Technology funding creates jobs

Feb 5, 2012

Technology Funding At Work

651 Arts in Brooklyn has launched a new media youth program with technology funding for two years from Deutsche Bank. The program, which expands on the organization’s existing partnerships with local high schools, provides the students with weekly classes where they learn audio and video editing utilizing 651 events as content. Guided by the staff at Bomb Magazine, 651’s media sponsor and now educational partner, the students will interview artists, and create video blogs for 651, as well as build their own portfolios. Guest lecturers will also be brought in to talk about internships, and career opportunities. The grant is paying for equipment including new macs, mics, software, video cameras, audio recorders, laptops for every student, plus desktops, and stipends.
Anna Glass, 651 Arts Managing Director, explains that Deutsche Bank alternates its funding platform every few years. This year’s focus was on how technology could be better integrated into the business in way that would connect with underserved communities. The team at 651 (including former E.D. Georgiana Pickett, now at Baryshnikov Arts Center, and current E.D. Shay Wafer) shared the RFP with their media partners at Bomb, with whom they had already been in dialogue about how they might work more closely together.
“For us,” Glass explained, we weren’t interested so much in apps for iPads, but in using technology to expand the work we have done in high schools. We looked at this differently. We don’t work with the department of education—we don’t have the capacity for that. We work with four schools, but it’s very focused engagement.”
The program also satisfies the funder’s interest in improving the integration of technology in the business of non-profit organizations.
Says Glass, “We needed to step up our game in the area of new media. We were not actively blogging, we had some podcasting via Bomb, and artist videos on YouTube, but we needed greater reach--with no capacity.”
“The Schools we’re working with are struggling, for the most part,” she added. “We saw kids were learning everything and learning nothing, and there are a lot of self esteem issues. We went to each of our schools, connected with the senior classes and made our pitch. We got a huge response in the classroom.”
There are currently 16 “super motivated” students in the program, which will run through June and conclude with a public showing, TBA. Best of all, perhaps, is that four of the students will return next year as paid teachers. 

Tags: youth programs, media production, job creation, 651 arts, deutsche bank

Sub Categories

TECHNOLOGY: Technology Funding