Stevens Square film series, Cinema & Civics, engages neighbors in social issues

The second annual Cinema & Civics film festival has kicked off in Stevens Square and runs through Aug. 2.

The event encourages lively debate among neighbors before and after the free movie screenings on Wednesdays from 7-11 p.m. in Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave. S.

The festival features live music, discussions, food and other performances through a partnership between the Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) and Stevens Square Center for the Arts (SSCA). They collaborated with local activist and arts groups including GardenWorks, Bell Museum, National Bike Film Festival, Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, and other nonprofit organizations.

Cinema & Civics is an opportunity to talk about important issues, said SSCO Executive Director Julie Filapek. Last year’s series brought the neighborhood’s traditional film festival to a new level, demonstrating how the arts can be used as a forum for civic engagement, she added.

This year, films focus on diverse communities including urban gardeners, bikers, immigrants, artists and the GLBT community.

On July 5, “Tiny Explosions” kicks off some extras from the Bicycle Film Festival, HourCar, Bell Museum and other local bike organizations. There will be a bike fashion show and tips for navigating the city and caring for your bike.

Another movie on Aug. 2 portrays the real-life story of a third-generation farmer.

For a complete schedule of show times, check out www.stevensarts.org or call 879-0200.