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Come Celebrate with Detroit Future Schools and Detroit Future Media!
On June 9th at 11AM, students in the Detroit Future program will begin a day of celebrations to mark the end of another year of media driven and inspired classes. The day will include a graduation ceremony and a display of final projects created by students in Detroit Future Media (DFMedia) and Detroit Future Schools (DFSchools), two of the three programs that are a part of the Detroit Future program.
DFMedia is a series of 20-week trainings for Detroiters interested in building Detroit’s media economy through the creation of grassroots media, and community cultural production. The workshops offer intensive trainings on video, graphics, and web design with a focus on education, entrepreneurship and media-based community organizing.
The DFSchools program partners graduates from DFMedia with K-12 teachers in the Detroit area to design and implement digital media arts-integrated curriculum. The goal of DFSchools is to use digital media arts to provide the project-based learning experiences that students need to understand and shape their worlds. Participating teachers and artists receive a full year of professional development support to implement and improve their instructional practices.
The day’s activities will begin with a ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of the two programs over the year as well as the individual work of each program’s students. The DFMedia program will be graduating thirty students, and will be showcasing some of the many accomplishments from this year’s program, including a restructured system that has allowed for a deeper student connection to media skills and local communities.
The DFSchools program will be honoring students from twelve schools and fifteen classrooms. It will also be a time for the program to celebrate the extending of the DFSchools program into the 2013-14 school year in multiple schools. DFSchools program coordinator, Ammerah Saidi said this is a major accomplishment that was only made possible because of the phenomenal work the teachers and administrators witnessed in classrooms. Says Saidi, “Hearing students say that the work of the artists and DFSchool teachers in the classroom have made them feel more "human" or empowered was a remarkable moment for me.”
Saidi continues, “We look forward to acknowledging the transformative media created by the students in the classrooms and the artists and teachers who devoted hours of their work and personal time to make this type of work a priority.”
After the ceremony, there will be a showing of final projects of all the students from both programs. DFMedia students worked over the course of twenty weeks to create projects that focus on education, social justice or entreprenuership. Examples of student projects that will be on display include: Graphics logo designs, graphics t-shirts, websites and blogs and a video screening.
The DFSchools program will feature projects created by students and worked on together with DFSchools artists and school teachers. Some of the projects include students in a 6th grade science room investigating the foods available in their communities and how it lends itself to obesity. Students in a 7th grade classroom investigated food shortages in the world and how Detroit is creating alternative systems of food production and responsible food consumption. A high school classroom investigated structures of power in their neighborhoods and their schools.
Both DFMedia and DFSchools centered the needs of the community while guiding student creation of projects. As DFSchool’s program coordinator, Ammerah Saidi points out, “Students are directly investigating their communities both near and abroad. Our long-term goals are to move from problematizing situations to solution-creation and implementation.”
The long term commitment to creating solutions by these programs will continue after graduation. As with the 2011 workshop graduates, this year’s DFMedia graduates will have the option of applying to be artists in the DFSchools program. This year also marks the launch the DFMedia apprenticeship program, where graduates will have the opportunity to move into media positions with local organizations and small businesses.
There are nine apprenticeship pairings and the pairings are based on community needs and student skills. DFMedia program coordinator, Imad Hassan explains, “It is a collaborative learning environment where all parties share their experiences, knowledge and gain from one another's skills. The hope is that these relationships continue and expand the communities' capacity of a new media economy.”
The final event of the day will be a BBQ served while projects are being showed. The entire day is open to the public, and will take place at the Allied Media Offices at 4126 3rd St. The event promises to be an exciting one that only leads to more good things for Detroit. Says Hassan, "We look forward to honoring the accomplishments of our students as the progress through the program and into their expanded roles!"