JONESTOWN SURVIVOR and Revisiting Jonestown

Hello everyone,

     I wanted to give you an update about our plans to return to Guyana and Jonestown.  I spent time researching the type of grant that would allow us to go back to Guyana and Jonestown, and to record our individual perspectives and reflections. Most of the available grants that I found do not provide for the “R&D” portion – meaning the travel and equipment, in our case. The grants available for that somewhat-smaller project are also smaller.
     My initial plan was to get a grant that would pay for our transportation and expenses in Guyana, our equipment to record our personal reflections, our journaling and notes, and our photographs.  At the end, we would have a rich source of primary source documentation. It would all be included in a multi-media presentation. The amount of funding for the presentation would be a small part of the grant. Consequently – it would not have wide access.
     I have met with Darel Engen and the Grant-writing Department at California Statue University in San Marcos, and have spoken to many people from Baylor University Oral History experts, PBS, Non-profit Management Solutions, California Humanities Assn., and more. I think it would work best if we had the funding from individuals, philanthropists, and educational sources. Most of these larger grants are tied to documentaries. Since I would like a well-done documentary that would have the largest public access, I agree that we should put more effort and funding into this more professional documentary.
     I am determined to get this trip off the ground. I now think that we should apply for a grant to create a documentary, as well as doing the oral and written reflections. My goal is to have wide distribution of our process before, during, and after Peoples Temple. We have had to fight the myths about Peoples Temple, and even demonstrate we were and are not complete idiots. I would like it publicly available.
     For now, I will be in contact with the MacArthur Foundation, PBS, HBO Films, and the universities – Cal State San Marcos, San Diego State, Baylor University Department of Oral History, and UTennessee-Chattanooga.
     I will continue to research funding, and still plan for the trip to really happen within the next 12 months.

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