2021 Spring Symposium: Environments and Transformation

Tickets are on sale now.

The Southern Foodways Alliance is delighted to announce Jon-Sesrie Goff as the guest curator of the 2021 Spring Symposium.  As a multidisciplinary artist whose work crosses different mediums and platforms, Goff is renowned for his penchant to seamlessly integrate social engagement, film, moving image, performance, photography, and installation. His practice explores the intersection of race, power, identity, gender, and the environment by unearthing the visceral representational value and authenticity behind the images propelled across varying diasporas.


Join SFA for the 2021 Spring Symposium, scheduled March 13-14, 2021, when we focus on environments and transformation through the medium of film. Filmmakers ask questions that connect Birmingham’s Greek community and Choctaw Native peoples.  Expect an archival surrealist dive into the lives of the women who powered the Underground railroad.  Learn about Milwaukee as a terminus for the Great Migration.  Those questions begin in the South and span the world.

Featuring filmmakers Jessica Chriesman, Roni Henderson Day, Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich, Tamika Galanis, Paavo Hanninen, Devon “Vonnie Quest” Smith, and Colleen Thurston, the symposium will be delivered to your smart TV or laptop via the Eventive platform. Live Q&A sessions will offer opportunities to connect with presenters.

Tickets, priced at $75 each, go on sale January 19, 2021 at 10 a.m. CT.


Saturday, March 13, 2021
9-11 a.m. Films available on the Eventive Platform (watch at your convenience)

Spit on the Broom
Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich

The Outside Fire
Tamika Galanis

What Remains
Paavo Hanninen

Live Q&A at 11 a.m.

Sunday, March 14
2-4 p.m. Films available on the Eventive Platform (watch at your convenience)

Jessica Chriesman

The SugarBeat Project
Roni Henderson Day

A Bit of This, A Bit of That
Vonnie Smith

Drowned Land
Colleen Thurston

Live Q&A at 4 p.m.

*All films and an archived Q&A discussion will be available for 30 days after their debuts.

How to Access Event

The Southern Foodways Alliance looks forward to joining you at our Spring Symposium this weekend. Our programming begins Saturday, March 13. Films will be available for viewing beginning at 9 a.m. CT, and the live Q&A will begin at 11 a.m. CT. The symposium continues on Sunday, March 14, with films available for viewing beginning at 2 p.m. and the live Q&A scheduled for 4 p.m. If you are unable to join live sessions, know that films and recorded Q&As will be available through the end of March.

This email shares information about signing up for sessions, watching the Symposium, and transferring tickets.



After you have purchased a Symposium pass, be sure to RSVP for each event in order to be able to unlock it.

Step 1: Log in at https://sfa2021.eventive.org/welcome

Step 2: Click Virtual Schedule

Step 3: Select the event you want to pre-order. Click here for the March 13 event, and here for the March 14 event. Click the pre-order button. A pop-up to quick order for free will appear. Select it. You will get an email confirmation of the event ticket.

If you see the pop-up screen like the one below, it means you are not logged in. Go to the log in button in the upper right-hand corner to log in.  If you’ve forgotten your password, you may use the link to reset it.

If you are unable to claim tickets, email melanie.addington@gmail.com to add the tickets for you.


You may watch content on a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart TV.

To watch on a smart TV enabled with AirPlay or Chromecast, set your computer, mobile device, or browser to “AirPlay” or “cast” to the TV device. Unlock the program on the 2021 Spring Symposium site, then set your player window to full-screen using the icon at the lower right.

If you have an Apple TV or Roku device, you can watch using the Eventive app.

  • For Apple TV, download the “Eventive TV” app from the Apple TV App Store (accessible via your TV). When you open the app for the first time you’ll see an activation code. On another device, please navigate to watch.eventive.org/tv, then login (if necessary) and use the code to connect your account. Next, select from the available channels on the Eventive Apple TV app to begin watching. All of your unlocked content will be available on the app. If a program has not already been unlocked, you’ll have to unlock it on another device (laptop or tablet) first. If you ever need to re-activate the TV app, you can select TV app setup by hovering over the login ID circle at the upper right of the device screen.
  • For Roku, search for “Eventive TV” in the Roku Channel Store on your Roku. You can also add the Eventive TV app to your Roku via the Roku website by clicking here. Once you have installed the app, open it and follow the instructions to login. All of your unlocked content will be available on the app. If a program has not already been unlocked, you’ll have to unlock it on another device such as a laptop or mobile device first.
  • For FireTV, Open your Firestick or Fire TV app and navigate to the magnifying glass icon to search. Enter EVENTIVE TV in the search field and select EVENTIVE TV when it appears, next press the down button on your remote to navigate to “Apps and Games” where you will find the EVENTIVE TV app. You can also add the Eventive TV app to your Amazon Fire TV via the Amazon website by clicking here. Select the app and install on your device. Once installed you will then see a 6 character code you will enter into your account settings at watch.eventive.org/tv Once you have entered the code your Fire TV will show all of the content you have unlocked for viewing via another device such as a laptop or mobile device.
  • Please note that livestreams are currently not available via the Eventive TV app, so if you would like to participate in the Live Q&A, you will need to watch (or cast) on a different device. A chat box in the Eventive platform will allow you to pose questions.


If you bought multiple tickets and would like to transfer a ticket to another person, you may do so by logging into the 2021 Spring Symposium site and selecting “My Passes” in the upper right-hand corner. Choose the pass from the list that you wish to transfer, then select the transfer button. A popup should appear, where you may enter the email address of the person to whom you want to transfer the pass. The recipient will receive an email to accept the pass.

If you have any other technical issues or want to test your device in advance, click here.

Event Presenters

Jon-Sesrie Goff is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. With extensive experience in media and film production, Jon has offered his lens to a variety of projects spanning many genres including the recently released and award-winning documentaries, including Out in the Night (POV, Logo 2015), Evolution of a Criminal (Independent Lens 2015) and Spit on the Broom (2019), among several other projects. He is in production for his feature-length documentary, After Sherman, which has received support from JustFilms, Firelight Media, International Documentary Association, Black Public Media, Jerome Foundation, Gucci/Tribeca Film Institute, and the Sundance Institute.

Jon-Sesrie recently joined the Ford Foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression team as a Program Officer for the foundation’s JustFilms program.  Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Flaherty Film Seminar and worked in the Office of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. His personal practice has involved extensive institutional, community, and personal archival research, visual documentation, and oral history interviews in the coastal South on the legacy of Black land ownership and Gullah Geechee heritage preservation. Jon engages with his work from the paradigm of a social change instigator.

He studied sociology, economics and theater at Morehouse College, completed his BA at The New School, along with an MFA from Duke University in Experimental and Documentary Arts. Jon’s work as an educator includes Duke University, Villanova University, and Westchester University, and his grantmaking and jury panel work spans the National Endowment for the Arts, Tribeca Film Institute, the International Documentary Association, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Blackstar Film Festival, Oberhausen Seminar, and CinemAfrica Film Festival among others.

Jessica Chriesman is a filmmaker from Birmingham, Alabama. The daughter of a journalist and a librarian, she learned to craft a story as a child. As a filmmaker, she is interested in telling the stories of the past and the present, especially of those who are underrepresented in media. She also strives to elevate unique stories from Alabama and give a different perspective on Southerners.

Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich is an artist and filmmaker. Her films are speculative and critical interventions into black women’s history and futures. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Tamika Galanis is a documentarian and multimedia visual artist. A Bahamian native, her work examines the complexities of living in a place shrouded in tourism’s ideal during the age of climate concerns. Emphasizing the importance of Bahamian cultural identity for cultural preservation, Galanis documents aspects of Bahamian life not curated for tourist consumption to intervene in the historical archive.

Paavo Hanninen is a filmmaker and cinematographer  born and raised in Alabama, and now located in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a filmmaker, his films have played at festivals across the globe from Sun Valley, Idaho to Curitiba, Brazil. As a cinematographer, he has filmed in locales from the jungles of Panama to the streets of Paris. He is currently working on a number of fiction and documentary projects that explore the contemporary South and its myriad subcultures.

Roni Henderson-Day is a Columbia, South Carolina-based photographer and filmmaker whose work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and film festivals across the country and internationally. She earned her MFA in Film and Television at Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently working on her first feature-length film.

Devon Smith, better known as Vonnie, is an interdisciplinary documentary artist whose works explores the intersections of geography, narrative, and politics. He received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and currently finishing his MFA at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His work has been screened at Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, New York, Smithsonian African American Film Festival in Washington DC, and the Milwaukee Film Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Colleen Thurston is a non-fiction filmmaker and educator from Tulsa, Oklahoma and an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas. As an Indigenous storyteller, her work explores the relationships between humans and the natural world, and often focuses on Native stories and perspectives. Colleen is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation and a seventh-generation Oklahoman.