Over the past several months, Baltimore’s creative community has had to make significant adjustments to the ways in which we all interact with the arts. With stay-at-home orders, gathering restrictions and social distancing, many arts programs, classes and activities can no longer happen the way they once did. Thinking creatively, Baltimore individuals and organizations have looked to virtual opportunities to keep the arts thriving during this time.
BOPA is proud to feature Baltimore and Maryland arts organizations that have had to make these necessary adjustments. Today’s spotlight is on Wide Angle Youth Media, one of Baltimore’s arts organizations that’s working hard to ensure that their media arts education programs both adapt and thrive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hear directly from Wide Angle Youth Media below:
WIDE ANGLE YOUTH MEDIA
In times like these, running programs for youth, we feel it is the responsibility of our team to make sure that our students are heard. That their stories matter. Their voices matter. As COVID-19 forces us to embrace a new virtual form of connectedness, we hope that the media and community we build will reinforce, both for us and our students that we are never alone.
Our strategy for remote learning and community building is meeting with students individually. Our target is to check-in with at least five students a day, and create media as a small team. They are still getting the work done, but with a little added touch that says, “We care about how COVID-19 is impacting your productivity and your disinterest in formal class structures.”
So far our students have participated in TikTok challenges, organized a nation-wide virtual prom that featured live guest artist performances, created memes to spread awareness of COVID-19 in partnership with the city’s Health Department, engaged our middle school youth in a graphic novel creation process about their dream COVID-19 house, and have hosted film screenings with makers around the globe.
As we push forward toward a virtual summer learning experience, we are engaging our youth in dialogue to help them design the future of work. We are not adjusting to a “new normal”, we are creating one that is rooted in potential for nation-wide collaboration and genuine human connection. Moments of crisis are a rare opportunity to redesign what is possible. When the limitations set before us are viewed as an obstacle to collectively overcome, when we dream around them instead of being confined by the status quo, lasting progress can be made. Make sure to follow our social media channels to see how our youth innovate, collaborate, and embrace new opportunities to redefine work this summer. https://www.wideanglemedia.org/
Director of Programs
Wide Angle Youth Media