Offered Summer 2015
ME_dia Arts is a collaborative program that allows participants to focus on and analyze their personal identities from a holistic and Afrocentric perspective through the use of media arts engagement.
Youth identities are always in flux and heavily influenced by the environment around them. Rarely do youth get the opportunity to examine the (mis)representations of their identity in the media and the effects that it has on shaping their self-identification and their cultural affiliation. ME_dia Arts fosters media literacy and critical-thinking skills and infuses it with introductory arts-based workshops that allow youth to examine their identity in the media. Participants will have the opportunity to build their repertoires of critical skills that can effectively counteract and overcome the kinds of barriers, such as sexism, classism and eliteism, our young people face daily.
Through this program, young people are involved in interactive workshops that allow participants to examine their visibility within the mainstream media and question the biased images and stereotypes that are present, and make recommendations about how changes can be made. Participants will receive introductory workshops in photography, dance, popular theatre and spoken word poetry and engage in the historical, contemporary, healthy aspects of Afro-diasporic identity. The program will involve a combination of youth artists, community-based artist and art activists to provide a level of social responsibility and community activism among the youth participants where they can use their learning to exhibit a showcase of their work to their peers and the larger community.
Program Objectives and Outcomes:
Provide youth with the tools and critical analyze and counteract negative stereotypes that may exist about them through the use arts and the learning about the contribution of afro-diasporic artists
Provide youth participants the opportunity to engage in art forms on a professional level to increase their desire to pursue more community-based arts initiatives or fuel art-based career aspirations
Provide youth with a connection to their community through the building of their individual social responsibility to create change in their environments
** Note: the next offering of the ME_dia Arts Program will be Fall 2014.