From the Society Page of Aquí Magazine:
Toledoans From The Other Side Of The Atlantic
Phillip Stark, Jacob David, and Joel Washing are three Americans from
Toledo, Ohio who are filming a documentary about the artists of the regional capital.
Their objective is to strengthen the sister cities relationship between Toledo (Spain)
and Toledo, Ohio, which will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in 2006.
Phillip, Jacob, and Joel come from Toledo, Ohio, the Glass City, known as such because
this major American city of some 300,000 inhabitants is world renowned for its important
glass factories. They come from a city that is approximately 200 years old in contrast to
ours which is nearly 2000 years old. This is just the beginning of the unquestionable
contrasts between the American and Spanish ways of life.
They have a favorable impression of the regional capital, especially of Toledo's artists,
since they have been mainly in contact them. "The artists that we have talked to seem to
be very professional, humble, and not at all pretentious," explains Joel. "We are in a
fantastic city with a very rich history. We are also Toledoans. People here have been very
good to us," adds Jacob. "Everything is great, perfectwe want to thank Maruchi, the
President of the Association of Intercity Relations, who has treated us fantastically,”
corroborates Phillip, who speaks a formidable Castilian Spanish. The only bad thing, up
until now, is the exchange rates between the dollar and the Euro. "That's killing us," jokes
Phillip. In the time that they've been in Toledo, they have filmed more than 25 hours.
They will later edit this footage in their country and use it to attract potential sponsors for
the film, as well as for the DVD release. "In the United States," explains Phillip, "it's not
so difficult to find sponsors. People like to collaborate with artists; it's seen as a good
thing for society. It's got something to do with the American Dream. Here's an example:
Joel works in a pizzeria [Marco’s Pizza] and approached his boss about collaborating on
our project. His boss [Pat Giammarco] is an Italian immigrant who started with nothing
and now has many stores. So, Joel told him about the project and he [Pat Giammarco]
signed up for around $10,000." Furthermore, Phillip points out that sponsors don't have
control over the content of the project. They philanthropically offer the money to a worthy
project without asking for explanations.
Their city, Toledo, Ohio, has one of the most important art museums in the United States,
where you can find works from El Greco and Rubens, among others. Our Toledo [Spain]
has more presence there than could be imagined. For example, the most read newspaper
there is called, "The Toledo Blade."
It can't be said that Toledo, Ohio is a conservative city. "Kerry won there, although Bush
won the State," declare the three Toledoans who are very passionate about Toledo [Ohio]
and what it signifies. "In the United States there are other Toledos, although much smaller
than ours. We think they're in Oregon, Washington, Illinois, and Arizona." Thanks to their
initiative, our Spanish Toledo will become much more known in the United States.