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Session:         Page of 592

Foner:

Up in the auditorium?

Q:

Yes.

Foner:

There's a lesson from that. The book Rise, Gonna Rise, by Mimi Conway, I learned that it was coming out while we were planning Bread and Roses. I got in touch with Mimi Conway and I said, “Mimi, we're doing this show. Let's do your book as part of it, as part of the humanities thing. Let's see what we can do to help promote the book.” She said, “Good.” The next thing you know I'm having lunch with the publisher. The publisher says, “Okay, we'll have a special opening.” I said, “What will you do for the opening?” He said, “We'll print, we'll send out the invitations, we'll have the books there, etcetera, we'll make the books available.” “Okay, good.”

I have to back up a bit because it's an interesting story. The first exhibition was the Year of the Child, UNICEF. The exhibition in January was to be children at work and play -- original drawings by children from forty countries, arranged by UNICEF. Through Faith Hubley, who knew the people at UNICEF -- because she was making the film for UNICEF, “Step by Step,” which was about peace -- she introduced me to the people at UNICEF, and we got the exhibition from them. We wrote it into the proposal. Then the people at UNICEF said that, “You know, we've had an experience on this that would be very helpful to you. We can provide you with someone who would be able to talk to kids about this exhibition, and we have a film -- if you could get school kids to it. I said, “How do I get school kids?” So that's how I met with Florence Jackson and the people from the Board of Education, and then with George Altomare, the vice president of UFT -- whom I had known from the Vietnam days. I got the UFT through Ted Bleecker, whom I knew also. They agreed to put in their paper -- in November, prior to the January opening -- a full page. They did a full page article about this exhibition, the Year of the Child exhibition, and that it's possible for schools -- elementary schools -- to bring their classes, and there'll be a program there. We thought, “Okay.” Before we know it, we do not have a single opening over a month. Hour by hour by hour. We get like 130 classes.

You know what it does to the union? The union has to now turn over space for -- it's January! Buses are coming in with the kids. There has to be a place to hang the coats, to find a place where they can have milk. We're producing at the program the “Step by Step,” the videotape by Faith Hubley. Someone from the Year of the Child is speaking and discussing things with the kids. The kids are asked when they go back to have a session on it, and they write. The teachers



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