"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

kutuuka (to reach)

Yellow Bird Press is pleased to announce the publication of "Kutuuka" a collection of photographs, drawings and dreams by
Gloria Baker Feinstein and the children at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage Motherhood in Kajjansi, Uganda.

Essays by Thatcher Hullerman Cook and M. Ann Thomas
46 photographs by Baker Feinstein (30 tri-tone and 16 four-color)
21 color drawings by children from the orphanage
112 pages
Designed by Lindsay Laricks; printed by Meridian Printing
publication date: June 11

Hardcover: $55.00
Softcover: $35.00


Autographed hardcover book accompanied by a signed, limited edition print by Gloria Baker Feinstein or an original child’s drawing featured in the book: $500.00

Please send an email to gbfeinstein@aol.com to reserve your limited (or regular) edition copy. Or you may call 816-523-8049.

"Kutuuka" (both hard and soft bound) will be for sale the evening of June 11th at the Screenland Theatre in Kansas City as part of the Change the Truth Friendraiser/Fundraiser. If you are unable to attend, you may wish to reserve a copy now so that it can be shipped to you mid-June.

The cost of production of the book has been generously underwritten by a friend of Change the Truth, allowing all proceeds from the sale of "Kutuuka" to go directly toward providing much needed assistance to AIDS and war orphans living at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage Motherhood.

Monday, April 27, 2009

getting closer

Some very long hours have been logged by Lindsay, the talented, calm and generally wonderful woman who is designing my new book. Tonight I signed off on everything except the cover. That I have to do tomorrow. I am still staring at the two options that are currently in the running, even though a few hours ago I announced to Eddie that I had made a decision!

Lindsay has been so patient with me. She claims the process has been extremely smooth and that it has been a lot of fun. Of course, I have bribed her on more than one occasion by sending her home with things like homemade pesto and iced sugar cookies. Maybe that has helped keep her by my side throughout this journey.

The book will be on press May 13th and 14th. Perhaps I should start thinking about some tasty bribes for the staff at the printing company?

Friday, April 24, 2009

usc trojan marching band - watch out!

I just received these pictures from St. Mary Kevin Orphanage Motherhood. Here is the marching band in action as the musicians rehearse.

Can't you just hear the oom-pah-pahs?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


The number of constellations in the sky as defined by the International Astronomical Union is eight-eight.

Eighty-eight (88) symbolizes fortune and good luck since the word 8 sounds similar to the word Fā (发, which implies 发财, or wealth, in Mandarin). The number 8 is considered to be the luckiest number of all in Chinese culture.

Tony Gonzalez, by far the sexiest football player ever, wears #88 for the Kansas City Chiefs.

There are eighty-eight keys on a piano (36 black and 52 white).

The model number of a car my father has purchased many times over the years is the Oldsmobile 88.

There is actually a town in my dad’s home state called Eighty Eight, Kentucky. The town's biggest claim to fame was the celebration of August 8, 1988 (08/08/88).

Eight-eight is approximately the number of days it takes Mercury to complete its orbit.

In Morse code abbreviations 88 means love and kisses.

88 to my dad on his 88th birthday today!

Monday, April 20, 2009

a book about bronia

On Sunday, Eddie and I hosted a reception and book signing for author Maureen Wilt and the special woman who is the subject of her book. "Love the World" is a children's book that tells the story of Holocaust survivor and well-loved Kansas City super star, Bronia.

This is a true story about a woman who refused to live her life forever imprisoned by the Nazis. Once liberated from the concentration camps, Bronia embraced love for others just as robustly as she did her new-found freedom. Using wonderful illustrations and easy to understand language, "Love the World" inspires readers to treat others with tolerance and respect.

There was quite a turnout for Bronia's book party. She has many friends and fans and has touched countless people, young and old. She held court with each person who finally made it to the front of the line and carefully personalized the front page of each book they bought. A warm hug and heartfelt greeting was extended to each and every admirer.

I feel lucky that Bronia and I have been good friends for many years. She has brought a lot of joy and inspiration into my life.

You can buy a copy of the book here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

a visit to the orphanage/in judy's own words

Spending the day with the children and dedicated staff at St. Mary Kevin was an amazing experience. Rosemary and everyone at SMK's warmth and hospitality felt like I was visiting with old friends.

What a blessing CTT is to SMK as they are striving to improve their conditions. They are so appreciate of the improvements to their lives that CTT has made possible. The garden is in the process of providing flavors to their meals and they are enjoying the new tastes a lot. They intend to expand the garden to also include flowers. The game room is a big hit. After visiting a bit with every class, I spent some delightful time playing scrabble with some of the older girls.

Construction is underway for an enclosed kitchen which will improve their cooking conditions, especially when it rains. A storage area for food will also help preserve their provisions from hungry critters. The basketball net has been well used and continues to offer both boys and girls a fun activity. The pigs are thriving and multiplying and the new garbage containers have improved the litter problem appreciably.

But the best part of SMK is the spirit and love that you feel everyone has towards each other and the wonderful CTT friends that have visited them. This is a real family that for a day welcomed me into their joyfully loving energy and spirit

Friday, April 17, 2009

change the truth update

I’d like to begin by saying thanks to all those generous souls who continue to reach into their pockets to help Ugandan children at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage Motherhood (SMKOM.) Times are tough here; they are even worse there. Food prices have risen significantly since our team was there in December, and the value of the shilling against the US dollar has weakened by 10%. A recent contribution to CTT that really warmed my heart was from a fellow student in the 2006 workshop I attended in Uganda – on the trip to Africa that got this whole thing rolling. The donation was in honor of his daughter, who was adopted from Kazakhstan, and it was enough to feed one child for a whole year. I thought that was very cool.

Some not so very good news from SMKOM is that malaria cases among the children have risen 30% during the past couple of months. CTT has sent much needed funds to cover extra hours for the nurse, as well as medications. All of the children have mosquito nets; it appears they are being bitten when they are outside their dormitories. We are going to investigate the idea of supplying cream or spray repellents.

The other bit of bad news is that even though CTT has provided the funds for the repair of the maize mill equipment, the price of raw maize has reached such highs that SMKOM cannot currently afford to purchase it. This project will have to be put on hold while we wait for prices to come down.

Now for brighter updates.

As of February, we were able to sponsor eight new students for secondary school! This brings our total number of sponsored students to 24, which is wonderful. The students are working hard and feeling optimistic about their futures. The newly sponsored children are: Catherine, Amanda, Marvin, Sheila, Eddie, Rachel, Rafakah and Latifa. As this is the main thrust of the mission of CTT, I am truly proud of this ongoing support we are able to offer the children who so desperately want to achieve a good education.

Remember the garden planted by Randy and the kids when we were at SMKOM in December?

They have harvested vegetables many times now and are really enjoying the addition of new flavors and nutrition to their diet.

The water tank (for rain water collection) has been a huge help. It provides water for the piggery, as well as irrigation for the vegetable garden during times of little or no rain.

Eight orphans are making steady progress in the marching band, being guided by music teacher Ivan. The projected date for income generating activities by the band is July.

The motorcycle donated by CTT continues to bring in about $30 US per week. It is being used as a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi.)

The pigs in the piggery continue to do their thing! There were ten new piglets born in the past month; they live with 35 older ones. The plan is to sell 20 pigs every six months for a steady income. We hope to be able to fund the purchase of chickens next, as a continuation of self-sustaining farm projects at SMKOM.

Social worker Melissa, member of both Team 1 and Team 2, is returning to the orphanage next month! She is planning to stay at SMKOM for two weeks and will continue her work with the children. She is so excited to be going for her third time! The children absolutely adore her and can’t wait to get their arms around her once again.

The 2nd annual CTT Friendraiser/Fundraiser is 6 – 9 PM on June 11th at the Screenland Theatre. Invitations will be mailed next month. If you are not on the mailing list and wish to be, please let me know. Lynne is working on a new documentary to be shown that evening. Dolls, drawings, clay sculptures, jewelry, tie-dyed fabric and dinner plates made by the children will be for sale. There will be food and drink and general merriment! Also, my “hot off the press” new book that includes my photographs and the children’s artwork will be available for purchase. Here is the link to the Save The Date film made by Lynne. Please forward it to a friend!

I’ll close with a few lines from a recent email from Rosemary, director of SMKOM.

“The Credit Crunch, started in the US, is biting very hard in Kampala
This is a classic case of innocent bystanders
Some people we know have lost their jobs or businesses
And prices for goods & services have increased again compared to Dec-2008

We are determined to struggle on with the Orphanage
As an elephant cannot complain about the size & weight of its tasks
And there is no fulfillment without sweat
And our true & deserved happiness comes from
The Love, care and Sharing – that we give the Orphans.”

The fantastic pictures in this post appear courtesy of Judy, a CTT supporter I had the pleasure of meeting at our fundraiser in New York and who visited the orphanage in March. Thanks, Judy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

getty grant for gloria?

I’ve spent the last couple of days hammering out a grant proposal, something I've never done before. I’m applying for a Getty “Grant for Good.” It’s a long shot, but definitely worth the attempt.

The grant was established to support “photographers who use imagery to promote positive change in our world.” The Getty website goes on to say, “Nonprofit agencies need imagery to tell their stories – which is why our Grants for Good provides two annual grants of $15,000 to cover photographers’ costs as they create compelling new imagery for the nonprofit of their choice.”

I realized that using Change the Truth as my nonprofit agency could prove to be a conflict of interest, and since I’ve been longing to go to India, I did some research to find the right organization with which to partner. I think I succeeded. It is based in San Diego, but they do work in eleven countries worldwide (managing programs in excess of 30 million dollars!) placing a particular emphasis on assisting children in India. Its philosophy and goals are similar to those of Change the Truth; they are older, wiser and much larger, though, so I could learn a lot!

The organization, Project Concern, likes my ideas for a project and has agreed to support me in my proposal to Getty. Now that they’ve signed off on it, I am on my own for getting all the paperwork and my portfolio together for submission. It’s due today. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 13, 2009

update on the book

I got two, maybe three, hours of sleep. Too psyched about the book. I met with Lindsay, designer extraordinaire, last night. The shape the book is taking is, well, enough to keep me from getting my required number of zzzz’s. I’m tired, but very happy!

For those of you who would like some details, here goes… The book’s title is in Lugandan, the language spoken by most Ugandans. It is made up of three sections; each of those has a Lugandan title, as well. In the first are thirty black and white images from my 2006 and 2007 trips. The second is made up of sixteen dream photos and texts from the 2008 trip. The third features twenty-one of the children’s drawings. The total number of pages in the book is 112.

The font and paper have been selected. The layout is just about complete. There will be 850 soft cover books and 150 hard cover ones. The latter will have a cloth cover with an embossed foil title and will be wrapped in a printed dust jacket. Some of the hard cover books will include either one of the featured original drawings or one of my photographs; these will be special, limited editions.

The black and white images will actually be printed as tri-tones, which means there will be three colors of inks used: black and two different shades of gray. The rest of the book will be printed in four-color. Lindsay has designed really beautiful section dividers and a great cover, all of which will be printed in four-color, as well.

The essays by Thatcher, Ann and me have been very well edited by Sam (editor/son-in-law… he plays both roles quite splendidly) and I think they really complement the images. Thatcher's and Ann's pieces are powerful.

The book goes to press on May 13th and 14th in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. I’ll go, too, to make sure everything looks just right and to sign off on each signature before it gets printed. The books will promptly go to the bindery and will then be delivered to me in time for the June 11th CTT Friendraiser/Fundraiser! All proceeds from sales of the book will go directly to CTT.

It’s been a remarkable journey and a wonderful collaboration. How lucky I am to have the opportunity to do this!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

filming finished!

Lynne and I have finished shooting for the Operation Breakthrough film. On Friday we wrapped it up by doing some filming from the rooftop of kids on the playground down below. Here we are celebrating – Lynne hoisting her tripod, me a telephoto lens.

The OB fundraiser has already sold out. There will be 1,000 people in attendance, and the fifteen-minute film will be the centerpiece of the evening. It tells the stories, in the children’s words and through their eyes, of what their lives are like outside the Center - homelessness, neighborhood violence, poverty - and the relief and resources provided to them by OB.

We are thrilled that, even in this economy, so many are reaching into their hearts and wallets to make an effort to come to the event. We hope the film will remind people that the children of the working poor in Kansas City need our help now more than ever.

Friday, April 10, 2009

sea series/sayulita 3

It's a cold, rainy, dreary morning in Kansas City - a great time to finish sifting through these new images made on the beach in Mexico!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

sea series/sayulita 2

More new pictures for the Sea Series.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

sea series/sayulita

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came."

John F. Kennedy, 1962

If you've been to my website to view my ongoing project about the sea, you've read this Kennedy quote before. There's really not much else one can say about the power and attraction of the ocean. I am satisfied just to continue making pictures of it. Here are some new ones I made in Mexico last week.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sayulita portraits 3

Here are the last two of the updated portraits. This was a fun project to do on my vacation to Mexico. I also made some new pictures for my "Sea Series" which I will start posting in a couple of days.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

sayulita portraits 2

Here are a couple more old/new photos of some children in Sayulita. There are three more I'm looking forward to meeting/photographing tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

sayulita portraits

I began my quest to find the children in my 1996 portraits. It took all of five minutes to meet a a twenty-year old woman, Deera, who graciously agreed to look through the stack of pictures and see if she could identify anyone. She recognized just about everyone; within ten minutes she joined me in my rental car. We then set off on a two hour trip through of every inch of Sayulita as we went to the homes and workplaces of these now twenty-something year olds.

Each was so surprised when Deera and I handed them their picture from 13 years ago!

Stay tuned for more!