From The Ground Up: Inside the Creation of a Charter School

About the Film

cropped-tangotangodvd1.png“From the Ground Up” documents the coming together of a community as they build the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School in Holyoke, MA.

As you can see, we are in the early stages of filming the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School (PFSJCS). At this point we have shot preliminary interviews with the founding board members and community members, but that is just the beginning of this passionate journey. PFSJCS is set to open its doors in September 2013 and with your help On Your Feet Entertainment will be there to document the creation of a charter school. We will be present all year to film the search for a school location and the hiring of teachers to buying school supplies and welcoming the first incoming class. This film will  lead by example, showing its audience that great change can be achieved through education and here is how one community did it with a charter school.

About Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School (PFSJCS)

PFSJ’s mission is to prepare students for college success while inspiring them to be active and effective citizens. PFSJCS is creating a socially just model of inner city education, in which everyone is respected, and all students have the opportunity for excellence in education.

This school is desperately needed in a community that finishes in last place in testing in Massachusetts and has a high school dropout rate of 48%.

You can visit their website at

About the Filmmakers

Lexi Jamieson Marsh: Producer/Writer/Director

Lexi began her theatre career while studying at the Pioneer Valley Performing Art Charter High School, also founded by Ljuba and Bob. Lexi went on to receive her BA in theatre from the University of Toronto as well as an MA from Miami University. She also received a certificate in filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. Lexi currently works as a freelance filmmaker and director. Reuniting and collaborating with her former PVPA classmate, Daniel Madsen, they show the impressive power of building community and changing lives through charter education. From the Ground Up is a labor of love and Lexi is proud to honor her charter school education through this film. 

Daniel Madsen: Cinematographer/Editor

Daniel has been making videos since he attended Pioneer Valley Performing Arts (PVPA) Public Charter High School where he met future director Lexi Jamieson Marsh and enjoyed the first charter school creation of Ljuba Marsh and Bob Brick. He now works as a cinematographer in Western Massachusetts after studying film and working in Los Angeles. He has a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and provides video services to local businesses and organizations through his company, Communiqué No. 1 ( Daniel enjoys combining his interest in video and economics to produce documentaries on economic justice.