Alumna wins award from Madonna’s foundation
Joy Parker received a $10,000 award from the Art for Freedom initiative
As a self-proclaimed ’80s Madonna wannabe, Joy Parker ’91,’92 (photography, film and video) was in shock when she found out her idol had watched her video entry to the December Art for Freedom project.
Parker had heard about the contest in October, when she came across a post on Madonna’s Facebook page announcing the theme, “What does freedom mean to you?” A lover of photography, Parker decided that she would upload something.
After forgetting about it until late November, she made a last minute decision to record a video on her phone to talk about her view of freedom as a wife, mother and business woman in her fourth year with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
“It was all done off the top of my head and I tried to move the camera around a bit to be artsy,” said Parker. “When I was done, I watched it and cringed. I hate seeing myself on camera, especially now that I look sick.”
Despite this, and thinking that she wouldn’t remember to come back to the project at a different time, she added a little stabilization and a color filter before putting the video on YouTube.
When an email popped into her inbox in January with the subject line only saying “Art for Freedom,” she remembers thinking that maybe she had signed up for a newsletter. After opening and re-reading the email a few times, she called her husband over to make sure what she was seeing was real.
“We were just saying ‘wow’ a lot,” said Parker. “I didn’t even remember there was any kind of prize when I uploaded my video. Finally the only thing I could say was ‘Madonna watched my video?!’”
Parker received a $10,000 grant to give to a nonprofit of her choice. She decided to split the money between two organizations that have helped her personally, the Greater Rochester Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Upstate ALS Chapter.
“Although, selfishly, I wanted to tell them to keep the $10,000 and send me Madonna, I’m glad to have the money to help those that help others,” said Parker. “I like that my good fortune can help others.”
To watch the video or read more about Parker’s story, go to http://www.simplejoysonline.net.
April 19, 2019
RIT/NTID hosts ‘Signing Time’ free family concert May 3
Rachel Coleman, musician and star of the popular PBS and video series Signing Time, will perform a free show at NTID on May 3. Joining her on stage will be Coleman’s daughter Leah, an industrial design major at RIT/NTID, and her show sidekick Hopkins the Frog.
April 18, 2019
Partnership brings business education to Rochester classrooms
A unique community collaboration among Saunders College of Business, Junior Achievement and local elementary schools introduces young minds to business, economics and free enterprise through discussions, hands-on activities and video lessons.
April 18, 2019
Imagine RIT visitors get to control RIT’s ‘Weather Machine’ in new two-story-high video game
Imagine RIT visitors will help keep the skies above RIT clear during the festival on April 27, in a new video game on display at the MAGIC Spell Studios building. Festivalgoers can play “Weather Defense: A Two Stories High Video Wall Game” on six large 4K displays, mounted two stories up the atrium wall of the new 52,000-square-foot MAGIC building.
April 17, 2019
Earth Day feature: Painting a picture of a planet in peril
City Newspaper features photography professor Denis Defibaugh.