NYWIFT Blog

New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley: Defying Gender Roles, Embracing Community

By Brittany Rostron

Growing up as the 14th out of 15 children, New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley developed a sense of competition and achievement from an early age, driven by the mantra, “If they can do it, so can I.” This belief would manifest itself in many other aspects of Crowley’s life and career.

Whether it is working as a restorative painter with District Council 9 Painter’s Union or being the first woman – and first Democrat – to ever represent the Council’s District 30 in Queens, Crowley constantly found herself filling roles traditionally held by men.

Today, as a member of the New York City Council’s Women’s Caucus, Crowley now has the opportunity to help encourage others to do the same. Her mantra is perhaps now more accurately, “If they can do it, so can we.”

“I want to encourage other women to step out of what they may see as their gender’s role and explore new opportunities,” she explains. Moreover, Crowley cites this objective as a key motivation behind her support of NYWIFT’s Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories series.

For the past three years, the council member has worked with the Department of Cultural Affairs as part of the New York City Council’s Cultural Immigrant Initiative to help fund the acclaimed NYWIFT screening series, which showcases films directed and/or produced by women in venues throughout Queens. The projects have a unique focus on the NYC immigrant experience. This year, the council member was instrumental in helping the series double in size, from the original five events to 10.

The programs have focused on the experiences of African, Central European, Asian and undocumented immigrants, among others. This year there was also a special – and timely – program on the role of independent filmmakers in immigrant activism.

35331042015_dfa48e963e_o

Participants in the 2017 production workshop for immigrant and first generation women film outside of Maspeth Town Hall, within Crowley’s Council District 30

The series includes an annual production workshop for immigrant and first generation women, taught by Third World Newsreel. “It’s so wonderful to see the culmination of the participants’ hard work, [especially] doing so at a community venue [such as Maspeth Town Hall] that has done so much for our local residents,” Crowley says.

This particular focus on the value to this community is especially personal to Crowley. She not only represents these neighborhoods in the New York City Council, but has seen her own children grow up there, in the same district where she and her 14 siblings were also born and raised.

NYWIFT thanks Council Member Crowley for her continued support of the Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories series.

For a look at one of the filmmakers featured in the 2017 series, read about the screening of Undocumented here on the NYWIFT blog.

(Photo from nyc.council.gov)
PUBLISHED BY

brittanyrostron

brittanyrostron After more than a decade of diverse experience in feature film, TV, and digital content, Brittany Rostron founded Female Artistic & Commercial Entrepreneur Support, Inc. (FACES), a not-for-profit that aims to increase the number of female voices in entertainment by providing women with the entrepreneurial skills necessary to approach their careers like small businesses. On a broader scale, FACES hopes that increasing women’s influence in this industry will lead to the general public’s greater exposure to various female perspectives and experiences. Visit FemaleACEs.org or email her at brittany@femaleACEs.org for more info.

View all posts by brittanyrostron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

*

*

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Ekaterina Korshunova

Let’s welcome new NYWIFT member Ekaterina Korshunova! Ekaterina (or Kate for short) attended Moscow’s RUDN University where she graduated with a degree in journalism. Kate currently works as a freelance social media coordinator and producer. She has filmed and produced promotional videos for many local businesses as well as major brands. She spoke to us about her move to the US, her teaching philosophy, and her dreams for the future.

READ MORE

NYWIFT Women’s History Month Spotlight: Kelsey Marsh

NYWIFT Member Kelsey Marsh is a Line Producer at NowThis currently overseeing their Earth and Impact partnerships. She has six years experience in managing inspiring, entertaining, and educational productions for broadcast and digital platforms. Kelsey shares how her experience in the Peace Corps led her to a career combining media and service, her Women's History Month inspirations, and more.

READ MORE

Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home Explores Bias through the Eyes of High School Students

Hailed by historian Robin Kelley as “one of the most powerful and inspiring documentaries of our era,” NYWIFT member Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home is the moving and provocative story of three remarkable girls entering ninth grade at top schools steeped in bias towards race, class, and culture. Though the film was made nearly 15 years ago, the issues still resonate in today’s climate of racial injustice and civil unrest. Kavery sat down to discuss how she put together this incredible portrait  and what – if anything – has changed in our culture in the years since.   

READ MORE

What’s in Your Toolkit: Nan Gill-Wilson

Producer Nan Gill-Wilson shares the path of her varied career, the story behind her partnership with David Wilson, and how she is coping during COVID-19. 

READ MORE
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php