Till Next Year ... NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival

Monday, August 01, 2011 - 04:02 PM

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.


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Comments [1]

Jeannine Cook from Philadelphia


My name is Jeannine Cook. I was told about your organization by a friend here in Philly, Joslyn Young. She suggested that I share with you and we build from there.

This summer, Positive Minds, a grassroots compassionate communication and media literacy organization run by my 2 sisters and I, worked closely with a group of young people in the streets of South Philly.

What started off as a teen group, quickly became an intergenerational situation, with college students, parents, and senior citizens all joining to build authentic connection with each other, but more importantly with themselves.

As a group, the students aka Visionaries decided to remake Michael Jackson's song, They Don't Care About Us...they even address the idea that "WE" Don't Care About Us.

The final product is a 3 minute music video with a strong message and theme.

Over the course of 6 weeks they were given several tools for establishing self-awareness and self-worth as well as video production skills...let's continue to spread this is so important that young people know that we care about them and also that they have the tools to care about themselves...

We would love to see this video posted/linked on your site or even deeper have some collaboration take place. Positive Minds is doing a community connection tour and we would love to do similar work with your group in New York and then link the groups of students that we encounter along the tour.

Our focus is self-care for humans especially students (98% of our participants expressed feelings of self-hatred and neglect)--in this climate where it tends to feel like we (not just young people) put a lot of "stresses" before our basic needs for happiness and connection.

Let me know your thoughts.

Peace, love, respect,

Jeannine Cook

Sep. 03 2011 02:19 PM

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