Reimagining Youth Summer Media Workshop will offer a unique opportunity to 16 Cleveland area youths (ages 12 – 18), helping them share their ideas, voices and experiences on film and with video, stop-motion animation, printmaking and food education, through the lens of their own immigrant experiences. Participants have been chosen from Thomas Jefferson Newcomers Academy and outer ring Cleveland Schools. Among the goals of using this new approach is for participants to be empowered through learning that they are heard and that their experiences can be applied to positively transform the community in which they now find themselves; they can become our next leaders and creative problem-solvers. Through this program, they will build social capital by supporting and extending local food education, celebrating their stories, sharing their cultural histories and connecting with the Clark-Fulton residents and the larger city’s ecosystem.
Young people have an important perspective on our city – they observe, interpret, and then can facilitate change using their experiences to impact the evolving parts of their neighborhoods for the better. Zygote Press, Apollo Outreach Initiative, Cleveland Roots & Stone Soup Cleveland are proud to support this effort.
Through generous grants from the Cleveland Foundation and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and by the Kellex Corporation and Metro West, over the last year we’ve worked alongside local partners in Clark Fulton, a rapidly changing, diverse community to explore how arts and culture and more creative forms of engaging the public can provide positive answers to the questions asked above. Cleveland Roots and Stone Soup are located in this vibrant hub.
Four organizations have come together, Zygote Press, Apollo Outreach Initiative, Cleveland Roots and Stone Soup Cleveland to develop a pilot workshop. In this workshop, students from many backgrounds will work together for two weeks to tell their stories and create collaborative projects through printmaking, short films and food education. We will be focusing on issues related to identity, citizenship, access to resources, and self-advocacy, with a special focus on the immigrant experience. The goal is to build leadership abilities while learning production and communication skills and working alongside professionals and volunteers in the food/gardening industry and understanding the ways in which food waste and food recovery can help their community. Their visual stories will come out through their artmaking productions.
Despite the many amenities in the neighborhood, there remains a disconnect between the community and the landmark school Thomas Jefferson Newcomers Academy, a school that has Cleveland 950 immigrant youth from 46 different countries to gain ESL learning. Metro West Development has been engaging the community to envision how they can integrate their art, culture and history with more connective means of bringing neighborhood and school together. Picking up on that work, Cleveland Roots and Stone Soup (a food recovery organization that gets food to the right place at the right time) are attracting the neighborhood residents who have their own urban gardens.
The four partnering organizations will work together and youth will participate in researching global food challenges and those that exist in the Clark-Fulton region. Youth will research and learn about food deserts, food recovery, food waste in the industry, sustainable environmental practices, gardening, volunteerism, and learning more about local farms and farmers markets. Youth will learn video production, editing, animation, green screen, screen printing, letterpress, monoprinting, design, marketing, will all be developed and facilitated through youth. The cohort will develop a sense of place and how they have strengthened their own community ownership. The final presentation will be a Rescue Dinner where youth will cook and serve a meal they created from the rescue food surplus to community residents, volunteers and family members. At this time, they will present their films, art work and other development projects developed over the course of the Summer Camp.
Reimaging Youth will take place at Cleveland Roots, 3257 West 41st Street Cleveland, Ohio 44109 a non-profit greenhouse on the West Side.