Abramorama Buys ‘Chasing Childhood’ Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

Abramorama, an independent distribution company, has nabbed U.S. rights to the documentary “Chasing Childhood.”

The film, centering on the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary childhood and parenting, is having its online premiere on June 24 followed by a panel discussion. It will be available to rent on digital platforms starting on June 25.

“Chasing Childhood” explores the growing trend for children to be overscheduled, overburdened and overprotected, yet still unprepared for the modern world. It features interviews with psychology professor Peter Gray, “How to Raise an Adult” author Julie Lythcott-Haims, public school advocate and former superintendent Michael Hynes, and Lenore Skenazy, who created the “Let Grow” nonprofit that advocates for children’s independence.

The documentary, which was directed by Margaret Munzer Loeb and Eden Wurmfeld, first screened at the DOC NYC Film Festival and later played at the Annapolis Film Festival, Portland International Film Festival and other regional events.

“We hope that ‘Chasing Childhood’ will help inform how we return to life post pandemic and that perhaps we will reevaluate the pre-covid over-scheduled existence of our kids,” Loeb and Wurmfeld said. “We made this film in order to start a cultural conversation that would become a catalyst for change in how we parent, school and regulate kid’s lives. We believe this film, together with insights gained in this time, will encourage parents and schools to create a world where kids have the autonomy to engage in more free play so that they can grow up to become resilient, competent and healthy adults.”

In addition to directing, Loeb also executive produced the film. Producers were Lisa Eisenpresser and Eden Wurmfeld.

“This is a critical issue, never more so than after the past year when the pandemic has stifled so much personal interaction for everyone,” said Abramorama’s CEO Richard Abramowitz and COO Karol Martesko-Fenster. “‘Chasing Childhood’ makes a strong case that free, unstructured play is an essential component of healthy development.”

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Women who inspired Roswell’s citizens, part 2

Celebrating International Women’s History Month

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Today, we continue celebrating Women’s History Month with examples of local leaders in Roswell talking about the women they admire and who influenced them most.

Michael Francis

Michael Francis’ passion in life is music, specifically jazz. Francis is known for being one of the organizers and artistic directors of the Roswell Jazz Festival. In a phone interview he talks about the important women in his life, starting with his mother, Donna Maude Francis. “It’s going to start right at day one — my birth,” Francis said. “My mother was a magnificent pianist and she gave me the gift of music, not only after I was old enough to take piano lessons, but while I was still in the womb. She played music that transferred into my consciousness, and I can’t thank her enough for what she did for me. She shaped my direction in life through that. We started out with the last name of Todd, but we lost my father when I was three years old. Basically, she raised me and was a working mom and had no support system from a male for quite some time. She eventually remarried when I was seven. She was a great mom. The thing that stands out the most is that her taste in music was high end. She played Chopin and Franz Liszt and all kinds of classical things. She was such a great reader that she could sit down and sight some very difficult piano scores and undoubtedly that was a major influence on what I did with my life. That’s the shape of it.”

Unbeknownst to him at the time, Francis said that his love for Latin American composers originated with his mother as well. He only found out about it after her passing. “My mom had a taste for some of the great Latin composers, classical composers, and she played that music either before I was born, or afterwards, or both. That’s where it came from. Since then, I’ve gone to Cuba, I’ve gone to Puerto Rico, I’ve gone to the Dominican Republic and I have other goals later on to go and chase down the roots of Latin music,” he said.

Asked what women influenced Francis in his adult life, he is quick to answer. “I’ve had very, very great fortune in having three beautiful wives, and I have to give them credit. My first wife (Susan Francis) and I are still very dear friends even though we divorced years ago. You wouldn’t know it, but we do way better when we are not together, but we’re great friends. I lost my second wonderful wife (Maxine Francis) to breast cancer and she was a magnificent person and a very strong influence in my life. She managed Tinnie Silver Dollar up in Tinnie for 10 years and we lived in Lincoln during that time. Then my present wife (Cecilia Francis), she’s a very unique person in that she is absolutely tuned in to animals and God’s creatures. She feeds the birds and she even feeds the skunks, the cats. She is a model citizen in regards of taking care of God’s creatures. That’s a very unique trait. I’ve never seen anyone so dedicated to the animals as she is. She supports all these agencies that are against cruelty to animals.”

Francis said that there are more female influences and women he admired than he could mention, “Some of the wonderful women that are in the Jazz Festival Committee that donate their time and money. I respect them highly. They make it possible to put that jazz festival on: The late Hannah Ginsburg who had Ginsburg Music. Sally Anderson, Dorothy Redd, Jody Leonard, Zelma Wilcox, Paula Grieves, Anne Baker and Zandra Orr — Those women are very supportive of the jazz festival and several others.”

Speaking of the Roswell Jazz Festival, Francis said that there will soon be a fundraiser at Stellar Coffee in Roswell, and musicians have already committed to performing at the 15th annual Roswell Jazz Festival that will take place Oct. 13-17.

Caroline Brooks

Caroline Brooks is the executive director of the Roswell Museum and Art Center. In an email Brooks talks about the women who influenced her the most. “I don’t think you can just choose one,” she wrote. “I believe at different stages in your life, influential people come and go, making both small and large impacts that help mold you into the person you are. For me, some of them are:

“My mother — an intelligent, compassionate responsible, and loving human being. She has been my greatest supporter since I was a child. I learned from her the importance of being kind and generous, and to always keep calm under stress and pressure. My love and appreciation for my mom is everlasting.

“My aunts and grandmother — funny, talented and creative women who exude love and compassion.

“Laurie (Rufe) and Leigh (Hancock) — hardworking, knowledgeable women who taught me leadership skills including the importance of empowering others.”

Asked what woman she admired most, Brooks wrote, “Right now, I’d say Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, although she is still a very young woman. She is the Swedish environmentalist who is challenging world leaders to take immediate action against the climate crisis. It’s reassuring that she has the courage and will to take a stand for what she believes in and is inspiring people of all ages to do the same.”

Juanita N. Jennings

Juanita N. Jennings is the public affairs director for the city of Roswell. “I’ve been blessed to have many women influence my life,” she said in a phone interview. “I am thinking of it on a personal level, obviously, my mom (Ruby Trujillo) has probably been my biggest influence. But I’ve been fortunate enough to have been working with women of influence and I’d say, I have two ladies that have had a positive impact on my life, from a career-side. And so I have three to talk about.

“My mother has probably been the all-time one, because she has been with me my whole life. She is what instilled my work ethic and really developed my character, who I am: Do what you say you’re going to do. Treat others how you wish to be treated. Work hard and give it your best at all times. I saw her passion and dedication on how she worked and I think that’s what inspired me to just do great things. Spirit is fine, but if you want to be good you should really try to be great, and mediocre isn’t OK,” Jennings said.

When Jennings started her career and joined the workforce, her first supervisor was Marlene Baca, who was the vice president of Lovelace Healthplan. Baca influenced her tremendously, Jennings said. After all she was young and just started her career in marketing. “Marlene, she just had a way of developing people,” Jennings said. “I was asking a lot of questions. Moving up in the career, how do you do that? How do you balance your work life and your home life? She was a mom as well — at the time I wasn’t a mom and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to be a mom, because I had these aspirations of being a career woman. I think in her conversation with me, in that moment, I knew she was going to be my mentor. She was just so honest and raw about how she did it. She was my boss, but she coached me, she inspired me and it was her leadership style that I admired the most. She is now the CEO of New Mexico Health Connection.”

Jennings said that what she learned from Baca carries on today in her own leadership and management style.

The third person that Jennings said influenced her and whom she admired, is Suzy Chiaramonte, whom she first met in Junior League of Albuquerque, where they were working on a variety of charities and committees. “When I left Lovelace Healthplan, I went to American General Media and she was the general manager there,” she said. “I enjoyed the opportunity learning from her. She coached me so much, not only in the system there in radio, but also just developing my own confidence and even to this day we stayed in contact. she was always there, championing me to do better, even when she was no longer my boss. When I first took the job with the city, she sent me a couple of books on leadership, working with new teams. Because I had a really great team back in Albuquerque and, of course, when you’re new to a city, new to a company, it is different. Just some weeks ago, I received flowers at city hall from her, and her note was just so inspiring. It’s those little notes that mean the most to me.

“When you are younger you think, gosh, these women are so amazing and I want to be just like them. Then you have life experiences and things happen that make your life have a detour and I will say, never would I’ve thought of being in Roswell, New Mexico, settle down with two kids. The beauty of it, I get the best of both worlds and that God really gave me everything that I needed and not what I wanted,” Jennings said.

Asked if she had any advice for today’s women entering the workforce, Jennings said, “I am incredibly blessed to have found a life partner in my husband. We are a team and I truly feel that God blessed me when he gave me my husband, because it is hard, how do you balance it all? And especially now with additional responsibilities, but together we have to have good communication, and we tackle life as a team. Know what you want, but also understand that what you want may not be where God wants you. Be grateful for what He provides, because I didn’t think that I wanted to have children and a family, I just wanted that amazing career. But let me tell you, God has fulfilled my life, having kids and having a husband, but at the same time he blessed me with a career. And it is a juggle and a balance and that’s hard. Recognize when it is too much, learning to say no is probably the hardest thing. But it’s OK to say no and it’s OK to not always have it together. Surround yourself with people who help you. It takes a village to do what I do for the city and for my home life. I don’t do it all by myself, I have an amazing team of professionals that I get to work with, that helps me. I have amazing team of family members that have helped me, and finding those people who are going to help and champion you to be successful, not only in career but at home, will motivate you and inspire you to get up every morning and do this crazy thing called life.”

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Scenes from Chile Cheese Festival

Above: Angel Mayes, owner of Calico Cow Fabrics and Gift Shop on North Main Street, stands near one of the clues for the scavenger hunt that is part of this year’s Chile Cheese Festival. About 37 downtown businesses had a clue for the hunters, who received tickets for drawings to win prizes based on the number of items they located.

Below: Members of the Weeaks family of Roswell visit the event tent on the Chaves County Courthouse lawn Saturday morning for the 2020 “virtual” Chile Cheese Festival, giving the “wheel of prizes” a spin to see what items from event sponsors they will receive. The second and final day of the annual festival held this year had a good start Saturday, said Molly Boyles, a member of the board of directors of MainStreet Roswell, the organizing group. Mom Elizabeth Weeaks is with Hannah Weeaks, in the middle, and Hailey Weeaks. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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All the Music Festivals Affected By Coronavirus (Updating)

Updated: July 1, 2020
As nearly every event in 2020 will be cancelled, we will no longer be updating this list. There was some hope that the United States would be able to pull off a postponed fall festival season, but the lack of national leadership in containing a pandemic will make this a near impossibility.   

Follow your favorite festivals via their social media accounts to get the latest updates on postponements and cancellations. Expect most festivals in June, July, and August to be cancelled.


Hipnic (September 25-27, 2020)

Family Piknik (September 12, 2020)

Burger Bugaloo (October 31-November 1, 2020)

Escapade (September 5-6, 2020)

Huichica Festival Sonoma (October 16-17, 2020)

Infrasound Festival (September 10-12, 2020)

SAGA Festival (September 11-13, 2020)

Gridlife (October 1-4, 2020)

Papillons De Nuit (August 21-23, 2020)

Corona Capital Guadalajara (September 12-13, 2020)

Phoenix Lights (October 2-3, 2020)

Pa’l Norte (September 11-12, 2020)

Lucidity (November 6-8, 2020)

Charleston Bluegrass Festival (August 21-22, 2020)

Mission Creek Festival (September 17-20, 2020)

Marvellous Island Festival (September 19-20, 2020)

Sunset (July 3-4, 2020)

Countryfest (August 13-15, 2020)

Country USA (August 13-15, 2020)

Kosmic Kingdom (August 28-29, 2020)

Metronome Festival (September 17-19, 2020)

Anjunadeep Explorations (September 17-22, 2020)

Kolorado Festival (August 12-15, 2020)

NXNE (August 11-16, 2020)

Hog Farm Hangout (September 18-20, 2020)

Tauron Nowa Muzyka (August 27-30, 2020)

Kala Festival (September 9-16, 2020)

Beale Street Music Festival (October 16-18, 2020)

Blue Ox (August 27-29, 2020)

Country Summer (October 23-25, 2020)

Lockn’ Festival (October 2-4, 2020)

Live at Leeds (November 28, 2020)

Suwannee River Jam 2020 (September 30-October 3, 2020)

Electric Daisy Carnival (October 2-4, 2020)

The Roots Picnic (August 1, 2020)

The Untz Festival (October 9-11, 2020)

Seismic Dance Event (November 13-15, 2020)

Strange Creek Campout (September 18-21, 2020)

Shindig Festival (September 24-27, 2020)

Carolina Country Music Fest (September 17-20, 2020)

Neon Desert (September 5-6, 2020)

M3 Rock Festival (September 4-6, 2020)

Beyond Wonderland Mexico (November 14, 2020)

Digital Gardens (October 2-3, 2020)

Danube Island Festival (September 18-20, 2020)

NOS Primavera Sound (September 3-5, 2020)

Elements Festival (September 25-27, 2020)

III Points (October 16-17, 2020)

Summer Camp (August 21-23, 2020)

Slam Dunk Festival (September 5-6, 2020)

Broccoli City Festival (October 4, 2020)

Wonderstruck (September 12-13, 2020)

Country Thunder Arizona (October 29-November 1, 2020)

Cruel World (September 12, 2020)

Reggae Rise Up Vegas (October 24-25, 2020)

Mallorca Live (October 9-10, 2020)

Canadian Music Week (September 9-13, 2020)

California Roots (October 9-11, 2020)

Movement Detroit (September 11-13, 2020)

Bearded Theory (September 10-13, 2020)

Liverpool Sound City (September 25-27, 2020)

Bottlerock (October 2-4, 2020)

We Are FSTVL (September 12-13, 2020)

Shaky Knees (October 16-18, 2020)

Bonnaroo (September 24-27, 2020)

Rampage (September 18-19, 2020)

Caprices Festival (September 18-27, 2020)

Lollapalooza Argentina (November 27-29, 2020)

Lollapalooza Brasil (December 4-6, 2020)

Lollapalooza Chile (November 27-29, 2020)

Estereo Picnic (December 4-6, 2020)

Reggae Rise-Up (October 2-4, 2020)

Treefort Fest (September 23-27, 2020)

Tallinn Music Week (August 26-30, 2020)

Norman Music Festival (August 27-29, 2020)

Hydeout Singapore (October 9-17, 2020)

Festivals That Cancelled with NO Refunds

Werchter Boutique

TW Classic

Rock in Rio Lisbon (Will be held June 19-27, 2021)

I-Days (Will be held June 10-13, 2021)

Firenze Rocks (Will be held June 16-18, 2021)

Rock in Roma (Will be held June 26-27, 2021)

Summerburst Goteborg (Will be back June 4-5, 2021)

Rock Am Ring (Will be back June 11-13, 2021)

Rock Im Park (Will be back June 11-13, 2021)

Paradise City (Will be back June 25-27, 2021)

Cactus Festival

Rock Werchter

Dour Festival (Will be back July 14-18, 2021)

Mad Cool Festival

S20 Songkran Festival (Will be held April 13-15, 2021)

Shambhala Festival


Lightning in a Bottle

Ultra Music Festival Miami (Will be back March 26-28, 2021)


Chamonix Unlimited

Graspop Metal Meeting


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Need To Get Your Green Chile On? You’re In Luck. It’s Time For Pueblo Chile Fest

Photo: Pueblo Chile Fest 1 | Victor Garcia Calvillo - HSanchezHayley Sanchez/CPR News
Victor Garcia Calvillo picks chile at the DiTomaso Farms in Pueblo, Colo., Sept. 20, 2018.

If you’ve ever been to Southern Colorado, you know locals obsess over their Pueblo chile.

Whether it’s infused in wine, stuffed into tortillas folded into baked goods, frozen and stored for pots of green chile, or smothered on famous sloppers, the spicy pepper is embedded in the town’s culture and economy.

There’s even an entire festival dedicated to celebrating the harvest of one of Pueblo’s most-loved crops. The Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival has been running on the third weekend after Labor Day for 24 years.

For three days, local farmers and vendors along with thousands of people flock to downtown Pueblo to sell and stock up on chile and pinto beans.

In 2017, farmers sold about $50,000 worth of peppers, according to the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce. The festival has grown over the years and the city expects to see 140,000 attendees in 2018, said Rod Slyhoff, president of the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.

Photo: Pueblo Chile Fest 2 | Roasting Chile - HSanchezHayley Sanchez/CPR News
A bushel of Pueblo chile is freshly roasted at DiTomaso Farms in Pueblo, Sept. 20, 2018.

“We roast thousands of bushels of chiles at this festival,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for (farmers) to not only sell their chiles that they grow, but all of the produce that’s grown here. The ag industry in Pueblo County is either number one or number two in our economic engines. So it has a huge impact on Pueblo.”

DiTomaso Farms, found just east of Pueblo, is one of seven farms that have been participating in the Chile Fest since its birth, and has been in business since 1915, said Kasey Hund, manager of the farm. The farm has been family-owned and operated for four generations, so they know that the fest is the best time to get your chile on.

“It’s one of our busiest weekends out of the year, where we sell the most chile. We sell about 2,000 bushels.”

The Pueblo chile is known as mirasol — “facing the sun” — and is different from others since it grows reaching for the light, rather than hanging down. And compared to New Mexico’s famous Hatch chile? Well, a Pueblo chile is “really big, meaty” and hotter than our southern neighbors’ variety, Hund said.

The Pueblo is about 3 to 5 inches in length and a little under an inch around. It’s best when roasted, blackened, giving off a distinct and deliciously spicy aroma.

“Green chile is like a staple in Pueblo. Everybody uses it. Everybody gets it. It’s just normal for people to have Pueblo chile in their freezer all year,” she said.

The first year of the fest was nothing like it is now, thanks to folks as close as Colorado Springs and as far as Texas, Arizona and Wyoming who want their fix. Chiles are “probably our biggest crop that we grow and sell,” Hund said. “And we’ve been growing more and more every year since we’ve gotten busier.”

It’s more visible, too. Colorado drivers now see billboards, semi-trailers or street signs promoting Pueblo chile because of the paid efforts of the Pueblo Chile Growers Association on behalf of their distinctive namesake produce.

Despite more people learning about Pueblo chile, New Mexico’s Hatch is still the biggest player in the regional market, Chamber president Slyhoff said. Farms there are bigger and the state also has large food processing facilities.

“That’s why you see hatch chile in the frozen food sections and in cans. We don’t have that capability,” he said.

Photo: Pueblo Chile Fest 3 | Chiles - HSanchezHayley Sanchez/CPR News
Joe DiTomaso, a fourth generation worker at DiTomaso Farms in Pueblo, holds freshly picked Pueblo chiles, Sept. 20, 2018.

Hund said she’s never tried Hatch chile and said the rivalry between the two has been around since “the beginning.” DiTomaso Farms is also working on getting a food processor to produce Pueblo chile in larger quantities — but for now they only sell at their roadside stand and the Chile Fest.

Colorado and New Mexico even raced to be the first to have a chile-themed license plate and New Mexico won. But Slyhoff said the competition is all in good fun.

“We think it’s a great little rivalry that we have going on and, you know, it just brings attention to the whole ag industry,” he said. “I would say they probably grow more than we grow, but ours are better.”

If You Go:

What: Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival
Where: Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo, CO 81003
When: Friday– 3 p.m. to Midnight | Saturday – 10 a.m. to Midnight | Sunday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: $5 daily single admission, children 12 and under free

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