Youth Media Sanctuary Update: end of Project 1

Here’s an update at the end of Youth Media Sanctuary Project #1:

We have successful completed the first phase of our Youth Media Peer Training workshop at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. After beginning in the summer with initial research, script-development and pre-production activities, the local youth participants started their fall workshop schedule and produced seven short video portraits of their community. 

Our first day: Intro to script writing!

Shedding light on key issues effecting their lives, they’ve focused on violence, family, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, urban decay and poverty, and a need for health, safety and positive education.  They’ve opened up, many for the first time, to share their hopes and fears.  They’ve worked with Missing Link Street Ministries, and documented North Central Troy neighborhood sites.



While focusing on story-telling and teaching documentary techniques, the youth have also had introductory training in production and post-production.  This includes script development and media literacy, as well as an introduction to many aspects of production through basic camera skills, sound and lighting, visual composition, and interviewing techniques. 



In post-production, they are learning about the art of editing, composing and editing sound, and an introduction to the professional editing software “final cut pro.” 

The youth are excited and committed, and this is a profound learning experience for them!  Our Media Arts/Educators team is also deeply committed to the project, and bring broad expertise in diverse realms to the youth participants, including creative writing, communications, visual composition, media literacy, media production, peer-training education.Production on the Streets of North Central Troy:  documenting their vision, working collaboratively as a crew, developing camera techniques and learning through action! Kayleara Videotaping her Grandma 


Kayleara works with her Grandma to shoot her video portrait, “My Grandma’s Suitcase.”






We are now transitioning to the second phase of Youth Media Sanctuary, where we will collectively create a documentary of North Central Troy. We will integrate the portraits from Phase 1 with the documentary from Phase 2, and as part of the workshop the Peer Trainers and Media Arts/ Educators will strategize together how to distribute their videos  to most effectively communicate their ideas to as great of an audience as possible.  The youth will also offer a public presentation later in December at The Sanctuary.

Here’s some Youth Media Sanctuary reflections: What were your first impressions, and  specific things have you learned?  What did you do today? What does it feel like to make your own media?

  •  Jonathan Garrow:  “Today I was a director for the first time.  I chose where to shoot and what to shoot.  This program takes kids off the street and shows them there’s more out there.  This program teaches us that we can make everyday things that interest us happen right before our eyes.”


  • Madena Henderson:  “I find what we’re learning interesting.  I like all my peer/fellow workers.  Today I learned how to log and capture film, and I learned about different shots.”



  • Diana Martinez: “In this program so far I have experienced alot.  Today I took low angle shots on Hoosick Street while tons of cars beeped and honked horns as I filmed.  Since I’ve been in this program when I watch tv or movies I now know what kind of shots they are using.”




  • Chelsea Kereszi: “My reflection of this project is that it is an exercise that is useful for many reasons: working together,exploring the streets of Troy, understanding the architecture. Today I shot the buildings and churches down the street comparing the different types of styles and buildings.”



  • Antonio Pabón: “I think this place [the Sanctuary for Independent Media] really chill and pretty fun.  Today we went out and got more shots for the two videos.  I learned the names of different shots, and I’m starting to get a better understanding of media.”


  • Nijear (Denise’s son): “Today I was a director for Madena’s video.  I helped set-up shots around the Missing Link church.”