a result of their peaceful protest, they are sentenced to six months in a federal prison. This 2003 Student Academy Award winning film by Renee Fischer follows their journey.

Peabody bassist Yoshiaki Horiguchi is a citizen artist, helps Puerto Rico

Yoshiaki Horiguchi -- a Peabody double bassist and Aegon/Transamerica Scholar -- explains how music saved his life and how he now uses his talent to help others, like hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico.

Tutu Professor Chris Beyrer fights for health and human rights

The inaugural Tutu Professor Chris Beyrer has dedicated his career to fighting for marginalized communities, particularly for those suffering with HIV and AIDS internationally and nationally. Currently, he is involved in a multi-city project to help improve outcomes for the 70 percent of people living with HIV in the U.S.

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About Renee

Baltimore County

Having worked in film and video for more than 20 years and having created hundreds of short films, I am very excited to be producing my first, independent feature documentary, entitled "Turn a New Page," about incarcerated dads and a reading program which allows them to reunite with their families. This film correlates with my interest in social justice and my desire to provide a stage for underrepresented voices. In the past, I've had the opportunity to travel to places like Guatemala, Kosovo,... more

Turn a New Page

The “Turn a New Page” documentary follows the experience of fathers incarcerated at the Baltimore County Detention Center (BCDC) as they participate in Turning Pages, a local literacy and family reunification program that is the only way BCDC inmates can have contact family visits; all other interaction is over the phone or through glass. The three main characters, inmates Jeff , Jody, and Daniel, share their experience of being separated from their families and how a local program that allows them to have contact visits and read to their children is making a difference in their lives.

However, while the film gives voice to these men and their families who are often not heard in a larger context, it's relevance extends beyond these individuals. Right now, 2.7 million U.S. minor children have a parent who's incarcerated. In 2016, the Annie E. Casey Foundation published “A Shared Sentence,” stating that incarceration creates an unstable environment for kids that can have lasting effects on their development and well-being. Families are destabilized both financially and emotionally, and multiple incarcerations only compound this. Recidivism rates are also around 70 percent in Baltimore, but studies have shown family visitation in general can reduce recidivism by 13%. Additionally, about 90% of the inmates at BCDC are convicted of non-violent offenses, which is significant when one considers the disruption to the family units.

I began working on this project which has a verite style -- shooting most of the film thus far myself -- in the winter/spring of 2017. I have also begun to edit a rough cut.

  • Turn a New Page Documentary

    The “Turn a New Page” documentary follows the experience of fathers incarcerated at the Baltimore County Detention Center (BCDC) as they participate in Turning Pages, a local literacy and family reunification program that is the only way BCDC inmates can have contact family visits; all other interaction is over the phone or through glass.

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Renee 's Curated Collection

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