Friend to the Arts

Le Messager La Salle - - LOCAL NEWS - DA­VID COX

The li­fe­long love of tea­ching has in­ter­t­wi­ned with all of Ma­no­les­cu’s va­rious pro­jects, and hel­ping others to help them­selves is what has al­ways ins­pi­red her. In 1993, she foun­ded Prince Cha­me­leon Press and of­fe­red her ser­vices as a Pu­bli­shing Consul­tant while pro­du­cing En­glish work­books for ele­men­ta­ry school class­rooms. They were a mix of au­dio re­cor­dings and chil­dren’s li­te­ra­ture, a mul­ti­me­dia concept that was ahead of her time.

Her pu­bli­shing house ope­ned its doors to other ave­nues. As­pi­ring wri­ters would call upon her to re­view their sto­ries. These calls led her to de­ve­lop a me­tho­do­lo­gy that anyone can fol­low to pu­blish their own work.

«To see an au­thor hold a co­py of their no­vel and be near tears is won­der­ful. The emotions and fee­lings are so strong,» she says.

She has been a ti­re­less ad­vo­cate for self­pu­bli­shing and has hel­ped over a do­zen wri­ters bring their no­vels, poe­try col­lec­tions and more to print. Through work­shops, events and oneon-one coa­ching, her pas­sion for people to tell their sto­ries has led her to of­fer the 88-Page self­pu­bli­shing work­book she de­ve­lo­ped free of charge and avai­lable on her web­site.

WHERE HER HEART LIES

In 2001, with the help of co-foun­der Pro­fes­sor Cris­ti­na Pe­ris­si­not­to, she for­med the In­vi­sible Ci­ties wri­ters’ group to reach out to emer­ging and ac­tual self-pu­bli­shers in Mon­treal.

«To us,‘in­vi­sible Ci­ties’ex­presses the no­tion of ar­tists of all dis­ci­plines toi­ling in obs­cu­ri­ty, of­ten in iso­la­tion, who no­ne­the­less exist and are real,» Ma­no­les­cu ex­plains. It mor­phed in­to mee­tings where eve­ry­thing from films to ca­ba­ret per­for­mances to rea­dings could be per­for­med and work­shop­ped in a sup­por­tive en­vi­ron­ment.

«Re­mar­ka­bly ge­ne­rous with her time, Ch­ris­ti­na has been sup­por­tive of all types of ta­lent, ser­ving the ar­tis­tic com­mu­ni­ty with kind­ness while de­ve­lo­ping and pro­mo­ting her own unique gifts as a sto­ry­tel­ler,» ex­plains Kim­ber­ly Bour­geois, a wri­ter/sin­ger-song­wri­ter and ICN mem­ber.

Un­der her lea­der­ship, the In­vi­sible Ci­ties Net­work (ICN) has evol­ved in­to a grass­roots mo­ve­ment, sup­por­ting in­de­pendent ar­tists of all dis­ci­plines for the last 15 years.

«She made eve­ryone feel vi­sible, wor­thy, im­por­tant, and ap­pre­cia­ted,» says long-time mem­ber and poet Jack Locke.

Ma­no­les­cu is cur­rent­ly wri­ting fol­low-ups to her book Ba­gla­dy which tells the sto­ry of an ol­der wo­man’s fall in­to po­ver­ty and ho­me­less­ness. Ma­no­les­cu points out that the po­ver­ty rate for unat­ta­ched wo­men of 65 and ol­der is 43 per cent.

Al­ways out to help, the Ba­gla­dy books are her way of brin­ging a light to the is­sues fa­cing our aging po­pu­la­tion.

LITTERATURE. An edi­tor and pu­bli­sher by trade, Ch­ris­ti­na Ma­no­les­cu’s name graces ack­now­led­ge­ment pages in books from poe­try col­lec­tions to bio­gra­phies and thril­lers, and her web­sites have be­come vi­tal re­sources for ar­tists of all kinds. The La­salle re­sident’s years of hel­ping wri­ters re­vise, sculpt and de­si­gn their books has led her to re­cent­ly re­lease a self-pu­bli­shing work­book ac­ces­sible to anyone.

(Photo: Cour­te­sy – Ch­ris­ti­na Ma­no­les­cu)

The foun­ders of the In­vi­sible Ci­ties Net­work at the ‘Book & Crea­tive Arts Conference,’ in Sep­tem­ber 2005.

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