After months of preparation for the NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival, it finally arrived on Saturday July 30th - as it quickly came it also quickly passed. I miss the festival already. But maybe it was part of the appeal so we would hunger more for next year! Even as someone who planned this event I didn't feel like, "finally it's done now move on," (maybe a tiny bit), but I want more.
It was inspiring to see young people connecting to one another who normally wouldn't come together. Do Brooklyn teens travel to Manhattan, do Queens teens travel to Brooklyn, do Bronx to Brooklyn, etc? Hardly! Anyone who works with teens knows how convenient it is to stay in the general vicinity of what one's used to. But, where else on a hot summer Saturday will you see a theater filled with teens from all over NYC and even Maine sharing and discussing their work?
I wanted the youth and educators to feel like this festival was for them. I don't want them to feel like they go to a conference and leave like, "ah I learned but now what?" or feel like "what am I doing here?" But feel more like, "I learned, now I want to do something with it, and I know who to ask or where to go." I hope this festival was able to do just that, be a place where we could share, support and even create together. And some guests did create a soundtrack to a game, did get inspired to write a story, did make a few friends with similar interests and did learn a great deal from each other.
Visit the NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival's Blog for more on the participants' experiences.