Most days my visits to the Village of Arts and Humanities are fun and fairly easy going. However, a few weeks ago my session with the students became somewhat difficult. One young female student around the age of 12 caused the class to be very difficult, I will call her Ashley. On this day in particular the lead instructor decided that the students would take the program’s digital cameras and take some photographs of the surrounding area while having a specific task for each group of photographers. What makes this situation interesting is the class discussion lead by professor Hobbs regarding young students who crave attention and have issues with student collaboration.
In Ashley’s case, she was a prime example of a student who would cause disruptions and confusion among the class in order to receive attention. When this was actually happening I did not make the connection and assumed she was simply being disruptive and annoying to the other students. As the class’s assignment began Ashley myself and a few other students consisting of a boy and another young girl named Ty and Jessica, took to the streets of North Philadelphia. With a camera strapped to her neck I began to instruct Ashley on taking her photo when she decided to stop and make a joke about Jessica that got the attention of other surrounding groups. That one joke caused Jessica to become upset and then began to threaten Ashley with a fight. I began to separate them two and asked for her to continue with her picture. She then made a face that suggested she had a serious problem with me telling the other students to stand on the sidewalk together in order for her to continue. She murmured, “I want to stand with him, I hate her.” What I did not know was these three kids were in some kind of puppy love triangle. Unbeknownst to me Ashley was jealous of the girl simply because Ashley had a crush on Ty but he had liked Jessica. As this story unfolded in my mind I was determined to not let it distract my group from completing the assignment given. I decided to let Ashley take her photos and have Jessica assist her while Ty stood back and watched.
My solution to this small altercation was not necessarily the best answer for my problem but at the time and given situation I believed that this was an incident that would quickly come to an end. About forty-five minutes into the project things were coming to an end and all photography requirements got met. In addition, with Ty being somewhat separated Jessica and Ashley coexisted without any problems. What I learned that day was that young kids do act out in order to get attention but most times it’s never that serious. As well as when it comes to successfully operating as a group there are always some challenges that have to be overcame. Nonetheless, what is most important is that my students got a chance to take some great photos and learn a few things about photography.
Power Point presentation: Highlights and key points of this week readings
After the first couple visits to the after school program I was feeling a little anxious and somewhat worried about the progression of my goals for this class and the amount of participation from the program. In spite of this, The Village of arts and humanities seems to have a very family oriented atmosphere and operates in that manner. The type of children that take part at the village are considered minorities and need this type of relaxed atmosphere to help ease them into learning about media, become comfortable with media production, and eventually produce media.
While at the Village I have been working with three students on average but out of the three, one is a lot more motivated then the others. He seems to really have a yearning for any information about photography. Which I think is a good thing, he helps draw the other students in for participation. However, with time and proper guidance the lessons taught should be fun and will pull the students in as well as more students. One of the best features about the Village of arts and humanities is they allow students within the program to choose between all the courses offered. They have free range in what activity they choose and the ability to be apart of multiple classes, it is only asked that they are consistent with their attendance to ensure they actually learn something. Given that the student’s age range from fourteen to twenty-two there is somewhat of an age gap that cause for the instructor to reiterate often.
Nonetheless, I feel that the environment of the village creates a place to learn regardless of age and gender. Thinking about The seven great debates in the media literacy movement by Renee Hobbs, that asks if media literacy should be taught as a separate class opposed to integrated with another subject’s lesson plan. I feel that it should be taught alongside other lessons considering how much media literacy can relate to many topics of discussions. I can see intergrading media literacy with the classes taught at the Village of arts and humanities being successful.
I can honestly say that visiting the Village of arts and humanities for my official first day as a volunteer was a great experience overall. Upon arrival, a few students and El Sawyer, gave me a tour of the programs campus, which consist of an entire block of row homes beautifully painted. The main building used is a dance studio with the second floor as a computer lab for the students. As you walk through the lab the walls are covered in paintings, drawings, and photography of past work done by the students and professionals who have visited and participated in the program.
Although the Village has just begun its year it is pretty clear to me that each student participating is very interested in the field of studies. Considering I have experience as photographer, the program coordinator has asked me to help organize and assist in the creation of a new curriculum in photography as well as assist in the production of a video made by the students. I am anxious to start producing work but I am a little skeptical in how I will be able to incorporate some of the media literacy lessons for my class. Furthermore, the experience
The Village of arts and humanities is a non-profit organization in North Philadelphia that caters to urban youth in the surrounding area. It began in 1986 where local artist planned to transform an abandon lot to a clean park, assisted by youth in the area, the park was a success and from that it began to expand and evolve into the Village of today. The organization runs an afterschool program that has a numerous amount of specific areas of interest for their participants, offering video production, gardening, hip-hop dance, and fashion design. In addition, new programs such as technology labs, weekend animation and film classes are available. The Village of Arts and Humanities mission is to “support the voices and aspirations of the community through providing opportunities for self-expression rooted in art and culture.” The Village’s goals are to uplift the community and allow the youth to become involved with their community while learning skills to help them succeed in life. The Village creates a very comfortable atmosphere for whoever enters or wants to participate. Volunteers are always welcome and are looked upon as a great chance to give back to the community.
Most participants in the program get training in areas of their interest. However, there is a yearly video production that is produced by one of the classes that is held in high regard. The work of the Village is spread around North Philadelphia with multiple murals and parks. Surrounding the founding location of the first park were dozens of abandon homes some burnt, others simply deteriorated. A few years ago the participants of the program began to rehabilitate the old homes and used them as locations for the program to expand. The renovated homes were all painted and decorated in art from murals to glass art accompanied by surrounding sculptures. Looking at some of the work created by the youth I can see that there is great guidance between the students and teachers when developing their projects.
This is a music video directed by Mike Carson. This videos goal is to promote the hip-hop artist known as Big Sean. This video is constructed of quick cuts of video, using images that portray the lyrics in the song. The imagery throughout the video is captivating, full of bright colors, attractive jewelry and clothing as well as other items commonly seen in popular culture. If you are familiar with hip-hop and its culture, you can clearly see all of the messages typically endorsed by some rappers in the hip-hop industry. Music videos such as this one are somewhat of a cliché and filled with stereotypes that surround rap and hip-hop and was released because of its commercialism and marketability. People may see this video and see nothing but flashy images and hear an up beat song while others may see an over emphasis on high priced materials and hear nothing but misogynistic lyrics. The lifestyle portrayed throughout this video consists of spending money, making money, having sex, and using marijuana.