America ReFramed: Class of ‘27

The Paula Lerner Visiting
Artist Program Presents:

Award Winning Filmmakers
James Rutenbeck and Nina Alvarez
America ReFramed: Class of ’27

Film, Insights, Discussion & Dessert
BETC • Saturday, May 12th • 7:30pm

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Class of ’27 focuses on students, educators, parents and guardians in three areas too often ignored in America: the hollows of Appalachia, native lands of the Upper Midwest and West Coast migrant camps. Facing depressed local economies and soaring dropout rates, parents contemplate a compromised future for their children, and communities come together to address the challenge.


James Rutenbeck is an award-winning, Boston-based documentary filmmaker and the executive producer of 
Class of ’27. His numerous works have been screened internationally at museums and festivals, including Museum of Modern Art, Cinema du Reel, National Gallery, Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, among others. Class of ’27 recently received the prestigious duPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism.


Nina Alvarez is a journalist and documentarian with 25 years experience covering stories around the world and focusing on overlooked communities. Currently Senior Editor of Investigations at Futuro Media, Nina is also producing Refugees Need Not Apply, an independent documentary project about Salvadorans who fled civil war, came to the US and then battled for the rights of all refugees.  



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class of 27

Shot in observational style, the beauty and poverty of these American settings, and the challenges faced by our youngest citizens, their families and school systems, come into stark relief in this remarkable documentary.

Join us May 12th to watch and discover the Class of ’27

BETC member and award-winning documentary producer Joseph Tovares will moderate our discussion with James Rutenbeck and Nina Alvarez. We will delve into the challenges of presenting these intimate stories in a compelling manner that preserves the dignity and humanity of the subjects, while placing a spotlight on their plight.


Three communities in rural America come together against the odds, helping their children grow into successful graduates.





Committed to supporting the children’s potential, each community is a place of hope, inspiration and resilience.

Through the lens of independent documentaries, America ReFramed challenges us to learn from our past, understand our present and seek new frameworks for America’s future.

Remembering Paula. Paula Lerner, our dear friend and former Temple member, died of breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 52. In both her life and work, Paula was an inspiring human being. An award-winning photographer and journalist, Paula was ceaselessly curious about the world and people. To honor Paula’s memory, each year BETC invites an artist or group of artists to come and share their art with us.

Please contribute to the Paula Lerner Visiting Artist Fund so that we can offer this free program every year. Select the Paula Lerner Visiting Artist Fund from the dropdown menu, or send your check made out to BETC and note “Paula Lerner Visiting Artist Fund” in the memo. THANK YOU!

Individual Registration

The Paula Lerner Visiting Artist program is free, but registration is required. Please complete the form below to register for the event.

Contact Info

Beth El Temple Center
2 Concord Ave
Belmont, MA 02478
(617) 484-6668