Hello! My name is Clara Plestis and I have spent the past year exploring the immigration journey of my great-grandmother and namesake, Clara Labovsky. Among other things, my grandmother was a music aficionado and songs accompanied her as she traveled through life. These songs helped her in times of trouble, brought her joy and expressed her longing for social justice, womens' rights, workers' rights, civil rights and human rights. I decided to create a short opera that would use some of these songs to tell the story of Clara's journey and the incredible efforts that this small, feisty, opinionated Russian, Jewish female immigrant made to transform her new country a better place. I am trying to make “Baba,” my opera, into a film and I need your help. In these troubled times I believe that it is imperative to tell positive immigrant stories, and this is a powerful one. Clara Labovsky’s life and journey have inspired me and I am sure they will inspire everyone especially young women. Any donation to this film would be extremely appreciated. All funds will go to filming equipment, crew, editors, musicians etc.
This film will be the culmination project of my Graduate MFA Voice Program. I have spent the past two years at CalArts not only studying the voice and pedagogy, but studying music in Russian, Hebrew and Yiddish. My Birthright trip to Israel in the summer of 2018, and my subsequent Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, have inspired me to explore my Jewish heritage through music and art. This film is an expression of all that I have felt and learned.
VIDEO: A recent example of me singing a concert dedicated to the music of immigrants. Please take a watch!
Risks and challenges
As a grad student making a passion project it has become apparent how difficult funding can be. All funds will go to filming equipment, crew, editors, musicians etc. I am hoping to partner with different Jewish organizations to spread the story of Clara in the hopes of inspiring students, young women and immigrants.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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