Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

In the Fall of 2014, middle school students from Wide Angle’s Baltimore Speaks Out! program at the Herring Run branch of The Enoch Pratt Library System explored the impact of materialism and consumerism on young people.

Posted February 9th, 2015 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized, Video by waym

Free Running in Baltimore

Tyson Sanford-Griffin is a young man that loves free running and parkour, activities that involve finding acrobatic ways of moving through urban spaces. However, in this short film, Tyson explains how he often feels unsafe doing his favorite activity in his native city of Baltimore, MD.

Created in the fall of 2013 in Wide Angle Youth Media’s Mentoring Video Project, this film also won “Best Story Promoting a Cause Related to Youth or Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math” in TechSoup’s 2014 Storymakers contest!

Posted October 27th, 2014 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Slider, Video by waym

A Dose of Nature: An Exploration in Environmental Psychology

“I did this project out of my love for trees. I hope it encourages you to love them too.” – Carson Murphy, Youth Producer

Ever wonder how green spaces affect our behavior and emotions? In the spring of 2014, the youth producers in the Baltimore Speaks Out! program at Patterson Park Public Charter School set out to discover answers. They researched and documented green spaces and vacant lots in Baltimore and their effect on the community. They also found that green spaces reduce crime. These dedicated youth producers reached out to several community organizations to create their story. Created by Youth Producers: Karolina Cazorla, Gerardo Cervantes, Michael Garcia, Antonio Johnson, Taylor Key, Tayvon Lane, Ryan Lee, Carson Murphy, Alexander Ortega, Joy Sanders, Sonta Solomon, Ahniya Thomas, Kelly Zamudio. Assistant Youth Producers: Ni’Jae Collier, Segunda Mayingi, K-Shaud Watkins, Drakhan Webb.
What can YOU do to create more green spaces in Baltimore?  

“I made this film because when I didn’t go outside, I was bored. Now I go outside, I feel better and more active with others.” – Taylor Key, Youth Producer

Posted June 24th, 2014 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Video by waym

Stop the Arguments

During the 2014 spring semester in the Baltimore Speaks Out! Program at the Herring Run Library branch, youth producers decided to explore violence in their communities and how they can combat it. During our ten week program, students were introduced to the digital camera and learned the basics of photography and video recording. In addition to camera use, youth producers were taught how to use audio recording equipment, 3 point lighting, light painting, story boarding, script writing, and editing. They also learned how to work as a team, allowing them to create one class video, and got hands on experience with event planning and public speaking at our events.

In their Northeast Baltimore neighborhood, students see violence on a daily basis. They wanted to create a short video with a lighthearted tone to show an alternative to violence. As a class, they decided that “use your words, not your fist” was a good message to share with people. They believe violence can be avoided if people talk about their problems first before jumping to actions they may later regret. After weeks of hard work and dedication-from brainstorming ideas to production days in the library- the students’ film was complete. Although this is a video created by young people, we believe this is a message that can be shared with people of all ages!

Posted May 29th, 2014 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Video by waym

Bring the Peace

Youth producers in the Baltimore Speaks Out! Program at Patterson Park Public Charter School researched and discovered that violence kills over 1.5 million people a year worldwide (World Health Organization). They also discovered that 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and only intervene 4% of the time (DoSomething.org).

After discussing problems of violence and bullying in their own communities, they decided to create poems and take pictures that express their concerns. Students in this workshop learned all parts of the production process by researching their topic, writing self reflections, taking pictures in their community, recording audio and video, and presenting their work to their peers. What are some actions you can take to prevent bullying and violence in your own community?

Posted January 24th, 2014 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Video by waym

Living in a Food Desert

Did you know that 1 in 5 Baltimore residents lives in a food desert? Are you shocked? So were our youth producers in the Baltimore Speaks Out! program at the Reisterstown Road branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. In response to the food inequalities plaguing Baltimore City, they set out to learn why it is difficult to find affordable healthy food in their neighborhoods.

This group of talented young people interviewed Laura Flamm from Baltimore City Health Department, who explained that health disparities in Baltimore are driven by inequities in access to healthy food. Our youth producers discovered that initiatives like the mobile market, the grocery delivery program, and the school lunch program are working to bring healthy food to food deserts. To learn more about access to healthy food in Baltimore, and actions you can take too, watch “Living in a Food Desert” today!

Posted January 17th, 2014 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News by waym

Reflecting Reality: “Dinner” by Spy Hop Productions

by Ykitta Martin, Mentoring Video Project Youth Producer

Hello, my name is Ykitta Martin and I am a high school intern at Wide Angle Youth Media. I am also in the Mentoring Video Project. In our last MVP class we watched a film called “Dinner” by Spy Hop Productions, a youth media program in Utah. I enjoyed this short film. It went into a lot of detail about how and why most people do or do not eat dinner with their families. The reason that I enjoyed it is because it is really uncommon to think about dinner in a huge way, as the video did. The video explained that when we do not take time to sit down and eat together with our families, we lose a lot of family time and conversation. It also showed how fast food is replacing most people’s family time. Knowing that this film was created by people my age speaks volumes to me because where I’m from, people do not usually deal with the small problems to see the bigger picture. Seeing this film made me think more about the small problems that actually cause major problems in our society and how they can be expressed to others. This film also made me want to spend even more time with my family, even though I already spend a lot of time with them, because dinner time is the best time for laughter and conversations.

Our Production Coordinator, David Sloan, met up with other youth media educations, including Spy Hop Productions, at a conference held in St. Paul, MN by the National Alliance for Art, Media, and Culture (NAMAC). In our Mentoring Video Project classes, we share short films with our students to discuss film concepts, and discuss issues youth producers from around the world are talking about.

Right now, students in our Mentoring Video Project are working on a short film about breaking the cycle of violence in Baltimore City. In the film, Wide Angle student producers will listen to young people who have personally experience violence or have been caught in this cycle. The finished product will be used as a tool to further advocate violence-prevention programs. You can help support our youth producers by donating now!

ykittasqYkitta Martin is 17 years old and attends Digital Harbor High School. She is a high school intern with Wide Angle Youth Media and the Urban Alliance. Next year, she plans to attend Towson University for film production. In her spare time she makes music and does plenty of video editing, and loves every aspect of it. Her life goal is to become a professional video editor and director or maybe someday even become a signed music artist.

Posted April 16th, 2013 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News by waym

Reflecting Reality: “The City Through Our Eyes”

Peyton giving a tour at our High School Family Night event this past January.

Peyton giving a tour of her favorite photographs at our High School Family Night event this past January.

Peyton, a fourth grader at Monarch Academy in Baltimore City, joins our communications team as a Youth Reporter & Blogger!

Our students and staff met Peyton at our high school family night this past January. She is an inspiring young person who is interested in reviewing films. At the event, we challenged her to look over the exhibit, and then describe her favorite pieces from the Youth Media Festival Committee’s photo exhibition to our guests and youth artists. As a Youth Reporter & Blogger, Peyton will be reviewing and reflecting on our students’ films as well as issues in Baltimore that matter to her.

Peyton’s first response is on “The City Through Our Eyes” made by middle school students in our Baltimore Speaks Out! Program:

How would you describe Baltimore to someone who has never been here before?  

I would describe Baltimore as a very nice place because there are cool places to visit like Port Discovery, the National Aquarium, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Walter’s Art Museum.

What does community mean to you?   

Community to me means people who work together and help each other out. People who know each other pretty well and make others feel comfortable.

What do you want people to know about your neighborhood?  

Things I want people to know about my neighborhood, Parkville, is that everyone is very polite. There is very little garbage lying around because people care for the neighborhood. There is a lot of space for kids to run around and we have a playground nearby. There are a lot of kids in my neighborhood.

Where is your favorite place to explore?

My favorite place to explore is Honeygo Trail. I like Honeygo because I love to walk and there are a lot of trails to walk and run on. I also like Honeygo because you can take a trail into the woods and you will see nature like fish, birds, frogs, and sometimes rabbits. Another reason I like Honeygo is because there is a playground and I love to hang upside down on the monkey bars.

What is the name of the film you watched?

The video I watched was called “The City Through Our Eyes.”

How long was the video that you watched?

The video I watched was 2 minutes, 18 seconds long.

What is your favorite part of the video? Why?

My favorite part of the video is when the kids talk about believing they can do anything, because I believe the same thing about myself. I also like when the two people make a heart with their arms. I thought that was creative. I’ve never seen that before.

What part of your neighborhood would you focus on if you were a part of this video?

If I were a part of this video the part of my neighborhood I would focus on is near the school Woodhome Elementary. I would focus there because there are open fields to play, baseball fields and tennis courts. The school also has a Baltimore City recreation center that offers many activities for kids and adults.

Do you think kids or teens were also inspired by this? Why?

Yes. I think other kids were inspired by this video because they can really have a connection with the children in the video since they may be in similar situations. I also think all children should believe in themselves and have positive people around them.

Has this film changed the way that you view your neighborhood?

No, the film did not change the way I view my neighborhood. I think I live in a great area with a lot of good people. We have a community that takes care of their own property and the surrounding area. I do think there could be room to make it a better place though. It would be nice to have community activities like street fairs where everyone can interact with each other and get to know each other better.

We are thrilled to have Peyton as a Youth Reporter and Blogger! Students in our Mentoring Video Project are working on a short documentary about inspiring young people, like Peyton, who have discovered their personal passion and how that opportunity connects them to lifelong success.

Are you or do you know a young person between the ages of 10 and 25 who has found their passion? Nominate yourself or someone you know to be featured in this upcoming production.

Posted March 12th, 2013 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage by waym

Refocused: John Bakker


John Bakker. Film Major and Wide Angle Alum, 2012

John Bakker participated in our programs from 2010 to 2011. He graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts in 2012. While in the Mentoring Video Project, John was a producer on films such as The Game Boys, a film focusing on video game addiction. Our staffs’ mentoring often goes beyond the classroom as we encourage our students not only through the media making process, but also through the college application process, and as they are looking for employment. John is now studying film at Virginia Commonwealth University and he reflect here about the skills he learned in our program that he now applies in his academic journey:

John Bakker on a field trip in 2010

John Bakker on a field trip in 2010

“Wide Angle Youth Media helped me learn many of the skills necessary for filmmaking, such as lighting, screenplay writing, and editing, as well as giving me confidence in my abilities as a filmmaker. I firmly believe without the guidance of my Mentoring Video Project coordinators I would not have gotten into Virginia Commonwealth University. Wide Angle provides a program for youths from every walk of life and a chance to express themselves creatively while also building confidence and teaching life skills. Wide Angle opened my eyes and helped me see things from more than one perspective.”

Watch current Mentoring Video Project students’ films from the fall!

Posted February 28th, 2013 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News by waym